Costa Rica Guide

Costa Rica Guide

Country data

Location: Central America

Time zone: CET – 7 (during summer time: CET – 8)

Total area: 51,100 km²

Land area: 51,060 km²

Water area: 40 km²

Length of the state border: 661 km

Bordering countries:
Nicaragua: 313 km
Panama: 348 km

Coastline: 1,290 km

Capital: San José

Provinces: 7
Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas, San Jose

Electric current: 110/220 V / 60 Hz

Telephone code: 00 506 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Cerro Chirripo 3,810 m


Population: approx. 4.8 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 1.2% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 94

Life expectancy: 76 (male), 81 (female)

Official language: Spanish


  • 76% Roman Catholic
  • 14% Protestant
  • 10% other


The tropical to subtropical climate offers a cooling of the temperature only in higher regions.

In the plateaus, the daytime temperature is 16-22 ° C and there are even, pleasant winds.

The middle altitudes are very warm and dry, especially in the first half of the year. Temperatures of 25-35 ° C prevail. In the second half of the year there is a lot of rain, and in some cases very heavy.

At sea level it is very hot all year round, with temperatures above 30 ° C. The humidity is around 80%.

Costa Rica

Currency / finance

Currency unit: Costa Rican Colon (CRC)

Classification: 1 Colón = 100 Centimos

ATMs: are occasionally available in large cities. However, many machines do not accept foreign cards.

International credit cards: These are accepted in larger hotels and shops.

Regulations: Foreign and national currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 500 g tobacco
  • 3 liters of alcoholic beverages
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

The import of meat and sausage products, dairy products, fruit and vegetables of all kinds is not permitted.

Travel advice

An increase in Zika virus infections is currently being observed in the region. The Zika virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes.

The Federal Foreign Office recommends that pregnant women refrain from avoidable trips to ZIKA virus outbreak areas, as the risk of early childhood malformations if the woman is infected cannot currently be ruled out.

The theft rate is extremely high, especially in the capital and in the tourist centers. Organized gangs are mostly found near the train stations.

Behavioral advice

Valuables, jewelry and fanny packs should not be worn in public. Do not leave your luggage unattended for a second.

You should not resist a violent attack.


Costa Rica’s export goods include bananas, coffee, wood, industrial products, textiles and sugar.

The number of tourists has increased steadily in the last few years and promises to be a good source of income for foreign exchange.

Industries: food production, microprocessor technology, textiles, tourism

Natural resources: hydropower

Land use:

  • Usable land: 6%
  • Grain cultivation: 5%
  • Pasture area: 46%
  • Forests: 31%
  • other: 12%


For nature lovers, Costa Rica is the ideal travel destination. With many thousands of different plants and over 1,000 tree species, nature is represented in a very diverse way.

Several national parks have been set up to protect them.


Monkeys, bears, bats, deer, butterflies and pigs are just a few of the many animal species that are very common on land.

There are also over 1,000 different exotic bird species, some Bordering countries are only native here.

The waters around Costa Rica are also very species-rich. Fish and coral species have been able to develop here almost undisturbed in the last few decades.

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