56 Interesting Facts About Costa Rica

Last updated on March 4th, 2020

10 Costa Rica facts for kids

37. A quarter of Costa Rica’s land space has been set aside for national parks and refuges making it an awesome place to visit and see wildlife.

38. Unlike in the USA and other parts of Europe, Costa Rica does not have winter, but a dry season from December to April thus a perfect place to visit with your family.

39. Many Americans retire in Costa Rica.

40. Most Costa Ricans are expected to live more than 77 years old.

41. Most door locks in Costa Rica work backward, so when opening a door lock and you think that it is stuck, just turn the key backward.

42. Most Costa Ricans are short. So if you visit there, expect to find a little bit smaller furniture than you are used to.

Basilica de Nuestra Senora de los Angeles in the city of Cartago, Costa Rica.
Basilica de Nuestra Senora de los Angeles in the city of Cartago, Costa Rica.

43. Children in Costa Rica are called their father’s name.

44. When you buy milk in Costa Rica, it is packaged in plastic papers. These papers have to be cut at the edge so be careful not to do it carelessly or else you will be covered in milk.

45. When you meet a Costa Rican and what to say Hi, you can say pura vida. Pura vida means pure life.

46. Children who come from destitute families and cannot go to school are taught through radio lessons.

10 facts about their culture

We have gone through the general facts about Costa Rica; now it is time to go through some facts about the Costa Rican Culture.

47. If you marry a Costa Rican woman, do not expect her to take your name. They maintain their maiden name and that of their mother. So heads up.

48. Greetings are made formal enough and not too casual in Costa Rica. For instance, hugs are reserved for family and very close friends.

49. The Costa Ricans have a day for the cow herders. This day is known as the Dia de los Boyeros is celebrated in honor of cow herders.

50. If you are supposed to meet a Costa Rican, expect him or her to arrive 30 minutes late. This lateness they refer to as la hora tica.

51. Men in Costa Rica express appreciation for beauty by whistling, complementing, or staring. So if you visit Costa Rica, be polite when this happens to you.

52. Costa Ricans love peace and do not refrain from disappointing others. For instance, instead of saying no, a Costa Rican will say maybe.

53. It is rather impolite to put your feet on furniture if you visit someone in Costa Rica.

54. When giving someone a flower as a present, avoid lilies as these flowers are only for funerals.

55. Traditionally in Costa Rica, the typical meal during Christmas and other special occasions are tamales. So if you are in Costa Rica during Christmas, expect to eat lots of it.

56. During Christmas in Costa Rica, it is a tradition that the Nativity Scene or El Portal be showcased. This casting shows the birth of Jesus.

Costa Rica – country at a glance

Independence15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Capital CitySan José
(9°56′N 84°5′W)
Largest CitySan José
(9°56′N 84°5′W)
Areatotal: 51,100 sq km
land: 51,060 sq km
water: 40 sq km
Population5,097,988 (July 2020 est.)
Official LanguageSpanish
BordersNicaragua and Panama
CurrencyCosta Rican colón (CRC)
DemonymCosta Rican, Tico
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Literacy rate97.9%
Life expectancy at birth79.2 Years (2020)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Climatetropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands
Terraincoastal plains separated by rugged mountains including over 100 volcanic cones, of which several are major active volcanoes
Mean elevation746 m
Lowest pointPacific Ocean 0 m
Highest pointCerro Chirripo 3,819 m
Natural resourceshydropower
Agricultural land37.1%
Birth rate14.8 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate4.9 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Sex ratio1.00 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Government typepresidential republic
PresidentCarlos Alvarado
National anthem"Himno Nacional de Costa Rica" (National Anthem of Costa Rica)
National symbolyiguirro (clay-colored robin)
National colorsblue, white, red
National holidayIndependence Day, 15 September (1821)
Industriesmedical equipment, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products
Exports$10.81 billion (2017 est.)
bananas, pineapples, coffee, melons, ornamental plants, sugar; beef; seafood; electronic components, medical equipment
Imports$15.15 billion (2017 est.)
raw materials, consumer goods, capital equipment, petroleum, construction materials
GDP - per capita (PPP)$16,900 (2017 est.)
Time ZoneCST (UTC−6)
Internet country code.cr
Calling Code+506
Drives on theRight
Table last updatedMarch 30, 2020