Costa Rica


Forget the world.
Think only in what you have deep inside your skin, and
you will know how sweet and how tasty is, suddenly, to live.

Costa Rican poet Jorge Debravo, 1938-1967, Bells

Latin Americans often come up near the very top of the world's happiest people, despite a material prosperity that is very pale compared to that we enjoy in the United States

Philip Greenspun


Costa Rica was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1502, when he landed near Puerto Limón on the Atlantic shore. Believing he had discovered a land of vast wealth, he named it “Costa Rica”, which means “Rich Coast.”
Unlike other parts of Central America, the colonization was relatively bloodless. The local inhabitants were mainly sedentary Indians farmers whose numbers were eventually depleted when introduced to European disease.

The first capital city was Cartago, founded in 1563. Eventually, the capital was moved west to San José in 1737. Independence from Spain was declared in 1821, beginning a period of civil war between the Liberal and Conservative factions

After independence, the government anxiously sought goods that could be exported and taxed for revenue. Coffee, which had been introduced from Cuba, was the answer. The government offered free land to coffee growers, thus building a peasant landowning class. The prosperity brought by coffee exportation since the 1850's resulted in higher birth rates and settlement expansion. Costa Rica's long tradition of democracy began in 1889 and has continued to the present day. The only lapse in this record was in 1948 when the constitution was abolished and a military dictatorship took over. One year later, a new constitution was adopted and the army was permanently abolished. In 1983, the country made an official proclamation of neutrality

Costa Rica today is a model of democracy and political stability. According to the UN Human Development Report, it boasts a fine health care system, telecommunications network and school systems with one of the highest literacy rates in the world — over 94.9% (More)



Costa Rica
Arenal Volcano Photos
Dan's Photos - La Reserva Forest Foundation
Costa Rica - American Style

Park of Spheres
Sky Craper Forums
Fotos de Consuelo

Videos — Tours in Spanish
Costa Rica - The Happiest Place On Earth


Inside Costa Rica
Tico Times
Costa Rica Living eBoard
Volcano Discovery — Eruption Updates
The Beach Times
A. M. Costa Rica

There are about 60 volcanoes in Costa Rica, six of them are considered active. Some were discovered quite recently (2008). For example, a newspaper wrote in 2002:


Some 40 earthquakes rattled Costa Rica in 2001. These were tremors registered by the U.S. Earthquake Information Center. Most had a magnitude between 4.0 and 4.9… The earthquake data does not include quakes elsewhere but felt here. For example, another 6.2 quake took place offshore from southwest Costa Rica Aug. 25, some 50 miles (about 80 kms) from land along a fault line that parallels the coast

A Traveler's Guide

Outstanding Costa Ricans

It is important to have some solid knowledge of Costa Rican and Central American history if you are visiting this country, in order to avoid insulting Costa Ricans by not knowing about major figures in their history and recent Nobel Prize winners, for example (More)


He is the astronaut that has participated in the most space missions in the world —


Former President of the Republic (1986-1990), and reelected for a second term in 2006. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to pacify the tumultuous Central America of the 80's and has been leading his country ever since —

Discovered penicillin years before the formal discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming1


Well known sportswomen, these sisters earned three world records as well as several medals in the Olympics for swimming — Claudia's, Sylvia's

Interesting Links




Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License