Top 10 Interesting Facts About Costa Rica

A collage of some of the most notable sights and sounds of Costa Rica.
A collage of some of the most notable sights and sounds of Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is a fascinating country located in Central America. The country shares its borders with Panama and Nicaragua. It also has coastlines on the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. San José, the largest city, serves as the capital of the country. Costa Rica is endowed with great natural wealth that makes it one of the world’s 17 megadiverse nations. Here is a list of some interesting facts related to Costa Rica.

10. Costa Ricans Enjoy Long Lives

The life expectancy in Costa Rica is quite high. At the age of 60, men in the country can expect to survive for about 22 more years. This figure is slightly higher than that in the case of the US or Western Europe. The fact raises curiosity since life expectancy is usually linked to wealth. However, Costa Rica is only a developing nation where the per capita expenditure on health care is only a fraction of that in the US. Yet, the country's citizens enjoy longer lives than the citizens of many of the world's most well developed nations.

9. Costa Rica Is A Paradise For Hummingbirds

Although there are numerous species of flora and fauna calling the country their home, the hummingbirds stand out in their incredible species diversity. There are over 50 species of hummingbirds residing in the country. Costa Rica can definitely be called the hummingbird capital of the world.

8. Costa Rica Has Many Volcanoes Including Active Ones

Costa Rica has 14 known volcanoes. Six of these volcanoes have exhibited volcanic activity in recent times. Adventure tours to the country often include volcanoes in the itinerary. The Arenal volcano is the most popular one of its kind in the country and towers above the surrounding landscape in northern Costa Rica.

7. Costa Rica Houses 5% Of World’s Biodiversity

Although the country has only about 0.03% of the landmass of the world, it hosts 5% of the global biodiversity. There are over 500,000 species of plants and animals residing in the country. Of these, about 300,000 species are insects.

6. Costa Rica Has Successfully Managed To Curb Deforestation

Since 1977, the area of land deforested every year has decreased from 52,000 hectares in 1977 to 4,737 in 2005. The ambitious conservation projects implemented in the country has helped achieve such positive results.

5. Costa Rica Does Not Have A Standing Army

Since 1949, the Constitution of the country forbids the presence of a standing military in the country. Costa Rica, however, does have a public security force that maintains the internal security in the country. This security force has limited military functions. Recognized for its peaceful nature, Costa Rica houses the headquarters of the UN’s University for Peace.

4. Costa Rica Is Smaller Than Lake Michigan

Costa Rica is a tiny nation with an area comparable to that of Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes of North America. The country encompasses an area of 19,730 square miles while Lake Michigan has an area of 22,394 square miles.

3. Costa Rica Ranks Number One In The Happy Planet Index

The Happy Planet Index measures several parameters to determine nations that are doing best at achieving happy, long, and sustainable lives for their inhabitants. It thus measures the sustainable well-being of a country. Costa Rica ranks one on this index as it is one of the leading countries in nature conservation in the world.

2. Costa Rica Is The Butterfly Capital Of The World

Costa Rica hosts an incredible diversity of butterflies. Nearly 90% of the butterfly species of Central America have been identified in Costa Rica. The country houses about 18% of the world’s butterflies and 66% of all species of neotropical butterflies.

1. Tourism Is A Flourishing Industry In Costa Rica

The natural beauty and wildlife diversity of Costa Rica is one of its biggest treasures. The country’s diverse landscape, unique species, and plethora of adventure activities attract tourists from all corners of the globe. Today, tourism is the leading foreign exchange earner in the country.


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