35 Interesting Facts About Costa Rica

  1. Costa Rica is one of the seven countries in Central America. It shares land borders with Panama and Nicaragua. 
  2. Costa Rica has the highest percentage (over 65%) of white people in Central America. It is also the only Central American country with a majority white population of European descent.
  3. Costa Rica is famous as the oldest and strongest democracy in Latin America. Consequently, it has the most stable government in Central America. 
  4. Costa Rica hosted the world’s longest-running TV educational show. The Teleclub ran for a minimum of 53 years and 244 days from 8th February 1963 to 9th October 2016. (Source)
  5. Costa Rica has defaulted nine times. It is one of the highest numbers of defaults in the history of world economics. (Source)
  6. Costa Rica is on the list of the world’s ten best ethical destinations for 2019. The country achieved this status by abolishing shark finning, promoting green energy, and taking other environmental and humanitarian-friendly measures. Costa Rica achieved this status several times prior as well.
  7. Costa Rica has a good record in human development measures. The country has the highest HDI (human development Index) in Central America and Latin America.
  8. Costa Rica has been named the happiest country in the world by the happy planet index. The country gained the No. 1 position thanks to renewable energy sources and investment in the health and education sectors. (Source)
  9. The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica is one of the five blue zones in the world. People in these areas are known to live longer and healthier. Nicoya has the world’s lowest rate of middle-aged mortality and the 2nd highest number of men over 100 years of age. (Source)
    Satellite image of Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica
    Nicoya Peninsula is one of five blue zones

  10. Costa Rica has exceptionally high life expectancies than many high-income countries. Costa Rican males have the highest age-90 life expectancy in the world. The main reason for this extraordinarily high life expectancy is low obesity and less prevalence of cardiovascular diseases in the Costa Rican population. (Source)
  11. Costa Rica restricts cars on tag days per week according to their number plates. The purpose behind this move is to reduce pollution. (Source)
  12. It rains a lot in Costa Rica. Consequently, there are at least 15 words describing different types of rain. (Source)
  13. Cocos Island National Park in Costa Rica is the only island in the tropical eastern Pacific with tropical rainforest. (Source)
  14. Deforestation was a worrisome problem in Costa Rica between 1973 and 1989. But it achieved almost zero deforestation by 2005.
  15. Costa Rica has the highest number of vascular plant species (more than 12,000) in Central America.
  16. There are more than 1,400 species of orchids in Costa Rica. It has the highest orchid density per area due to its mountainous tropic climate. (Source)
  17. Costa Rica has the highest number of amphibians and reptile species in Central America. It is also second only to Panama in this region for the highest number of bird and mammal species.
  18. Costa Rica is extremely rich in biodiversity. It holds only 0.03% of the total world land area, but its share of global biodiversity is around 5%.
  19. Around 25% of the land area in Costa Rica is protected national parks and protected areas. It is the highest percentage of protected areas in any country.
  20. Costa Rica also became the first country in Latin America to ban hunting as a sport in 2012. The culprits can face fine or prison sentence. (Source)
  21. 90% of butterfly species of Central America and 18% of the world’s butterfly species are present in Costa Rica. (Source)
  22. The world’s largest car logo was formed by 1,600 cars in Costa Rica. This record was made on 1st October 2017. (Source)
  23. There are no street names and numbers in Costa Rica. The country’s postal code system is new, established just a few years ago.
  24. Costa Rica generates more than 98.5% of its energy through renewable sources. It also includes 100% renewable energy for several months every year. The country uses wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower for this purpose. (Source)
  25. In 2018, Campbell Barr was elected as the vice president of Costa Rica. She was the first female afro-descendent vice president in Latin America. (Source) 
  26. La Ruta de los Conquistadores is considered the most challenging mountain bike race and one of the most difficult athletic events. (Source)
  27. Franklin Chang Diaz, a Costa Rican, was the first Hispanic to be chosen by NASA. He went to space in 1986. (Source)
    Franklin Chang Diaz
    Costa Rican Chang Diaz was first Hispanic chosen by NASA
  28. Costa Rica was the first country to ban in-vitro fertilization in 2001. It was also the only country that banned IVF for 16 years before lifting the prohibition in 2017. (Source)
  29. Costa Rica provides a universal healthcare system to its citizens and permanent residents. Both public and private healthcare systems are modern and less expensive.
  30. There are 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Costa Rica. Three of these are natural sites, while the only cultural site is the Precolumbian Chiefdom Settlements of the Diquis. (Source)
  31. Bahia Ballena (Whale bay) is a famous beach in Costa Rica, known for its whale tail shape. It is one of the best places in the country to see whales, dolphins, coral reefs, and other marine life.
  32. The EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) (574,725 km2) of Costa Rica is more than ten times its land area (51,100 km2).
  33. Costa Rica is one of the few countries without a standing army. The Central American country abolished its military in 1948 after the end of the Costa Rican Civil War.
  34. Costa Rica is the 4th largest exporter of bananas in the world. It exported bananas worth nearly $1 billion in 2019. (Source)
  35. Medical instruments, bananas, and tropical fruits are the major exports of Costa Rica. Their main imports are refined petroleum, medical instruments, and broadcasting equipment. (Source)


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