Costa Rica



Flags of All Countries

Costa Rica Geography 2008


Location: Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama
Geographic coordinates: 10 00 N, 84 00 W
Map references: Central America and the Caribbean
Area: total: 51,100 sq km land: 50,660 sq km water: 440 sq km note: includes Isla del Coco
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than West Virginia
Land boundaries: total: 639 km border countries: Nicaragua 309 km, Panama 330 km
Coastline: 1,290 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm exclusive economic zone: 200 nm continental shelf: 200 nm
Climate: tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November); cooler in highlands
Terrain: coastal plains separated by rugged mountains including over 100 volcanic cones, of which several are major volcanoes
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m highest point: Cerro Chirripo 3,810 m
Natural resources: hydropower
Land use: arable land: 4.4% permanent crops: 5.87% other: 89.73% (2005)
Irrigated land: 1,080 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 112.4 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 2.68 cu km/yr (29%/17%/53%) per capita: 619 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards: occasional earthquakes, hurricanes along Atlantic coast; frequent flooding of lowlands at onset of rainy season and landslides; active volcanoes
Environment - current issues: deforestation and land use change, largely a result of the clearing of land for cattle ranching and agriculture; soil erosion; coastal marine pollution; fisheries protection; solid waste management; air pollution
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note: four volcanoes, two of them active, rise near the capital of San Jose in the center of the country; one of the volcanoes, Irazu, erupted destructively in 1963-65

NOTE: The geography information regarding Costa Rica on this page is re-published from the 2008 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Costa Rica Geography 2008 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Costa Rica Geography 2008 should be addressed to the CIA.