Costa Rica Facts

Location: Panama borders the southeast; Nicaragua borders the north, the Caribbean Sea on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west.
Capital: San José (1 + million people in the metropolitan area)
Area: 51,100 square kilometers (31,682 square miles)
Official Language: Spanish; English widely understood in tourist areas
Official Religion: Catholic (with freedom of expression of other beliefs)
Population: 3,622,171 as of January 2000 (the number is suspected to be higher due to undocumented immigrants).

National Flower: Purple Guaria Orchid (Cattleya skinneri)
National Tree:
Guanacaste (Enterolobium ciclocarpum )
National Bird: Yiguirro Turdus gray

Gross National Product per capita (1999): $3,506.20
Unemployment rate (1999): 6%
Literacy rate: 97%
Minimum wage: 500 colones/hour ($1.44/hour)
Life expectancy: 76.1 years

Business Hours (generally):
-Government Sector: 8AM to 4 PM,
Monday through Friday
-Private Sector: 9 AM to 6PM, Monday through Friday
-National Banks: 8AM to 3PM, Monday through Friday Major Cities: Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago, San isidro del General, Cuidad Quesada, Liberia, Puntarenas, Limón.
Highest Peak: Cerro Chirripó, 3820 meters (12,530 feet) above sea level.
International Tourist Arrivals, 1999: 1,027,462
Top Five Visiting Countries
U.S. 392,217
Central American nations 309,338
Canada 43,662
Mexico 31,972
Spain 27,833
2 distinct seasons: winter: rainy, summer: dry
The coasts are generally rainy and humid year-round. Daytime temps in the Central Valley range from 60-85 degrees F. Evenings can get chilly and light jackets are recommended.
In the rainy season, sunny mornings are followed by cloudy mid-day and an afternoon thundershower, usually clearing up in time to go out for the evening.
Facts: 830 species of birds, 350,000 of insects
What to do if...

…you lose your passport: make an official report with the local police (OIJ) and contact your local embassy to get a replacement.
Embassies:
Belgium 225-6255
Canada 296-4149
England 221-5816
France 225-0733
Germany 232-5533
Holland 296-1490
Spain 222-1933
Sweden 232-8549
USA 220-3050

…you lose your credit card: Call Visa 0-800-0110-030, Mastercard 0-800-0110-184 or American Express 1-800-554-2639

…you need to make a local or international phone call: Buy phone cards at registered outlets across the country, or dial one of the following services:
LONG DISTANCE SEVICES
AT& T 0-800-011-4114
MCI 0-800-012-2222
Sprint 0-800-013-0123
International Operator: 116
International Information: 124
...you lose your airline ticket: Make an official report with the local police (OIJ) and contact your airline to request a replacement ticket
American Airlines 257-1266
Continental 296-4911
Delta 257-4141
Lacsa 296-0909
Lufthansa 221- 7444
Mexicana 257 -6334