Geography

/Geography
Geography 2017-01-11T13:41:23+00:00

Geography

Costa Rica is located on the Central American Isthmus surrounding the point 10° north of the equator and 84° west of the prime meridian. It borders both the Caribbean Sea (to the east) and the Pacific (to the west), with a total of 1,228 km of coastline (212 km on the Caribbean coast and 1,016 km on the Pacific).

Costa Rica shares a border with Nicaragua to the north (309 km long border) and with Panama to the south (330 km long border). The area of Costa Rica is 51,100 km² of which 50,660 km² is land and 440 km² is water, making it slightly smaller than the U.S. State of West Virginia.

The nation’s terrain is coastal plain separated by rugged mountains, the Cordillera Central and the Cordillera de Talamanca, which form the spine of the country and separate the Pacific and Caribbean watersheds.

Area Total: 51,100 km² (land)
Boundaries Total land: 639 km
Border countries Nicaragua 309 km, Panama 330 km
Coastline 1290 km (Pacific) 780 km (Caribbean)
Climate Tropical and subtropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November).
Terrain Coastal plains separated by rugged mountains including over 110 volcanic cones, of which several are major and very active volcanoes
Active volcanoes Arenal, Poas, Rincon de la Vieja, Irazú & Turriaba
Peninsulas Golfo Dulce, Golfo de Nicoya and Golfo de Papagayo
Elevations Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

Highest point: Cerro Chirripó 3,820 m

Land use Arable: 4.4% / Permanent crops: 5.87% / Other: 89.73%
 Natural hazards Occasional earthquakes, hurricanes along Atlantic coast; frequent flooding of lowlands at onset of rainy season
Environment

 

Deforestation, largely a result of the clearing of land for cattle ranching; soil erosion; coastal marine pollution; fisheries protection; solid waste management; air pollution
Protected area 37% are covered by protected areas like National Parks among others