Costa Rica borders Nicaragua (to the north), Panama (to the southeast), the Caribbean Sea (to the east) and the Pacific Ocean (to the west). Besides the continental territory, there is Cocos Island. Time zone is GMT-6 (No daylight savings). It has 4.7 million people and the official language is Spanish. English is the widely spoke and second language for a large portion, especially younger people, of the population. French, German, Italian and Portuguese are also spoken. The national currency is colon. Costa Ricans are also known as "ticos" and "ticas".
Costa Rica has seven provinces: San Jose, Alajuela, Cartago, Heredia, Guanacaste, Puntarenas and Limon. San Jose is the capital as well as the economic and political hub of the country. Geographically, the country is divided into the Central Valley (the cities of San Jose, Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago) and the coast provinces (Guanacaste, Puntarenas and Limon). The Central Valley is located in the geographic center of the country and is where the largest number of inhabitants live.
Although the territory is small, the country has great climatic diversity / micro-climates. The land ranges from sea level to almost 4000 meters (highest point: Cerro Chirripo). The latter, together with an enviable geography (rivers, mountains, volcanoes, beaches, etc.), along with other factors such as its geographical position and oceanic influence, supports a huge diversity of flora and fauna (it accounts for 5% of the world's biodiversity and over 25% of the country's territory is protected).
Costa Rica offers one of the best climates in the world, but does not have clearly defined seasons. However, it’s been established that the dry or "summer" season goes from December to April and the rainy season or "winter" season from May to November. There may be variations in some years due to “El Nino” (the boy child) climate phenomenon, which has caused droughts in some regions.
Costa Rica has the honor of being one of the few countries in the world not having an army or armed forces, which were abolished in the constitution of 1949. Not devoting resources to support a military, has allowed the country to invest in health and education. For the above, at this time the life expectancy of the population is comparable to that of developed countries, universal health care is available, electric utility coverage is nearly 100% (the highest in Latin America), access to drinking water is 90% and literacy level of exceeds 96%. For these reasons, the human development index is one of the highest in the region.
Economically, the country has become well-known in recent years by the strong attraction of foreign investment and the coming of major companies. Such results are a logical consequence of its socio-political stability, strong investment in education, the academic level of the population and easy access to excellent quality services.
Important results have been achieved in the export of technology and services field, most notably tourism. That included, the increasing interest Costa Rica has recently shown as an ideal destination for medical tourism from the United States. Likewise, as a retirement place for the so-called "baby boomers" who choose the country not only for its political stability, climate and proximity to their place of origin, but also by the friendliness of its people, making Costa Rica meet the perfect conditions to relax and retire.