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Costa Rica Geography 1996

    • Location:
      Middle America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama

    • Map references:
      Central America and the Caribbean

    • Area:

        total area:
        51,100 sq km

        land area:
        50,660 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly smaller than West Virginia

        includes Isla del Coco

    • Land boundaries:
      total 639 km, Nicaragua 309 km, Panama 330 km

    • Coastline:
      1,290 km

    • Maritime claims:

        exclusive economic zone:
        200 nm

        territorial sea:
        12 nm

    • International disputes:

    • Climate:
      tropical; dry season (December to April); rainy season (May to November)

    • Terrain:
      coastal plains separated by rugged mountains

    • Natural resources:
      hydropower potential

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      1,180 sq km (1989 est.)

    • Environment:

        current issues:
        deforestation, largely a result of the clearing of land for cattle ranching; soil erosion

        natural hazards:
        occasional earthquakes, hurricanes along Atlantic coast; frequent flooding of lowlands at onset of rainy season; active volcanoes

        international agreements:
        party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands, Whaling; signed, but not ratified - Desertification, Marine Life Conservation

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