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    Costa Rica Geography - 2003

      Location: Middle 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
      water: 440 sq km
      note: includes Isla del Coco
      land: 50,660 sq km

      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: continental shelf: 200 NM
      exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
      territorial sea: 12 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: 4.41%
      permanent crops: 5.48%
      other: 90.11% (1998 est.)

      Irrigated land: 1,260 sq km (1998 est.)

      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, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands, Whaling
      signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, 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 information regarding Costa Rica on this page is re-published from the 2003 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Guinea Geography 2003 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Costa Rica Geography 2003 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 20-Sep-03
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