Costa Rica Geography and Climate

Costa Rica is a unique place that combines unspoiled nature with a developed tourist infrastructure. There is something here for everyone. You can spend whole days on amazing beaches, or you can take a trip through the jungle in the spirit of Indiana Jones.

The most favorable time to visit is the dry season from late December to mid-April – there is no rain, it is warm and the sun constantly shines. But at this time the prices are quite high and the hotels are overcrowded. The best time to visit are April, May and the period from mid-October to mid-December.

The official language is Spanish. Many residents speak English, especially in tourist centers.

Geography in Costa Rica

According to top-engineering-schools, Costa Rica is located in Central America. It borders two countries – Nicaragua in the north and Panama in the southeast. In the west, the country is washed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean, in the east – by the Caribbean Sea. The western coast is strongly indented, there are a large number of bays and bays, the eastern coast is flattened and swampy. The country is rich in delightful beaches, the total length of which is about 1200 km.

The area of Costa Rica is 51,100 sq. km, including its own Cocos Island in the Pacific Ocean. Any point is removed from the coast at a distance not exceeding 120 km. Much of Costa Rica busy with mountains. Their chains stretched from the northwest to the southeast. The main mountain ranges are: Guanacaste, Central and Talamanca. Many peaks reach 3000 m. The highest point is Mount Chirripo in the south of the country, which rises to 3819 m. There are a large number of volcanoes in the mountains (about 100), some of which are active. The largest volcanoes are Irazu (3432 m) and Turrialba (3329 m). Of the active ones, the Arenal volcano (1633 m) is the youngest and most active. Earthquakes happen in Costa Rica. Between the mountain ranges is the Central Plateau with an altitude of 900 – 1200 m. This is the most fertile region of the country and the most comfortable for life, so about half of the total population is concentrated here.

River network of Costa Rica pretty thick. The rivers are mostly short, but very turbulent. They originate in the mountains and form numerous rapids and waterfalls on their way. Most of the lakes are located in the craters of volcanoes. The largest lake is Arenal, located at the foot of the Arenal volcano of the same name.

Not far from the city of Nicoya are the Barrahonda Caves. They are 20 caves connected by passages. Inside the caves are covered with stalactites, stalagmites, shark teeth and pearl formations.

Almost a quarter of the territory of Costa Rica is occupied by reserves and their area is constantly increasing. In total, there are 15 national parks and more than 70 nature reserves in the country.

Climate in Costa Rica

Costa Rica belongs to the region of subequatorial climate. This type of climate is characterized by high rainfall and dry and wet periods. The climate on the coasts and in the central part of the country has its own characteristics.

On the Caribbean coast, on average, about 3000 mm of precipitation falls annually. They are fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. As a rule, it rains in the afternoon. Thunderstorms are possible between June and September, when the rains do not stop for several days. Due to the high rainfall, the area has very high relative humidity. In all months it exceeds 80%. The annual temperature variation is weakly expressed. Throughout the year, it fluctuates around +29 degrees during the day and +23 at night. In some years, the thermometer can rise to +35:37 degrees.

On the Pacific coast, dry and wet periods are pronounced. The rainy period lasts from April – May to November – December, when about 90% of all precipitation falls. In total, 1000 – 1600 mm falls in a year. In the north of the coast, during the dry season, the rains may not be for several months, in the south the dry season is shorter. Thunderstorms are possible from June to September. Relative humidity here is less than on the Caribbean coast and varies from 70% in the dry season to 80 – 85% in the rainy season. The annual course of temperature is also quite even. The average daytime temperature is +30, at night – +23:25.

On the Central Plateau, the climate is the most optimal. It is moderately dry and warm. Air temperature in the daytime varies from +23 in December-January to +26 in April-June. At night the air temperature is +14:16 degrees. Precipitation is about 1800 mm of precipitation, most of which falls on the period from May to October.

In mountainous regions the air temperature is 4-5 degrees lower. About 2000 mm of precipitation falls per year.

Best time to visit:
The most favorable time to visit is the dry season from late December to mid-April – no rain, warm and sunny. But at this time the prices are quite high and the hotels are overcrowded. The best time to visit are April, May and the period from mid-October to mid-December.

Costa Rica Geography