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Costa Rica Nature

Nature of Costa Rica  Costa Rica is inhabited by a huge variety of wildlife, thanks in large amount to a geographic location between the North and South American continents, a neotropical climate, and a wide variety of habitats. All of these environments can be classified in several regions, which are coincident with and naturally determined by the different climatic regions. Costa Rica is the home for more than 500,000 species (with a few more than 300,000 of them being insects), which represents nearly the 4% of the estimated total of species in the planet; so Costa Rica is one of the 20 countries with the major biodiversity in the world.

Costa Rica features a very rich variety of plants and animals. Despite the country has only about 0.1% of the world's landmass, it contains the 5% of the world's biodiversity. Approximately 25% of the country's land area is in a protected status either as national parks or protected areas, this is the largest percentual of protected areas in the world.

Nature of Costa Rica

Costa Rica Tropical Biomes Map Location: At the center of America.
Coordinates: 9°55'N 84°4'W
Subdivisions: Provinces: 7, Cantons: 81, Districts: 473
Area: 51,100 km² (19,730 sq mi)
Population: 4,451,262 (Dec 31, 2008)
Longest linear distance: 464 km (288.3 mi) NW-SE.
Shortest linear distance: 119 km (73.9 mi) NE-SW (this is the shortest distance between the oceans).
Capital: San José.
     Elevation: 1,156 m ASL (3,792.6 feet)
     Average Temperature: 20.3°C (68.5°F)
     Annual Rainfall: 1,500 - 2,000 mm (59-79 inches)
*First country in the world to constitutionally prohibit the captivity of cetaceans (1).
*First country in Latin America in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness (2009).
*3rd in the world, and 1st among the Americas, in terms of the 2010 Environmental Performance Index (2).
*One of the countries with major biodiversity; and the one with the greatest density of biodiversity in the world.
*The most clean and pristine river of America, Savegre River.

Waterfall, Costa Rica
Natural Wonders
Nature of Costa Rica.

© 2010 Victor Hugo Ramírez (Derechos reservados) Costa Rica 21 S.A.

 One of the main origins of the biodiversity of Costa Rica is that the country, has formed a bridge communicating the North and South American continents approximately three to five million years ago. The connection established in this way allowed the very different flora and fauna of the two Americas to blend as the laws of ecosystems and genetics can describe and all of us admire now.

Costa Rica have several types of terrestrial environments, which are, in a general approach, the Tropical Rainforest (low plains: Arenal Volcano surroundings, Bocatapada, Sarapiquí, Tortuguero, Manuel Antonio, Osa Peninsula and Golfito), the Tropical Dry Forest (NW area of the country: Guanacaste and Gulf of Nicoya), the Tropical Cloud Forest (mountain slopes: Monteverde and San Gerardo de Dota) and the Paramo (top of higher mountains: Chirripó and Irazú Volcano).

Undersea environments in Costa Rica are not only as extraordinary and rich as the terrestrial ones, but enclose worlds unknown until now, as well as scientific discoveries and revolutions to the experts which using the cutting edge and state of the art technology has been achieved expeditions as the successful deep explorations at Isla del Coco National Park, with international researchers as well as from the Department of Biology at University of Costa Rica (Escuela de Biología de la Universidad de Costa Rica).

Besides the living creatures of flora and fauna, this country have another, very astounding, nature wonders. There is a large number of Costa Rica volcanoes, most of them inactive, but the few active have all to remain in the focus of the international community of tourists and scientists. Arenal Volcano is the most active, and with its uninterrupted eruptive period (since 1968) with red-hot lava, keeps itself as one of the most active and impressive in the world. Arenal fuel up with heat and minerals the attractive and invigorating hot springs that can be found around its cone. The others active volcanoes are Rincón de la Vieja (featuring hot mud-pools at "Las Pailas" and geothermal energy), Poás (with one of the largest crater in the world), Irazú and Turrialba (recently in a new activity phase).

In the present, the ecotourism is the base of the tourism in the country, which is the second of the primary economic activities generating resources for Costa Rica.

Notes & References:
"El Reglamento para la Operación de Actividades Relacionadas con Cetáceos en Costa Rica". La Gaceta (Official newspaper of Costa Rica). July 28, 2005.
2010 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) Ranking. Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy, Yale University / Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University.
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