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The country known as Costa Rica !!

Adventure Guide to Costa Rica

Little drops of water, Little grains of sand, Make the mighty ocean And the beauteous land. ~ Little Things, Julia A. Carney, 1823-1908

The country known as Costa Rica – Spanish for “Rich Coast” – is part of a thin isthmus land bridge that joins the large continents of North and South America. Although part of what we know as Central America, Costa Rica is a geographic component of continental North America. It has two distinct coastlines: the Atlantic (or Caribbean) coast, and the long Pacific shore. Its diverse beaches attract a multiplicity of wildlife and its waters are home to gigantic whales as well as tiny mollusks in delicate circular shells.

The Pacific coastline wiggles and stretches 1,016 km (631 miles) around three peninsulas – Buriya, Nicoya and Osa – and in the process forms two significant gulfs, Golfo de Nicoya and Golfo Dulce. Although it has a narrow land mass – little more than 300 km (200 miles) at its widest – a series of rugged cordilleras (mountain ranges) part its length and form what’s also known as the great Continental Divide.

It has been reported that from atop Costa Rica’s highest point, Cerro de Chirripó (Mount Chirripó) at 3,820 meters (12,530 feet), you can see both oceans. The same has been reported at Irazú Volcano (3,432 meters/11,257 feet), the highest volcano, but you would have to be very lucky because clouds and haze obscure the view. High mountain ranges separate the climate between east and west coasts. Occasionally, when one half of the country is being drenched by rain, the other may be having a sunfest.

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • Geography
  • Climate
  • Flora
  • Fauna


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