Monday, June 27, 2022

History Of Costa Rica

North AmericaCosta RicaHistory Of Costa Rica

Read next

Although Costa Rica shares much of its history up to the 19th century with the other Central American states (and in fact gained independence on the same day as Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala), which is still visible in the basic blue-white-blue flag of all these countries (Costa Rica simply added a red stripe in the middle of the white), there are some notable differences. The most visible today is that in Costa Rica, European colonisation took place mainly in the Central Valley, which became the economic and political heart of the country and whose ancestry is decidedly European. While the political climate was not that different from the rest of Central America (think coups and rigged elections) until the short-lived civil war in 1948 (won by Jose Figueres Ferer, who later became president three times and is one of Costa Rica’s most influential politicians), it has improved greatly since then, and all elections since 1949 have been peaceful and in line with international democratic standards. One of the reasons for this is that Figueres, when he came to power, abolished the military and Costa Rica is still one of the few countries without one, which has led to fewer coups and more money for education and social programmes. However, this has led to Costa Rica being heavily under the influence of the United States and being one of the closest US allies in the region.

In the 1980s, almost all of Central America was plagued by civil wars and fragile, unpopular governments. Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez made a peace proposal that got almost all sides of war-torn Nicaragua to sit down and talk, leading to a lasting peaceful solution and democratic elections in 1990. However, relations between Nicaragua and Costa Rica have deteriorated in recent years and dominated the political agenda of Arias Sanchez’s second term in office in the 2000s. The Rio San Juan, which belongs to Nicaragua but lies on the border, has become a hot topic. One of the points of contention has been Nicaraguan drainage works on the river, which Nicaragua claims are for safe navigation but which Costa Rica claims have illegally encroached on its territory (Nicaragua invoked Google Maps in its defence). Another point of contention is whether Costa Rica should pay a fee for tourist trips on the river. Costa Rica claims that an old treaty guarantees both countries free navigation on the river, while Nicaragua claims that the only thing the treaty says is that Costa Rican ships can carry “goods” without paying a fee, and that people are not in fact goods. The situation worsened when Laura Chinchilla, Arias Sanchez’s successor, insisted on building a controversial highway right next to the river, despite Nicaragua’s protests, which Nicaragua says will not only hurt Costa Rica’s natural reserves but could also overload the river with sediment. The problem is further complicated by the number of Nicaraguans, ranging from several hundred thousand to one million, who live in Costa Rica under varying conditions of legality. They are not always treated very well. However, there are signs of reconciliation on both sides, and a new bridge now crosses the Rio San Juan at San Carlos (Nicaragua), allowing land access to Los Chiles. The two countries consider themselves “pueblos hermanos” (brotherly peoples), even if they are sometimes unpleasant and annoying brothers.

How To Travel To Costa Rica

By air Juan Santamaría Airport (IATA: SJO) is located near the towns of Alajuela (3 km), Heredia and the capital San José (25 km). SJO is currently being redeveloped and in July 2009 operations were taken over by the same organisation that manages the airports in Houston, Texas. This otherwise pleasant...

How To Travel Around Costa Rica

Note that while Costa Rica has adopted official street names for government purposes in most towns, most of the population is unaware of these names, and if they are known, most streets do not have signs indicating these names. Asking a local for directions can be a lengthy and...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Costa Rica

Most visitors can enter Costa Rica without a visa and stay in the country for 90 days. Costa Rica requires Indian nationals to have a valid visa on entry. However, people of any nationality with a valid visa from the USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea or a Schengen visa...

Destinations in Costa Rica

Regions in Costa Rica Middle ValleyThe centre of Costa Rica; mainly urban. The country's most populous cities are located here, including San José. Many museums and some volcanoes are to be noted in this region.Central PacificHome to some of Costa Rica's most famous beaches and national parks. Perhaps one of...

Weather & Climate in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is located between 8 and 12 degrees north of the equator, so the climate is tropical all year round. However, the country has many microclimates depending on the altitude, rainfall, topography and geography of each region. Costa Rica's seasons are defined by the amount of rain that falls...

Accommodation & Hotels in Costa Rica

Throughout Costa Rica you will find many accommodations including hotels, aparthotels, condos, holiday homes and cabinas. Holiday homes, cabinas and condos can be less expensive than hotels and offer more flexibility in your Costa Rica adventure. Costa Rica is known for being a world leader in green and sustainable...

Things To See in Costa Rica

Wildlife Costa Rica is known worldwide for the incredibly high biodiversity in its tropical forests (this includes rainforests, cloud forests and dry forests). There are tropical mammals such as monkeys, sloths, tapirs and wild cats, as well as an amazing range of insects and other animals. There are many birds...

Things To Do in Costa Rica

Beaches Costa Rica is a country with an extraordinary wealth of activities, but whatever your interests, you will want to spend time on one of the country's many great beaches. The main beaches on the Pacific coast are in the Central Pacific region, on the Nicoya Peninsula and in Guanacaste....

Food & Drinks in Costa Rica

Food in Costa Rica Costa Rican cuisine can be described as simple but healthy. The spiciness often associated with Latin America comes mostly from Mexico. Most Costa Rican food is not spicy, but when it simmers in a large pot, the flavours blend. Gallo pinto is a mixture of rice and...

Money & Shopping in Costa Rica

The local currency is the Costa Rican Colón (plural, Colones) CRC, named after Christopher Columbus (whose name in Spanish was Cristobal Colón), sometimes given locally as ₡ and sometimes with the more common American cent symbol '¢' or ₵. As of March 2014, 1 US$ = ₡548 or 1 €...

Festivals & Holidays in Costa Rica

Holidays in Costa Rica 1 January - New Year's Day (Aňo Nuevo)19 March - Saint Joseph (Dia de San José)Maundy Thursday / Good Friday - (Jueves y Viernes Santo)11 April - Juan Santamaria Day (commemoration of the Battle of Rivas 1856)1 May - Labour Day (Dia del Trabajo)25 July -...

Internet & Communications in Costa Rica

The international telephone/country code for Costa Rica is +506. A stamp to Europe costs ₡125 (0.20 USD). The main means of contact with the outside world are email, SIM cards for unlocked phones or public payphones. Internet cafés are relatively easy to find in tourist areas, although prices vary widely. Some of...

Language & Phrasebook in Costa Rica

Spanish is the official and most widely spoken language in Costa Rica. All major newspapers and official businesses are conducted in Spanish. English is widely spoken in most places, especially those frequented by tourists, and information for visitors is often bilingual or even exclusively in English. A number of...

Culture Of Costa Rica

Costa Rica was the meeting point of Mesoamerican and South American indigenous cultures. The northwestern part of the country, the Nicoya Peninsula, was the southernmost point of Nahuatl cultural influence when the Spanish conquistadores arrived in the 16th century. The central and southern parts of the country were under...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Costa Rica

Stay Safe in Costa Rica Travel to Costa Rica is widespread: 1.9 million travellers visit the country every year, more than any other country in Latin America. Nevertheless, travellers to Costa Rica should exercise caution. The emergency number in Costa Rica is 911. Traffic in Costa Rica is dangerous, so be...

Asia

Africa

South America

Europe

North America

Most Popular