Costa Rica - About the Country

Costa Rica translates rich coast, a term given to the country by the during Spanish Colonial times. Located in Central America, on the isthmus between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea it is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. The capital and largest city is San José, with a population of 340,000 inhabitants. Most of the population lives in the Central Valley of Costa Rica around San José. Official language is Spanish, currency is the Costa Rican colón (CRC), the land has a population of 4.3 million people. Costa Rica consists of seven provinces, San José, Alajuela, Cartago, Heredia, Guanacaste, Puntarenas, and Limón.

Costa Rica was once inhabited by what is now called Indians or Indigenous people. It was an intermediate area located between the Isthmo-Colombian, the Mesoamerican, and the Andean cultural regions. This changed in the 16th century with the arrival of the Spanish invaders (conquistadores). During Spanish Colonial times was far from the principal Spanish city Guatemala City. So it developed in relative isolation and freedom, but also it lacked the prosperity of the Colonies.

Costa Rica is, from the geologic view, a result of converging plates. This plate rim along the west coast of Ameroca is also called the chain of fire, because of its numerous volcanoes. The rocks are the result of aggregation and uplift of seafloor sediments plus intensive volcanism. As a result there are very little limestone areas, most of very youn Miocene or Eocene origin, in general reefs which formed in the tropic sea and were later uplifetd. The volcanism is generally explosive and dangerous, and not suitable for the formation of lava tubes.

All in all Costa Rica has very little underground sites, a result of an unsuitable geologic situation for both karst caves and lava tubes. And the lack of history and development results in a lack of mines and subterranea. On the other side the country is peaceful and favored by its location and climate, so tourism is a big chance for the future. The existing underground sites are explored and some are developed for tourism.