Costa Rica Facts
The highest point in the Republic of Costa Rica is Cerro Chirripo (3,810 m) in the Chirripo National Park.
The Guayabo National Monument is the site of an ancient city, thought to have been inhabited between 1000 BC and 1400 AD. Artifacts found at Guayabo are displayed in museums in San Jose.
Christopher Columbus visited the Costa Rican island of Quiribri in 1502.
Costa Rica is Spanish for Rich Coast.
The oldest city in Costa Rica is Cartago, founded in 1563. Cartago was the capital of Costa Rica until 1823.
Spain ruled Costa Rica for almost three centuries.
Coffee was introduced to Costa Rica at the end of the eighteenth century. Within a few decades, coffee was the country's main source of revenue.
Costa Rica achieved independence from Spain in 1821.
In 1823 Costa Rica joined El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua in the United Provinces of Central America.
The Republic of Costa Rica became fully independent in 1838.
Led by Juan Rafael Mora Porras, Costa Rica rallied the resistance to William Walker, a US adventurer who tried to take over a number of Central American countries (1856).
At the end of the nineteenth century, the US-owned United Fruit Company introduced large-scale banana cultivation to Costa Rica.
The UK was one of the first markets for Costa Rican coffee.
British citizens and British funds were very much involved in the construction of the first Costa Rican railway line (to the Atlantic coast).
British capital was also seed capital for the foundation of the first Costa Rican bank, Banco Anglo Costarricense (closed in 1994).
The first international agreement signed by Costa Rica with a European country was the agreement that established bilateral diplomatic relations between Costa Rica and the UK.
In 1948 a short civil war, lasting six weeks, took place after a presidential election.
Irazu Volcano, the highest volcano in Costa Rica, erupted between 1963 and 1965.
Seventy-eight people were killed in 1968 when the Arenal Volcano erupted for the first time in centuries.
Oscar Arias Sanchez, the former President of Costa Rica, won the Nobel prize for his 1987 regional peace plan. Signatories to the peace plan were Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
Three days of heavy rain led to flooding along the Caribbean coast in January 2005.
In January 2009 an earthquake, 6.1 magnitude, struck Costa Rica affecting areas near San Jose.
Laura Chinchilla, the first woman president of Costa Rica, was elected in February 2010.