Welcome to Costa Rica! 

Physical Geography


  • Costa Rica covers 19,730 square miles and is just smaller than West Virginia.
  • Fifty percent of Costa Rica is covered by different types of forests.
  • Thirty percent of the territory is reserved as protected areas for different types of species of plants and animals.
  • There are many tropical rain forests, mountain cloud forests, volcanoes, costal lowlands, beaches, mountain, and rivers.


  • Costa Rica is located entirely in the tropical climate zone slightly north of the equator.
  • Elevation changes in the central highlands of Costa Rica make the climate cooler while the costal lowlands are hot and humid.
  • The central highlands have an average temperature of 67 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.
  • The coastal lowlands have an average temperature of 81 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.
  • Most of the population in Costa Rica live at elevations where the climate is mild, in places such as San Jose, the capital city.
  • The wet season in Costa Rica is May through November, and the dry season is December through April.

Arenal Volcano

  • The Arenal Volcano is one of the top ten most active volcanoes in the world.
  • The volcano is 5,300 feet high and is a perfect cone shape.
  • Almost daily, red-hot rocks crash down the sides of the volcano and huge ash columns are produced.
  • The volcano was thought to be extinct for many years, until the 1960's, when it erupted and destroyed the small town of Tabacon.

Osa Peninsula

  • The Osa Peninsula is located in southwestern Costa Rica.
  • The peninsula is home to at least half of all the species living in Costa Rica.

Flora (plants) of Costa Rica

Cattleya Skinneri


Epiphytic Orchid


Brownea Macrophylla

  • These beautiful flowers grow directly on the trunks of trees in Costa Rica.


  • One of the common names of this plant is Lobster-claws.
  • The leaves of these plants are 6-10 inches long and can be found in the yards of many residents in Costa Rica.



Fauna (animals) of Costa Rica

Glass Frog

    • The Glass Frog is the common name for frogs belonging to the family Centrolenidae.
    • They are named for their translucent skin.
    • 13 different species of this type of frog has been found in Costa Rica, as pictured to the left.

    Red-Lipped Batfish

    • The Red-lipped Batfish is found off the coast of Costa Rica. 
    • Since batfish are not the best swimmers, the use their pectoral fins to "walk" along the ocean floor.

    Three-Toed Sloth

    • This three-toed sloth can be found hanging from the vines of the Osa Peninsula.
    • They are nocturnal creatures, and use their claws and long limbs to travel about the canopies of the rain forests.
    • As the world's slowest animal, they spend 18 hours a day sleeping, and are most active from sunset to sunrise.


    •  Of the 42 neotropical species of toucans in Latin America, six can be found in the rain forests and lowlands of Costa Rica.

    Vine Snake

    • This unique looking snake camouflages well in bushes and trees with its leaf like features.
    • It is about the thickness of a finger and is very long and slender.
    •  The vine snake is equipped with rear fangs and mild venom.