|Costa Rica (ˈkɒstə ˈriːkə)|
|a republic in Central America: gained independence from Spain in 1821; mostly mountainous and volcanic, with extensive forests. Official language: Spanish. Official religion: Roman Catholic. Currency: colón. Capital: San José. Pop: 4 250 000 (2004 est). Area: 50 900 sq km (19 652 sq miles)|
Republic in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the east, Panama to the southeast, and the Pacific Ocean to the south and west. Its capital and largest city is San José.
Note: One of the most politically stable countries of Latin America; Costa Rica is traditionally very democratic. It has a literacy rate of over ninety percent.