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COSTA RICA

Population: 3.9 million
Size: 51,000 sq. km.
Official Language: Spanish
Capital: San Jose
Currency: $1 CDN = 461 CRC (Costa Rican Colon) as of August, 2006.

Costa Rica is a small mountainous country on the narrow Central American isthmus. It is only a days drive from the northern border with Nicaragua to neighbouring Panama in south, and one could cross from ocean to ocean in only a few hours. Costa Rica is Central America's special jewel. It has a reputation for being one of the safest countries in Central America since the political situation is stable and the army was abolished already in 1948. The people are peace loving, friendly and happy to share their beautiful country with visitors from all over the world.

The country is famous for its biological diversity and varying geography with two coasts that provide a significant amount of tourist orientated or remote beaches. Additionally, you will encounter everything from exuberant rainforest to active volcanoes and windswept mountaintops. Costa Rica has the best developed conservation program in Latin America, one fourth of the country is protected by the government and 12% of the total area lies within one of the 25 National Parks that are found in Costa Rica. Successive governments have made a real effort to preserve the country’s image as ecotourism heaven, making Costa Rica one of the best places to experience the tropics naturally and with minimal impact. Costa Rica is often cited as a model for conservation in harmony with community development and economic growth.

Visit this link for more information about Belgium:
The Lonely Planet Guide - Costa Rica

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