COSTA RICA is divided by a backbone of volcanoes and mountains, an extension of the Andes-Sierra Madre chain, which runs along the western side of the Americas. Costa Ricahas four "cordilleras" or mountain ranges -- Guanacaste andTilarán in the north, Central and Talamanca in the south.
Costa Rica is part of the Pacific "Rim of Fire" and has seven of the isthmus´s 42 activevolcanoes, plus dozens of dormant or extinct cones. Earth tremors and small quakes shake the country from time to time.
This is a tropical country which contains several climatic zones. There is no winter or summer as such. Most regions have a rainy season from May to November and a dry season from December to April. Annual rainfall averages 100 inches nationwide with some mountainous regions getting as much as 25 feet on exposed eastern slopes. Temperature is more a matter of elevation than location with a mean of around 72 degrees in the Central Valley, 82 degrees on the Atlantic coast and 89 degrees on the Pacific coast.
Costa Rica is a democratic republic.
The army was abolished in 1948.
Under the 1949 constitution, all citizens are guaranteed equality before the law, the right to own property, the right of petition and assembly, freedom of speech and the right of habeas corpus. The constitution also divides the government into independent executive, legislative and judicial branches. The executive branch is composed of the president, two vice presidents and a cabinet
It`s unlikely to encounter serious diseases in Costa Rica. Sanitary standards are very high and the health system is excellent.