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Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica, is a
republic in Central America bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, and the Caribbean Sea to the
east. With a total of 1,290 kilometers (802 mi) of coastline (212 km / 132 mi on the Caribbean coast and 1,016 km / 631 mi on the Pacific). It is about the size of West Virginia and shares that state’s reputation for excellent whitewater kayaking/rafting opportunities.
Two of the country’s most renowned rivers in that regard are the Rio Pacuare
and the Rio Reventazon located near the city of Turrialba about two hours east
of San Jose. According to the CIA World Factbook, Costa Rica has a population
of 4,133,884 of which 94% are white (including) castizo, 3% black, 1%
amerindian, 1% chinese and 1% other.
Residence in Costa Rica has traditionally been obtained in one of 2 ways: under “the Retirement Law” where a foreigner may acquire residence in Costa Rica if he can show a sufficient income whether from investments or from a pension and irrespective of whether the income is sourced locally or abroad; or under “the Residence Law 1950” where no restrictions are imposed on the sorts of economic activity that a resident permit holder can engage in.
However permits under this law are granted on a very selective basis and only
to businessmen and professionals.
The central government offers tax exemptions for those who are willing to invest in the country. Several global high tech corporations have already started developing in the area exporting goods. In recent times electronics, pharmaceuticals, outsourcing, software development, and ecotourism have become the prime industries in Costa Rica’s economy. High levels of education among its residents make the country an attractive investing location. Since 1999, tourism earns more foreign exchange than the combined exports of the country’s three main cash crops: bananas, pineapples and coffee.
With a 1.9 Billion a year (USD) tourism industry, Costa Rica stands as the most visited nation in the Central American region. Ecotourism is extremely popular with the many tourists visiting the extensive national parks and protected areas around the country. Costa Rica was a pioneer in this type of tourism and the country is recognized as one of the few with real ecotourism. One notable fact is that while the country has only about 0.1% of the world’s landmass, it contains 5% of the world’s biodiversity.