You probably know that Costa Rica is located in Central America. You might also know that it’s the smallest country in Central America, which makes it a great destination for travelers who want to see as much of this corner of the Americas as possible without spending an entire vacation doing so. However, if you’re anything like us, you might be wondering about that little detail about whether or not Costa Rica is in South America. What does it matter? Well, for starters, knowing whether or not a place is in one part of the world or another can help you understand more about its culture and history. It can also inform your travel plans and make sure that you don’t accidentally book a trip to somewhere else instead. So let’s get to the details regarding Costa Rica and its location!
Is Costa Rica In South America?
No, Costa Rica is not in South America. Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordering Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the east. South America has bordered by Ecuador to the northwest, Colombia to the southwest, and Brazil to the west.
Why Isn’t Costa Rica In South America?
1. Costa Rica is located in Central America
The reason Costa Rica is not located in South America is because it’s part of Central America, which is a region that includes countries like El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize.
2. Costa Rica is the smallest country in Central America
The reason Costa Rica is the smallest country in Central America is because its area is only 1,100 square miles (about 11,500 km2), while the average land area of countries in South America (other than Chile and Argentina) is around 5.5 million square kilometers. So Costa Rica’s size makes it a pretty small country indeed!
3. Costa Rica doesn’t border another South American country
Costa Rica doesn’t have a land border with another South American country, which makes it unique among all countries in this part of the world. This can be seen by looking at a map of South America and Central America. Id.
4. Costa Rica is located in Central America
Costa Rica is located in Central America, which means that it’s not in South America. A quick look at the map of countries in the Americas will confirm this for you! You can see that Costa Rica is surrounded by other Central American countries like Nicaragua, Panama, and Honduras.
5. Costa Rica’s history and culture are very different from those of South America
Costa Rican history and culture are very different from those of South American countries, so if you want to learn more about these things, you’ll probably have to do some research on your own! But if you have a general interest in Central American history and culture, check out our article on the history and culture of Costa Rica here!
History Of The South America
- The South America is the region of the western hemisphere that comprises the seven continents of South America and Antarctica. It is called “South” America because it is situated south of North America. This region has a diverse geological history, with evidence of ancient glaciers, ancient sea beds, and oceanic islands.
- The South American continent was at one time joined to Africa as part of Gondwana (which also included present-day India). Gondwana broke up in the late Cretaceous period (about 85 million years ago) when Australia separated from Antarctica, forming part of Gondwana’s northern hemisphere while South America moved into its southern hemisphere.
- Around 25 million years ago the South American continent split from Antarctica and moved northwards to its present-day location, which is between 60°S latitude and 40°S latitude. This movement caused a great change in climate for this region: firstly due to increased warmth creating a rainforest climate which then spread northwards. This formed the Amazon basin and then huge lakes were formed which covered much of the continent.
- The South American continent broke up into pieces in a series of mountain-building events starting about 25 million years ago. The Andes Mountains in present-day Chile were created by two separate movements that started about 15 million years ago: one from the west and one from the east. Both are thought to be caused by changing sea levels during ice ages. The Andes Mountains range is over 8,000 meters high and runs along the whole length of South America, splitting it into northern and southern halves (the high mountain areas are called cordilleras).
- Around 10 million years ago there was a major change in climate with glaciers spreading southwards all across South America, forming an ice sheet that covered much of the continent reaching as far south as Patagonia (in present-day Argentina) where it reached its greatest extent at 2 km thick at its maximum extent.
- Around 5 million years ago there was another major change in climate with the ice sheet melting and a great change in vegetation. The Amazon rainforest spread up from the South American coast and formed a much drier climate with grasslands and savannahs spreading northwards from the Andes. This period of climatic change is called the Great American Interchange when North America moved from a glacial to a more temperate climate. In South America, it caused a major change in vegetation, although some species such as the “Tucuxi” dolphin found in Patagonia were able to survive this climatic shift by moving south into warmer waters around 3 million years ago.
Why Is Costa Rica In Central America But Often Thought Of As Being In South America?
- The reason is that the country was originally known as Costa Rica, but was later renamed to Costa Rica by the Spaniards when they came across it in 1524.
- The name Costa Rica is Spanish for “rich coast”.
- It is also known as “the country of trees” because of the abundance of tropical vegetation and wildlife.
- Costa Rica has more than 5,000 species of trees, making it one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world.
- So much so that there are over 50 different types of monkeys and 3 types of parrots in Costa Rica!
- The country’s name has also been used to describe an animal or a person with an unusually high amount of wealth or possessions (often due to natural resources). A famous example is William Randolph Hearst who owned vast amounts of land in Costa Rica under his name, which he called “The Land Of Golden Promise”.
Knowing whether or not a place is in one part of the world or another can help you understand more about its culture and history. When you know where a place is located on a map, it’s much easier to understand why it’s the way it is and what makes it special. Fortunately for travelers, Costa Rica is very easy to find on the map. It’s smack dab in the middle of Central America, making it easy to plan a trip there. Whether you’re interested in diving, or hiking, or just want to kick back and relax, Costa Rica is the perfect place to go.
What is the most unique thing about Costa Rica?
Costa Rica offers a variety of things to do and see. Visitors can enjoy beautiful beaches, wonderful rainforests, and exciting cities. It also has an amazing history that dates back over 500 years.
How big is Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is roughly the size of Texas, but it’s slightly longer than it is wide. The country has a total area of 143,000 square miles (with only about 37 percent being land). That works out to be about the same size as New York State.
How long does it take to get from one part of Costa Rica to another?
It takes about 3.5 hours by car to drive from the northernmost point in Costa Rica, the town of Siquirres, to the southernmost point, the town of Grecia. The drive is about 573 miles long. The drive is much longer by bus and ferry, which can take up to 12 hours each way.