The location of Costa Rica is within the latitude and longitude of 10° 00′ N, 84 º 00′ W. The county of Costa Rica is in Central America, with an absolute location of 9.9333° N, 84.0833° W, placing it on the Central American Isthmus. Costa Rica is situated in the north-western hemispheres. Nicaragua is located on the north border, Panama to the southeast, the North Pacific Ocean to the west, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island.
Costa Rica´s terrain consists of coastal plains separated by rugged mountains and host to over 100 volcanic cones. Cordillera (mountain ranges) Central and Cordillera de Talamanca make up the continental divide, otherwise referred to as the spine. The Tilaran Range, located east of Lake Arenal and one of Costa Rica’s most famous active volcanos (Arenal), runs into Cordillera Central. At the edge of the range is Montverde, a cloud forest reserve and major eco-tourist site. The Cordillera Central continues the continental divide that lies east of Cordillera de Tilarán. This area is host to four volcanoes, including Poás, Barva, Turrialba, and the highest peak, Irazú at 3,432 m. Cordillera de Guanacaste runs along the coast of Nicaragua. Much of the Cordillera de Talamanca is included in the La Amistad International Park, a reserve that Costa Rica shares with Panama. The northernmost portion of Cordillera de Talamanca make up Cerros (hills) de Escazu, situated south of the central valley.
Rivers and Waterways
Lake Arenal is the largest lake of which the country benefits from hydropower. Cordillera Central and Cordillera de Talamanca are the mountain ranges that create the country’s spine and separate the Pacific and Caribbean. The result is the product of 15 major water systems. Five rivers drain directly into the Caribbean. Four rivers drain into Lake Nicaragua and the San Juan River, which runs along the northern border with Nicaragua, with all eventually draining into the Caribbean. Five other major rivers drain into the Pacific Ocean.
Preserved Land and National Park System
Costa Rica’s national parks cover nearly a quarter of the entire country’s land mass are administered by the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), overseeing 26 national parks and 160 National Wildlife Refuges, protection zones, Absolute Nature Reserves, and biological reserves. Tortuguero National Park was created on 1970, is located in the Limon Province within the Jumedal Caribe Noreste in the northeast part of the country. It consists of a 22 km stretch of shoreline that serves as the principal nesting site for sea turtles and is the third most visited park in the country.