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Although explored by the Spanish early in the 16th century, initial attempts at colonizing Costa Rica proved unsuccessful due to a combination of factors, including: disease from mosquito-infested swamps, brutal heat, resistance by natives, and pirate raids. It was not until 1563 that a permanent settlement of Cartago was established in the cooler, fertile central highlands. The area remained a colony for some two and a half centuries. In 1821, Costa Rica became one of several Central American provinces that jointly declared their independence from Spain. Two years later it joined the United Provinces of Central America, but this federation disintegrated in 1838, at which time Costa Rica proclaimed its sovereignty and independence. Since the late 19th century, only two brief periods of violence have marred the country's democratic development. In 1949, Costa Rica dissolved its armed forces. Although it still maintains a large agricultural sector, Costa Rica has expanded its economy to include strong technology and tourism industries. The standard of living is relatively high. Land ownership is widespread.


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Transportation

Airports World Ranking: 35
153 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways
Total 41
2,438 to 3,047 m 2
1,524 to 2,437 m 2
914 to 1,523 m 23
Under 914 m 14 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways
Total 112
914 to 1,523 m 19
Under 914 m 93 (2012)

Pipelines
Refined products 662 km (2010)

Railways World Ranking: 122
Total 278 km
Narrow gauge 278 km 1.067-m gauge
Note
None of the railway network is in use (2008)

Roadways World Ranking: 94
Total 38,049 km
Paved 9,619 km
Unpaved 28,430 km (2004)

Waterways World Ranking: 75
730 km (seasonally navigable by small craft) (2011)

Merchant marine World Ranking: 149
Total 1
By type Passenger/cargo 1 (2010)

Ports and terminals
Caldera, Puerto Limon


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  Costa Rica (San Jose):


  GPS points from Costa Rica (San Jose)

Rio De La Paz Provincia De Alajuela

Violeta Provincia De San Jose

Canton De San Isidro Provincia De Heredia

Boca Rio Tauro Provincia De Limon

Boca Del Rio Madre De Dios Provincia De Limon

San Vicente Provincia De Guanacaste

Rio Enmedio Provincia De Guanacaste

Cristobal Sur Provincia De San Jose




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