Costa Rica History Timeline

Costa Rica History Timeline

According to cheeroutdoor, Costa Rica is a country in Central America bordering Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Caribbean Sea to the east and Ecuador to the south of the island of Isla del Coco. The capital and largest city is San José with about a third of the country’s population in the metropolitan area. Costa Rica is a stable democracy with a good economy compared to other countries in the region.

Costa Rica is divided into 7 provinces. The provinces are further divided into cantons, which in turn are divided into districts: Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limón, Puntarenas and San José.

In Spanish, Costa Rica means “rich coast”. Since the Civil War in 1948, Costa Rica, unlike most other Central American countries, has been free of political violence. Costa Rica has since become known for having landed without an army when it was disbanded after the Civil War.

San José is home to the National Museum, which houses a collection of pre-Columbian artifacts such as the famous stone spheres of the Diquis Delta, also known as the ” Diquis Spheres “. In June 2014, the pre-Columbian settlement in Palma Sur was honored with an addition to the UNESCO World Heritage List.


1502 – Christopher Columbus arrives on the coast of present-day Costa Rica on his last voyage to the New World, where the Native Americans present him with a supply of gold. He gave the country the name ‘ The Rich Coast ‘, which alluded to the hope of great riches.

1522 – Gil González Dávila leads an expedition to the Golfo de Nicoya, where he converts thousands of Indians to Christianity, takes their gold, and sells some as slaves.

1524 – Francisco Hernández de Córdoba founds the first Spanish settlement in present-day Puntarenas.

1561 – Juan de Cavallon establishes the first colony.

1723 – The Irazú volcano erupts, destroying Cartago. Since then, it has erupted at least 23 times.

1808 – Coffee from Cuba was introduced and evolved to become the primary crop in the country.

1821 – Central America becomes independent from Spain, creating disputes over which countries to join – independent Mexico or the United States of Central America.

1823 – Costa Rica joins the United Provinces of Central America with El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

1838 – Costa Rica becomes independent.

1849-1859 – Costa Rican President Juan Rafael Mora organizes Central American resistance against the controversial free agent and adventurer William Walker. Mora was overthrown by the presidency in a coup in 1859, and fled to El Salvador, where he was persuaded to retaliate, but was captured in Puntarentes, and executed by firing squad on September 30, 1860.

1855 – William Walker “conquers” Nicaragua and becomes president on July 12, 1856-1. May, 1857. He also attempted to take Costa Rica. He was executed on September 12, 1860 (age 36) in Trujillo.

1874 – Banana cultivation begins.

1910 – An earthquake destroys Cartago, killing 700 people.

1919 – US Navy invades Costa Rica.

1940s – US Navy bought two-thirds of the island of Vieques, for $ 1, 4 million.

1948 – From May 8, 1948 to May 8, 1949, José Figueres Ferrer was President of the country. He became so for two more periods in 1953-1958 and 1970-1974. During his first term in office, he abolished the country’s military, nationalized its banking sector, and gave the right to vote to women and blacks.

1948 – Civil war over controversial presidential election lasts six weeks, with more than 2,000 dead.

1963 – On March 18-20, President John F. Kennedy paid his first visit to the country. ( Video ) ( languages )

1963-1965 – Irazú broke out in March 1963, destroying over 400 homes, 40 killed, crops severely damaged.

1968 – The Arenal volcano erupts, destroying the small town of Tabacón, killing 78 people.

1978 – The economy deteriorates sharply.

1982 – A harsh austerity program is introduced to pull Costa Rica out of the economic downturn.

1985 – US-trained anti-guerrilla forces clash with Sandinista forces.

1987 – El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras sign a peace treaty devised by President Oscar Arias Sanchez ; Sanchez won the Nobel Peace Prize.

1991 – An earthquake in the Limón area kills 27, injures 400 and leaves 13,000 homeless.

1992 – FILM: Filming for the movie “1492 – Conquest of Paradise” took place in Playa Herradura, Puntarenas.

1999 – 1 million tourists visit Costa Rica.

2004 – Three Chilean diplomats killed by security guard at San Jose embassy ; three former presidents examined for contractor payments.

2005 – Severe flooding along the Caribbean coast caused by heavy rain, 13,000 forced from home.

Seven Central American nations ( Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama ) agreed to create a rapid-response force to combat drug trafficking, terrorism, and other regional threats.

2007 – Agents make the largest marijuana find in the nation’s history. 4.85 tons were seized from an abandoned boat.

2009 – Costa Rica re-establishes ties with Cuba after 48 years.

2010 – Laura Chinchilla elected first female president. She served from May 8, 2010-8. May, 2014. She is one of the most powerful women in Latin America according to the World Economic Forum.

2013 – FILM: Scenes from the Will Smith movie “ After Earth ” were filmed around the Arenal volcano.

Costa Rica History Timeline