Costa Rica Driving From Monteverde to Villa Blanca
The Republic of Costa Rica (Spanish: Costa Rica or República de Costa Rica, pronounced: [reˈpuβlika ðe ˈkosta ˈrika]) is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Costa Rica, which means "Rich Coast", constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949. It is the only Latin American country included in the list of the world's 22 older democracies. Costa Rica has consistently been among the top Latin American countries in the Human Development Index (HDI), ranked 69th in the world in 2011. Also was cited by the UNDP in 2010 as one of the countries that have attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels, and in 2011 was highlighted by UNDP for being a good performer on environmental sustainability, and better record on human development and inequality than the median of their region. It was also the only country to meet all five criteria established to measure environmental sustainability. The country is ranked third in the world, and first among the Americas, in terms of the 2010 Environmental Performance Index. In 2007, the Costa Rican government announced plans for Costa Rica to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021. According to the New Economics Foundation, Costa Rica ranks first in the Happy Planet Index and is the "greenest" country in the world.