If you are thinking of traveling to Costa Rica and are wondering if Costa Rica is an island, then this blog is for you. The quick answer is yes; I mean no. Well if you already thought you knew the answer like us you would have thought this topic was bogus because the obvious answer for any half-educated individual in geography would be that Costa Rica is certainly not an island. Everyone born in Costa Rica and people like myself who have lived here for over 20 years you cringe at the sound of someone calling Costa Rica an island. It wasn’t until recently that I had to question my last 20 years of thinking that Costa Rica was not an island. Without wanting to spoil the content below I still feel having to cross both borders at the Nicaraguan and Panamanian borders I certainly felt like I was crossing overland unless I just wasn’t paying attention. Here is the recent news on the topic and you can decide for yourself if you think Costa Rica is an island or not.
If you look at a map to the north Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua and to the Southeast it is bordered by Panama. Costa Rica has a Caribbean coastline of roughly 131 miles and a Pacific coastline of approximately 631 miles. This would qualify Costa Rica by many as NOT an island. But the plot thickens…
According to the Ticotimes, a team of researchers from the University of Costa Rica made an astonishing discovery. It turns out on the Panama and Nicaragua border; there are uncharted networks of lakes and rivers that have concluded that Costa Rica is, in fact, an island. Anyone familiar with Costa Rica does know that the country has marshy waterways on each border but the fact the border on each end never actually crosses over land is hard to believe. This is pretty remote territory in some areas and waterways that get pretty thin so I think even google earth would most likely be hard to tell with all the foliage. You also have to ask yourself what makes an island an island? Is just 10 ft of the marshy river enough to consider an entire country an island? For most practical reasons probably not but if you want to get technical which it sounds like the UCR students did then it might be hard to argue with them based on their findings.
The most fascinating part to all of this for me is that the Kardashians, Bachelorette reality show, and not so educated tourists have been hashtagging #islandlife for years when visiting Costa Rica, it turns out that they were just experts in Central American uncharted waterways; this I would have never ever guessed?
Well, there you have it. Costa Rica is or is not an island. You make the call and live your island life no matter where you apparently and if we learned anything from this blog I think it’s that reality TV shows are where the facts come from.