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Costa Rica ( i / ˌ k ɒ s t ə ˈ r iː k ə / ; Spanish: [ˈkosta ˈrika] ; literally meaning "Rich Coast"), officially the Republic of Costa Rica ( Spanish : República de Costa Rica ), is a country in Central America , bordered by 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 Cocos Island. It has a population of around 4.5 million, of whom nearly a quarter live in the metropolitan area of the capital and largest city, San José.
Historians have classified the indigenous people of Costa Rica as belonging to the Intermediate Area , where the peripheries of the Mesoamerican and Andean native cultures overlapped. More recently, pre-Columbian Costa Rica has also been described as part of the Isthmo-Colombian Area.
The oldest evidence (stone tool making) of human occupation in Costa Rica is associated with the arrival of various groups of hunter-gatherers about 10,000 to 7,000 years BCE in the Turrialba Valley. The presence of Clovis culture type spearheads and arrows from South America opens the possibility that, in this area, two different cultures coexisted.