The first indigenous peoples of Costa Rica were hunters and gatherers, and when the Spanish conquerors arrived, Costa Rica was divided in two distinct cultural areas due to its geographical location in the Intermediate Area, between Mesoamerican and the Andean cultures, with influences of both cultures.
Christopher Columbus first dropped anchor in Costa Rica in 1502 at Isla Uvita. His forces overcame the indigenous people. He incorporated the territory into the Captaincy General of Guatemala as a province of New Spain in 1524. For the next 300 years, Costa Rica was a colony of Spain. As a result, Costa Rica's culture has been greatly influenced by the culture of Spain. During this period, Costa Rica remained sparsely developed and impoverished.