Costa Rica is known as the "Switzerland of Central America" with tree-lined tropical beaches whose warmth is exceeded only by the friendly people who live here. It has spectacular birds and flowers whose intense colors rival those of an erupting volcano, and activities ranging from whitewater rafting and surfing to sport fishing and golf. With so much variety there is guaranteed to be something to suit everyone’s taste! The climate is idyllic with temperatures ranging between eighty and ninety degrees Fahrenheit (28 -34 degrees celsius).
Costa Rica is Central America's second smallest country (19,653 sq.miles) bordering Nicaragua on the North and Panama on the South. It boasts several micro-climates and ecosystems, but its weather conditions are summarized by two seasons: rainy (green) and dry. This tropical country contains emerald-green rainforests as well as paradisiacal beaches. When considering living in this country, however, one must take into consideration a lot more aspects than just its natural allure.
Costa Rica's economic and political situations are extremely stable, especially when comparing it to surrounding countries. A very important thing about Costa Rica is that it is the only Latin America country that has no military - there is no army, no navy, no air force and no marine corps!
The cost of living in Costa Rica is not a straightforward issue. A couple may live frugally at $800 to $1000 a month, which means riding buses, renting a small house and not indulging in trips or other luxuries. A more comfortable living standard requires $2000 a month for a couple. Some things such as utilities, local foods and products are cheap, while most imported goods are more expensive.
As mentioned, Costa Ricans, also known as “Ticos”, have a literacy rate that exceeds the US. Here, women constitute nearly 50% of the work force, and there is a large, working middle class; the gross disparity between rich and poor that you see in other Central American countries is not found here.
Apart from a reasonable cost of living, Costa Rica offers many other advantages: impressive health and educational systems, incredible public transportation, widespread and advanced communication networks etc. Quality of health care in Costa Rica is comparable to North America or Europe, but rates easily 50% less, making medical tourism an important business in Costa Rica. Especially known is the great dental and plastic surgery care. With respect to education, Costa Rica has the highest literacy in the America´s of over 96% and offers some of the best universities in all of Latin America.
The country's natural attractions, wildlife and reputation for enlightened conservation draw tourists from all over the world. Successive governments have made a real effort to preserve the country's image as eco-tourism heaven, making Costa Rica one of the best places to experience the tropics naturally , and with minimal impact.
Even if potholes and other negative aspects win over excellent living conditions and great beaches, most foreigners will agree that an extended visit to Costa Rica can mean anything from a relaxing vacation, to a chance to live a peaceful existence in a beautiful country.
Visit our Discover the Papagayo Region page to know more about each unique neighborhood in this area.