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Famous for its outstanding natural beauty, pleasant tropical climate and extensive ecologically protected wildlife sanctuaries, visitors to Costa Rica describe it as the closest thing to paradise here on earth. The country also boasts a democratic government, fast-growing economy and national health care services on par with the US, Canada and Europe. And that’s just the beginning. Costa Rica provides a lifestyle that’s second to none. Its low-cost of living and long-history of peace and stability make Costa Rica the world’s leading up-and-coming retirement and vacation home destination.

  • Size: 19,730 square miles (roughly the size of Denmark or West Virginia)
  • Language: Spanish (English is also commonly spoken in tourist areas)
  • Time: U.S. Central Standard
  • Temperature: Average 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees Fahrenheit) year-round
  • Currency: Colón (major credit cards are widely accepted)
  • Visitors require: Valid passport (no visa required for U.S., Canadian and most European citizens)
  • Government: Long-standing democratic republic (elections every four years)
  • Population: 4.2 million (estimated 2008)
  • Foreign population: Over 50,000 (U.S., Canadian and European)
  • Capital city: San José (population: 2.1 million)
  • Literacy rate: 95%
  • Life expectancy: 77.2 years
  • Healthcare: Excellent, universal for citizens (29 premier hospitals and over 250 clinics); accessible at a low cost for residents and visitors
  • Religion: 77% Roman Catholic, 15% Protestant and Evangelical, 9% other
  • Food: Fresh seafood and tropical fruits and vegetables (all organic)
  • Borders: The country borders Nicaragua to the north and Panama
  • to the Southeast.
  • Main exports: Intel opened a plant in Costa Rica in 1998 with the result that computer chips have grown to become 20% of the country’s exports; other major exports are electronic components, medical equipment, coffee, bananas, sugar, pineapples and textiles
  • Major trading partners: U.S., Holland, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico and Brazil

The latest marketing campaign from Costa Rica Tourism