Costa Rica Travel Guide

Traveling to Costa Rica

Exquisite beauty, renowned biodiversity, picturesque volcanoes and tranquil waters — Costa Rica is a tropical paradise. The pure life — pura vida — isn’t just the national motto; it’s a way of life.

The laid-back pace of life in Costa Rica's cities would enchant any traveler, but the country's true charm lies beyond the city streets. In the mighty forests, keep your eyes peeled as monkeys swing through the trees and sloths slink along the branches. Search for the awe-inspiring Resplendent Quetzal flying through the cloud forest canopy. Under the cover of moonlight, feel the soft sand beneath your toes as turtle hatchlings scamper across the beach. A small country with a big personality, Costa Rica is the natural adventure you’ve been waiting for.

Whether exploring coffee plantations as a group, watching your grandkids feed hummingbirds out of their hands or traveling solo as you learn the secrets to Costa Rican longevity, this is the natural paradise of your imagination.

At a Glance
  • Population: 4,930,258
  • Language: Spanish
  • Capital: San Jose (population 1.17 million)
  • Currency: Costa Rican colón
  • Time Zone: UTC-6 (One Time Zone Behind Eastern Standard Time)
  • Total Size: 19,653 square miles (130th in the world)
  • Land Use: Agriculture (37%) Forest (52%) Other (11%)
  • Major Cities: San José, Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago, Puntarenas, Limón, Guanacaste

Fun Facts:

  • One of the most popular places to retire abroad, Costa Ricans refer to seniors as “cuidadanos de oro” or “golden citizens.” Source
  • Costa Ricans refer to themselves as “ticos” (males) and “ticas” (females).
  • Ranked 39th in the world, Costa Rica has a life expectancy of 79.
  • Costa Rica has a 96% literacy rate, with classes taught over the radio where there are no schools.
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