About Costa Rica


Additional Info

The annual GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth rate (2010 est.) is 4.2%

The official religion is Roman Catholic 70.5%, Evangelical Protestant 13.8%, other 4.3%, professing no religion 11.3%

Education: Years compulsory - 9. Attendance - 99%. Grades 1-6 - 71%. Grades 7-9. Literacy-96%

Health: Infant mortality rate is 9.45/1,000. Life expectancy - men 74.61 years, women 79.94 years

Work Force (2009 est.) 2.05 million; this official estimate excludes Nicaraguans living in Costa Rica legally and illegally.

Languages Spoken: Spanish. On the Caribbean Coast, a minority of Jamaican descendants speak a local dialect of creole-influenced English.

Currency: Costa Rican Colon    Code: CRC   
Most major credit cards as well as traveler’s checks are widely accepted. Travel costs are significantly higher than in most Central American countries, but less expensive than in the US or Europe.

Time Zone: Costa Rica is six hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is equivalent to Central Time in North America. GMT/UTC -6

Country Dialing Code: +506


Entry Requirements

With a valid passport and round-trip or continuing ticket, citizens of the United States of America, Canada, Spain, Germany and Italy can travel to Costa Rica for a 90-day stay without a consular visa. Passports should be in good condition; Costa Rica immigration will deny entry if the passport is damaged in any way. To stay legally beyond the period granted, travelers will need to submit an application for an extension to the Office of Temporary permits in the Costa Rican Department of Immigration. There is a departure tax for tourists of $26 per person, payable at some local banks or at the airport before check-in. Tourists who stay over ninety days without receiving a formal extension can expect to pay a higher departure tax at the airport or land border, and may experience some delay at the airport. Persons who have overstayed previously may be denied entry to Costa Rica.
In terms of vaccinations, at this time Costa Rica does not require visitors to have any particular vaccinations, although you should make sure that all your normal vaccinations are up to date. For more information visit: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx

For a wide variety of detailed traveler’s info visit: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1093.html


Pura Vida!!!

The most commonly used phrase in Costa Rica is Pura Vida.  Everything in Costa Rica is Pura Vida!  The simple translation is Pure Life; but the saying has a far more profound meaning to people of Costa Rica, and the travelers who fall in love with this majestic country. It is used as a greeting, a farewell, and to express satisfaction. The phrase has become widely-known in the USA and Europe. Costa Ricans use the phrase to express a philosophy of strong community, perseverance, good spirits, savoring life slowly, and celebrating good fortune, whether it be small or large.

In terms of medical facilities and services, any foreigner who is temporarily in the country has the right to receive medical attention at hospitals and clinics in case of an emergency, sudden illness or a chronic disease. Costa Rica boasts a modern and renowned medical health system, under the administration of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS). Two well-known private hospitals in the Central Valley are Clinica Biblica and Cima.   


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