Costa Rica

General Information

Costa Rica is a small in size and has an area of roughly 51100 square kilometers (31.682 square miles). Even so, it is internationally famous and recognized for the diversity and density of its natural resources and for the fabled kindness of its inhabitants. These facts set it apart as an especially attractive destination for foreign tourists who, not incidentally, make far more than a million visits a year.

Entry Documents

Anyone who wants to visit Costa Rica should contact the Costa Rican embassy or consulate in their country to determinate the necessary documents they need to enter the country.


Costa Rica really has two seasons: a green or rainy season that runs from May to November and dry season that begins in December and ends in April. The average temperature in central Valley is 72 F (22 C Degrees), while on the coast and beaches it ranges from 70 F and 90 F (21 C to 32 C)

Business Hours

In general, business open at 9:00 am and close at 6:00 pm although shopping centers are usually open from 10:00 a.m to 9:00 p.m State banks usually operate between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., while private banks are open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Ofices are generally open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Credit Cards

The credit cards most commonly accepted by business and in tourist areas are: Visa, Master Card, American Express and Dinners Club.


Costa Rica enjoys a wide variety of lodging types, from luxury hotels belonging to major worldwide chains, to ecological hostels and the more modest Bead and Breakfast.


The country possesses three major airports. The Juan Santamaria International Airport located in Alajuela 10 minutes from the capital and the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia, in the province of Guanacaste. In Pavas, just outside San Jose, there is the Tobias Bolaños Airport, which handles domestic flights. In addition, there are numerous landing strips that serve the various tourist destinations.


Visitors who want to enter the country by sea can do so at the ports of Limon and Moin on the Caribean, Puerto Caldera and Puntarenas on the Pacific and Central Pacific, Golfito, and Quepos on the Southern Pacific side.


River transport is possible on the Reventazon in the centre of the country, the San Carlos, Rio Frio, San Juan, and Sarapiqui on the Northen plains, and the Grande de Terraba and Sierpe on the Southern Pacific side.


Costa Rica has an extensive network of roadways, mostly paved, that provides access to most parts of the country.

Bus Service

Tha National bus system provides comfortable, economic and fast service to most parts of the country, especially to points of interest to tourists.

Rental Cars

There is a board offering of rental vehicles, due to the existence of many agencies that provides services to the international market.


Taxi service to different points in the country is modern, efficient and safe, although it is advisable that you only use the more well-known companies.

Political System

Costa Rica enjoys one of the oldest and most stable democracies in Latin America. This stance lead to its abolishing the army in 1948 and to earning a Nobel Peace Price for ex-president Oscar Arias for his ongoing struggle to approve the Central American Peace Plan during the turbulent eighties. The Costa Rican political system is a representative system with three branches: the executive, The Legislative and the Judicial. The president is elected by popular vote every four years.


Thanks to its free, yet mandatory public education system established in 1917, Costa Ricas enjoy a high level of education and one of the highest literacy rates in the world: 96.2%


This high level of education, along with the development of telecommunications, has contributed to Costa Rica being considered as a place suitable for foreign multi-national high-technology, investment by companies. Intel Corp, Laser Sight Technologies, Siemens, Procter and Gamble and others all have presence in Costa Rica.


Telecommunications services are provided by the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE Costa Rican Electricity Institute), a state owned body. The modern telecommunications network includes: direct communications with outside world by self dial MIDA international telephone system. There are also telex, telegram, fax, celular and Internet services, along with data transmission via the use of satellites and microwaves.


The majority of cities in the country have drinkable water, although in more remote areas it is recommended that you drink bottled water.


Costa Rican cuisine offers a wide variety of choices to the tourist, ranging from freshest tropical fruites and vegetables to exquisite seafood and indigenous foods such as "gallo pinto" (spotted rooster) consisting of rise lightly sauteed with beans and served with steak or eggs. Costa Rican dishes also include tamals, arroz con pollo (rice with chicken), minced arracache root, potato and meat hash, and "casado", a "marriage" of portions of rice, beans, ripe plantains, fresh vegetable salad and some sort of meat. The list goes on to include grilled corn on the cob, "chorreadas" (a thick johnny cake made from tender corn), and diffrerent types of empanadas (turnovers) filled with cheese, beans or meat.

Tourist Attractions

Just a tourist tastes are varied, so are the tourist attractions that Costa Rica offers in the form of natural beauty, sun and sea, hospitality, history, adventure and fun. All these attractions ate concentrated in a small area where distance does not present a problem.

Tourist Health

Although taking a vacation in a beautiful country in and of itself contributes to good health, there are options available as well. The country offres high-quality professional services in plastic and reconstructive surgery, ophtalmology and dentistry ay very good prices compared to other countries. In the same area as tourist health, we should mention that Costa Rica has natural hot springs bathing. There are also therapeutic treatment destinations with volcanic muds and other natural components that have earned the special interest of many visitors.

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