Your guide to being an expatriate in Costa Rica

Caffeinate Your Costa Rica Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica, is a Central American country shaped by volcanic activity and dense, lush rainforests. Its generous coastlines along the Caribbean and Pacific oceans nurtured its economy through fishing and agriculture. Costa Rica enjoys extraordinary political stability, which makes it an attractive destination for expats. This country prides itself on sustaining a low-crime rate, and all its citizens, regardless of socioeconomic status, have equal access to the country's high-quality education and healthcare systems.

Costa Rica

Expat destinations in Costa Rica

Demographics of Costa Rica:

Ethnic groups

White: 12.7%

Mestizo: 83.2%

Afro-Caribbean: 2.6%


Spanish: 100%

Religion Overview

Costa Ricans have a Christian majority, with the Catholic faith being the dominant religion. In addition, Protestantism and Evangelicalism are on the rise, particularly among younger generations.

Major Religions


Costa Rica has two distinct seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season lasts from May to November, while the dry season is from December to April. Temperatures average between 20 and 27°C (68 – 81°F).

Economy Overview

Costa Rica has a free-market economy that has grown rapidly. Its main drivers are commerce, waste management, and tech services. Costa Rica, known as the ‘Silicon Valley of Latin America’, has become a crucial location for tech companies like Intel and Cisco.

Key Industries

  • Tourism
  • Technology Services
  • Commerce
  • Waste Management
  • Sugar
  • Banana Export
  • Coffee
  • Textiles
  • Financial Services

Major Companies

  • Cisco
  • Securitas Direct
  • Acer
  • Puma
  • Banco Santander
  • Daniel Alcides Carrion S.A.
  • Mondelez”
  • Lemon Games
  • Kion”
  • Energudat”
  • BE Right Solutions

Culture and Language Overview

Costa Rican culture is a mix of African, Spanish, and indigenous American influences. Its intercultural tradition is evident through its diverse range of festivals. Other aspects that define Costa Rican culture include the passion for soccer, Latin American music, and folk dance.

Cultural Highlights

  • Carnaval
  • Timbas
  • Quasimodo
  • Guanches
  • Tico Music Festivals
  • Guanacaste's Festivalestambique
  • Fiestas Patronales
  • San Jose's Envision Festival
  • Golodetas, the traditional folklorico dance.

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Costa Rica's rugged 51,060 square kilometer (19,723 square miles) terrain comprises several volcanoes, rainforests, and mountain ranges. Cloud forests are found at the high elevations., while the Caribbean and Pacific Oceans cover its coastline.

Notable Landmarks

  • Arenal Volcano
  • Poás Volcano
  • Barra Honda National Wildlife Refuge
  • Tenorio Volcano National Park
  • National Theatre
  • La Fortuna
  • Guaitil Pottery Village
  • Irazú Volcano National Park
  • Jewel Botanical Gardens
  • Montezuma Falls
  • Lauca National Park
  • The Punta Banco Biological Reserve
  • Cahuita National Park
  • Cacao Beach
  • Tortuguero National Park
  • Nauyaca Waterfall
  • Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Corcovado National Park

National Holidays

  • January 1 - New Year's Day
  • April 12 - Juan Santamaría Day
  • May 1 - Labor Day
  • July 25 - Guidity of Mary
  • August 2 - Day of the Virgin of Los Ángeles
  • September 15 - Independence Day
  • October 12 - Día de la Raza
  • December 25 - Christmas Day

Political Stability

Costa Rica enjoys a stable democracy with a constitutional government and free speech, press, and assembly. It has not experienced a coup or military rule since 1948 and is regarded as a peaceful nation in Central America. However, major issues currently facing the nation include poverty alleviation, healthcare reform, and attracting foreign direct investment for infrastructure development.

Find out more about expats in Central America

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