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Where is

COSTA RICA is a Latin-American country of 51.100Km2 and it's located in Central America. It's neighboring countries are: Nicaragua to the North, Panama on the Southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the East and the Pacific Ocean to the West. From coast to coast the country is about 250Km wide and it's about 520Km long from North to South.


Song "Soy Tico"
Original Carlos Guzmán
New Version: Los Ajenos y Paul Rubinstein
Televisora de Costa Rica
Fact Card

Republic of Costa Rica

Acronym   CRI
Capital   San Jose
People known as   Costa Ricans (Ticos)
Main Airports   Alajuela (SJO)
Liberia (LIR)
Languages   Español / English
Languages in Costa Rica
Inhabitants   4 301 712 Census
Religion   Catholic
Religions in Costa Rica
Currency   Colones (¢, CRC)
Exchange Rate
Country Code   +506

PURA VIDA and the Ticos

Even though you'll find the Pura Vida expression in every souvenir there is in Costa Rica, this phrase is way far from being used only in the tourism industry but is used in any aspect of life.

Pura Vida is the way the ticos express wellness and happiness. On their day by day they use Pura Vida to say: Hello!, Hi!, Good Bye!, Thank you!, Nice to meet you!, etc. Also, they use the phrase to express a bunch of different positive situations such as: I'm well! or, This is good!

As we always tell our clients: if you don't know much Spanish but if you know Pura Vida then you could hold a conversation for 30mins.


Ticos or Costa Ricans are a unique type of perceptive, clever, tolerant, and welcoming people who were, are and will be born in Costa Rica.

People who are in love and proud of their land and who feel butterflies in their stomachs when they hear the "Patriotica Costarricense". The ticos are hardworking people passionate about what they do. Ticos, are people who respect nature and who appreciate a relaxing time in the clear waters of one of their many rivers or the two oceans that surround the country.

Ticos are people who welcome our visitors with a warm friendly smile.

But be careful when you get to meet a tico. Remember they'll crack you up with their jokes, they'll invite you to make a stop in your daily activities to enjoy a cup of the best coffee, and the conversation topics will just never end especially if you talk about soccer. Beware, because that new tico friend of yours will not let you get up from your beach chair when you'll be resting by the ocean.

Costa Rica does NOT have an army...

Every December 1st Costa Ricans celebrate one of the most important decisions made as a country: the abolition of the army in 1948.

The country was starting a new time where the priority of the government would be security and education.

Although the army abolition was officially declared in 1948, it was till 1949 when the article was included into the new Constitution of Costa Rica. Since then, the budget that was once meant for the army, it was sent to the education development.

What are the Costa Rica main economic activities?

Costa Rica owes its development as a Republic to Coffee and Bananas. Nowadays, those products are still important income makers and are internationally recognized as excellent quality products. Although a good part of the economy in Costa Rica is based on agriculture, Costa Ricans prefer to study and specialize in science, technology and literature. Having people who are well prepared in new economy fields, Costa Rica bases its current economy on Technology and the production of Tropical Fruits.

Today, the main exported products from Costa Rica are medical devices, followed by bananas a product of big importance. In the third place Costa Rica exports tropical fruits and finally the country produces microchips and orthopedic devices.

The evolution of the economic activity of the country varies every year, but technology and fruits are positioned as the most important products.

When to visit?

As a tropical country, Costa Rica possess a pleasant weather in every month of the year. The secret is to adapt the trip and the activities to the only two weather seasons there are in the country: rainy and dry.

Usually, people like to visit Costa Rica during the dry season between December and April because it gives them more hours of tropical sun. It is important to note here that school break happens during those months bringing more people to the coasts and vacation places. So don't forget to book in advance if you are planning on coming during that time.

May marks the beginning of the rainy season, what we call winter. Due to the amount of rain the rivers grow and the non-paved roads become difficult for the transportation. Then don't forget to pack up a little extra patience and bring your rain jacket or poncho.

For those who would like to enjoy special species of wildlife such as sea turtles, you need to take into account their natural cycles, for instance: on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica the sea turtles come to lay their eggs between July and November.

How to survive the ticos?...

Pura Vida culture for most of the situations.

Ticos are very warm and friendly, so you could expect a kiss on the chick or a strong hand shake as a greeting.

The time in Costa Rica is always laid-back. It's a Latino country so be patient.

Try to avoid arguing and shouting when there is some misunderstanding. Ticos are people who avoid those situations.

Always meet people with a big smile, say hola! thank you! And please! Ticos love friendly and polite people. Get ready to being told "Con mucho gusto" which means My pleasure! Costa Ricans are really grateful people and they'll appreciate your kindness.

Practice your Spanish! Costa Ricans love teaching their language and their culture to our visitors.

If someone invites you to their home for dinner, they mean it! You better go.

Getting Around

Driving in Costa Rica is an entire adventure on its own. Asking people for directions will help you a lot specially because there is very few street signs.

The roads are challenging as Costa Rica is a country full of mountains. Therefore, we recommend you to bring your car sickness pills and to drive with extra precaution.

By the way and talking about asking for directions, the answer to that will never be short. In Costa Rica we give the addresses by landmarks and distances, so an example for that could be: "200mts East from the blue house by the corner. In front of the Catholic Church, the house has a mango tree in the garden"

However, if you are not planning on driving while in Costa Rica, we have great news for you. You could hire our transportation services at Stamos Traveling CR we'll be happy to help you CONTACT US. Another option is the public transportation, it's not the most modern in the world but it is efficient. There is trains, planes, buses, taxis, etc.

Money and Tipping

While traveling through Costa Rica, you could use the local currency called Colón or its plural Colones (¢, CRC). Check on the exchange rate following this link:

In Costa Rica, not all the currencies from around the world are accepted for the regular transactions. However, the American Dollar is widely accepted. So if you do have USD it won't be a problem to pay. Remember Colones is the local currency so, when you'll pay probably the change will be given to you in Colones. Also in some places the prices will be tagged in Colones, this specially applies to small shops.

Also, you could exchange US Dollars or Euros in the majority of cities and big towns, the safest place to do so is the banks. There is also ATMs in most of the main cities and towns. In the more rural locations the chances to access banking services are more limited, so please bring enough money with you before going to those towns.

Credit and Debit cards are also widely accepted.

In Costa Rica, tipping is totally fine and is really well appreciated. How much you tip really depends on your own experience with the service you are provided with.

How to Enter and Exit the Country

Getting into Costa Rica is usually not difficult and it doesn't require a lot of documentation.

As in any other country, once you arrive you'll have to go through Migration. Be sure to have your valid passport. Sometimes they'll ask you some security questions, don't be alarmed it's part of their procedures.

For some countries, a VISA will be asked. Please check your particular case on where you can also check the information on the International Certification on Yellow Fever Vaccination that is also requested upon arrival to the country. All of this information can also be checked in the Costa Rican embassies abroad.

When you leave Costa Rica, all you need to have is your passport and flight tickets. The majority of big airlines already include the departing tax in their tickets so you won't need to worry about that. However, we strongly encourage our clients to double check this information with their airlines.

When you go to the airport take into consideration the season when you are traveling because if it is high tourism season you will really need to be at least 3 hours in advance at the airport due to the high demand of users at the facilities. You won't want to miss your flight making the line to get checked in.

After checking in you'll need to go through security where you'll have to place your belongings in a basket including your belt and sometimes they'll ask you to take your shoes off so remember to use easy to take off and put on shoes.

Finally, if you are traveling with your children, remember that if you've stayed for more than 3 months in the country, you'll need to have a permit to make sure the kids are yours and that you have the permit to take them out from the country. You can get that document in the Migration Office at the airport.

Packing for Costa Rica

Remember you are about to visit a tropical country. Some of the items we recommend you to pack are in the image below. Just keep in mind that the image is only a reference to help you with your packing but it does not represent the only articles you should bring with you, every visitor has its own necessities and you should pack accordingly.

How safe is Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a very save country, it is the third safest country in Latin America. It owns the 36th place on the world ranking.

Although being a safe place to visit, we encourage our customers to "travel smart". Just apply the same basic safety precautions that you'll take in any other city or country you travel to: lock your car, don't leave valuables on the seats, stick to your wallet, don't bring a lot of cash with you, avoid isolated places, etc. in case of an emergency, the Costa Rica Tourist Board and the National Police have created a special subdivision called Touristic Police with more than 250 officers, look for them and ask for help.

If there is a bad emergency, you can always call 9-1-1 from any calling device.

We recommend you to buy a Travel Insurance when you visit Costa Rica so you can get attended in one of the many public or private hospitals and clinics of the country.

The tap water is drinkable. However, we recommend our visitors to buy bottled water to avoid any problems linked to water ingestion.

What to eat and drink?

Costa Rican cuisine includes a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits. The food is not spicy but is definitely rich in flavor.

The base for every meal is rice and beans. Breakfast for example is called "Gallo Pinto" and it is rice and beans mixed with some fresh spices such as onions and sweet peppers. At lunch, one would enjoy of a "Casado" a plate full of rice and beans, with a protein usually chicken, beef or fish although other kinds of meats like pork are also consumed, the dish also includes some fried sweet plantains, lots of salad and some fresh vegetables.

The fresh fruit juices are to die for. Mango, black berry, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple are some of the examples you need to try. Of course you have to enjoy one of the national beers along with a fresh fish ceviche.

The Costa Rican cuisine is more than just rice and beans. We invite you to explore it when you visit the country.

Will animals attack me?

You need to keep in mind that we are the aliens visiting the wild environments. That is why we would like to recommend:

Walk exclusively on the trails meant for hikings.

Do not use flash while taking pictures of animals

Don't touch

Don't bother animals

Don't feed animals

Don't extract plants, animals, rocks, seashells, etc. from protected areas.

Costa Rica Tourism Poles
1. Central Valley

Temperature:18-22ºC (64-72ºF)
Rainy Season: June - November

2. Nothern Lands

Temperature:17-23ºC (62-74ºF)
Rainy Season: It rains all year round

3. North Guanacaste

Temperature:23-36ºC (78-97ºF)
Rainy Season: June - November (well marked dry season)

4. South Guanacaste

Temperature:23-36ºC (78-97ºF)
Rainy Season: June - November (well marked dry season)

5. Central Pacific

Temperature:20-33ºC (68-92ºF)
Rainy Season: June - November

6. North Caribbean

Temperature:25-30ºC (77-86ºF)
Rainy Season: It rains all year round

7. South Caribbean

Temperature:20-30ºC (68-92ºF)
Rainy Season: It rains all year round

8. South Pacific

Temperature:10(montaña)-28ºC (50-83ºF)
Rainy Season: It rains all year round

Provinces Map Turistic Places Map
Some Destinations
NORTH PACIFIC (Guanacaste)

It’s the main city of the Guanacaste province located in the North Pacific of Costa Rica. Liberia is one of the two main gates into Costa Rica. There is a variety of commodities such as: banks, shops, parks, churches, etc. and Liberia is located only minutes away from beautiful beaches.

El Coco Beach

This is one of the most visited destinations in Guanacaste. El Coco Beach offers both visitors and locals a great place to relax. But, it is also a night life center full of light, music and good times in their many restaurants, souvenir shops, and hotels.


This is one of the best places around the world for surfing. Tamarindo is one of the places that attracts people by its beauty and Pura Vida vibes. It’s an easily accessed destination that will never let you down with its many activities.


One of the beaches that makes its visitors fall in love with it. It’s a little town with all the facilities plus an awesome beach of warm waters. There’s a lot of small local shops. Their people will make you feel very welcome with their warm smiles.

NORTH PACIFIC (Puntarenas)

You really want to experience the Pura Vida, there’s no other place like Montezuma. It is known as the bohemian town of Costa Rica. Enjoy of its white sand beaches and their positive vibe.

Arenal (La Fortuna)

If you visit Costa Rica a land of fire, you have to include a trip to one of its many volcanoes. What about visiting a perfectly conical volcano placed in the middle of the rain forest? Well that place is Arenal and its little beautiful town of La Fortuna. This place is not only great to enjoy nature, but it also offers its visitors a good deal of entertainment, lodging, restaurants, and recreation. If you visit Arenal, don’t forget to enjoy of the many hot springs resorts.


It’s been called the jewel of the crown of the world’s cloud forests. Monteverde invites you to relax and meditate. You can chose to stay, read a book and enjoy a cup of great coffee or you can take a hike through one of the Biological Reserves searching for its iconic bird the quetzal. You will not get bored in Monteverde.


This is the party Mecca on the Central Pacific of Costa Rica. Jaco is a very popular destination for locals and visitors for its easy and fast access from San José, but Jaco is also re-known by its many activities, hotels, restaurants, etc. In Jaco everything is just within a short distance from the beach.

Manuel Antonio

No doubt Manuel Antonio is a magical place where the rain forest merges with the waters of the Pacific Ocean. This is one of the most visited destinations and National Parks in Costa Rica. Don’t forget your camera to take pictures of the monkeys that will certainly be enjoying of the sun near you. You even may be lucky to capture the moment when a distracted tourist gets robbed his food by one of this monkeys.

Los Santos

A place with an incredible natural beauty. Los Santos is surrounded by mountains and blessed with a cool weather. It’s also a place that visitors prefer to be able to see the quetzal bird. You can not miss the chance to have one or several cups of the best gourmet coffee produced exactly in this lands. Don’t forget to buy some coffee and support the local producers.


This is a place to visit at any moment and enjoy its pleasant weather. Uvita is located on the Soutwest side of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Beautiful beaches and scenery are waiting for you. Uvita Beach is one of the most attractive beaches you could visit here. Uvita beach is located within the Marino Ballena National Park only about 16Kms south from Dominical Beach. Uvita Beach is 2 miles of white sand beach, smooth waves and blue waters.


The Corcovado National Park is one of the most biologically active sites in the world. This National Park is located in Osa peninsula. It holds a breathtaking beauty within the world’s lowlands biggest primary rain forest. It also contains a great variety of endangered species.

San Jose

San Jose is a center of culture, history, architecture and nightlife. It is located in the heart of the country and it’s the Capital of Costa Rica. The weather is nice through all the year. San Jose is one of the most populated territories of the country. Due to its strategic location, one can visit the main attractions from here. Transiting San Jose is not a difficult task thanks to its paved roads, differently from many of the rural towns where a lot of the roads are still graveled.


It’s the second most important province of Costa Rica. In Alajuela one can find a good deal of activities both city and natural. The weather is warm and it invites the visitors to enjoy of more sunny hours. The Juan Santamaría International airport is located also in Alajuela, so if you need to fly abroad or within Costa Rica it takes only minutes to arrive in the airport. Try the real Costa Rican life style in the city.

Sarchi & Grecia

Grecia is one of the cleanest places in Central America. It’s located only 20Kms North from the city of Alajuela. Grecia is an important agriculture center where their most significant products is the sugar cane. One of its main attractions is its Catholic Church which Neo-Gothic structure is all made of iron and painted with a deep red color.

Near Grecia, there’s the picturesque town of Sarchí. As the Mecca of the handcrafts in Costa Rica, this little town is recognized by its hand painted beautiful ox-carts. An ox-cart shaped souvenir is a must to bring back home.


This city is full of culture, beautiful architecture and scenery. Cartago held the Capital city of Costa Rica. Nowadays, one of their main economic activities is the agriculture specially the potato production. Don’t forget to visit the Los Angeles Basilica and the Irazú Volcano.


A magical destination with only about one thousand inhabitants it’s the place where the Tortuguero National Park is located. This place is of great biological importance as it is one of the most significant locations where the green turtle arrives to lay its eggs. The only two ways to access Tortuguero are either by boat or by airplane, there are no roads that go till Tortuguero. Be ready for the rain because this is one of the wettest areas in the country.


Limon is considered to be one of the most exuberant regions in Costa Rica including beautiful beaches, mangroves and green mountains. Limón is not very populated and is never full of traffic which invites to explore the forests and the beauty of the place.


Cahuita is becoming more and more popular; however, it hasn’t lost the magic of a small coastal town. Within the National Park, the main trail will lead you through a forest next to the coast. The weather is tropical Caribbean perfect to visit in any season.

Puerto Viejo, Talamanca

This is a town very well known by its beaches and good waves to surf. This town is strategically located near the Gandoca-Manzanillo Refuge and the Cahuita National Park. Puerto Viejo offers its visitors a good number of restaurants, stores, shopping places and relaxing spots.

Villa Bonita
Alajuela, Costa Rica

Office: +506 2440-0078
Mobile: +506 7156-5524


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