General Information and driving times

Costa Rica is one of the most incredibly diverse and beautiful countries on the planet. Despite its diminutive size, Costa Rica is a tiny world unto itself, where mountain cloud forests and dormant volcanoes are only a few hours driving time from tropical beaches and lowland rainforest.

Although the country is small and it covers only 0.03 % of the surface of the globe, it proudly shelters a 5% of the existing biodiversity in the entire world. 25.58 % of the country is composed of National Parks, Biological Reserves, and National Wildlife Refuges. No other country of the world has dedicated so much of its territory to the protection of the environment conservation and natural protected territory.

A modern tourism infrastructure has helped Costa Rica become one of the world’s most desirable ecotourism and travel destinations, and its natural offerings are the country’s greatest attraction.

Here, law protects many plant and animal species and living peacefully in Costa Rica’s national parks, private nature reserves and wildlife refuges, which account for 26% of the country’s total acreage.


Costa Rica is one of the oldest democracies in the Americas.  It is a country proud of its heritage and tradition of negotiation over confrontation, social development over military spending and tolerance over hostility.  It is the home to many international organizations such as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the University for Peace of the United Nations and the Earth Council.

This is also an attractive country for investment and it offers great potential for the establishment of important multinational companies, thanks to the outstanding academic level of its population, as well as the high standard of modern services and social and political stability.

Costa Rica has made tremendous progress toward achieving its goal of providing universal access to education, healthcare, clean water, sanitation, and electricity. Since the 1970s, expansion of these services has led to a rapid decline in infant mortality, an increase in life expectancy at birth, and a sharp decrease in the birth rate.  The Nicoya Peninsula is a Blue Zone, a place where people live happily and healthily for a very long time, and has been identified as one of the five places in the world where comprises a high concentration of persons over age 100, and there is a substantial disability-free and disease-free life expectancy. Costa Rica’s poverty rate is lower than in most Latin American countries, but it has stalled at around 20% for almost two decades.

In addition, Costa Rica maintained its spot as the 12th “happiest” country in the world, according to the 2015 World Happiness Report, produced by the U.N.-affiliated Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Our Nation has been crowned the “happiest” country in the world in some surveys.

Official Language

The official language is Spanish. The second language for a large portion of the population is English, and at least four living local indigenous languages spoken by the descendants of pre-Columbian peoples.

Official Religion

The official religion is Catholic. Freedom of religious choice is respected.

Official Currency

Colon ( $1 equals  540 colones )


4 890 379 (June 2016 est.)

Literacy Rate

96.8% (Jan 2016 -BCIE)

GDP Education

7,86% (2016)

FromToTime aprox.
Central areaLos Sueños Herradura1 ½ hour
Central areaJaco Beach1 ½ hour
Central areaCaldera Port1 ½ hours
Central areaManuel Antonio3 hours
Central areaArenal Volcano-Fortuna3 hours
Central areaMonteverde-Santa Elena3 hours
Central areaDominical3 ½hours
Central areaPapagayo Gulf4 hours
Central areaSamara4 ½ hours
Central areaNosara-Guiones5 hours
Central areaTamarindo-JW Marriot4 ½ hours
Central areaSarapiquí2 hours
Central areaLimón Town3 hours
Central areaPuerto Viejo-Cahuita-Cocles4 hours
Central areaSan Gerardo Dota2 hours
Central areaSierpe (boat to Drake)4 hours
Liberia AirportArenal Volcano área 4 hours
Liberia AirportMonteverde4 ½ hours
Liberia AirportManuel Antonio5 hours
Arenal VolcanoManuel Antonio4 ½ hours
Arenal Volcano Monteverde via Jeep-boat-Jeep 3 hours
Monteverde Liberia Airport área 4 ½ hours
Monteverde Manuel Antonio3 ½ hours