Information about Costa Rica

Below, we have compiled some valuable information about the country of Costa Rica.


The country of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is known is a pro-American democratic country located in Central America. Besides incredible beauty, friendly locals, a great location, and endless activities, it also has the most stable government and the best infrastructure of any Latin American or Caribbean country. Costa Rica is situated in Central America, flanked by the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, with a distance of approximately 248 kilometers (155 miles) between coasts. With a total area of 51,200 square kilometers (20,480 square miles), Costa Rica is no larger than the state of West Virginia, yet it contains 6% of the world’s biodiversity.


Education and Healthcare

In 1949, Costa Rica abolished their army and allocated the defense budget to education and healthcare. Education has been a priority for the country of 4 million, and because of it, they boast the highest literacy rate in the western hemisphere at a whopping 94%. The healthcare system is very modern, especially in San Jose, and the cost of living is extremely low compared to the United States and Europe.


Crime Rate

Costa Rica has a very low crime rate. Most of the crime is typically petty theft; the violent crime rate is one of the lowest in the Western Hemisphere. Costa Rica is a very safe place and the locals are warm and friendly. In addition, with the escalation of worldwide terrorism in the United States, Europe and Asia, Costa Rica has been recognized as a paradise removed from any threat.



Costa Rica’s industry mainly processes agricultural products. The production of other consumer goods is still just taking off. However, there are many business incentives to bridge these gaps. Many real estate investors fall in love with tourist projects, especially those related to ecotourism. Many hotels are being built, bought and managed by foreigners. Tourism has developed into a very important source of foreign currency. The national economy is made up of services (58%), industry (26%), and agriculture (16%).

Costa Rica has managed to create one of the most attractive investment environments in Latin America for the development of industries. Costa Rica’s unique characteristics-its strategic location, political stability, business incentives (including free trade zones), supply of high quality human capital-and its proactive promotion of these assets-have all contributed to an increase of investments by high-tech companies in the fields of power technologies, systems integration technologies and call centers.


Companies that have invested in Costa Rica

  • Intel
  • HP
  • Scotia Bank
  • Marriott Hotels
  • Microsoft
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Baxter Healthcare
  • Siemens
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Dole
  • Texaco
  • Wal-Mart Stores

Roads and Highways

The country has an extensive road system of more than 30,000 kilometers, with many road improvement projects currently on the way. Getting around in Costa Rica is relatively easy although there are some areas which do require four-wheel drive. The main highland cities in the country’s Central Valley are connected by paved all-weather roads from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and by the Pan American Highway between Nicaragua and Panama, the neighboring countries to the north and south. The main highland cities in the country’s Central Valley are connected by paved all-weather roads with the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and by the Pan American Highway with Nicaragua and Panama, the neighboring countries to the north and south.


The country’s mountainous terrain and abundant rainfall have permitted the construction of a dozen hydroelectric power plants, making it largely self-sufficient in most energy needs. Costa Rica exports electricity to Nicaragua and has the potential to become a major electricity exporter when plans for new generating plants and a regional distribution grid are completed.


Modern communication amenities – From conducting a global business to staying in touch with family and friends, Costa Rica offers up-to-date means of communication. Easy Internet access, cellular phones, fax machines, and an efficient surface mail system are all available.

Television and Broadcasting

Costa Rica has thirteen local station TV stations. Currently the three cable TV providers in the country are: AMNET, Cable Tica and Cable América. These companies offer many of the channels available to US cable subscribers. DirecTV also operates in Costa Rica. The company offers 152 digital TV channels and 33 music channels. The country has 50 AM, 43 FM and 19 short-wave stations.

Want to learn more? – Check out the CIA Fact Book on Costa Rica!

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