Costa RicaCosta Rica

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is located in Central America and has a population of 4.1 million people. With one-third of the country being protected, the landscape, flora and wildlife this country has to offer are its greatest draw card. Nowhere else in the world are so many types of habitats squeezed into such a tiny area. Costa Rica draws well over 1 million visitors each year and it is estimated that at least 150,000 of these foreigners travelled to Costa Rica for dental procedures and plastic surgery. The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish, although English is often spoken in tourist locations.

Medical tourism

The most common areas of treatment in Costa Rica are Cosmetic, Dental, Obesity, Orthopedic and Eye procedures. They also have numerous providers specialising in Cardiology, Spinal, Hair and Medical Spas. See the box to the right to view a full list of available treatment areas.

Best time to travel

The temperature difference between winter and summer in Costa Rica is very slight. Generally, the best time to visit is the drier summer season from December through to April. It can get busy during this time particularly as Costa Rican schools are closed from December through to February making beach towns extra busy, particularly on weekends. May through to November brings the winter rainy season; the earlier months of the rainy season are actually a great time to travel to Costa Rica if you want to avoid the tourist crowd and possibly find cheaper accomodation. Costa Rica also gets busy with tourists in June-July with visitors from the USA and UK.

Money and costs

The national currency in Costa Rica is the Costa Rican Colón (CRC, symbol ¢) and many tourist areas also take the US dollar. Find up-to-date exchange rates and conversion through a currency conversion tool. Non-USA travellers should consider buying their Colón or even USA dollars before entering Costa Rica as other currencies are sometimes hard to exchange.


Tourists from the USA, UK, Canada and Australia, like most nationalities, can enter Costa Rica for up to 90 days. Those from Ireland and Bulgaria are only permitted a 30-day stay. Extending your stay beyond the authorized 30 or 90 days is a time-consuming hassle. It is far easier to leave the country for 72 hours and then re-enter.

Getting there

International flights arrive at Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaría, near San Jose. The Daniel Oduber airport in Liberia also receives international flights from the USA. In general, Costa Rica is well connected to the USA, Central and Latin America. There are some direct flights to/from Toronoto, but generally Canadians, like those travelling from Europe, UK, Australia and Asia, will have to change flights in the USA or Mexico. Airlines flying to and from Costa Rica include Air Canada, America West, American Airlines, Mexicana, United Airlines, Continental, US Airways, Cubana de Aviación and Delta.

Dialling codes

To call Costa Rica, the country dialling code is +506.

Useful links

Find more in-depth information on Costa Rica at:

Lonely Planet -​costa-rica

Costa Rica Tourism -

Costa Rica Embassy in the USA -

Costa Rica Embassy in the UK -

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Page last updated: Friday, 2nd September 2011