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Central America
Time Zone
GMT - 6 hours
(1 hour earlier than US Eastern)
Geographical Area
51,000 sq. km (19,730 sq. miles)
4.1 Million (approximately)
San Jose
92% Catholic; 8% Other.
Constitutional Republic (Democracy)
No Visa required for US citizens.
No vaccinations required.
Good emergency health care in San Jose.
Travel Tips
- English spoken in tourist destinations.
- Driving is recommended for tourists.
- Normal personal safety precautions.
- Public transportation is limited.
- Informal attire everywhere. Hiking gear.
- Recommended tip (Rest./Bar/Taxi)10%.
- Credit cards and ATMs in tourist areas.



Experience the ecological wonders of Costa Rica. This small and peaceful nation, with no standing army and free education for all, has approximately 20% of its territory reserved as National Parks and wildlife refuges. These wilderness areas have over 8,000 species of plants and provide shelter for more than 1,400 animals, including a bewildering variety of birds, hundreds of rare mammals and reptiles.
The country's 735 miles of coastline also offer diversity, from the magnificent coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea to the pristine beaches of the Pacific Ocean. Inland there is a variety of scenery to enjoy, including several mountain ranges, live volcanos, lakes and waterfalls. Costa Rica is also great for adventure and special interest activities such as white water rafting, surfing, fishing, diving and mountain biking.
San Jose
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Costa Rica's capital is a lively town with colorful markets and pleasant parks. Attractions include the National Museum, the Museum of Natural Science, the National Theater and the picturesque El Pueblo quarter, with bars, restaurants and clubs.

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Puntarenas and Jaco beaches are located on a Gulf in the Pacific coast, about 30 miles from San Jose. This lively resort area is close to the pristine Tortuga Island and Carara Biological Reserve.

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This province on the Pacific coast has some of the best beaches in Costa Rica and attractive farming countryside with picturesque villages. This resort area's amenities include golf, water sports, white water rafting and sea fishing.

Manuel Antonio
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Manuel Antonio offers a great combination of the National Park, with secluded white sand beaches. To enter the National Park you have to walk through a few feet of shallow ocean water, which gives you a sense of adventure. Inside there is a variety of birds, as well as trogons, herons and monkeys.