Costa Rica, Spanish learning paradise

Costa Rica, the third smallest Central American country and the oldest democracy in Latin America, is one of the most popular locations for a Spanish course. No other country in Latin America offers such an abundance of natural beauty and of flora and fauna in such a small area.

We have 5% of the world’s biodiversity, more than 50 species of hummingbirds, no army for almost 70 years and a motto that is synonym with a good, positive, joyful philosophy for life: “pura vida”!

Toucan from Costa Rica, our best symbol!

27% of the land is protected as a nature reserve. It is always just a short distance to picturesque beaches on the Pacific or Caribbean coast, which often blend directly into national parks, such as in Manuel Antonio or in Cahuita. Over 1200 kilometers of beaches entice you to swim, surf, scuba dive, and relax. The cool, high mountain region is easily accessible. You can go all the way to the rim of active volcanoes such as Irazú or Poás, or you can visit Arenal, one of the most active volcanoes in the world.

Spectacular waterfalls, rain forests, cloud forests, mountain streams, and high mountain paths invite you to hike, mountain bike, fish, or go river rafting. Costa Rica enjoys the reputation of being the “Switzerland of Latin America”. The people here speak clearly enunciated Spanish, which makes Costa Rica the ideal place for a Spanish course – and for an unforgettable experience with nature.

Costa Rica, which means “Rich Coast”, constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949. It is the only Latin American country included in the list of the world’s 22 older democracies.

Costa Rica has consistently been among the top Latin American countries in the Human Development Index, ranked 62nd in the world in 2010, and is cited by the UNDP as one of the countries that have attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels.

The country is ranked third in the world, and first among the Americas, in terms of the 2010 Environmental Performance Index.

According to the New Economics Foundation, Costa Rica ranks first in the Happy Planet Index and is the “greenest” country in the world.

Costa Rica official quick facts

  • Official language: Spanish
  • Capital city: San José
  • President: Carlos Alvarado
  • Area: 51.100 km²
  • Coastline: 1.290 km
  • Population: 4,999,441
  • Gross Domestic Product: $61 billion per year
  • Per capita income: $12,015 per year
  • Independence day (from Spain): September 15, 1821
  • Currency: colón CRC
  • Exchange rate: $1= around 560 colones
  • Country phone code: 506