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Living in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is an extraordinary country. Although relatively small in size, it has an amazing biodiversity, which allows you to easily travel to and enjoy a variety of climates and landscapes. Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the east and south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south and the Caribbean Sea to the east. It has an area of 51,000 km2 (19,691 square miles) and its widest point measures 296 kilometers (185 miles). Its current population is approximately 4,500,000 people, 60% of which live in the Central Valley.

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Climate and Seasons

Anyone traveling to Costa Rica expecting warm tropical climate every day might be surprised to discover different microclimates and changes during seasons.

There are two seasons: rainy and dry. The dry season runs from January through May and the rainy season from May to December. Early Spanish colonizers compared the seasons to their own Mediterranean climate and named them accordingly. Dry months were considered summer and rainy, grey and gloomy months, winter. Interestingly, though, the coldest temperatures are registered during the early dry season or "summer."


Spanish is the official language, although in urban areas it is common for staff members at hotels, restaurants and stores to speak English, too.

Important Advice for your Stay

Passport or ID

You should always have your ID available. If you do not want to walk around with your passport, carry a photocopy. It is highly advisable to carry a form of identification at all times.

Dress According to the Season

People are used to carrying an umbrella during the rainy season. When traveling to the beach or rainforest, it is advisable to pack at least 3 changes of clothes. Additionally, have a plastic bag handy to store wet items.

Moving Around in Costa Rica

For information on restaurants and night life, visit:


The official currency is the colon. Check out today’s exchange rate here.

Travel Agencies

INCAE has a travel agency in its premises: ASV Olympia, located in the administrative building.

For more information, please contact Mr. Efraín Vega at +506 2437-2100, extensions 295 or 296, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. or from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Friday and Saturday from 9:00 to 12:00 p.m. at +506 2255-4233.)