Costa Rica is in Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama. The climate is tropical and subtropical but cooler in the highlands. The official language is Spanish. Many business people and officials speak English. For business dealings visitors may require fluent Spanish or need to use an interpreter. The main religion is Christianity. The economy of Costa Rica heavily depends on tourism, agriculture, and electronics exports. Poverty has been reduced over the past 15 years, and a social safety net put into place. Costa Ricans generally welcome expatriates, especially related to foreign investment. It is advisable to address people using their professional title, or by either Senor (Mr), Senora (Mrs), or Senorita (Ms) and their surname. Expatriate business dress tends to be conservative. Men mostly wear darker shade suits, and women usually wear either a dress or a long skirt with a blouse. Women are prominent at all levels of business and public life. The security risk for expatriates in Costa Rica is low, but medium for Limón province and along the Nicaraguan border. Risks include petty crime such as pickpocketing and mugging, as well as house and car related theft. Crime in Costa Rica carries the additional risk of violence involving firearms and less often kidnapping, particularly of wealthy nationals. The currency of Costa Rica is the Costa Rican Colon (CRC). Medical facilities are generally good, however emergency services in remote areas may vary. Emergency medical treatment is provided without charge for visitors, however any other treatment is charged. Cases of Chikungunya virus and Zika virus have been reported. Dengue is present. The population of Costa Rica is 4.3 Million (2017 est.), while the inflation rate is 2.49% (Nov 2017).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In Costa Rica, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Costa Rica as at 1 January 2018 is low in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Low 2) Clothing: Average 3) Communication: Very Low 4) Education: Low 5) Furniture & Appliances: High 6) Groceries: Average 7) Healthcare: Low 8) Household Accommodation: Average 9) Miscellaneous: Low 10) Personal Care: Low 11) Recreation & Culture: Low 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Low 13) Transport: Low Costa Rica is for example -10.1% cheaper than USA for groceries, -6% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 60.2% more expensive for transport costs than India. The hardship premium for Costa Rica for an expat from Australia, is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Costa Rica) premium of 30% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%. Costa Rica is ranked as a high degree of hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Costa Rica? Register subscribe to your home location and Costa Rica and run your personalised reports.