With its majestic natural splendour and warm climate, Costa Rica has become a rapidly popular destination for medical tourism with a wealth of high-grade medical facilities, world-class medical professionals and a World Health Organization acclaimed healthcare system on par with Canada and the US.
Costa Rica's Hospitals and International Standards of Care offer an abundance of cutting edge practitioners, general health professionals and specialists, with western-standard facilities and high-grade hospitals accredited by the industry standard Joint Commission International.
Popular medical specialties include cosmetic surgery, dental, orthopaedics, multiple sclerosis treatments and bariatric surgeries associated with permanent weight loss. It is a favoured destination for medical tourism because of its positive reputation and top eco-tourism destination.
Consider the following healthcare facts:
The World Health Organization ranked Costa Rica's health system as one of the top three Latin America countries, ranked even higher than United States and New Zealand.
The World Bank ranked Costa Rica as having the highest life expectancy, at 78.7 years. This figure is the highest amongst all countries in Latin America, and is equivalent to the level in Canada and higher than the United States by a year.
Costa Rica the Country
Costa Rica is located in Latin America. Costa Rica's capital is San Jose with a population of 2.1 million people. The currency used in Costa Rica is the Costa Rican colon. While having a population of 4.5 million individuals, Costa Rica is an extremely diverse country governed by a democratic republic. Costa Rica's environment contains everything from dormant volcanoes, rainforests, tropical beaches, and mountain cloud forests. One of the country's greatest attractions is its beautiful natural environment which holds wildlife refuges, private reserves, and national parks such as Manuel Antonio National Park. These natural reserves take up 26% of Costa Rica's land area (Costa Rica, 2010). Costa Rica offers something for every kind of traveler. Vacationers can enjoy activities such as surfing, snorkelling, rafting, hiking, canopying, and zip-lining. Environmentalists can enjoy the wide array of tropical plants and animals that Costa Rica has to offer.
Costa Rica's official language is Spanish with English being the second most commonly spoken language.
Roman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical 13.7%, Jehovah’s Witness 1.3%, other Protestant 0.7%, other 4.8%, none 3.2%.
In Costa Rica the rainy season goes from May to November, while the warm dry season is from December to May. Since Costa Rica is a very diverse country different regions have different climates year round. In the Central Valley the region has spring like climates year round, while the coastal regions enjoy much hotter and humid temperatures. The Pacific Northwest region can be extremely hot and humid year round.
It is important to pack the proper clothing for the right time of year when visiting Costa Rica. Lightweight cottons and linens are great for the majority of the year, although waterproof clothing is essential during the rainy seasons.
In 2010, Costa Rica’s electricity institute came out with Costa Rica’s first prepaid cell phone. Residents, non-residents, and tourists are not able to purchase prepaid SIM chips for their GSM and 3G cell phones. This service offers both national and international SIM chips in several different denominations.
You can access email and internet while visiting Costa Rica through internet services that is available at most of Costa Rica’s leading hotels. Cyber Cafes are also becoming popular at many of Costa Rica’s tourist attractions.
Canadian Offices Abroad
Canada's offices abroad include embassies, consulates, high commissions and trade offices. Note that Canada possesses a number of permanent missions to international organizations not listed.
Interesting Places to see in Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano is one of the ten most active volcanoes in the world. On a daily basis travelers can watch the red hot rock roll down the volcano slopes. The volcano occasionally sets off pyroclastic avalanches which are large flows of moving hot gas and rock (Arenal Volcano Costa Rica, 2006).
Manuel Antonio National Park
Manuel Antonio is Costa Rica’s smallest national park, but the second most frequently visited National Park. Manuel Antonio is a piece of Costa Rica set aside for total protection. Manuel Antonio is filled with white sand beaches, tropical forests, and hidden coves. When visiting Manuel Antonio National Park one can engage in surfing, bird and animal watching, hiking, and rafting or kayaking.
Emergency Telephone Numbers
Directory Assistance: 113
Police: 2222-1365 or 2221-5337
Government of Canada Emergency Services We are here to help you in case of an emergency.
After-Hours Emergency Contact:
Call toll-free from Costa Rica: 0-800-015-1161.
Call collect from any country to 613-996-8885 to reach the Emergency Operations Centre.
Canadian Embassy in Costa Rica
Address: La Sabana Executive Business Centre
Building No. 5, 3rd Floor
Apartado Postal 351-1007, Centro Colón
San José, Costa Rica
Telephone: (506) 2242-4400
Fax: (506) 2242-4410