The official language is Spanish, though there are a variety of other regional languages spoken like Bribri, Maleku, Cabecar, and Ngabere. Costa Rican Spanish is quite different from the Spanish that is spoken throughout Spain. Costa Ricans, for example, do not lisp their “c’s” and “z’s.” They speak much slower and use a fair amount of slang, or Tiquismos. Costa Ricans are often referred to as Ticos since they frequently add this word as a suffix. English is only spoken by about 10% of the population, so you will have ample opportunity to practice your Spanish!
Costa Rica is situated on the Central American isthmus, bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the southeast. To the west lies the Pacific Ocean, and to the east is the Caribbean Sea with over 750 miles of coastline. The land is full of rivers, mountains, volcanoes, waterfalls, and, of course, beaches. Jungles and rainforests are abundant, and Costa Rica is home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity.
Located just 8 degrees north of the equator, Costa Rica has a year-round tropical climate. The average temperature only ranges from about 71ºF to 81ºF. The country experiences two main seasons – rainy and dry. The rainy season is from May to November, and the dry season lasts from December to April. It typically rains more along the coast than it does in San Jose, which is located more inland.
Costa Rica has a Happy Planet index rating of 76.1 making it the happiest place on earth!