Costa Rica is one of the world’s more prosperous developing countries and attracts international attention for its peace, democracy and incredible biodiversity.
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Facts about the History of Costa Rica

  • Evidence of human occupation in the region dates back 10,000 years.
  • Christopher Columbus arrived in the Caribbean Coast in 1502.The rich gold and jade jewelry the natives worn motivated the name (Rich coast).
  • Spanish conquistadors first settled in 1524. Costa Rica gained its independence from Spain in 1821.
  • In 1948 the army was abolished meaning that more of the government's budget is spent on providing education, medical care and other services to tax payers
  • The development of a modern welfare state has resulted in Costa Rican's having high health indicators, a good standard of living, and high literacy rates.
  • Costa Rica is one of the world’s more prosperous developing countries and attracts international attention for its peace, democracy and incredible biodiversity.


  • Coffee production began in Costa Rica at the end of the colonial period and coffee was first exported in 1820.
  • In the 1870s while building the railroad to the Atlantic coast, U.S builders in exchange for a land grant on both sides of the route started growing and exporting bananas.
  • By the time the national railroad was completed, bananas had become one of the leading exports of the country.

The Political System

  • The foundation of Costa Rica’s two-party democratic system and the system of free, obligatory public education has been in place since the 1890s.

  • In 1948, an electoral fraud served as a pretext for the disgruntled opposition to stage a civil war, which lasted one month.|

  • The leader of the insurgency was a farmer known as “Don Pepe” who took control of the country and continued reforming the country’s institutions into what he called “The Second Republic”.


San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica since 1838. For more than 250 years it has been the heart and soul of the arts and culture scene. History lives within the city’s walls – the National Museum is housed in a beautiful Spanish-style building; the National Theater has welcomed some of the world’s best operas and traveling ballets; and the Gold Museum displays the globe’s most valuable collection of pre-Columbian gold. There are theaters, galleries and multiple options to enjoy local and international expressions all in a few blocks radio.

Costa Rica Holiday

Calendar Costa Rica’s festivals celebrate the country’s Catholic traditions, agricultural way of life and history leading to independence. Please find below a list of festivals, holidays and events that can add a touch of local tradition to your trip.

  • January 15th: Santa Cruz, Guanacaste. Patron’s saint, Santo Cristo de Esquipulas.
  • February 1-3: “Fiesta de los Diablitos” or Dance with the Devils.
  • March (second Sunday of the month): Escazú, Ox-Cart Driver’s Day.
  • March-April: Easter week ( Semana Santa).
  • April 11th: Anniversary of the Battle of Rivas-Juan Santamaria Day.
  • May 15th: San Isidro Labrador Day.
  • July 25th: Annexation of Guanacaste Province.
  • August 2nd: Virgin of Los Angeles, patron saint of Costa Rica.
  • August (second weekend): Fiesta of the Virgin of the Sea.
  • August 15th: Costa Rican Mother’s Day.
  • September 14th and 15th: Independence Day.
  • October 12th: Cultures Day.
  • December (second Saturday): San Jose’s Lights Parade.
  • December 26th: Horse Parade (Tope).