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Costa Rica: US Territory or Sovereign Nation?

Is Costa Rica US territory or a sovereign nation? This is the question most of you have so here is the correct answer.

Since September 1821, Costa Rica has been an independent country from Latin America. It is bordering Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south. The Pacific Ocean is to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

Is Costa Rica part of the US territory?

No, Costa Rica is not part of the U.S. territory. It is an independent sovereign country.

Like other countries in Central America, this beautiful country gained its independence from Spain without starting any war.

Together with El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras, Costa Rica was separated from Mexico in 1823. It only declared its independence in 1848.

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is Costa Rica US territory
is Costa Rica US territory

Is Costa Rica part of the US territory

Although the United States has strong relations with Costa Rica, the sovereign Central American nation is growing economically.

Today, the United States is this country’s main ally in maintaining regional security and a good living standard for Costa Ricans.

I’ve been talking a lot about the strength of the relations between these two countries. Now let me give you some specific information on the subject:

  • The first diplomatic US presence in this Latin country dates from 1852 when the first Consulate in San José was established
  • Both governments, Washington and San Jose work together to maintain and improve the security in the area. They also protect the human rights and the prosperity of the country
  • The United States is the main source of foreign investment for Costa Rica. More than 1.5 billion USD had been invested in the last year into Costa Rica’s economy. The main sectors where this money go are manufacturing, technology, and infrastructure
Is Costa Rica part of the US territory
Is Costa Rica part of the US territory
  • About 85% of the jobs created by international companies in this Latin American country are created by US companies. There are more than 200 US companies operating in this country.
  • The stunning landscapes of the country are visited on a yearly basis by almost 3 million American citizens.
    The Republic of Costa Rica is the first option for US study programs outside the US territory.

Costa Rica US territory relations

As you already found out above, the answer if is Costa Rica in the United States is no, it is not. It is a very thriving country, a pioneer in ecotourism, green energy, and environmental protection. It is also a reliable trading partner for the USA.

Its sandy beaches, turquoise waters, national parks, and incredible wildlife attract many tourists year after year.

The good news is that this country is doing its best to protect its nature and wildlife. It encourages farmers to cultivate their land using eco-friendly methods.

The country has developed a method of payment for environmental services. All kinds of incentives are offered to farmers and landowners if they cultivate their land using ecological services.

Stay safe while you travel

  • medical safety abroad
  • medical assistance including COVID-19
  • emergency medical evacuation
  • trip interruption -up to $5.000
  • travel delay - up to $100/day

Costa Rica has developed a system of taxes and penalties for those businesses that pollute the environment. Companies get penalties for polluting the water with chemicals, dump sewage, and other pollution factors.

This tiny country from Latin America has 99% of the electricity used across the country coming from renewable sources.

There are all kinds of laws and regulations designed to stop logging and create awareness of the importance of nature conservation.

Don’t be surprised to find out that Costa Rica is ranked as the most visited country in Central America. Of all the Central American countries with more than 3.5 million visitors each year.

Costa Rica US territory
Costa Rica US territory

But this prosperity comes with new challenges related to the increased interest shown in drug trafficking in Costa Rica.

Fortunately, Costa Rica has a very strong ally in the drug trafficking war and that is the United States of America.

In the last year, America provided more than 45 million dollars in security assistance to Costa Rica. This was done to help them put a stop to the new flow of illegal drugs coming into America.

The US institutions work closely with Costa Rican authorities to secure the borders, strengthen the judicial sectors, identify the potential risks. They also work to improve the surveillance and protection system.

This strategy is part of a larger project that comprises not just Costa Rica. It also comprises Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, and Nicaragua and focuses on 3 major lines:

  • Strengthening security
  • Improving governance
  • Promoting prosperity

Because of this tight cooperation between these countries, Costa Rica has identified and seized immense drug quantities in 2019 and 2020.

Costa Rica and pandemic response

The United States proved again to be a strong ally that never leaves its partners behind. It helps and supports them whenever they need. The answer to the question “is Costa Rica part of the United States”, is no, as you already find out.

The US provided Costa Rica with medical supplies,  protective equipment, and financial support. Totaling 1.5 million USD from the start of the pandemic through 2020.

The money had been used with the main purpose of controlling the effects of pandemia and protecting Costa Ricans.

The good news is that Costa Rican president and the authorities managed to keep the pandemic under control. Starting with March 2021 both the marine and the aerial borders had been opened to American citizens. Borders were also opened to tourists from all over the world.

These are the new essentials you have to pack for your trip

Tourism Costa Rica US territory visitors

This country’s primary source of income is tourism as it has some of the most gorgeous national parks and protected zones.

Protected areas and national parks make up 25% of the country, the largest percentage in the world.

Costa Rica is home to a wide range of fauna and flora. Almost 5% of the world’s biological diversity can be found in this small country.

About 50% of the tourists that visited Costa Rica in 2019 and 2020 chose to do activities related to ecotourism. The main activities were trekking, bird watching, visit rural areas, observing flora and fauna.

Arenal Volcano Costa Rica
Is Costa Rica part of USA Arenal Volcano

Ecotourism is extremely popular in this country, Costa Rica is considered a pioneer in ecotourism.

Most of the attractions from the country are nature related, a fascinating and unique combination of ecotourism, adventure activities, and leisure.

8 Costa Rican resorts had been included in Conde Nast Traveler’s choice as the best hotels from Central and South America. Besides nature, Costa Rica offers top services and world-class hotels.



Costa Rica is not and never was a US territory. It has strong relations with the United States in terms of economic, strategy, and security.

The country is one of the most visited places in Latin America because of its incredible sceneries. It has an abundance of wildlife, and incredible landscapes not to mention the beautiful volcanoes in Costa Rica.

This Central America beautiful country is a safe country and a great place where you can spend your next family holiday.

Most US citizens plan their Costa Rica Vacations in the dry season. The dry season in this country lasts from December to April. This is one of the best destinations for your Christmas reunion and a warm experience not far from America.


Is Costa Rica a US territory?

Costa Rica is not a US territory and it never was. It has strong relations with the US in terms of economic, security, and strategy.

The Republic of Costa Rica is an independent country from Latin America. It is bordering Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south. The Pacific Ocean is to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

Who owns Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is not owned by any other country as it is an independent country since 1838. It became independent when the United Provinces of Central America separated.

It is not owned by the USA and never was. It has strong relations with the USA in terms of strategy, economic, and security.

Is Costa Rica American territory?

No, Costa Rica is not and never was an American territory. It is an independent country starting with 1838, when the United Provinces of Central America separated.

Logistical tips and tricks for your trip

Book your accommodation
We always use as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.

You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.

Don't forget travel insurance
We never leave home without HeyMondo Insurance or Safety Wings Insurance as they offer the best services and a good value for money.

When we go for longer trips around the world we get Globelink Insurance as it offers a good cover for an affordable price.

Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected costs caused by medical events like illness, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.

We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.

Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.

We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.

Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.

We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.

Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.

Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.