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Understanding Costa Rica’s Relationship with the US

This amazing Central American country has strong relations with the United States but the answer to the question is Costa Rica part of the US is no, it is an independent country from Central America.

The country is neighboring the following countries: Nicaragua to the north, Pana to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest.

The country’s narrowest point is only 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean coastline.

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Is Costa Rica part of the USA
Is Costa Rica part of the USA

The capital of the country is the beautiful city of San José which is also the largest city in the country located in the central part of Costa Rica.

San Jose is home to more than 350.000 citizens and together with the cities of Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago form the country’s Greater Metropolitan area with a total population of more than 2 million people.

The total surface of the country is 19.700 square miles (51.100 square kilometres) and has a total population of almost 5 million people.

Costa Rica is an independent state, it does not belong to anybody if you are wondering if is Costa Rica part of USA.

Is Costa Rica part of US
Is Costa Rica part of US

It is a democratic and peaceful country that has not had an army since the year of 1948 and a magnet for tourists interested in exploring wildlife and natural beauty.

The economy of the country that was once depending a lot on agriculture is quite diverse today and it includes sectors like finance, corporate services for foreign companies, ecotourism and many others.

Is Costa Rica part of the USA and US – Costa Rica relations

The relations between Costa Rica and the United States are solid and this small country from Central America is seen as a very important trade partner by the US.

The American state authorities consider that Costa Rica offers an excellent climate for investments and trade as this country is ranked one of the most reliable and strongest voices in Latin America when speaking about human rights and rule of law.

Is Costa Rica part of USA Latin America
Is Costa Rica part of USA Latin America

The country is famous all over the world for having one of the strongest traditions of independent journalism.

According to the World Press Freedom Index, Costa Rica is located in 7th place out of 180 countries from the globe.

Unfortunately, in the last couple of years, the drug trafficking challenge has increased a lot as this country is seen by trafficators as a great place to transit drugs from Latin America to the US.

Like I said earlier, the answer to the question if is Costa Rica part of the USA, the right answer is no, it is an independent country with strong relations with the US.

What is instead true is the fact that this small but extremely beautiful country is among the favourite places to holiday for American people as it is close to the US, it is pretty cheap and it has some breathtaking sceneries and beaches.

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Some Americans like the country so much that they decide to move there and make Costa Rica their permanent home after they retire.

As per the official record, every year more than 120.000 Americans move to Costa Rica for a better life and wonderful scenery.

Each year, more than 1.5 million Americans choose to spend at least one holiday in this country and more than 8.000 US students choose to study in Costa Rica every year.

Is Costa Rica part of the US and US Assistance

The US gives about 40 million US dollars in security assistance with the main purpose of cutting the flow of illegal dogs destined for the United States and to keep under control the high crime rate from this small country.

The strategy followed by the United States in all the Central American countries including Costa Rica is to secure the U.S borders and to protect the Americans but at the same time, the US is interested in increasing other businesses with these countries.

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

In other words, we can say that the US strategy follows three main directions:

  • To promote prosperity
  • To increase the level of protection for people
  • Improving governance

The US ensures all the Latin American countries that through cooperation and assistance from International Narcotics and Law Enforcement institutions Costa Rica and other countries can reduce their crime rate and address the problem of drug trafficking.

Is Costa Rica part of USA and economic relations

As I said earlier in this article Costa Rica is an independent country, it is not part of any other country in the world but it has strong relations with the USA.

Costa Rica is part of the US- Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement ( CAFTA-DR).

The main purpose of this agreement is to facilitate trade and investment in these countries by reducing or even eliminating the tariffs, the barriers to services and to promote transparency.

Is Costa Rica part of the US
Is Costa Rica in Latin America or part of the USA

The largest partner of trading for Costa Rica is the United States to which this small country exports almost 40% of its goods and services.

On the other hand, United States citizens are the most numerous tourists who visit this amazing country each year and more than 24 million US dollars have been invested in the Costa Rican economy in 2020.

Now that you know for sure if is Costa Rica part of the US, let me tell you how this small country is seen by other important countries in the world.


Costa Rica and the rest of the world

Many countries in the world consider Costa Rica to be a success story in terms of development and it is considered to be an upper-middle-income country with constant economic growth over the last 25 years.

There are two main reasons that led to this constant growth and here I am talking about the openness of Costa Rica to foreign investments and gradual trade liberalization.

The country is also known for its environmentally friendly policies and achievements and today it is a pioneer in this sector and a strong model to be followed by all the countries in the world.

Another interesting fact about this magnificent country is that Costa Rica is the one and only tropical country in the world that managed to reverse deforestation.

I was saying earlier that Costa Rica is open to foreign investments but this is not enough as many countries are open to this but did not create a proper environment to attract investors from all over the globe.

Here, in this country, there was a very interesting mix of political stability, steady growth and the social contract that all together lead to the lowest poverty rates in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Is Costa Rica part of USA
Is Costa Rica part of USA

Costa Rica is a safe and growing country, with one of the most interesting and unique sceneries in the world, and if it is not part of the US it is one of the most visited countries by US citizens.

Let me tell some secrets about this country as I found them quite interesting and relevant

10 interesting facts about Costa Rica and Costa Ricans

1. Costa Ricans are considered to be one of the happiest people in the world

2. The local money is as colorful as the sceneries of this country, the banknotes featuring different landscapes and animals that live in the national parks across the country.

3. Costa Rica is home to one of the 5 Blue Zones in the world and here I am talking about Nicoya town, the place where locals live for more than 100 years.

4. Costa Ricans call themselves Ticos and Ticas, worlds that come from the Spanish world “chiquitito” and means “small”

5. The popular beach of Whale Bay of Bahia Ballena is the perfect copy of a whale’s tail seen from above

6. Costa Rica also has some islands located in the nearby seas, out of which Cocos Island is the closest to the mainland

7. About 5% of the world’s biodiversity can be found in the small country of Costa Rica so you’ll never get bored of wildlife in this country.

8. It is one of the very few countries on earth where you can see the sunrise and the sunset in one day: for sunrise go to the Caribbean Coast, while for a sunset visit the Pacific Coast.

9. More than 99% of the electricity used in this country comes from renewable energy generated by hydropower, wind, biomass, solar and geothermal sources.

10. It is home to 5 active volcanoes that offer amazing views and exciting experiences: Poas, the Irazu, Arenal, the Rincon de la Vieja, and Turrialba.


Is Costa Rica part of the USA?

This tiny but fascinating country from Central America is not part of the USA but it has strong political, financial, and economical relations with the United States of America.

Costa Rica is an independent country from Latin America that was never under American sovereignty.

Which country owns Costa Rica?

Costa Rica or the Republic of Costa Rica as it is officially called is not owned by any other country, but it is an independent country that gained its independence from Spain in 1821, September 15th.

What is Costa Rica’s relationship with the United States?

The United States of America is one of the most important and reliable partners for this small country.

These two countries have strong trading partnerships as about 40% of the country’s imports and exports are with the US.

More than that, the USA represents for CostaRica the main source of tourism as more than 2.5 million Americans come to visit this exotic country each year.

When did Costa Rica become part of the United States?

Costa Rica is not and never was part of the United States of America, it only has strong relations with this world super-power.

The date when the small country was recognized as an independent country by the US was on April 24, 1849, when the US Charge d’Affaires in Guatemala was given full powers to negotiate with Costa Rica commercial and other matters.

Is Costa Rica a 3rd world country?

Costa Rica is considered one of the safest countries in the world and a pioneer in environmentally friendly policies.

Unfortunately, the number of poor people is still very high especially if we compare this figure with the total population or with the number of people from the middle class or the rich ones.

So, yes, although a beautifully exotic country, Costa Rica is considered a 3rd World Country.

What problems does Costa Rica have?

This tiny country from Latin America like many other countries from the area has serious issues with human rights and human trafficking.

The prisons are overcrowded and the conditions from these places are not always in accordance with international laws and regulations about human rights.

Besides these problems, domestic abuse and drug-related violence are other issues that the country has to face daily.

Do you need a passport to go to Costa Rica from America?

Of course, you need a passport to visit this country but you don’t need a visa to enter the country if you are an American citizen.

The passport must be valid for at least  1 day from the day when you enter the country and you need to have a return ticket with you to show it at the Immigrant Office.

The maximum time allowed to stay in this country is 90 days; for an additional period of time, you need to apply for a visa.

Is Costa Rica safer than Mexico?

According to the US State Department, this tine country is actually really safe for American tourists.

Just to have you an idea about how safe it is considered I can tell you that the US ranked Costa Rica as Level One of safety while Mexico is Level Two.

Another thing that is true is that more Americans get killed in Mexico than in this tiny country.

How long is the flight to Costa Rica?

The total duration of the flight from the US to this country is approx 4 hours and 40 minutes.

If you are planning a trip to this country, don’t forget to add some extra time for your ride from your home to the airport and for passing all the safety checks from the airport.

Is English spoken in Costa Rica?

The official language of this Central American country is Spanish because the country was a Spanish colony for quite a long time.

The good news is that English is widely spoken all across the country, especially in big cities and tourist attractions.

Besides English, other spoken languages are Creole and some Indian languages.


I hope now everything is clear for you and you know the right answer to the question if is Costa Rica in the US or not.

This small country is full of wonderful surprises and has one of the most diverse landscapes in the world.

It is definitely a great place where to spend at least one holiday and a great country for those of you interested in beaches and wildlife.

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.