With a literacy rate of 96%, and a medical system so advanced that it brings tourists to the country solely for medicinal purposes, Costa Rica is punching well above its weight when it comes to development in Central American countries.
Because of its close links with the USA, Costa Rica was able to abolish its military service way back in 1948. Costa Rica’s intimate ties with the US also make it relatively easy for British expats to find jobs as the majority of the youth are encouraged to hone in on their English skills. As such there are an abundance of language schools across the country.
Costa Rica is officially the greenest country in the world and also ranks as number one in the ‘Happy Planet Index’. The flora and fauna in the country is immensely diverse with over 5% of the world’s biodiversity found here, despite having less than 0.05% of the planet’s land mass. One quarter of the country is protected land and deforestation has been cut from dangerously high levels in the 80’s to practically zero since 2005.
Ecotourism is a type of tourism that aims to minimise environmental impacts and improve local economies through enhanced sustainability. A firm impetus is put on preserving cultural traditions and maintaining natural attractions. Costa Rica offers a landscape of volcanoes, rainforests, mountains, beaches, rivers and lakes, which makes it the perfect location for sun-seekers with a conscience.
Although the UNDP’s Human Development Report rates life expectancy in Costa Rica higher than in the USA, and the healthcare system rivals that of any developed country on the planet, the price of medical care is 50-70% less than in the USA. Medical tourists are also attracted to visit Costa Rica because of its extremely short waiting lists. Bookmarked between the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica is a very attractive prospect to anybody wishing to embark on medical tourism.
Of course as I mentioned earlier, the Central American state is not only popular with tourists and travellers, many decide to make the move permanent and expatriate to Costa Rica with a mind to teach English in one of the nation’s many language centres.