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Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a democratic Republic where same-sex marriage is legal and everyone enjoys the same rights.

Costa Rican lesbians and gay men have made significant gains in the last fifteen years. Gay and lesbian life is now legally protected and thriving, but the lives of lesbians and gay men are affected positively by a supportive peer culture and less so by a national, religious culture which not as accepting.

San José’s extended metropolitan area is home to nearly two-thirds of the country’s population, including the majority of lesbians and gay men, who migrate to the capital from the monotony and conservatism of rural areas. Costa Rica decriminalized homosexuality between consenting adults in the 1970s. Since then, a series of legal rulings, on a judicial as well as administrative level, has turned things around for lesbians and gay men.

Supreme Court judgments over the last ten years have prohibited bar raids, supported the right of gay saunas to operate, and ensured that people living with AIDS get state-of-the-art medical treatment.

On May 26th, 2020, Costa Rica legalized same-sex marriage. At a time when so many democracies are experiencing conservative backlashes, Costa Rica’s achievement seems extraordinary.

Today we celebrate freedom, equality, and our democratic institutions. Empathy and love guide us forward to have a country that has room for everyone. Costa Rica’s LGBTQ community has worked tirelessly for years to make same-sex marriage in Costa Rica a reality, today we are the only country in Central America that legalized equal marriage and now we can be proud share rights like adoption by single LGBT persons, stepchild adoption by same-sex couples, joint adoption by same-sex couples and right to change legal gender.

In San José, you can choose between any of a dozen downtown bars and clubs, saunas, and several gay-friendly restaurants, hotels, and other businesses.

Peaceful Costa Rica is one of the world’s more prosperous developing countries and is currently the focus of international attention for its incredible biodiversity. Historically, Costa Rica has avoided armed conflicts that have engulfed neighboring nations and have concentrated on improving life for its citizens.

Capital: San José.

Currency: Colon.

Borders: Northern – Nicaragua, Southern – Panama, Western – Pacific Ocean, Eastern – Atlantic Ocean.

Area: 51,100 km2

Administrative divisions: Seven provinces, 81 counties and 463 districts.

Highest mountain: Chirripó (altitude 3820 m above sea level).

Largest crater: Poás Volcano (one of the largest craters in the world, one km diameter).

Population: 4,075,863 inhabitants (as of 2004)

Life expectancy at birth: Total population: 76.84

Years male: 74.26      Years female: 79.55 years (2005 est.)

Ethnic groups: White (including mestizo) 94%, Black 3%, Amerindian 1%, Chinese 1%, Other 1%.

Religions: Roman Catholic 76.3%, Evangelical 13.7%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 1.3%, Protestant 0.7%, Other 4.8%, None 3.2%

Languages: Spanish (official), English

Literacy definition: Percentage of those over 15 who can read and write:

Percentages: 96% male: 95.9% female: 96.1% (2003 est.)

Independence from Spain: 15 September 1821

Military branches: No regular military forces, but Ministry of Public Security, Government, and Police

Costa Rica is a tropical country which contains several distinct climatic zones. There is no winter or summer as such and most regions have a rainy season from May to November and a dry season from December to April. Annual rainfall averages 100 inches nationwide with some mountainous regions getting as much as 25 feet on exposed eastern slopes. The temperature depends more on elevation than a location with a mean of around 72 degrees in the Central Valley, 82 degrees on the Atlantic coast, and 89 degrees on the Pacific coast.

Costa Rica’s basically stable economy depends on tourism, agriculture, and electronics exports.


Poverty has been substantially reduced over the past 15 years, and a strong social safety net has been put into place. Foreign investors remain attracted by the country’s political stability and high education levels, and tourism continues to bring in foreign revenue.

Agricultural products: Coffee, pineapples, bananas, sugar, corn, rice, beans, potatoes; beef; timber.

Industries: Microprocessors, food processing, textiles and clothing, construction materials, fertilizer, plastic products.


Cuisine in Costa Rica is evolving and fusing new flavors with local dishes.

Costa Rica is rich in abundance of tropical fruits and vegetables, especially organic products, served from farm to table. For seafood lovers, we offer the best seafood from the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, as well as fresh-water fish from our pristine rivers and lakes.  The Northern low land raises free-range grass-fed beef, making it possible for you to find the best restaurants for fresh, healthy, and delicious food!