Costa Rica is among the top 10 destinations for medical tourism, simply because of advanced medical facilities, quality healthcare and the lower costs that it offers. Plus, the country is immensely beautiful and the weather remains pleasant throughout the year.
Costa Rica’s healthcare system is ranked as the 36th best in the world. According to the country’s healthcare chamber, Costa Rica serves hundreds of thousands of medical tourists each year. The medical facilities are reliable and efficient. Costa Rica is home to professional and skilled doctors and dentists who speak English fluently; many of them receive their training from universities in the United States. Though these doctors and dentists are spread throughout the country, most of the procedures and surgeries are performed in San Jose, which has some of the best hospitals and clinics. Liberia is another city popular among medical tourists. Both private and public healthcare facilities are available.
Costa Rice has two JCI accredited hospitals.
Why Choose Costa Rice?
Medical tourism in Costa Rica has rapidly risen because quality healthcare is easily accessible and affordable. One of the most sought after healthcare destinations, Costa Rica has highly qualified and certified doctors, dentists and cosmetic surgeons who provide the best care.
This tropical paradise lures thousands of travelers every year and a large percentage of them are medical tourists. Given its location, it is close to the United Sates. Hence, this makes it easier for Americans to travel here. In Costa Rica, you can save a tremendous amount on the treatments and spend the rest on tourist spots. You will still be left with plenty to enjoy yourself with.
Costa Rica is one of the very few countries to have dedicated ‘recovery lodges’, which accommodate the patient after they have had their treatment or surgical procedure. When you consider the fact that these recovery lodges are located in the midst of breathtakingly beautiful areas that aid in the recovery itself, the country truly begins to look like the dream destination for any medical traveler.
More than that, Costa Rica is home to a health tourism industry that is one of the biggest in the world. The immense beauty of the region has a considerable part in this and when you factor in the costs at which the industry operates, there remains no doubt that Costa Rica is ideal as a medical tourism destination.
Healthcare and Medical Tourism in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is famous for dentistry services and surgical operations. Other medical procedures like cosmetic surgery, eye surgery, gynecology, preventive medicine and orthopedic treatments are also popular among medical tourists. Ongoing research and clinical proceedings are improving the country’s capacity to offer treatment and care to patients suffering from heart issues, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and Parkinson’s diseases.
Medical treatments in Costa Rica are affordable, allowing patients to save as much as 40% to 70%. For instance, dental crowns are available at around $1000 in the US, but prices in Costa Rica are around $500. Similarly, implant costs exceed $3000, but in Costa Rice, you can get them for as little as $900.
Other than this, traveling to Costa Rice is easy with flight rates falling between $400 and $700 if you live in the US. Roundtrip rates from London to San Jose start from $1050 and from Australia to San Jose, the rates are $1700. Ticket prices vary from country to country, so please check with your local airlines or at a travel helpdesk.
Lodging and Hotels
An average hotel costs around $115 per night for two people. For a single individual, the costs are around $55. Travelling around within the country is also economical. The local shuttle costs around $40 per person, but private transport is around $150. A typical breakfast costs around $5 to $8. For lunch, burgers, sandwiches and pizzas are the popular choice, roughly available at $8, $9 and $11. Grilled fish cost around $13 and shrimp pasta is available for around $16.
Airlines that fly directly from United States to Costa Rica
- Southwest Airlines
- Spirit Airlines
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
Other airlines that fly to Costa Rica
- Air Canada
- Air France
- LATAM Airlines Group
- British Airways
- Avianca Costa Rica
Climate and Weather
Costa Rica stays hot most of the year in the coastal areas and the northern regions because the country is located close to the Equator. Temperature in the Central Valley is better, but overall, temperature variations are low. The rainy season is quite distinguishable though.
The weather remains dry between December and April in many parts of the country. The rest of the months all experience abundant rainfall. The coast and eastern plains receive rains throughout the year.
Entrance Requirements and Visa
US and Canada passport holders don’t need any tourist visa for traveling to Costa Rica if their stay will be less than 90 days. However, they must have a valid return ticket and yellow fever vaccination proof with them. They also must not be carrying more than $10,000 when entering and exiting the country.
If you are passport holder of another country, you many need a visa, please check your local embassy for confirmation.
Languages and Culture
Costa Rica’s culture is influenced by Spanish heritage mostly, but also includes Chinese, Jamaican and other traditions from around the world. The locals are friendly, carefree and happy people. 76% of these follow Catholic, the official religion of the country on which the judicial system is based. Religious classes are mandatory for students. Costa Rica has one of the highest literacy rates at 97.8%.
Though Spanish is the official language, many of the residents also speak English, Mandarin Chinese and Bribi.
Galo Pinta, with beans and rice as the main ingredients, is the national dish of the country, and often enjoyed as breakfast along with tortillas and eggs. Casado, another dish of rice and beans, along with meat, is often served for lunch.
Entertainment and Tourist Attractions
Costa Rica is filled with natural attractions including the beaches, volcanoes and cloud forests, making the country highly popular among surfers, backpackers, birdwatchers and of course, foreign patients. The endless beach line, along the Pacific Coast, is absolutely stunning. The mountains are filled with waterfalls, volcanoes and wildlife. San Jose, the capital city, has some of the best museums. Manuel Antonio National Park, Dominical, Jaco and San Jose’s National theatre are a few must-visit attractions of the country.
Overview of Costa Rica
Capital of Costa Rica: San Jose
Languages: Spanish but English is spoken throughout the country
Suggested Vaccines: Hepatitis A and B, as well as Typhoid booster
Time Zones: GMT -6
Country Code for Telephone Calls: +506
Currency: Costa Rica Colon (CRC)