Why is Costa Rica Voted the Happiest Country in the World? - TEFL and TESOL ITA Costa Rica TESOL Blog By International TEFL Academy Costa Rica

TEFL Training In Costa Rica | 04/20/2017

Why is Costa Rica Voted the Happiest Country in the World?

Written by International TEFL Academy Costa Rica

According to Time Magazine, and the Happy Planet Index, Costa Rica was AGAIN voted the happiest country on the planet. How can this small country in Central America consistently score high on this index? For those of us who have chosen Costa Rica as our home, the reasons are obvious. We see them, we experience them and enjoy them EVERY DAY. Here are a few reasons Costa Rica comes in first place. 

1) Weather

I come from Canada, so I know what it means to wake up to a cold, dark, miserable morning. It SUCKS! The climate in Costa Rica is insanely beautiful. In Heredia, it is 77 degrees farenheit 365 days a year (25 degrees Celsius), and every morning is bright and sunny. Simply a pleasure to wake up every morning and be greeted by the sun. I love it!

Climate in Costa Rica

2) No Army

What happens when you abolish the army and put all that money into Education and Health Care? Well you win the Happy Planet Index for starters. Costa Rica abolished its army in 1948, and the people have reaped the benefits ever since. Ticos are extremely proud of the fact that they don't have an army and they can’t understand why every country doesn’t follow suit. Tough to argue with them.

3) Healthy Diet

Part of the reason that Ticos are happier and live longer than most countries, is because they eat healthier. The Costa Rican diet consists of plenty of fresh vegetables and tropical fruits, as well as unprocessed foods. Fast food restaurants exist, but they are not on every $#%&^$ street. The Saturday markets, held in the center of most towns, are also a great place to get your healthy fruits and get a nice cultural experience as well.

4) Relaxed Vibe

Whenever I go back to Canada I am always amazed at how stressed people seem and how much of a hurry they all seem to be in. Its strange for me to think that I used to be like that. Just landing back in Costa Rica instantly relaxes me, and seeing the smiling chilled out people here tells me I live in the right country.

5) Beautiful Nature

When you wake up every morning, surrounded by beautiful sunshine greeting you at 6am, plus incredible nature for you to enjoy and explore; how can you not be happy! Costa Rica is synonymous with beautiful nature and for good reason. The trees, plants, and animals here are simply amazing and are a constant reminder of why you came, reassuring you that you made the right decision.

6) 98% of energy comes from renewable resources

It just feels good to live in a country that takes the environment seriously. Ticos take great pride in this fact, and it makes them happy that other countries are envious of their approach to the environment and protecting their parks and wildlife.

6) Long Life

Ticos have one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world. Scientists come here to study, why Ticos live so long.

Long-Lived Costa Ricans Offer Secrets to Reaching 100

Of course you are going to be happier if you know you are not 3 Big Macs away from a fatal heart attack. Long healthy life, spending loads of time outside in the sun and nature... Who wouldn’t be happy?

7) Fantastic FREE Health Care

Does this mean that people who have access to free health care aren't financially petrified of getting sick or injured are overall happier? What an amazing concept!

8) High Literacy Rate

Getting rid of the army and spending that money on education means that Ticos have an amazing 98% literacy rate. One more reason Ticos are proud and smiling.


The most common expression in Costa Rica is more than just something to put on shirts and sell to tourists. It is a summary of how Ticos live and think.

Life is good. Life is pure. Enjoy it and BE HAPPY!  Ready to start your adventure of the pura vida?  Don't wait any longer to save your spot in one of our 4-week, onsite TEFL courses in Costa Rica!

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