Costa Rica, sandwiched between Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south, is one of the most progressive countries in Central America. Once heavily reliant on exporting bananas, pineapples and coffee, Costa Rica now earns an increasing amount of foreign exchange from industries such as electronics, software development and ecotourism.
The Costa Rican population of just over 4 million people welcomes over two million tourists every year. Sometimes described as the “Switzerland of Latin America” for its natural beauty, Costa Rica offers visitors a wonderful variety of landscapes – from tropical and mangrove rainforests to active and inactive volcanoes, from spectacular Pacific and Caribbean beaches to high altitude plains and mountains.
The first 9-hole course in the country appeared at the Costa Rican Country Club outside San Jose in 1944 and it remained the only course in the country until 18 holes were constructed at Cariari Country Club in the 1970s. The tourist boom in the 1990s resulted in a number of top-flight courses arriving on the golfing scene, and amongst them were Garra de Leon, Hacienda Pinilla, Royal Pacific, Los Suenos and Valle del Sol. More recently, the Arnold Palmer-designed Four Seasons Resort course at Peninsula Papagayo on the Pacific coast has caused quite a stir in Costa Rican golfing circles.
Our Costa Rica rankings were last updated in February 2017.