Costa Rica is a peaceful, beautiful country in Central America, south of Nicaragua and north of Panama.

It has coasts on both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Near the coast are lowlands, which are really hot year-round. Down the center of the country is a line of mountains at about 1000m. The weather's great year-round there, it never gets too hot or too cold. That's where most Costa Ricans live - something like 90% of the population lives in the center, about 2 hours from either coast. For a large part of the year, it rains every day for about an hour after lunch, after which the sky clears up beautifully and the whole place is wonderful and clean.

Costa Rica is a latin country, so catholicism and soccer are popular. They are a democracy, supported by the USA. There is no national army, and hasn't been one since they gained independence in 1948. There are lots of missionaries there, learning Spanish for a year or two, before venturing off to a less hospitable south or central American country.

It's easy to get a 6 month visa to Costa Rica. When it runs out, all you have to do is leave the country for 2 days or more and then come in again, and you can get another one. A common way to do this is to take the bus down to Panama.