Costa Rica, Central America

While homosexuality has been technically legal (since the 1870's), but police harassment and raids of LGBT people and private establishments was commonplace in the past. The government did not want to grant legal recognition to political organizations seeking to advance LGBT rights. These policies started to change in the 1990s, when the Costa Rica Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution gave LGBT people the right to peacefully assembly, associate, create their own private establishments, as well as their own LGBT rights associations. Such rulings have led Costa Rica to develop the reputation of being the most democratic and liberal of the Central American countries. Costa Ricans to be proud of the uniqueness of their country.

It has recently become welcoming to LGBT people with its friendly, "live-and-let-live" attitude toward sexual matters. On March 27, 2008 the president of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias Sanchez, signed an executive order designating May 17 as the National Day Against Homophobia, committing Costa Rica to join others around the world in working to eradicate bias against gays and lesbians. There is a vibrant nightlife scattered in San Jose consisting of discos, saunas, night clubs, cafes and bars for gay or gay friendly.



Gay Costa Rica Life and Rights

Intro: Costa Rica lives up to its reputation as a gay destination with its variety of vacation hot spots, long beaches and rugged mountains. But it surpasses that simplistic label by being Central America’s most determined human rights advocate with many rights organizations pushing against the daunting forces of machismo and homophobia. By Richard Ammon… Read more »

Vida y Derechos Gay en Costa Rica 2010 (en Espanol)

Intro: Costa Rica hace honor a su reputación como un destino gay con su variedad de vacaciones nocturnas, playas extensas y montañas accidentadas.  Pero lo supera con solo poner una etiqueta por ser la defensora mas determinada de los derechos humanos en Centro América con muchas organizaciones de derechos rechazando las fuerzas desalentadoras de machismo… Read more »

  HIV, Gay Rights and Clubs in Central America

Central American LGBT (gay) organizations distribute an impressive amount of information ads, brochures and booklets about HIV care and prevention, homophobia, coming out, condom promotion and gay/human rights. Pictured here are a few of these advisories.

  San Jose City

San José is the capital and largest city of Costa Rica. Located in the Central Valley, the city is the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity, and the major transportation hub of this Central American nation. Founded in 1738 by order of Cabildo de León, San José is one… Read more »

  Coco Beach on the Pacific

Playa del Coco Costa Rica is one of the most easily accessible beaches in Guanacaste, located 22 miles west from Liberia, with exceptionally good street connections. This area consists of a stunning horseshoe-shaped bay with very steep hills and cliffs. Its main attractions are the tourist facilities and the sun, which shines longer and more… Read more »

  Arenal Lake and Volcano

Arenal Volcano, in Spanish Volcán Arenal, is an active andesitic stratovolcano in north-western Costa Rica around 90 km northwest of San José, in the province of Alajuela, canton of San Carlos, and district of La Fortuna. The Arenal volcano measures at least 1,633 metres (5,358 ft). It is conically shaped with a crater spanning 140… Read more »

  Monteverde Highlands

Monteverde, Costa Rica is a small town in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. It is about a four-hour drive up into the Cordillera de Tilarán mountain range from the Central Valley of Costa Rica. It is considered a major tourist destination in Costa Rica, primarily visited by ecotourists drawn by the Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde and… Read more »

Gay Costa Rica: Gay Life and Democratic Process in Costa Rica 2007

A former psychologist and resident of Costa Rica looks back over ten years of legal and cultural progress for the lesbigay community in Costa Rica. Also See: Gay Costa Rica News & Reports 2008 to present By Richard Stern Reprinted from Gay and Lesbian Review July-August 2001 Updated July 2007 Costa Rican lesbians and gay… Read more »