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When looking for a vacation destination, it helps to zero in on places where the people are truly happy. In that case, you can’t go wrong with Costa Rica. For a number of reasons, this tiny Central American country stands apart in terms of overall happiness. Upon arriving at the airport, travelers are greeted by a sign that says “Welcome to the Happiest Country in the World.” At Costa Rica resorts, guests and employees alike radiate contentment and happiness. Find out why Costa Rica is such a happy place below.

Top Factors that Make Costa Rica the Happiest Country in the World


Costa Ricans Live Long, Healthy Lives
People in Costa Rica live to ripe, old ages. That’s largely due to the fact that the Costa Rican government did away with the army in 1948 to focus its money and attention on providing services like education and health care. Every single one of the more than 4.6 million people who live in this gorgeous country is covered by its extensive social security system. With worries about education and health care lifted from their shoulders, it’s easy to see why Costa Ricans are so happy.

A Truly Green Country
Costa Rica is green in a number of different ways. For one thing, more than 30 percent of the country is covered by national parks, which are protected from development and commercialization. Finding lovely Costa Rica resorts in natural settings is easy. For another, Costa Rica is a leader in eco-friendliness and has the lofty goal of being carbon neutral by 2021. This outlook protects the country’s considerable natural resources and makes it a nicer place to live.

A Standout in Surveys and Studies
In surveys and studies about contentment and happiness, Costa Rica regularly appears at the top of the list. On the Happy Planet Index that’s published by the New Economics Foundation, which focuses on sustainability and global well-being, Costa Rica ranked number one. It beat out several Western European nations and the United States as well in a survey that disregarded gross domestic product.

A Vibrant Economy
Costa Rica has worked diligently to focus on developing a digital economy. The country has become a leading exporter of microprocessors and computer software. This type of technology is the wave of the future, so Costa Ricans enjoy the security of knowing that their economy is heading in the right direction.

If you’d like to visit a place that’s bursting with happiness and contentment, you can’t go wrong with a vacation in Costa Rica.

Mercedes Potter is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. She is an avid traveler and finds Costa Rica to be one of the most beautiful places to visit. Follow her @CedesPotter.