Everybody defines a third world country differently. For me, it’s a simple matter of plumbing. If you can flush toilet paper down most toilets in a country, you’re likely sitting on a throne in a first world country. But, if you can’t, you are in a 3rd world country.

Before you scroll down to the comment section and hate on this article, hear me out.

It’s a question tourists often ask when they visit Costa Rica. “Is Costa Rica a third world country?”

Yes, it is a third world country.

Costa Rica is blessed with beautiful beaches, amazing wildlife, natural hot springs, extremely nice locals, and some of the best coffee in the world.

But despite these amazing things, Costa Rica still sees itself in “3rd place”.

Here’s just a short list of why it’s in 3rd place:

  1. Water issues in some areas of the country
  2. Roads and infrastructure are lacking.
  3. Bribes are still commonplace when dealing with traffic tickets.
  4. Diseases like Dengue Fever and Chikungunya are prevalent in the country.
  5. Costs of basic items are outrageously expensive due to agricultural protectionism.
  6. Limited access to goods and services (How many trips to San Jose have you done this year?)
  7. Inconsistent electrical supply.

Despite all these shortcoming, Costa Rica is still an amazing place to live.

And if you can’t handle the bumpy roads or power outages, you’re more than welcome to move back to Omaha, Nebraska and leave paradise a little less crowded for the rest of us.

***Update: For a different perspective read “Is Costa Rica a third world country?”***

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