Best Elementary Schools in Costa Rica

Here are some of the best elementary schools in Costa Rica:

  • La Paz Community School
  • Costa Rica International Academy
  • Guanacaste Waldorf School

Costa Rica is a country that takes education seriously. The country has one of the best education systems in Central and South America.

If you’re planning to enroll your kid into one of the elementary schools in Costa Rica, you’ll have plenty of school choices.

Some schools provide a good balance between education and playtime for kids at this age. Some schools even have their own unique systems that you can’t find somewhere else. As always, the quality of education in Costa Rica is enhanced with the surrounding nature.

Below, you will find some of the best elementary schools in Costa Rica that you can choose. The list is huge and we can’t list them all at once. But we will be adding more in the near future.

LA PAZ Community School

Speaking of a unique school system that you can’t find anywhere else; LA PAZ is a great school for your kid. LA PAZ is a bilingual school that uses English as its primary language and teaches Spanish to all students.

LA PAZ was founded in 2007 as a school that could answer the socio-cultural gaps that are present in the region. LA PAZ offers a progressive model of education.

Students are taught to be progressive at how to be creative, multilingual, compassionate, and responsible. Every student is treated as a next-generation leader who will lead the world towards a better future.

Primary school is divided into two categories: lower and upper.

Lower primary school is for kindergarten to 2nd grade. At this stage, the system is designed to provide a lot of fun for the students.

Students are already taught to become bilingual and passionate about their subjects, be it math, science, or anything else.

Students are provided with time and place to engage with each other as much as they can and completed with a field trip to enjoy Costa Rica’s nature.

Upper primary school is for 3rd to 5th grade.

While the system is similar to lower primary school, students receive more difficult subjects such as Math, Science, English Language Arts, Spanish Language Arts, Social Studies, along with PE, Art, Music, Drama, and Dance as co-curricular activities.

The students are required to interact with each other and share their experiences and personal stories in their lives.

There is also a program called “The Big Buddy, Little Buddy’ which helps students to feel like they have special relationships with each other.

Younger students will feel more comfortable being in a large group and older students will have a chance to act as leaders and mentors.

For tuition lower and upper primary schools are different. It’s best to contact the school to get the latest information on tuition costs.

For lower primary school:

  • Annual tuition excluding enrollment fee is $8600.
  • Monthly tuition over 12 months excluding enrollment fee is $717.
  • The regular enrollment fee is $750.
  • The late enrollment fee is $1000.
  • New student fee is $1500
  • Non-resident, the non-citizen fee is $2500.

For upper primary school:

  • Annual tuition excluding enrollment fee is $8925.
  • Monthly tuition over 12 months excluding enrollment fee is $744.
  • The regular enrollment fee is $750.
  • The late enrollment fee is $1000.
  • New student fee is $1500
  • Non-resident, non-citizen fee is $2500.

For more information you can contact LA PAZ at office:  +(506) 2654-6087, mobile: +(506) 8350-9102, email:

Costa Rica International Academy (CRIA)

Among the Best Elementary Schools in Costa Rica is Costa Rica International Academy CRIA

CRIA offers a balanced curriculum that is adapted from the Virginia State Standards of Learning (SoL).

The purpose of the curriculum is to provide a smooth transition for students to go to CRIA and back to the US or other American International schools.

Every student will experience a safe learning area and environment. Students can learn as much as they can without being bothered by anything.

School day consists of seven 45-minute periods and two recesses in mid-morning and mid-day for lunch.

School starts at 8 AM and ends at 3 PM, and then followed by other school activities such as visiting the library once a week, STEM lab, Visual Arts, Music, P.E, Swimming, Health, and Costa Rica Social Studies.

While English is the main language used, Spanish is taught daily.

Spanish classes are taught by native speakers. In CRIA, students from 1st to 2nd grade are taught to be bilingual. Teachers give instruction and feedback in both English and Spanish.

Teachers are also required to create the best curricular field trips to give students the chance to be immersed in the natural environment of Costa Rica as much as they can. Because otherwise it would be a waste to not take the chance to enjoy nature.

Due to the small size of the school, students have more chances to interact with each other and all the teachers. Students receive guidance not only from the School Counselor but also from their homeroom teachers.

For the admission process visit to fill the admission online application or for general pre-enrollment inquiries. This step is a must in order to apply for formal admission. 

Here is the break down of the tuition for 1st to 5th grade:

  • Annual tuition including $1000 deposit is $8977.
  • Early Bird Discount provides a 10% discount on tuition fees.
  • The semester plan is $5584.
  • A sibling discount of 10% is applicable for the third child and 20% for the fourth child and above.
  • One semester tuition fee is 55% of the annual tuition fee.
  • Late payments incur a 1.5% monthly penalty and will lead to de-enrollment if any portion of the payment is unpaid by the last day of each term.
  • The $1000 deposit is mandatory for all students up to 12th grade.
  • Tuition Fees Deposit is non-refundable.
  • School fees are quoted in US dollars.
  • Some additional fees may be charged to the parents.

For more information, you can contact CRIA via e-mail:, telephone: +(506) 2654-5042, and fax: +(506) 2654-5044.

Guanacaste Waldorf School

Last on our list is Guanacaste Waldorf School. The school buildings have unique looks to it and the curriculum is just as unique.

The walls are made of wood and full of students’ artwork. Classes are conducted almost everywhere on the school grounds and the main lesson books are custom-made.

The curriculum provides hands-on learning in reading, writing, math. Nature studies, music, and art and it is presented creatively and engagingly that help students to love learning at school.

Their curriculum is bilingual, evenly split between Spanish and English. We don’t think you can find a school similar to this one anywhere else.

Please visit for the admission process by clicking “Apply Now” button.

The school is open for all nationalities, economic and cultural backgrounds. Despite how the school buildings look, Waldorf School is one of the largest schools in Costa Rica and neighboring countries. They accept more than 100 kids from all over the world every year.

Tuition breakdown:

  • The admission fee is $77.
  • The new student fee is $510 for Costa Rican residents and $765 for non-residents.
  • The pre-enrollment fee is $510.
  • The enrollment fee is $714.
  • The late enrollment fee is $918.
  • Materials fee for 1 annual payment is $510.
  • The lunch fee for 1 annual payment is $308.
  • The student insurance fee is $16.
  • Annual tuition is $6120.
  • Monthly tuition is $674.

Waldorf School is much more affordable compared to other schools in this list.

They also offer a 10% discount for the third child, a 20% discount for the fourth and more children.

The breakdown above doesn’t include bus, uniforms, field trips, and mid-morning snacks fees.

To get more information, you can contact Waldorf School at +506 8651 8301 or email them at

You can also fill the form at to apply for the current school year, simply put your name, email address, and message.

Recent Posts