Best High Schools in Costa Rica

Costa Rica International Academy (CRIA) one of the Best High Schools in Costa Rica

Some of the best High Schools in Costa Rica are:

  • La Paz Community School
  • Costa Rica International Academy (CRIA)
  • International Christian School Costa Rica (ICS)

There are plenty of great high schools in Costa Rica, but which one would be the best for your kids?

In Costa Rica high schools are divided into three categories:

  • Private schools
  • Scientific institutions
  • Public schools. Each school has its own specialties, curriculum, and languages used.

The best high school would be one that can prepare your kids for universities, a good environment for socializing and learning and provide learning material in both English and Spanish.

The list below can help you to decide which school would be the best place for your kids to study.

LA PAZ Community School

First on our list is LA PAZ Community School, it is in Playa Flamingo which is 20 minutes away from Tamarindo and about an hour from Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport. There are so many things we can talk about this school that makes it one of the best high schools in Costa Rica. LA PAZ provides education from pre-school and up to secondary or high school.

LA PAZ’s secondary school program is for students from grades 9 to 12 and the school’s mission is to prepare young adults to pursue their passions and to continue their education in a university. At first, you’ll notice that LA PAZ is far different from common public schools. The environment, teaching methods, academic programs, and more are unique and can only be found in LA PAZ Community School.

LA PAZ uses what it calls LA PAZ Peace Practices. It’s a method they’re using to teach students how to generate thoughtful and progressive change in a dynamic, diverse, and complex global community. And in each student’s curriculum, LA PAZ implements The International Baccalaureate Learner Profile to ensure the education quality that students received is high.

LA PAZ understands that each student is different. They have different passions, skills, ways to communicate, and many more. All students are taught to be prepared for their post-secondary life whether it’s in a Costa Rican university, foreign university, or local/foreign workforce.

The day in LA PAZ is usually started with a silent meditation for a morning meeting. And continued with education programs that are created to help students focus on their mission to be lifelong learners and critical thinkers. For languages used, LA PAZ is a bilingual school. So, you don’t have to be afraid that your kid can’t communicate well.

LA PAZ offers IB diplomas and helps students to continue their studies in universities in the United States, Costa Rica, or other countries. From 200+ students that are enrolled, a high portion of them is from outside of Costa Rica. There are dozens of nationalities and ethnicities gathered here in LA PAZ and they come from different socioeconomic levels and backgrounds.

Tuition fees in LA PAZ:

  • For grades 11-12 the annual tuition (excluding enrollment fee) is $9500.
  • Monthly tuition for over 12 months period (excluding enrollment fee) is $792.
  • The regular enrollment fee is $750.
  • The late enrollment fee is $1000.
  • The new student fee is %1500.
  • Non-resident or non-citizen fee is $2500.


For more detailed information visit their website at

Costa Rica International Academy or CRIA

CRIA is located just five minutes away from Huacas, on the way to Playa Brasilito which is 20 minutes from Tamarindo. CRIA is relatively young. It was founded in 2000 as a private, English-language school but has grown so fast in just a couple of years. It’s the perfect school for parents who want their kids to be able to communicate normally and well in English, but also hoping for them to learn another language.

Not to mention that the school buildings look beautiful. The school was originally a near-finished building on the road between Huacas and Brasilito. And then it got remodeled, and they added more buildings such as a gym, pool, athletic field, staff housing, and a cafeteria.

As for proof of high-quality education, CRIA is dual-accredited by both the Costa Rican Ministry of Education and the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges in the United States. In other words, students who graduated from CRIA are also treated the same as graduated from a school in the USA.

Looking at the school’s profile, CRIA has a very impressive list of goals and achievements. Students are taught to be fluent in both English and Spanish and be able to use those languages in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. They’re also trained to incorporate education with technologies. Students must be able to use technologies to improve their knowledge.

Now, CRIA is home to hundreds of students from 10 different countries. The students are actively learning how it feels to compete in the global stage and work together with people from all over the world to achieve a middle ground for harmony and understanding.

CRIA has reduced its tuition deposit fees as of April 30th, 2020. The tuition fees are explained below:

  • Early Bird or EB deadline date is May 30th.
  • The first $500 Tuition Fee Deposit must be paid by April 30th, and the remaining $500 Tuition Fee Deposit must be paid before May 30th.
  • EB discount is open to all returning CRIA students as well as new students for the 2020-21 school year.
  • Families relocating from overseas are required to pay New Student Matriculation Fee of $1000 per student which must be paid before May 30th.
  • The matriculation fee for kindergarten to Grade 12 is $1000.
  • EB tuition payment and deposits are non-refundable.

Costa Rica International Academy CRIA High School Graduation Day

For more information, feel free to visit

International Christian School Costa Rica (ICS)

ICS is located in San Miguel de Santo Domingo, Costa Rica. It’s a private, college-precursory school with a Christian-based curriculum. Perfect for parents who want to enroll their kids in a bilingual school with Christian-based values.

ICS’s high school program is focused on teaching skills that are required to achieve success in the 21st century. This involves using the newest technologies to help them study better and learn more. Not only that, but the students are also prepared to be leaders. They must know how to become successful adults and lead others. This will have a direct result in being accepted at the best universities in Costa Rica or other countries. ICS follows a stateside schedule: all classes start from mid-August until mid-December and again from mid-January Until late May. ICS is also recognized by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and the Costa Rican Ministry of Education. Students who graduate from ICS may choose whether they want to be listed with the Ministry of Education in Costa Rica or to receive credits just like with any school in the United States. ICS also offers e-learning which you can check at

Unfortunately, ICS does not reveal its tuition fees for the academic year 2020/2021 to the public. There are two requirements required by the school for all new students, which are: all students must be interviewed and must pay the $25 admission test fee.

You must prepare certain documents before the enrollment can be processed, such as official transcript that includes grades from the last three years of education, a reference letter from a teacher, the counselor, or the principal, reports from a psychologist, payment letter if your kid was enrolled in a private school before, two passport-size pictures, and photocopy of birth certificate, immunization records, and passport photo and visa pages for foreigners. For more information, check this link

For more information on the school you can visit and as for the tuition fees, please see the person in charge of clarification and all payment details.

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