Costa Rica International Academy (CRIA for short) is a private school in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. CRIA is located between the towns of Huacas and Brasilito. Previously called Country Day School of Guanacaste, the new name has brought many positive changes, as well as a growing student population. CRIA is one of the longest standing private academies in the area. It is known for its top-notch facilities and rigorous academics.

In 2000, Country Day School based in the San Jose area opened a branch in Guanacaste to meet the needs of expats in the community. CRIA still caters to the international community, coupled with more local involvement. Many of the families at the core of the new edition are expat families that have been part of the communities of Northern Guanacaste for decades.

The CRIA vision is to “aspire to be a world-class international school with a culture of high expectations, high performance and accountability.” –


The campus sits just off a main road that connects the areas beach communities. It is tucked away behind a patch of trees and down a dirt driveway; as a result the campus is accessible, yet secluded. A guard at the front gate entrance welcomes visitors and grants access to students, parents, teachers and staff. The lower school classrooms all face their playground area and are attached to the main office. Across the parking lot is a large multi-use cafeteria and performing/stage area. Out one side of the cafeteria a pathway leads you to upper school classrooms. The atmosphere is similar to North American schools, yet has Costa Rican flavor and warm days year-round.

Just north of the cafeteria there is a large gym with bathrooms and bleachers, as well as a lap pool for swim lessons and for the school’s swim team to practice.


A North American calendar year allows families to coordinate their holidays with loved ones back home. The U.S. based accreditation allows for a smooth transition from Costa Rica living to higher education.

Explore the beach communities of Flamingo & Playa Grande, two of the closest areas to this school.

Find more information about this school and living abroad on their website