The Best Private Schools in Santa Ana, Escazú and Cariari

If you are relocating to Costa Rica with your family it is likely that one of your biggest concerns is finding the right school for your children. The majority of expats choose private education due to the English language, of course, and also because in general, the quality of the education provided by private schools is certainly better than public schools, at least when it comes to elementary and high school.

The good news is that there is no shortage of private schools in Costa Rica, especially if you are moving to Santa Ana, Escazú or Cariari, there are plenty of options, teaching methods and prices.

1- Budget:

When it comes to our children we always want what’s best for them, but it is important that you establish an amount that fits your income and lifestyle. Private schools can range from $360.00 to $1,200.00 a month or even a bit more when you consider additional expenses.


2- Location:

Everything is about location. Make sure to pick a school that is close to where you live and/or work; take into consideration that traffic in Costa Rica can get really bad at times, and school may call you in the middle of the day to pick up a sick child or for a particular activity and you want to reduce the stress and the time you spend in traffic as much as possible


3- The Right School for your Child:

Not every school is for every child. It is important that you know what your child’s interests are and where his/her strengths and weaknesses lay. Some schools have an academic focus, others give more importance to sports, art or music, there are many different teaching methods, and you should focus on the one that best suits your son or daughter.

Once you are clear about these three aspects, you can start doing your research and selecting the schools that seem to fit your criteria, request an interview and get all necessary information before settling for one.

Here’s a list of some of the best private schools in Santa Ana, Escazú and Cariari, perhaps one of these will be a good fit for your family:


Private Schools in Escazú

Blue Valley:   Founded in 1989 this school offers a strong American curriculum and Spanish program. Their academic offer starts at 3.5 years of age with a Montessori philosophy and extends through grade 12 with International Baccalaureate. They have beautiful infrastructure and they offer both the Costa Rican calendar and American calendar as options for their students. Costs: $600-$1200 a month depending on the grade and it requires a one-time enrollment fee.

Arandú: This is a small school in San Rafael, Escazú, entirely bilingual, it opened doors in 1996 as a preschool and has grown to include now high-school. They strive to offer a comprehensive program where children learn about art, music, philosophy, among others. Costs: N/A

St. Mary: Located in Guachipelín, Escazú, it was founded in 1979. Academic levels go from preschool to IB. They have small groups of 25 students per level tops. They offer a complete Spanish-English curriculum and they teach catholic values. Costs: N/A

Mount View: Also in Guachipelín, Escazú, this school has quickly gained a reputation as a good school at an affordable price. The school takes a comprehensive approach giving importance not just to the academic offer but also to the social, moral and religious values; it also organizes different events to incorporate the family in the learning process. Prices

West College: This school offers personalized attention. It promotes the respect of different ideological and religious beliefs, and forms students in ethical and human values. They go from preschool to high school and the option of dual diploma. Costs: $400-$600 monthly tuition depending on the grade

Lighthouse: This is a Christian school that focuses on raising children with academic excellence and strong emotional and personal skills that will allow them to succeed in the world.

Close-by recommendations:

The British School: Located in Pavas, it is one of the preferred schools for expats. IB program and strong academics.

Humboldt School: Located in Rohrmoser, this is a trilingual school (Spanish-English-German). Spacious campus with pool. Costs: $700-$900.00


Private Schools in Santa Ana

St. Jude: Academic levels from preschool to IB. Spacious and modern infrastructure. Strong academic program. Different sports programs and catholic values. Cost $700-$900.00 depending on the grade.

Tree of Life: Trilingual school, (Spanish-English-Mandarin), the school is relatively new but has grown quickly, it offers an innovative teaching method with open classrooms, they teach children by allowing them to do things by themselves and encourage them to be innovative and creative.

Franz Liszt Schule: Trilingual school (Spanish, English, German), preschool through high school, with a strong focus in their art and music program.

Others: Connell Academy and Berkeley Academy

Close- by recommendations:

Pan American School: Located, in San Antonio de Belén, Heredia, the school has a beautiful and modern campus, it offers academic levels from preschool to IB. Entirely bilingual, dual degree, American calendar, personalized attention. Costs: from $600-$1200.00

St. Paul: Spacious campus in San Rafael, Alajuela; swimming lessons, bilingual, catholic values. Strong sports program and English-Spanish curriculum. Costs: from $600-$900.00


Private Schools Near Cariari

American International School: Preschool through 12th grade. Founded in 1970, this is a small school of close to 260 students in total. They work with the American calendar and have children from many different nationalities which helps provide a multicultural experience. Small, family-oriented environment. Advanced placement courses for US college credit, curriculum aligned with U.S.


Close-by recommendation:


Country Day: This school used to be in Escazú, but recently transferred to a new campus in Hacienda Espinal, San Rafael de Alajuela. This is the US accredited school in Costa Rica, it follows an American curriculum and calendar.


Would you like to do an orientation tour through Costa Rica before making relocating to Costa Rica? Ask our agents at Expat Housing Costa Rica for an orientation tour.  Also for short-term and long term housing options – – +506 6255 7577.