Surge in American medical tourists visiting Costa Rica
Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. Most of them are American and Canadian, according to the country's tourism institute.
Of that number, almost 15,000 of them travelled for dental care, said Massimo Manzi, director at Promed, the council for international promotion of medicine in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica competes for medical tourists with the likes of India, Brazil, Panama and Mexico, and its proximity to the United States gives it an advantage over Asian and South American destinations.