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San José’s Best Schools Your Insiders Guide

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Table of Contents:

  • International Schools: Firstly explore schools that offer globally-focused education, preparing students for success in an interconnected world.
  • Local Schools: Secondly learn about institutions that emphasize Costa Rican culture and traditions, fostering a sense of community and identity.
  • Religious Schools: Thirdly educational options grounded in faith traditions, promoting spiritual, moral, and intellectual growth.
  • Specialized Schools: Fourthly delve into institutions tailored to specific interests, talents, or educational needs, offering focused programs for student success.


We know, it can be very difficult, choosing a school in a big city like San José. It can feel like a needle in a haystack. But no worries, we at RE/MAX have done all the research for you. Luckily we have pinned down San José’s best schools that fit all types of students and families.

Welcome to our San José’s Best Schools guide. We’ll take you on a journey through San José, the capital of Costa Rica, uncovering private schools in each area. All in all will ensure that your child’s education stands out and is truly worth your investment.

In essence, our approach goes beyond mere categorization, as we highlight the cream of the crop within each genre. In view of religious schools with a strong sense of community compared to local schools deeply rooted in Costa Rican culture. Further we’ll showcase the best options based on the most important criteria such as cost, reputation, facilities, and academic excellence.

map of costa rica that has a pin on san jose best schools

Who & Why Read This Blog?

In this guide to San José’s best schools, our mission is to equip you with the knowledge and insights necessary to make well-informed decisions regarding your child’s education. Whether you’re embarking on your search for the perfect school or seeking to refine your options. At last our detailed profiles of Costa Rica’s top private schools aim to guide you toward the ideal fit for your family’s educational journey.

San José, the bustling capital of Costa Rica, stands as a beacon of vibrant culture and abundant educational opportunities. Presently as the largest city in the country, San José boasts a rich tapestry of private schools. Overall each school cateres to diverse educational needs and preferences.

Within this blog, we will delve into San José’s best schools. It will offer invaluable insights into their distinctive offerings and commitment to academic excellence. By all means join us as we uncover the educational treasures nestled within the dynamic landscape of this captivating city!

International Schools

Royal School

Description: The International Royal School provides a vibrant educational setting dedicated to nurturing global citizens. With a focus on academic excellence and cultural diversity. By all means they empower students to thrive in an interconnected world.


  • Reputation: renowned for its holistic approach to education and commitment to environmental sustainability. Different from others, International Royal School, has built a strong reputation for academic excellence and student development.
  • Facilities: boasts modern facilities equipped with state-of-the-art technology, providing students with optimal learning environments. From well-equipped classrooms to specialized areas for art, sports, and music. Even more they offer a diverse range of resources to support student growth and exploration.
  • Academic Excellence: the curriculum is designed to foster academic excellence while nurturing students’ talents and interests. With a focus on interdisciplinary learning and innovative teaching methodologies. Lastly they prepare students to excel academically and become lifelong learners.

Tuition fees: ~$4.000 a year

Website: International Royal School

Country Day School Costa Rica

Description: Country Day School Costa Rica offers a dynamic educational environment that fosters academic achievement and personal growth. Specifically they are commited to excellence and innovation, students are prepared to excel in a rapidly changing world.


  • Reputation: International Royal School has earned a reputation for academic excellence and preparing students for success in a changing world.
  • Facilities: The campus offers modern facilities and resources to support academic and extracurricular activities.
  • Academic Excellence: The rigorous curriculum and personalized instruction prepare students for college and beyond.

Tuition fees: range from $14,560 to $19,988 yearly depending on the grade level.

Website: Country Day School Costa Rica

The British School of Costa Rica

Description: The British School of Costa Rica, particularly students are inspired and empowered to become lifelong learners and responsible global citizens. Through a rigorous academic curriculum, personalized learning experiences, and a supportive community. In brief they value diversity and respect, as well foster growth and success for all our students.


  • Reputation: With over four decades of experience, the BSCR has established itself as a leader in educational innovation and excellence. All in all earning a reputation for fostering a culture of academic excellence and personalized learning.
  • Facilities: The school boasts a favorable teacher-student ratio of 1:9 and maintains small class sizes. Hence allowing for personalized attention and fostering an optimal learning environment.
  • Academic Excellence: The BSCR provides a rigorous academic curriculum, including the National Baccalaureate (NB), International Baccalaureate (IB), and International Primary Curriculum (IPC). Chiefly ensuring students receive a comprehensive and enriching education.

Tuition fees: range from $12.396 to $ 15.960 yearly depending on the grade-level.

Website: The British School of Costa Rica

Local Schools

St. Mary School

Description: a high-quality bilingual education enriched with sports, culture, ecology, as well as technology, fostering innovative leaders with strong moral values and academic excellence. Empowering students to become compassionate leaders, innovative thinkers, and equally lifelong learners committed to making a positive impact in their communities and beyond.


  • Reputation: St. Mary School has over 45 years of experience and is known for its commitment to providing a high-quality bilingual education, innovative learning models, and also strong moral values.
  • Facilities: St. Mary School offers modern facilities equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including classrooms, laboratories, sports facilities, and recreational areas.
  • Academic Excellence: The school provides a comprehensive educational experience, integrating sports, culture, ecology, and technology into its curriculum. Lastly, it offers the National Baccalaureate and the Diploma Program in the International Baccalaureate. This ensures academic excellence and preparation for future success.

Tuition fees: range from $8.767 to $11.330 yearly depending on the grade-level.

Website: St. Mary School Website

Saint Gabriel Elementary and High School:

Description: With over 46 years of experience, Saint Gabriel Elementary offers a holistic education emphasizing academic excellence and values. Another key point is that the curriculum integrates STEAM education, fostering critical thinking and creativity.


  • Holistic Education: Curriculum integrates STEAM education, fostering critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.
  • Global Recognition: Saint Gabriel offers globally recognized certifications from the University of Cambridge and DynEd, enhancing students’ credentials and opportunities.
  • Inclusive Learning Environment: Lastly it provides an inclusive and supportive learning environment where students can thrive socially, emotionally, and academically, promoting personal growth and development.

Tuition fees: not public, contact the school for further information.

Website: Saint Gabriel Elementary and High School

Religious Schools

Lighthouse International School

Description: Lighthouse International School is committed to offering the rising generation a comprehensive academic foundation, a broad worldview, and a moral compass that will guide them personally. As has been noted their vision is to enable students to give back to the world with intelligence, confidence, integrity, and kindness. International educational program, within a Christian-values learning environment, provides families with a strong ally and partner in the raising of well-rounded citizens.


  • Academic Excellence: Lighthouse International School offers a rigorous academic curriculum that prepares students for success in various educational pathways. Presently this includes US, IB, and MEP diplomas.
  • Global Perspective: Through a broad worldview integrated into the curriculum. In brief students at Lighthouse International School gain an understanding of diverse cultures and perspectives, fostering global citizenship.
  • Graduation Rates: With a focus on student success, Lighthouse International School boasts high graduation rates for both local and US diplomas. In conclusion this ensures students are well-prepared for their future endeavors.

Tuition fees: range from $5.540 to $9.029 yearly depending on the grade-level.

Website: Lighthouse Education

International Christian School

Description: International Christian School (ICS) offers PK-11 education with a focus on critical thinking and lifelong learning skills in English and Spanish. The school aims to cultivate knowledgeable, principled, balanced, and caring leaders with a sense of global responsibility. Students thrive in a supportive community, guided by dedicated faculty. Further the curriculum includes options for the International Baccalaureate (IB) or National Baccalaureate programs from ninth grade.


  • Academic Excellence: International Christian School offers a choice between the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the National Baccalaureate programs. In general provides students with a diverse range of academic opportunities. With a strong emphasis on developing well-rounded individuals, the school prepares students to excel academically while also nurturing their personal and spiritual growth.
  • Christian Values: Rooted in Christian principles, ICS is committed to instilling moral values and ethical principles in our students. So, the vision is to cultivate knowledgeable, principled, balanced, and caring leaders who are equipped to navigate the complexities of a globalized world with integrity and compassion.
  • Supportive Community: “From the moment you step through our doors, you’ll experience the warmth and support of our tight-knit community.” In summary the dedicated faculty and staff are deeply invested in the success and well-being of each student, providing personalized attention and guidance to help them reach their fullest potential.

Tuition fees: not public, contact the school for further information.

Website: International Christian School

Specialized Needs School

Humboldt School:

Description: Humboldt School is an esteemed educational institution renowned for its academic excellence and commitment to fostering a trilingual and bicultural environment. Rooted in a humanistic approach to education, Humboldt School provides relevant training undoubtedly contemporary life, embracing social diversity.


  • Academic Excellence: Humboldt School is dedicated to maintaining high academic standards, ensuring students receive a rigorous and comprehensive education.
  • Comprehensive Learning: The school emphasizes holistic learning, encompassing academic, cultural, and as well as personal development to prepare students for success in a globalized world.
  • Multilingualism and Intercultural Encounter: With its focus on trilingual education and a diverse student body. Humboldt School fosters an environment where students can engage with different languages and cultures, promoting intercultural understanding.
  • Values and Ethics: Humboldt School places a strong emphasis on instilling values ​​and ethics, nurturing students to become responsible global citizens.

Tuition fees: starts at $10.828 for the first year of entry.

Website: Humboldt School

San José Unified School District

Description: San José Unified School District prioritizes inclusive education for all students, ensuring equal access to grade-level curriculum. It are many schools that you can choose from the network. With specialized programs such as Science/Environmental Elementary Magnet School and International Baccalaureate (IB). They foster environments where diversity is celebrated and academic excellence is pursued.


  • Academic Rigor: With a curriculum aligned to California’s Common Core State Standards. Students receive a rigorous academic experience that prepares them for college and the workforce.
  • Specialized Programs: Offering diverse programs such as Science/Environmental Elementary Magnet School and International Baccalaureate (IB). Students have access to specialized learning pathways that cater to their interests and talents.
  • Community Engagement: San José Unified fosters a strong sense of community engagement, encouraging collaboration between students, parents, teachers, and the broader community to support student success and holistic development.

Tuition fees: varies from school to school of San Sosé Unified.

Website: San José Unified School District

Santa Clara County Office of Education

Description: The Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) Special Education Department supports students with disabilities from birth to age 22. Offering services across early education, preschool, elementary, secondary, and post-senior programs. They align curriculum goals with California Content Standards and Preschool Learning Foundations. Students receive instruction in the regular core curriculum and participate in state testing programs, with specialized services available for those who are blind, visually impaired, or have additional disabilities.


  • Comprehensive Support: SCCOE’s Special Education Department offers a continuum of services. From early education to post-senior programs, ensuring that students with disabilities receive support throughout their educational journey.
  • Aligned Curriculum: All instructional programs are aligned with California Content Standards and Preschool Learning Foundations. This ensures that students have access to high-quality curriculum that prepares them for academic success.
  • Inclusive Learning Environment: SCCOE operates classes on public school campuses, fostering an inclusive learning environment where students with special needs can learn alongside their peers.

Tuition fees: not public, contact the school for further information.

Website: SCCOE

Conclusion of The San José’s Best Schools Guide

As we conclude our comprehensive guide about San José’s best schools, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for joining us on this educational journey. We trust that our detailed exploration of the diverse array of private schools in this vibrant city has provided you with valuable insights and clarity in your quest to find the ideal match for your child’s educational needs.

From internationally acclaimed institutions to locally rooted establishments. In essence each school showcased in our guide offers a unique blend of academic excellence, cultural enrichment, and personalized attention. It is our sincerest hope that you have discovered a school that resonates with your family’s values, aspirations, and educational goals.

As you embark on this new chapter of your child’s academic journey, we encourage you to embrace the wealth of opportunities and experiences that San José’s best schools have to offer. May your selection pave the way for a fulfilling and enriching educational experience, nurturing your child’s growth, curiosity, and potential.

Finally, we thank you for entrusting us with the privilege of guiding you through this important decision-making process. Here’s to the future success and happiness of your child in their chosen educational path!

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