President Michael D Higgins has begun a two-day visit to Costa Rica.

He was scheduled to meet Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, and to  deliver an address to the Interamerican Court of Human Rights, which is located in the capital San Jose.

Costa Rica is the most stable country in Central America.

Costa Ricans enjoy average incomes far higher than their counterparts in neighbouring countries and the country has led the way in developing eco-tourism projects.

It abolished its army in the 1940s so the guard of honour greeting President Higgins was drawn from the police force.