Costa Rica

Discover the real Costa Rica

costa rica culture

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Are you planning a visit to Costa Rica? It is a good idea to know at least a bit about the culture before visiting so you can get a better idea of exactly what to expect.

Cultural Differences in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica you will need to relax. The national motto here is “Pura Vida” which directly translates to “pure life.” Here it is used more as a way of saying “all is good.” 

Sometimes you will deal with bad traffic jams, waiting in lines at the bank for over an hour, cancelled activities due to the weather, etc. Of you adopt the Pura Vida attitude and try to take it all lightly than you are guaranteed to have a great visit.

Celebrating Holidays in Costa Rica

One of the best ways to embrace the Costa Rican culture is by celebrating holidays as a local. In Costa Rica you can expect to celebrate holidays you are familiar with such as Christmas and Easter, but there are also some holidays that you probably have never experienced before.

Check out our guide to Costa Rican holidays for a complete calendar of holidays and how you can join n the celebrations. 

church cartago

Travel Tip

All towns in Costa Rica celebrate important national holidays. However, we have found that the biggest celebrations to be in the main cities such as San Jose, Cartago, Alajuela, Limon, and Liberia.

independence day

Costa Rican Food and DRinks

One of the best ways to experience the Costa Rican culture is by enjoying some traditional Costa Rican food and drinks. Two of our favorites are Costa Rican breakfast and ceviche.

Check out our guide to all the traditional food you should try in Costa Rica for more yummy food tips. 

Also, if you would like to try some crazy fruits which you probably have never seen before, check out our guide to fruits in Costa Rica.

Language in Costa Rica

Spanish is the main language in Costa Rica. However, due to the large amount of tourists, many Costa Ricans understand at least some English. English is the second most taught language in Costa Rica. This is followed by French, German, Italian and Chinese.

Travel Tip

Would you like to fully embrace the Costa Rican culture by moving here? It is definitely an amazing place to live. We absolutely love it here!

You can read about our moving experience and tips in our guide to relocating to Costa Rica

poas volcano

Costa Rican Souvenirs

Costa Rica is filled with great places to buy cultural Costa Rican presents. In many towns you will find artists selling unique products at art stalls. However, one of our favorite cultural souvenirs to buy is coffee. Almost everybody loves quality Costa Rican coffee as a present.

Find out more great ideas in our guide to Costa Rican souvenirs


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