Every year, thousands of people flock to Costa Rica to see its incredible stretches of beach, lush jungles and rainforests, and majestic mountain ranges. But what are the people like? Come with me and let's find out!
Costa Ricans are often referred to as Ticos, a word derived from hermanticos, which means little brothers. This sums up the essence of the Costa Rican people really well, as they value family, community and togetherness.
Most of Costa Rica's 4 million inhabitants are of Spanish and Native American descent, which means there are a lot of traditions and cultural nuances that are still observed today. Spanish is the primary language here, but six distinct indigenous languages have survived over time, and are still spoken by some residents. Although the general population is not especially religious, Catholicism is the main religion of the country, and there are churches of various sizes throughout Costa Rica's towns and cities.
Generally, Ticos are a warm, friendly and welcoming people. Since tourism is such an important part of the country's economy, many Costa Ricans are very hospitable. Ticos are also extremely polite, and will often go to great lengths to avoid directly saying no to people, which can be a little confusing for some tourists! Ticos are also typically very patient, and tend to take things easy. This doesn't mean they don't work hard - as anyone who's ever worked on a coffee plantation can tell you! - but rather the pace and lifestyle of the Costa Rican people is a little less intense than some visitors may be used to.
As a people, Costa Ricans place a lot of emphasis on the importance of community, and families are often very large. Music and food play an integral role in many family functions and public gatherings, and the preparation of traditional meals is often just as important as the fiesta itself!
Visitors who enjoy sports may want to brush up on their knowledge of the rules of soccer, as the game is extremely popular here. The locals that tourists meet on their vacations here may even invite them to join in a game.
A vacation to this tropical paradise could be an ideal way to get to know the Costa Rican people a little better, and learn more about this fascinating country.
Enjoy the natural and man-made sounds of Costa Rica
Costa Rica's military past
Take a surf trip along Costa Rica's southern Pacific Coast