The citizens of Costa Rica have much to celebrate, besides just the surrounding beauty of their landscape. As a society with that was built with multicultural influences, Costa Rica cultural activities are rich, abundant, and unique. Ticos are known for being friendly and welcoming visitors with open arms, so you can rest assured that you will be accepted at any celebration, festival, or dance floor.
Whether your time in Costa Rica is short, or an extended stay, there are so many activities that you can do to immerse yourself in the culture. There are celebrations that mark community activities, such as a new harvest season or an art fair, and there are also many religious celebrations at the local churches. Of course, there are also festivities to mark holidays and other historical and religious events. December is by far the most jam-packed with festivals and celebrations, including fireworks, caroling, carnivals, parades and light shows across the country. February and March also have exciting calendars. February has many festivals that focus on storytelling, competitions, and music. March sees the country celebrating food, tradition, and flowers.
While these festivals and celebrations are spectacular, there are more understated ways to experience the Costa Rica culture too.
One of the most surefire ways to experience the culture of Costa Rica is to speak the language. If you are just passing through the country, you might want to take a full day, or a couple of half day, classes to try to pick up the basics of Spanish. Where better to apply your lessons then to head out to a market or restaurant where you can try out words and phrases on the locals? If you are staying in Costa Rica long term opt for a homestay program with a local family, while you go to a Language School. It is a great way to really immerse yourself in the language and culture of Costa Rica.
Costa Rica celebrates more than just art with its many museums. The country also has a Crime Museum, Stamp Museum, and Kids Museum. Art museums are more common, or course, and feature some of the most important works in Costa Rica history. The biggest museums include the National Art Museum, the Gold Museum, and the Jade Museum.
Costa Rica is known for its many religious celebrations and pilgrimages, and the churches of the country are as beautiful as the locals’ faith. From standing churches with incredible architecture and stunning décor, to ruins that invoke a sense of history, there are churches across the country that will give visitors a sense of the culture of Costa Rica.
Costa Rica coffee is famous worldwide, and those beans are also a significant part of the country’s culture. Being the livelihood of so many locals, coffee plantations are a big part of the Costa Rican economy and society. Taking a coffee tour will give you a look into the everyday life of Ticos, and as a bonus you’re likely going to get one heck of a cup ‘o Joe!
Soccer is to Costa Rica what football is to us in America; it is the national sport of the country. As a visitor, you can head to casual or professional games. Costa Ricans love the sport, and the games bring friends, families, and tourists together for a little fun. As a popular sport, it is also played outside of the stadiums. You might see children and adults playing a pick-up game in fields, lots, or other public places. If you know the rules of soccer, you should see if you can join in!
Dance and Cooking Lessons
If you go out dancing in Costa Rica, you’re going to see some fast feet and swinging hips. If you find yourself impressed and jealous – just go take a class at a local community center or language school! You’ll be learning from the best, and you can go out and hit the town to try out your new moves.
If you are in heaven every time you eat out in Costa Rica, you might be sad thinking about how you have to leave it all behind. But, do you really have to? Nope! While you are visiting, take advantage of the local experts by signing up for a cooking class! You can learn the basics of Costa Rican cooking and apply those lessons to your own kitchen back home.
The other way to experience Costa Rica is to, well, just to experience it! Get out and walk the streets and do some people-watching. Observe the locals in their natural state and everyday lives. Don’t shy away from excursions to exotic locations that attract local and national attention. See as much as you can!