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Experience Costa Rican culture

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Although best-known for its tropical rainforests, miles of sandy beaches and stunning variety of exotic wildlife, Costa Rica is also a richly cultural country. With many historic and artistic influences, Costa Rica has a wealth of attractions to offer visitors who want to explore this fascinating destination and learn more about its people.

A sense of history

The culture of Costa Rica has been heavily influenced by Spain, but has a rich history of its own. One of the world's oldest democracies, Costa Rica was inhabited largely by Mesoamerican and Andean people until Spanish colonization in the 18th century. This blend of native culture and European influence is evident today, from the architecture in cities such as San Jose to the art in the capital's many galleries.

A world of art and music

Thousands of visitors flock to Costa Rica every year to wander among the stunning tropical rainforests and bask in the sunshine on one of the country's pristine beaches. However, for tourists who want to experience the real Costa Rica, a visit promises a rich variety of art and music for travelers to enjoy.

The galleries and museums of Costa Rica feature artwork by renowned native painters and sculptors such as Jose Maria Figueroa, Faustino Montes de Oca, Felipe Valentini, Ibo Bonilla, Max Jimenez, Jorge Jimenez Deredia and Domingo Ramos. The range of styles, techniques and subjects of the work make for fascinating viewing, and provides tourists with a unique glimpse into how the culture of Costa Rica has evolved and diversified.

Traditional music in Costa Rica was largely shaped by the Mayan cultures of Nicaragua, the country's neighbor to the north. Deriving further influence from the Afro-Caribbean cultures of the east, Costa Rican music has grown and changed, taking on a unique sound and cultural history.

Peace, tolerance and education

Although famed around the world for their laid-back lifestyle and friendly, welcoming demeanor, Costa Ricans - known colloquially as Ticos - place great value on the importance of education and democracy. Unlike some other Latin American nations, much of the country is literate, and Costa Rica permanently abolished its military more than 60 years ago.

With so much to offer and a colorful past, Costa Rica is the ideal destination for tourists who want to explore the fascinating history of Latin America amid some of the most stunning scenery found anywhere on Earth.
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Costa Rica culture offers visitors a rich destination to learn more about its people.