Costa Rican Culture

Learn more about Costa Rican traditions, customs, history, art, literature, people, and much more.

Costa Rica celebrates life, both human and otherwise; innovative sustainability initiatives protect its tropical jungles, misty cloud forests, and fantastic biodiversity while the absence of a standing army reflects the country’s commitment to peace. It’s a unique place for enjoying “pura vida” or pure life, a phrase locals use for everything from greetings to saying thank you or even “cool.”

In a land of lush natural landscapes, appetizing culinary traditions, and a thriving arts scene, it’s no wonder that Costa Ricans are known for loving life. The small country sandwiched between the Caribbean and the Pacific is also known for its fresh seafood, particularly in the form of ceviche, along with fresh fruits and coffee. The most popular sport is soccer and national team matches are widely-viewed events.  

San José, the capital city, is a hub of Costa Rican culture with a growing network of theatres and museums. It's a modern city with bustling commerce and unique expressions of art and architecture. The central valley city of Alajuela and the city of Limon right on the Caribbean are also popular destinations.

Discover history, tradition, art & holidays