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5 habits you would want to know when traveling to Costa Rica

As any other country you will find good and bad habits, but it depends on how you take them. Here are some that I found interesting in Costa Rican culture:

 

Chill out, ticos embrace the “Pura Vida”

When ticos say chill out, they really mean it!

I have to admit that Costa Rican people are really cool and kind. Most of them are always willing to help you and they seem very happy people, so it may not be a coincidence that Costa Rica was catalogued as the Happiest Country in the world.

Costa Rican culture is much about being happy with what you have and just relax. You won’t hear many cars honking or stressed people in the streets.

 Hammock at Avellanas,  Tiguepatrick  2008. 

Hammock at Avellanas, Tiguepatrick 2008. 

Costa Ricans are very familiar

Costa Rican people plan a lot of familiar parties where comes big part of the family, this seems to be a tradition as they are really familiar. So it’s normal if you end up dancing with an aunt and eating the famous “arroz con pollo” in the party.

It is also normal to see that sons stay living with their parents until they are older than what could be average in other countries.

There are a lot of small business

You can see a lot of small business down the street. The famous “sodas” are a common small business in Costa Rica. It consists in a small restaurant that sells traditional and fast food. Most of them have the “casado” which have rice, beans, ripe plantain and a meat (it could be fish, chicken or beef).

But it doesn't just applies to food, you'll find lots of clothes and home goods stores where you can buy very affordable pieces you won't find everywhere else, like it happens when you buy at the same store all your friends go to.

 CueroPapel&Tijera.

CueroPapel&Tijera.

There aren't enough trash cans

This is obviously not a good thing, there are not still enough trash cans in main cities as the center of San José, Heredia or Alajuela. if you decide to go walking down the street be prepared to keep your trash in your bag because you won’t find many trash cans.

On the other hand, when visiting shopping centers, most of them separate waste to recycle and help the environment. 

 Recycling bins in an indigenous community, 2015,  Diana Crandall

Recycling bins in an indigenous community, 2015, Diana Crandall

There is a slow culture

Specially if you come from a big city like New York City, Costa Ricans are slow. Do not expect a fast service, it is normal entering a store and find the personal talking like they don’t care that you are waiting to be attended. Don't take it personal, it's just that people aren't as fast paced.

Ticos do things slowly in their works, they do not walk really fast, they eat slow and more things you will discover it when coming here.

 Crafts market, San José.

Crafts market, San José.

LifestyleWanda Wanderlust