Despite being a Central American country, Costa Rica has carried the influences of the Spanish settlers since they arrived in the Central Valley. Therefore, the country combines the practices, beliefs, and traditions of the people until today.
But aside from being an agricultural land, Costa Rica has more to offer—especially for tourists. As it opens its borders to people, tourists can find a few things they can do, appreciate, and enjoy in the country. But what facts should tourists know about Costa Rica and its people?
- Devout Catholics
Costa Rica is predominantly Catholic, with over 70% of the population of the faith. The Catholic Church has been a prominent part of the country’s culture since the Spanish colonization. The presence of the Church is still felt in the country’s festivals, customs, and traditions.
One of the most prominent celebrations in Costa Rica is Semana Santa or Holy Week. The Catholic Church celebrates the last week of Jesus’ life this week. Traditional activities, such as processions, special masses, and religious plays, mark the celebrations.
- Afro-American Population
Costa Rica is home to a vibrant Afro-Caribbean community, concentrating on the Caribbean coast of the country, particularly in the provinces of Limon and Puntarenas. The Afro-Caribbean people in Costa Rica are descendants of enslaved Africans brought to the country in the 17th century.
The Afro-Caribbean culture has heavily influenced music, art, and cuisine in Costa Rica. The country’s traditional music is a mix of African and Caribbean rhythms. Popular dishes such as rondon, a stew, and patacones, fried plantains, are also of Afro-Caribbean origin.
- Spanish as Lingua Franca
Spanish is the official language of Costa Rica and the most widely spoken language in the country. It is estimated that 95% of Costa Ricans are fluent in Spanish. The language is used daily by businesses and the government for education and the media.
Spanish is also the lingua franca of Costa Rica. It is the language used by people of different ethnic backgrounds when communicating, especially true of the Afro-Caribbean population, who often speak Spanish with a distinct Caribbean accent.
- High Literacy Rate
Costa Rica has a high literacy rate of 96.7%, one of the highest in Latin America and the world. The literacy rate is higher among women than men, with 98.2% of women being literate compared to 95.3% of men. Education is highly valued in Costa Rica.
The government puts a lot of effort into providing quality education, from preschool to university. Costa Rica also has one of Latin America’s highest university enrollment rates. More than half of the population aged 25 and older has a high school diploma or higher.
- Culinary Getaway
Costa Rica is an excellent destination for foodies looking for a culinary getaway. The country’s cuisine mixes Central American, Caribbean, and Spanish flavors. It’s known for using fresh, local ingredients such as beans, rice, and tropical fruits.
Popular dishes include gallo pinto (rice and beans), tamales, and ceviche. Seafood is prevalent, as are local specialties like chifrijo (a mix of rice, beans, and pork) and olla de carne (a stew made of beef, potatoes, and carrots).
Costa Rica is the perfect destination for first-time tourists in the Central Americas. If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation, Costa Rica is the ideal spot. Spend the day lounging on the beach and soaking up the sun, or take a yoga class and find your inner peace. Whether you’re looking for an adventure or a relaxing getaway, Costa Rica is the perfect destination.
Tierra Magnífica is the perfect destination to experience this beautifully rich country, both in culture and cuisine. Their award-winning, restaurant features dishes made with traditional recipes from every province of the country. Located in an authentic Costa Rican beach community unspoiled by large hotels or resorts, guess that Tierra Magnifica will enjoy the true Costa Rica charm. Look at your room by clicking here and get ready for your new best ever vacation.