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Punta Banco

Plenty of adventure is awaiting you in Costa Rica, a tropical gem that offers exploration via foot, rope, horseback and surfboard. If you enjoy lush vegetation, fresh food, genuine people, you will enjoy the ‘Rich Coast’. Situated in Central America, this country is known for their mantra ‘pura vida’, which means pure life. It is unique, as it is used by both locals and tourists in an inclusive fashion that will make even the most novel traveler feel comforted. If you do not know exactly what to say, USUALLY you can chant ‘pura vida’, which most times is met with smiles and echoes of the same sweet sentiment.

Their motto is reflective of their lifestyle. While rolling on the bus, over the mountains and hills, one sees sporadic houses lining the road, families outside, children playing with one another, front doors wide open, up until and after the sun goes down. Wi-fi is just not that important here, as it is much more important to connect with nature and other people. If your current lifestyle has been more materialistic or complex than desired, it’s time to pack your bags for Costa!

Important dates in Costa Rica

January 1st: New Year’s Day

March/April: Easter Week

April 11: Juan Santamaria Day

May 1st: Labor Day

July 25: Annexation of Guanacaste Day

Aug 2: Patron Saint Day

Aug. 15: Mother’s Day

Sept. 15: Independence Day

Oct 12 (entire weekend): Limon Carnaval

Nov. 2: Dia de los Inocentes

Dec. 24: Christmas eve

Dec. 25: Christmas Day

 

To look at a complete list of all holidays, click here.

Costa Rica

Central America

Spanish

Costa Rican colón

Interesting facts

  • Costa Rica hosts more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity even though its landmass only takes up .03% of the planets surface.

 

  • The average wage laborer is about $10 per day, the highest in Central America.

 

  • Costa Rica abolished its standing army in 1948 — a fact which some assume has led to the overall happy population that resides within the country.

Good to know



When traveling with a passport, citizens of the United States, Canada, and most Latin American and European countries are allowed to stay in Costa Rica for 90 days.

Tourist visa accessibility depends on your nationality, purpose of visit, country of residence and duration of stay. Visa requirements are based on international agreements or treaties. However,  the visa does not guarantee entry to Costa Rica and, as in the United States, this depends on the immigration officer upon arrival. Visa application form here: form

Don’t get caught unprepared as you very well might have to pay an exit visa fee when leaving Costa Rica. While most airlines have incorporated this cost into their ticket, some do not, so be sure to budget this amount into your itinerary. Don’t expect to see many beggars within the country, as Costa Ricans get paid at a higher rate than most Central American countries.

Culture in Costa Rica

The influence of the culture for this region comes from the Caribbean, North and South America. The locals, who are endearingly called Ticos, are very proud of their heritage and enjoy conversing with foreigners about family, politics, education, peace and their homeland. Speaking of interaction between locals, when asked how you are doing, it’s common to state pura vida, which translates to full of life, in this particular instance. This word, used in many contexts, is as fluid as water. Ticos use it to answer ‘how are you?’, to reply to a ‘thanks’, and just to express joy.

You won’t have a hard time making friends with the Ticos, as they are friendly humans who take pride in their piece of paradise. When it comes to punctuality, you can expect lateness, as it is just a slice of the culture. In order to conserve the beautiful nature of ‘chill’ that exists in Costa Rica, the lack of awareness and recognition of time’s importance needs to be peacefully accepted. When traveling by bus, just make sure you are planning for a possible 2-hour delay.

If you plan to venture through the rainforests it’s best to bring bug spray, long pants and a hat. Creepy crawly bugs are not strangers to this area. For those who enjoy soaking up the rays in the beach zone, relaxed attire is very much welcome here.

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