What is it Like to Live in Costa Rica?This is What National Geographic Says About our Country

    Hospitality, security, directions, use of English, are some of the topics analyzed

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    In its Travel edition, the prestigious international magazine National Geographic recounted what it is like to live in the country of “Pura Vida”.The journalist José Alejandro Adamuz detailed in an article in the publication his experience on the beach, but also in the city and other points.

    These are the observations he made at various points:


    The friendliness and hospitality of Costa Ricans are aspects that define the experience of traveling in Costa Rica, especially for those who decide to travel alone. The usual warmth and friendly treatment of people creates a welcoming atmosphere, making travelers feel safe and cared for.


    Costa Rica’s reputation as one of the safest countries in Latin America is real. Yes, even in Chepe. They have been one of the favorite destinations for North American tourists for years and this is evident in the hotel infrastructure. Additionally, the efficient and affordable public transportation system makes it easy to get anywhere in the country. (…) There, if you tell the driver to let you know when he is close to the place you are going, you can be sure that he will let you know. Not only him, surely everyone in the passage will do the same.


    Exploring Costa Rica by car provides a unique freedom to discover stunning landscapes at your own pace. You never know when a Caribbean sunset is going to make you want to stay on the beach until the night dragonflies appear. However, it is crucial to take precautions, such as avoiding stopping in lonely places in case of mechanical problems. It is advisable to always use navigation devices, in addition to renting a 4×4 because they perform well on any road and situation. Sometimes the terrain in Costa Rica can be more adventurous than one expects (or would like).


    You have to try pejibaye, jocote or mamón. I remember what they told me once in a fruit shop: Everything from Costa Rico, only the grapes are from Peru. Costa Rican gastronomy is a feast for the senses, with influences from Latin and Caribbean cuisine.

    Drinking water

    This is a small detail that fascinated me: not depending on finding a store to buy bottled water to drink. Although bottled water is more recommended for short-stay travelers to avoid possible gastrointestinal problems, when you have been in Costa Rica for a while, you can drink tap water without a problem.

    Connection with other travelers

    The demand for security, hospitality and nature makes Costa Rica a country where many travelers tend to converge, so the ease of meeting people along the way skyrockets and is one of the biggest secrets of traveling alone through Costa Rica. Hostels and hostels become ideal meeting points for socializing.

    Challenge Directions

    The peculiar address system in Costa Rica, based on physical reference points, sometimes with the added problem that they can be references from the past, ranging from a church, a bar, a grocery store or a school, can be disconcerting for Travellers. Although in San José, for example, the streets and avenues are numbered, people usually give the address “tico”.

    Spanish, Tico and English

    As in the rest of Central America, the predominant language is Spanish. However, Costa Rica has a long tradition of receiving American tourists, so it is normal for English to be used in the tourism ecosystem for much more than just announcing vacant rooms. It may not be something to take into account for Spanish travelers, but it is one of the reasons why Costa Rica welcomes so many travelers from all over the world: it is easy to communicate with Ticos.

    Pure Life dude

    “Puravida” is not just an expression or a cliché, but an entire way of life in Costa Rica. Used to greet, say thank you or say goodbye, it represents a philosophy of a relaxed, calm and happy life, anyone’s dream. This mentality positive transcends from orality to the travel experience.

    Resonance Costa Rica
    At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. Visit and subscribe at Resonance Costa Rica Youtube Channel
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