Countless travel writers have written about the joys of experiencing the local culture of various places around the world. As a holiday traveler though, it can be intimidating trying to make friends or experience new things without some prior knowledge. Whether you’re looking at a resort for simple getaway, or as a honeymoon destination, Costa Rica and has a lot of culture to offer. Here are some ways that you can make the most of a Honeymoon in Costa Rica experience.

The Language

The main language of Costa Rica is Central American Spanish. Everyone has a few words under their belt, but knowing a few more expressions can be a great way of breaking the language barrier.

Here are some tips for using Central American Spanish, as well as some phrases:

  • Greetings – hola (hello), buenas dias (good morning), buenas tardes (good afternoon), buenas noches (good evening), buenas (informal greeting at any time) 
  • Pura vida – this phrase means “pure life” and can be used as a greeting, or as a way of asking “what’s up” or “how are you”, and also as a “thank you”
  • Saying Goodbye – chao (bye), adiós (formal goodbye or fleeting greeting), hasta luego (see you later), hasta mañana (see you tomorrow)
  • Expressing Gratitude – gracias (thank you), muchas gracias (thanks a lot), 
  • Not tú. Usted or vos – the second person singular is different in Costa Rica than other places, you’re better off just using usted, as tú is considered informal and vos is considered a bit posh or needy.

If you want to learn some more useful phrases for Costa Rica, check out this great article which has more phrases and a better explanation of the use of usted.

The Customs of Costa Rica

Once you’ve got a few phrases under your belt, it’s time to consider the traditions and customs of Costa Rica. Knowing these will allow you to approach people and situations a bit more confidently.

Here are some of the customs and traditions of Costa Ricans.


Generally speaking, Costa Ricans are taught from a young age to not be confrontational, and instead to be polite at all times. This applies even during times of civil unrest, and results in peaceful protests and marches. As a visitor to their country, you should also try your best to be polite at all times.


One of the most fun customs you may ever come across, bombas are short four-line poems which are usually presented after the interjection “bomba!”, at which time those around are meant to listen. If you’re a confident Spanish speaker then you may try coming up with some while you’re there, especially if it’s your honeymoon destination. Costa Rica is one of the most romantic and beautiful places on earth, so you won’t be short of inspiration during your Honeymoon in Costa Rica.

Tico Time

A phenomenon examined in many cultures around the world, tico time simply refers to the lackadaisical attitude towards punctuality. It’s not uncommon for Costa Ricans to be 30 minutes late to engagements, so carrying a good book at all times is suggested.

Family Values

Costa Rican households will commonly have several generations living together, looking after one another. Elder generations are highly respected there, so be sure to act appropriately and address them correctly.

The Food

Costa Rican food is often bunched together with other Latin American cuisines due to their use of similar ingredients such as tortillas. Costa Rican cuisine is actually a lot more refreshing and varied than others, and is heavily influenced by its African and Spanish heritage.

Some dishes you absolutely must try are:

  • Olla de carne – the beef stew of Costa Rica, it features cassava, carrots, corn, plantains, taro root in this divine savoury dish.
  • Gallo pinto – the unofficial national dish of Costa Rica, gallo pinto (painted rooster) is a favorite rice and beans dish commonly eaten with eggs for breakfast.
  • Casado – if gallo pinto is breakfast, then casado is lunch. A combination platter of rice, beans, green or pasta salad, plantains, and meat (fish, chicken, or beef).
  • Sopa negra – the perfect vegetarian soup, sopa negra features black bean, onions, peppers and cilantro.
  • Chifrijo – a combination of chicharrones (fried pork rinds) and frijoles (beans), this savory layer cake can be enjoyed as a snack or double as a hearty meal.

Honeymoon Destination Costa Rica

After the seemingly endless lockdowns, many of us are itching to start traveling again. Although as the world is still in a state of flux, traveling within Continental America may be the best place to start. Here at Ylang Ylang Resort, we eagerly await your arrival, whether for a holiday or as your honeymoon destination. Costa Rica has a lot to give, and with knowledge of the language, customs, and food, you’re ready to go!

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