Costa Rica is a small country known worldwide for its great diversity and the concentration of its natural resources, its abundance of areas of significant historical and archaeological interest, it's beautiful and clean beaches and its many protected natural parks. The country's natural landscape offers an incomparable setting for those who love nature and outdoor activities, such as fishing, diving and surfing.
Costa Rica is a great representation of typical Latin culture with its spice, enthusiasm and cheer. Its customs and traditions can be seen in all areas of daily life and in other aspects typical of its people. It maintains its folkloric traditions, such as the national dance called “Punto Guanacasteco” or the “Mascarada” puppets, to the beat of a “Cimarrona” band, which may be seen during any town’s patron saint celebrations.
Costa Rica, which has a small indigenous population, such as "Los Chorotegas" in the north of Costa Rica, was influenced by both Mayan as well as Aztec culture. This town is considered as the Mesoamerican culture that is found more in the south. The area of Guanacaste was the point of convergence for northern and southern cultures; this was established by the discovery of pieces of ceramics found in the area, which are now in the National Museum, with both Aztec and Inca figures and designs on one piece.
Description of the area
San José de Costa Rica, the country's economic, administrative and commercial center, is surrounded by majestic mountains and numerous National Parks. It is a city brimming with numerous cultural attractions such as theaters and museums in settings of extraordinary beauty.
Costa Rican cuisine is delicious and diverse. It offers everything from the freshest vegetables and tropical fruits to the most exquisite dishes prepared with delicious seafood.
The country’s most popular dishes include: 'casado' a dish with rice and beans, ripe plantains, salad and meat; 'chorreadas', thick tortillas made with sweet corn; and 'empanadas' stuffed with cheese, beans or meat.
There are numerous restaurants in Costa Rica in which, in addition to being able to taste gastronomic specialties from the region, you will find different specialties from international cuisine.
The city of San Jose boasts a wealth of museums. Be sure not to miss:
The Museo Nacional (National Museum). It exhibits a large collection of pre-Columbian objects and historical objects from colonial times, as well as from the early days of the Republic.
The Museo del Oro (Gold Museum). Located in the Plaza de la Cultura, it is the home of a permanent exhibition of pre-Columbian objects crafted from the most prized and valuable of metals: gold.
Museum of Contemporary Art. It houses a beautiful collection of paintings and sculptures crafted by local artists during the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Museo de Ciencias Naturales (Natural Science Museum). More than 1,500 species, some of which are already extinct, may be found in this excellent museum located on the southwestern end of the La Sabana Metropolitan Park.
The Teatro Nacional (National Theater). Since its construction in 1897, this architectural jewel has been considered the symbol of Costa Rican culture.
Costa Rica’s natural surroundings are magnificent, and its handicrafts won’t disappoint!
Items made from precious woods, the roots of the coffee plant, paper from the banana tree, gold, clay, tools made from enameled iron and other materials are all meticulously crafted by talented local artisans. As for local products, the creams and liqueurs made from sugar cane, coffee and chocolate are especially notable.