44 things to know before your plane lands in Costa Rica, while you are traveling around it and after you departed!
1. Don’t expect things to be like they are at home. Nevermind how “influenced” Costa Rica is… We are still an independent country, a mixture of cultures in a great array of diversity!
2. Travel with your eyes wide open, there are so many beautiful fast birds and bright butterflies!
3. Be open and learn new things… making tortillas or corn tamales, trying cocoa from the fruit and tasting soursop (Guanabana) is fun! Never mind how weird certain things look like! The weirder the better!
4. Don’t judge, first say, “Tell me more”. Our traditions are part of our culture, and so are our family habits and/or religion.
5. Learn the basics of the local language. Use them often. It is the best way to show respect, break down barriers and start conversations. Pura vida, Tuanis, Mae… learn them, and use them!
6. Manners are universal, use them.
7. Do not shout at others, they are not deaf, they just can’t understand you. Be patient… Remember it is vacation time!
8. NEVER complain that the people of the country you are visiting do not speak your language. Remember where you are.
9. Think before bargain. Costa Ricans are not used to that. Some of them might accept it. But in general, prices are fixed.
10. And certainly, do not over bargain. 50 cents is nothing to you, but may mean a days worth of meals to the person you are haggling with and they will get offended.
11. Respect local customs. It is not about your way, you are the visitor.
12. Party yes. Have fun yes, but do not go so far to extremes that it means you trash the local area and people gets injured. Know where you are at all times. And DO NOT GO with strangers anywhere!
13. Leave a good impression of your culture on the countries you are visiting.
14. Have off the beaten path adventures and enjoy traveling to the touristy stuff too – just add a different angle to it.
15. Don’t think you are so awesomely cool just because you’ve visited 58 countries on a budget of $25 a day and all you do is go off the beaten path like a real hard-core traveler does.
16. Travel in a style that is in alignment with your values and suits your likes and interests.Tell these to our travel consultants… It will be easier for everyone!
17. Start traveling when you are young. Costa Rica has so many adventures that you can enjoy much more when you are young!
18. Don’t listen to the naysayers and dream stealers telling you why you can’t live your dreams and how you should conform.
19. Eat street fruits with skin. It won’t kill you. In fact, there are many reasons why you should eat them.
20. Try different local dishes – Fruits, vegetables, flavors are more concentrated, everything might taste different here!
21. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable or awkward… That is what traveling is about!
22. Be flexible, it is the best way to adapt.
23. Ask for help when you need it, even if it is in sign language and charades. Costa Ricans love to help visitors.
24. Carry palm cards with important phrases written on it in Spanish
25. Don’t be afraid to respectfully say no.
26. Talk to the local people. Be friendly. It’s amazing what you will learn.
27. Do as much local as you can: local food, local transport, local accommodation.
28. Smile smile smile and laugh often- you’ll meet so many new friends this way.
29. Do one thing each day that scares you and push those comfort barriers a little further out each time.
30. Share and mingle with other travelers. It will give you a feeling of always being among friends.
31. Celebrate local fairs and festivals with the Costa Rican traditional manners.
32. Don’t rely on technology to help get you around, you will end up lost when the map app crashes.
34. Travel for longer in fewer places. Three nights in a place will allow you to really see it!
35. Don’t be afraid to take each day as it comes with limited plans.
36. Guard your passport with your life
37. Please do not feed ANY wild animal. You are hurting them if you do!
38. Have travel insurance – it ain’t sexy but neither is the thousands you could end up paying if you don’t have it.
39. If you get robbed or bad things happen, don’t get hung up on it. Let us know ASAP! We are here to support you!
40. Learn how to toilet squat. You’ll need it.
41. Don’t touch anything if don’t know what it is. Caterpillars, wasps, and other bugs take interesting forms to mimetize.
42. If you hike in the rainforest alone, let anyone know where you are.
42. Don’t be afraid to blow the budget on those once in a lifetime experiences.
43. Be prepared for the reverse culture shock when you return home as it could really mess you up.
44. Buy authentic souvenirs, not those made in China! Go for the real artcrafts, and get coffee! Definitely!