25 Things Costa Rica is Known and Famous For

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Nested in Central America, Costa Rica is a country that is rich in history and natural beauty. While Costa Rica is known for its beaches and surfing, there is much more to this beautiful country. From its vibrant cities and culture to its commitment to environmental protection, there are many things that make this country special.

What is Costa Rica Known For?

Costa Rica is famous for its incredible natural wonders, rich biodiversity, aromatic coffee, and progressive government. It is home to some of the most beautiful rainforests, beaches, and mountains in the world. Costa Rica is also known for its beautiful beaches, Pura vVda lifestyle as well as delicious food.

Food Costa Rica Is Famous For

Gallo Pinto

Gallo pinto is a dish that is typically eaten for breakfast in Costa Rica. It consists of rice and beans, which are cooked together and then fried. Gallo pinto is often served with eggs, tortillas, and cheese.

This dish is so popular in Costa Rica that you can find it on menus all over the country. Gallo pinto is as local as it gets when it comes to food in Costa Rica. If you’re looking for a hearty and filling breakfast, Gallo pinto is a great option.


Casado is another popular Costa Rican dish, and it is usually served for lunch or dinner. It consists of rice, beans, a protein option (usually chicken, fish, or beef), plantains, and a salad.

Casado in Spanish translates to “Married”, and some say it references the mix of different Costa Rican food on the plate, creating a marriage of flavors.

This dish is simple but tasty, and it’s a great option for something that will fill you up. Casado is typically served with a Costa Rican soda called Fresca.


Pejibayes are a type of fruit that is native to Costa Rica. They are similar in appearance to plums and have a soft and fleshy texture. Pejibayes are often used in jams and pies.

For a delicious and healthy snack, look no further than pejibayes. These fruits are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth, and they’re also a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Cacique Guaro

Cacique Guaro is a type of liquor that is made from sugar cane. It is commonly used in mixed drinks and is also widely considered the national drink of Costa Rica. Locals like to have it chilled together with a salt rim on the shot glass and lime.

If you’re looking to try something truly unique, be sure to order a Cacique Guaro at your next Costa Rican bar or restaurant. This delicious liquor is sure to give your taste buds a treat.


High Quality Coffee 

Costa Rica is one of the world’s largest producers of coffee, and its beans are among the finest. In fact, some of the world’s most expensive coffees come from Costa Rica, thanks to the country’s ideal climate and rich soil.

The vast majority of Costa Rican coffee is of the Arabica variety, which is known for its smooth, mellow flavor. If you’re a coffee lover, you simply can’t visit Costa Rica without going on a coffee tour.

You’ll learn about the history of Costa Rican coffee, see how the beans are grown and processed, and of course, get to sample some of the final product.

Coffee tours are available all over the country, but the best ones are in Tarrazu, in the center of the country, and in Tres Rios, in the north.

History, Culture, And Traditions Costa Rica Is Known For


One Of The Happiest Countries

In recent years, Costa Rica has been consistently ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world. In fact, it was recently named the “happiest place on earth” by the New Economics Foundation.

So what is it that makes Costa Ricans so happy? There are many factors, but one of the most important is the “Pura Vida” lifestyle. This unique way of life values simplicity and enjoyment of life above all else, and it’s something that you’ll quickly grow to love during your time in Costa Rica.

You’ll also find that Costa Ricans are incredibly friendly and welcoming; and that the country is a safe and stable place to travel. All of these factors combine to create a truly happy place.


 Pura Vida “Simple Life”

Costa Rica is known for their “Pura Vida” outlook or culture. Pura Vida is a Costa Rican phrase that means “simple life” or “pure life.” It’s used as a greeting and also as a general philosophy.

For Costa Ricans, Pura Vida is about enjoying the simple things in life and appreciating what you have. It’s a positive outlook and a way of enjoying the moment. This is definitely a popular place to take your foot off the gas and appreciate the things in life.

Pura Vida is also about being friendly, laid-back, and helpful. If you’re looking for Pura Vida, you’ll find it in the people you meet, the stunning natural scenery, and the relaxed atmosphere.

Progressive Country/Government

Costa Rica is often hailed as a progressive country thanks to its strong commitment to environmental protection and social equality.

The government has made a concerted effort to preserve the country’s natural resources, and Costa Rica now has one of the lowest deforestation rates in the world.

The government has also invested heavily in renewable energy, and Costa Rica now generates almost 99% of its electricity from renewable sources.

Costa Rica has made great strides in recent years in terms of social equality. The country now has free universal healthcare and free education for all citizens.

Costa Rica is also one of the few countries in Latin America where same-sex marriage is legal. All of these factors have made Costa Rica a model for other countries in the region.


Catholic Religion

Costa Rica is a Catholic country, and religion forms an integral part of Costa Rican culture. Catholicism was introduced to the country by Spanish settlers in the 16th century, and it has since become deeply ingrained in Costa Rican society.

One of the most visible manifestations of Catholicism in Costa Rica is the country’s numerous churches. These beautiful buildings can be found in every town and city, and many are centuries old.

If you’re interested in learning more about Costa Rican Catholicism, consider visiting one of the country’s many churches or attending a mass. You’ll find that Costa Ricans take their religion very seriously, and the masses are always well-attended.

You’ll also see numerous religious festivals taking place throughout the year, such as Easter and Christmas. These are great opportunities to experience Costa Rican culture at its best.



Costa Rica is home to over 60 active volcanoes, and it’s one of the most seismically active countries in the world. The most popular volcano is Arenal, which is located in the north of the country.

Arenal is one of the most active volcanoes in Costa Rica, and it’s possible to hike to the top of the volcano for an incredible view. If you’re lucky, you might even see lava flowing down the side of the volcano.

Other famous volcanoes include Irazu, Poas, and Turrialba. These volcanoes offer different experiences, from hiking and horseback riding to birdwatching and hot springs.


Beautiful Beaches

One of the things that Costa Rica is most famous for is its stunning beaches. The country has over 800 miles of coastline, and each beach has its own unique character.

Thanks to its location sandwiched between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica is naturally blessed with an incredible array of beaches.

Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax or a place to surf, you’ll find it in Costa Rica. Some of the most popular beaches include Manuel Antonio Beach, Tamarindo Beach, and Cahuita Beach.

To explore and beach hop around, consider renting a car and driving down the coast. This is the best way to see as many beaches as possible, and you’ll have the added bonus of being able to stop at any point that catches your eye.


National Parks

Costa Rica is home to some of the most biodiverse rainforests in the world, and these forests are protected by a network of national parks. There are 27 national parks in Costa Rica, covering nearly 12% of the country’s landmass.

These parks are home to an incredible array of plant and animal species, including many that are endangered. If you’re interested in seeing Costa Rica’s wildlife up close, consider visiting one of its national parks.

The most popular park is Manuel Antonio National Park, which is home to monkeys, sloths, and iguanas, as well as a stunning beach. Other popular parks include Corcovado National Park and Tortuguero National Park.


Costa Rica is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries and is especially famous for its incredible array of wildlife. The country is home to around 5% of the world’s species, including countless exotic birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.

Costa Rica is also home to an amazing variety of plant life. The country has around 10,000 species of plants, including more than 600 types of orchids.

The rainforest is particularly spectacular and is one of the best places in the world to see exotic flowers and birds.

There are many ways to experience Costa Rica’s amazing biodiversity. The country has dozens of national parks and nature reserves, which are perfect for hiking, birdwatching, and wildlife spotting.

Canopy tours are also popular and are a great way to get up close and personal with the rainforest. If you really want to get off the beaten track, consider taking a jungle tour, where you can explore the rainforest by boat, on foot, and even by zip line.

Wildlife Costa Rica Is Known For



Costa Rica is home to many different species of sloths, including the two-toed sloth and the three-toed sloth. These adorable creatures are a national symbol and are one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions.

Sloths are notoriously slow animals and can often be seen hanging from trees or taking a nap. However, they are also very curious creatures and will often approach humans if they see them.

If you’re lucky enough to see a sloth in the wild, be sure to keep your distance and respect the animal’s space. However, if you really want to get up close and personal with a sloth, you can visit one of the many animal sanctuaries in Costa Rica that are dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating these creatures.



Costa Rica is home to over 50 species of hummingbirds, more than any other country in the world. These tiny birds are a national symbol, and you’ll see them everywhere you go in Costa Rica.

If you want to see these beautiful creatures up close, be sure to visit one of Costa Rica’s many hummingbird gardens. The best-known garden is in La Paz Waterfall Gardens, but there are also smaller gardens in Monteverde and Arenal. The town of La Paz is known as the “Hummingbird Capital of the World”. This is because of the large number of hummingbirds residing in the area.

You can also spot hummingbirds in the wild if you’re lucky. Keep your eyes peeled when you’re hiking through Costa Rica’s forests, as you may just spot one of these amazing birds.

You can also consider taking a guided tour, which will take you to the best spots for birdwatching. You’ll have a good chance of seeing a wide variety of hummingbirds, as well as other types of birds.

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Sports And Activities Costa Rica Is Famous For



Costa Rica is one of the best surfing destinations in the world, thanks to its many beaches with perfect conditions for surfing. The country’s Pacific coast is especially popular with surfers, as it receives consistent waves throughout the year.

If you’re a beginner, consider taking a surfing lesson. Many surf schools offer group and private lessons, and you’ll be standing up on a board in no time.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, there are plenty of challenging waves to test your skills. Popular surfing spots include Tamarindo Beach, Jaco Beach, and Playa Hermosa.


Adventure Sports

Costa Rica is an adventure lover’s paradise, thanks to its many opportunities for adrenaline-pumping activities. Whether you want to go zip-lining through the rainforest or whitewater rafting down a river, you can do it in Costa Rica.

Other popular adventure activities include hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. There are also plenty of opportunities for bird watching, as Costa Rica is home to over 850 species of birds.

To get the most out of your adventure activities, consider booking a tour with a reputable company. This will ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Cities And Travel Destinations Costa Rica Is Famous For

Costa Rica is a small Central American country that is known for its diverse landscape and its many adventure activities. The country is divided into four regions: the Central Valley, the Pacific Coast, the Caribbean coast, and the rainforest. These are some popular places to visit in Costa Rica.

San Jose

San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica, and it is also the largest city in the country. It is a popular tourist destination, thanks to its many museums, theaters, and parks. The city is also home to a number of embassies and consulates.

For some fun shopping before you leave, be sure to visit one of San Jose’s many malls and markets. You’ll find everything from local handicrafts to international brands.

It is also a great spot to try some of the local cuisines! San Jose has a variety of restaurants, offering everything from traditional Costa Rican dishes to international cuisine.



Monteverde is a small town in Costa Rica that is known for its lush and verdant landscape. The town is located in the mountains, and it is surrounded by cloud forests.

Monteverde is a popular ecotourism destination for nature lovers, as it offers ample opportunities for hiking, bird-watching, and zip-lining. One of the main attractions here is the Monteverde Cloud Forest.

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, Monteverde is the perfect place to relax and recharge.



Tortuguero is a small town located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. It is famous for its canals, which are used for both transportation and tourism.

The town is also known for its turtles, as it is one of the main nesting sites for green turtles in Costa Rica. If you visit during the turtle nesting season, you may even be able to see baby turtles hatching and making their way to the sea.

In addition to turtles, Tortuguero is also home to a number of other animals, including monkeys, iguanas, and crocodiles. The town is a great spot for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Famous People From Costa Rica

The Bribri Tribe and People

Costa Rica is home to several indigenous tribes, including the Bribri. The Bribri are one of the largest indigenous groups in Costa Rica, and they have a rich culture and history. The population resides mainly in the Talamanca canton in the Limón Province.

To learn more about the Bribri people, consider visiting one of their villages. Many Bribri villages offer tours, and you’ll have the opportunity to learn about their way of life.

You may also be able to participate in traditional activities such as making art or singing songs. This is a great way to get an authentic experience of Costa Rican culture.

Architecture And Landmarks Costa Rica Is Famous For

Costa Rica is a country known for its lush landscape and diverse wildlife. But did you know that it is also home to some beautiful architecture and landmarks. Here are a few of the famous landmarks in Costa Rica.

The Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

The Pre-Columbian Gold Museum is one of the most popular museums in San Jose. The museum houses a collection of more than 1,600 pieces of gold dating back to Costa Rica’s pre-Columbian era.

The collection includes jewelry, sculptures, and coins, all of which are made from gold. The museum also has many interactive exhibits, which make it an excellent, fun spot for both adults and children.

If you’re interested in learning more about Costa Rica’s history and culture, the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum takes you back on a journey in time.


La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna Waterfall is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Costa Rica. The waterfall is located near the town of La Fortuna, in the Arenal area.

The waterfall is 70 meters (246ft) high, and it is surrounded by lush green vegetation. You can take a dip in the pool at the base of the waterfall, or you can hike to the top for a bird’s eye view.

If you want to get even closer to the action, you can rappel down the side of the waterfall. This is sure to be an adrenaline-pumping experience!

Whether you’re looking for adventure or simply want to enjoy a scenic view, La Fortuna Waterfall is a must-visit attraction in Costa Rica.

The Daquis Spheres

The Daquis Spheres are a group of more than three hundred stone spheres that are scattered across Costa Rica. These spheres range in size from a few centimeters to two meters in diameter, and they are believed to have been created by the Diquís culture between 600 and 1200 AD.

The exact purpose of the spheres is still unknown, but they are thought to have been used as burial markers or as part of a ceremonial complex.

The Daquis Spheres are now a popular tourist attraction, and they have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Costa Rica. The park is home to the Poas volcano, which is one of the largest and most active volcanoes in the world.

Poas Volcano is best known for its large crater, which is almost a mile wide. The crater is filled with a green lagoon, and it is surrounded by lush forest. Visitors can hike to the crater’s edge, and there are also several lookout points where you can get a great view of the volcano.

The park also features many hiking trails, and you can even go for a dip in one of the park’s hot springs.

If you’re looking for an adventure, Poas Volcano National Park is the perfect place to explore. You’ll be amazed by the park’s natural beauty, and you might even get the chance to see some wildlife. It is just a short drive from the capital, San Jose.

Many More Things Costa Rica Is Known And Famous For

There are many things that Costa Rica is known for, but these are just a few of the things that make this country so special. Whether you’re interested in its coffee, beaches, or volcanoes, there is something for everyone.

One of the best ways to discover all that Coast Rica is famous for is to come and experience Pura Vida for yourself!



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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