Costa Rican Culture

Carretas Tipicas CostarricensesThe richness of Costa Rica stems from the cultural diversity of its people. Throughout its history, waves of immigrants have added to the pre-Hispanic native populations, settling on this land and making it their home.

Presently, in addition to the majority Mestizo demographic, there are several colonial and national immigrant ethnicities that have restored their unique cultural heritage like African descendants, Chinese, Hebrews, Libanese, Italians, etc., as well as native people of Bribri, Cabécar, Maleku, Teribe, Boruca, Ngöbe, Huetar and Chorotega.

Costa Ricans are proud to have had more than a century of democratic tradition and more than 50 years without a military. This was abolished in 1948, and the money that the country saves from not having armed forces is invested in improving the quality of life of its citizens. This contributes to the social peace that makes Costa Rica a welcoming place to visit.

Costa Ricans, also known as “Ticos,” are famous for being very hospitable people and they would like to keep this reputation. They are well-mannered and hard working, always willing to offer a smile and a handshake to people.

They know that their country is unique, and they are generally willing to offer help to those visitors that are lost, at times even explaining cultural aspects that a foreigner might find strange, making their stay as pleasant as possible. It is said that “Ticos” are the best asset that the nation has, and once you have experienced their friendliness and spontaneity, you will be convinced.

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Museums in Costa Rica

Exhibicion Museo San VicenteCosta Rica museums have inherited a rich and diverse cultural heritage, tangible and intangible, whose purpose is to display and educate present and future generations about our past and present.

The most notable collections include gold, jade, pre-Colombian ceramics and stone pieces, colonial religious art, contemporary art, and natural history.

Costa Rica possesses an important group of museums dedicated to collecting, preserving, and displaying the cultural heritage, and imparting our values. They are located throughout the country and uphold the legacy, which reflects the contributions of the indigenous, Afro-Costa Rican, Asian, European, and Central American populations.

Bailes GarífunasThe museums go beyond just collecting, by categorizing and searching for meaning of the past and the present in a didactic way. This allows Costa Ricans to face the future with a sense of identity, community, importance and a complete concept of sustainable human development. In addition, it gives foreign visitors a first-hand look at the towns of yesterday and today that make up our country.  

At the end of the last century, a movement arose among some towns to have their own museums. This number of towns has increased.

These are known as community museums and reflect the will of the communities to recover, preserve, share, and communicate the importance of their cultural aspects, whether they be traditions, customs, or local folklore.

These museums have arisen in small towns with a large cultural mix and a rich history and that have shown their commitment to recovery, revitalization and sharing of their traditions, as well as the improvement in the quality of life of its inhabitants.

The most notable community museums are the Abangares Mines museum, the Indigenous Boruca museum, and the Chortega Ceramics museum in San Vicente, Nicoya. These museums are educational, respresentative, and integrating tools within the community, with the goal that the cultural and natural heritage of the local area be respected, valued, and admired as a product of social history to be shared with visitors.

National Museum of Costa Rica

Sor María Romero Museum

Santa Ana Agricultural Technology History Museum

Museum of Stamps and Currency, Costa Rica

Museum of Contemporary Art and Design

Museum of Costa Rican Art

Inbio Park

Calderón Guardia Museum

Central Bank’s Museum of Gold and Currency

ICE’s Museum of the History of Technology

Jewish Community Museum of Costa Rica

Insect Museum

La Salle Natural Science Museum

Jade Museum

Children’s Museum

Museum of Native Cultures

San José de Orosi’s Religious Art Museum

Museum of Popular Culture

Juan Santamaría Museum of Cultural History

Omar Salazar Obando Regional Museum

Our Lady of Ujarrás Museum of Religious History

Puntarenas City Historical Museum

Turtle Museum / John H. Pipps Biological Center of the Caribbean Conservation Corporation

Cacao Museum

Monteverde Museum

Indigenous Boruca Community Museum

Pacific Marine Park

Santa Rosa Mansion History Museum

La Chácara Estate Museum

Eco-museum of the Abangares Mines

Lord of Agony Religious Art Museum

San Vicente de Nicoya, Chorotega Ceramic Eco-Museum

Open-Air Contemporary Art Museum of Punta Islita

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