Thinking of going to Costa Rica to work or to visit? Then you have to know the dos and don’ts in the country. As an expat who is ready to go to Costa Rica, you need to be responsible for your own actions. Before you actually go to the country, you need to know what behavior is acceptable or not. Remember that culture is different from country to country. What’s acceptable in the Philippines, for example, might be rude in Costa Rica. This is just one of the instances that things might be different when you go outside your home country.
In this blog, you are going to learn the basic practices in Costa Rica, including what should not be done. This may serve as your guide or a note that you can use every time you forget the dos and don’ts. Expect that culture is different abroad so that you can control your expectations. It’s not that hard to adapt to a new environment if you know what you are doing. You will enjoy your time in a different country as long as you are willing to learn new things, including the basic etiquettes.
How to Behave when you are in Costa Rica
You will know how to effectively behave in Costa Rica if you know the dos and don’ts. You need to learn these things first. You can’t possibly assume that your actions and behaviors are fine when you are moving to a totally different continent. Costa Rica is in Central America, which is different from Asia if you will be coming from the Philippines.
Here are the dos and don’ts in Costa Rica.
Dos in Costa Rica
The dos in Costa Rica are pretty simple and easy to follow. These are usually the basic things about the country. Costa Rica is a good place where you can enjoy yourself as a tourist. But, you have to be knowledgeable about the Spanish language, even a little.
- Do compliment the progressive reputation of Costa Rica. The country is great for having more teachers than police officers. This makes the literacy rate in the country increase and to date, it has the highest literacy rate in Latin America.
- Do learn about pura vida. In Costa Rica, “pura vida” means pure life. This is used in greetings, for saying hello or goodbye to someone. Some people also use this praise to connote no worries.
- Do compliment and explore the wonders of Costa Rica. Costa Rica is famous for having wonderful tourist attractions. A great conversation starter is asking locals about the country’s natural resources.
- Do enjoy using public transportation. Public transportation is not expensive in Costa Rica. It’s also a good way for you not to get lost because when you rent a car, there’s a tendency that the driver might get lost as well. When you talk to drivers, it’s an advantage if you can speak Spanish fluently.
- Do speak in Spanish. Even if you don’t speak fluently in Spanish. Try using the local language. Locals will appreciate you more if you show them that you can speak in Spanish a little.
- Do participate in adventurous activities. There are a lot of things that you can do in Costa Rica, such as surfing, zip-lining, scuba diving, and canopy rides.
Don’ts in Costa Rica
The “don’ts” are the opposite of “dos.” These are the things that you should avoid as much as you can so you won’t end up getting a rude reputation in the country. Here are the don’ts in Costa Rica.
- Don’t give tips. It’s not customary in Costa Rica to give tips when eating at a restaurant. There’s already a service charge, which is 10% of your total bill. It would cost you more if you give tips to waiters and waitresses. Also, it’s not practical to give tips to taxi drivers as there are already charges when you book their services. If you are really generous to give tips, give them to hotel busboys and maids.
- Don’t go beyond marked paths when hiking. The rainforest can be dangerous for people. If you see marked paths, don’t go beyond that point. It’s for your own safety.
- Don’t assume that Costa Rica and Mexico are similar. There are times when people think about Costa Rica and Mexico as the same in culture, environment, and so on. They are not. Costa Rica is still a part of America and their culture is different.
- Don’t take anything from the country’s natural habitat. If you are visiting beaches and forests, don’t take plants or shells. If you need souvenirs, buy from reputable souvenir shops.
- Don’t take vacations during the holiday season. You will not enjoy the holiday season in Costa Rica if you are a tourist. Locals close their businesses and join their families during holidays. Wait until the holidays end so you can experience the hospitality of the locals in the country.
- Don’t be afraid of the bugs. You might need to bring your sunscreens and insect repellants but bugs in Costa Rica are not that dangerous. Some tourists even play with them when they can.
Tips when moving to Costa Rica
Before going to Costa Rica, take extra precautions. Be careful no matter how well you know things. You might see a big difference between your culture and the country’s culture. Become observant and be friendly with the locals. Don’t be too confident especially when you are alone. Always have information ready so that by the time you need to check whether an action or behavior is acceptable or not, you can easily look it up.
It’s good to explore Costa Rica if you have relatives or friends with you. But, if you are traveling alone, it’s best if you have a book or some notes that you can use as your guide. Don’t forget about the Spanish language. You and the locals will communicate well if you know some things about their local language. Use this blog as your guide or buy a book about Costa Rica.