Languages in Costa Rica

French? Nope… better read this article before visiting.

During Europe’s colonial period of exploration and expansion, Costa Rica belonged to the Spanish Empire, which explains why our official and most spoken language in the country is Spanish. However, there are still many small indigenous tribes who maintain their own native languages, like Bribri, Brunca, Cabecar, Guaymie and Maleku. On Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast, in Puerto de Viejo, Cahuita and Limon, most inhabitants come from Jamaican origin and speak “patois,” a Creole-English dialect.

Communication for international travelers is relatively easy because many people in Costa Rica speak or at least understand English. Every hotel, car rental, tour company and souvenir shop will for sure have at least one employee who speaks English.

Top Travel offers professional, English-speaking travel agents, drivers and tour guides. We also can offer tour guides who speak other languages, such as German, French, Italian, Portuguese, etc.

Here are some useful Spanish words and Costa Rican sayings for you:

  • Buenos días – Good morning
  • Buenas tardes – Good afternoon/evening
  • Buenas noches – Good night
  • Gracias – Thank you
  • Por favor – Please
  • Pura Vida – A popular Costa Rican saying meaning literally “pure life,” and used to convey that “everything is ok”. Just relax and be Pura Vida!

Would you like more travel tips like this one? Keep enjoying our Costa Rica vacations blog or start your free vacation design right away!

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