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Costa Rican Local Customs

August 30th, 2010
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If you’re traveling to a new destination, it’s always a good idea to learn more about the local customs.  It’s important to show your sensitivity towards the people who live in this location, and to realize that you are on their turf, as it were.  Learning about local customs in Costa Rica should help to make your travel experience more enjoyable and smoother for everyone involved.

In general, Costa Ricans (Ticos) are polite, non-confrontational people who treat everyone with respect.  The more polite and more patient that you are, the more you’ll truly get from Costa Rica while you are visiting.

Ticos tend to enjoy their lives and to focus on pleasures and family rather than on money. While you’re in Costa Rica, you should know that 10% is added to each restaurant bill that you’ll see as a service charge.  This means that most locals don’t give tips when they dine out.  However, in many of the tourist areas, tipping is expected, just because it’s become the social norm.  In general, if you are in a tourist area, you should leave a 5-10% tip.  If, however, you’re in a local restaurant or an out-of-the-way location, you won’t find it necessary to tip. Taxis should charge you by the meter and you don’t need to tip the taxi driver.

Enjoy your trip and pay attention to the local customs – you just might learn something and decide to adapt some of their ways as your own!

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