Costa Rica

Last updated 14 June 2013 Posted in Countries, The Americas

Costa Rica
  • Official country name: Republic of Costa Rica
  • Size: 51,100 square kilometres (19,653 square miles)
  • Population: 4.586.353 (2011)
  • Internet TLD: .cr
  • Calling code: +506
  • GDP: $9,672 per capita
  • Major import partners: Unites States of America, China, Mexico
  • Major export partners: Unites States of America, The Netherlands, Mexico
  • Currency: Costa Rican colón (CRC)

Business skills

Local flavours

Food in Costa Rica often has rice and beans as a basis. Overall the food is not spicy but Chilero (chillies pickled in vinegar) can be added if that is desired.

Boca: in Costa Rica they traditionally serve Boca’s, which literally translates to ‘a mouthful of food’, alongside an alcoholic beverage. There is a large variety of these snacks: Tortilla, Chicharrón (thick bacon), chicken wings, fried cheese, Ceviche (fish marinated in lime juice). On the streets other types of snacks are offered at the snack bars or sodas. For example; ‘Arreglados’, a nice meat filled sandwich (a variant is ‘tortas’) with salad inside, tacos with cheese sprinkled on top need not to be forgotten.

Drinks: the main and traditional alcoholic beverage in Costa Rica is ‘Guaro’, usually drank poured on Fresca and ice, as it is too strong to drink straight. It is cheaper to drink these local drinks rather than imported goods. Chilean wine can be obtained in the better restaurants throughout the country, this is price wise recommended over the Californian and European wine.

Main dishes: Costa Rican meals look like they are home prepared. The meal ‘Casado’ translates to: Married, because this is what a married man gets to eat. This is a mix of food like Gallo Pinto, cheese, salad and fried bananas. Another popular dish is ‘Olla de Carne’, which is a stew of meat (beef) vegetables; carrots, sweet potatoes, plantains. This is obtainable at nearly any restaurant, just like the ‘Sopa Negra’; a soup with black beans and a boiled egg in it.

Seafood: on the coasts of Costa Rica seafood is popular, for example the aforementioned ‘Ceviche’, where raw fish is marinated in lemon juice with tomatoes, unions and garlic. Shrimp and lobster is available but is a lot more expensive because most of it gets exported.