An understanding of Costa Rican customs and etiquette will not only help you blend in, but will also help you adapt to your new country. Jump into daily life, make friends, practice patience and treat each new situation as a learning opportunity. Most importantly, take surprises in stride and try to laugh off your cultural faux pas. Even in Costa Rica, laughter is always the best medicine. It is common to say hello and goodbye to friends and acquaintances with a light kiss on the cheek — or an air kiss accompanied by a kissing sound.
Costa Rica is noted more for its natural beauty and friendly people than for its culture. The overwhelming European influence erased almost all indigenous culture, cultural activity has only begun to blossom in the last years. In practice, most church attendance takes place at christenings, funerals and marriages. Spanish is the official language, though English is understood in tourist areas.
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