Language of Costa Rica

Spanish is the official language of Costa Rica . English is taught in some public schools, so you will encounter ticos who want to speak English with you or will try to help out if you don't speak Spanish. Do not expect to find English-speakers wherever you go. Major hotels have some bilingual staff, as do tour agencies and private reserves. However, the waiter, park attendant, or taxi driver may not speak English, and no one at the bus station may understand a word you say. But Costa Ricans will try hard to help as long as you are polite.

Ticos are delighted when you try out whatever Spanish you know, so learn a few words and phrases-at least porfavor (pronounced por fah-VOR) and gracias (GRAH-see-ahs), "please" and "thank you." You will soon be saying buenos dias (boo-EN-nos DEE-ahs), "good morning," with the best of them.

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