You can do many things to blend in as a local in Costa Rica. You don’t necessarily have to look like a tourist all the time and inadvertently draw attention to yourself. For many experienced revelers, the best way to enjoy a foreign country is to identify with the locals – eat their food, learn language basics, gain insight into the culture, etc. You can be part of the 3 million visitors to Costa Rica who do more than ecotourism. Here are some suggestions.
- Brush up on your Spanish language skills
Spanish is the national and official language in Costa Rica. It will be essential if you wish to blend in. Indeed, nobody expects you to rattle like an expert. However, learning the basics of the Spanish language will be a great way to enjoy your time in the country. More importantly, it will be an opportunity to blend in somewhat with the locals and learn more from them. The truth is that they love it when foreigners deliberately make an effort to learn their native language.
It has nothing to do with cultural appropriation. Instead, it shows a willingness to enjoy your stay and make positive memories on this trip. With the help of technology, you can access language apps that teach basic Spanish lines. Be ready for giggles and amusement from locals if you fail to pronounce the words right. You might join them in laughing at your attempt.
- Add spontaneous activities to your schedule
One thing about tourists and foreigners is the likelihood of being too out of touch with the things that define the new country. This is often characterized by planned sightseeing at all the popular places a tourist will go. You may not have realized yet that locals do not frequent these places. Have you considered the possibility of some spontaneity? While this may raise safety and security concerns, you can prepare for them and veer slightly away from the status quo.
You can check downtown areas with the help of a willing local. You may have to pay a little fee for such a service. If you’re lucky, you might get a tour guide to take you around during their off-duty hours. Be sure to dress like a local and not give people the impression that you are a non-native. When visiting these places, it is advisable to avoid having valuables like an expensive wristwatch, phone, or sunglasses on you. Another spontaneous activity that helps you identify with locals is fishing. However, for a more organized process, you may want to use services such as Costa Rica Fishing Charters. Indeed, there are tons of places to visit that make it easy to interact freely with locals.
- Visit the countryside
A drive to the countryside, away from the city center, is a welcome addition to enjoy like a local. Before setting off, however, it would be wise to plan the route on a map and become conversant with the locality. First, it may be wise to identify landmarks that help you make out the terrain on your way back. This will be particularly helpful if you’re taking a hike. However, a GPS may be ideal if you’re driving.
It is a pleasant experience to identify with the locals of a new country and feel welcome in their midst.