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Costa Rica Glossary: English And Spanish Words And Phrases To Know When Planning Your Trip

Costa Rica Glossary: English And Spanish Words And Phrases To Know When Planning Your Trip

Last updated on April 17th, 2021 at 11:35 am EST

Need to know the meaning of a particular English or Spanish word that isn’t already included in our glossary below? Leave a comment for us at the bottom of the glossary and we’ll include it! 🙂

Costa Rica glossary: Popular Costa Rican words and phrases

All | A B C D G H J L P R S T U V W Z
There are currently 44 words or phrases in this directory
Adventure connection(s)
Guided adventure or nature tours that provide transportation between two destinations. These tours can help you save money and vacation time by participating in a tour/activity while traveling between two Costa Rican towns. Also called tour transportation or city-to-city transportation-inclusive tours. More information: Costa Rica Tour Transportation: How To Use Tours To Travel Between Destinations.


Busy season
The period of time during each year when Costa Rica receives the greatest number of foreign visitors; typically mid-December to April. Also called high season. More information: When To Go To Costa Rica According To Cost, Weather, Wildlife, And More!

Canopy tour(s)
A guided adventure tour during which you'll glide through the rainforest on a series of cables suspended among or above the treetops (a.k.a., the forest canopy). Also called zipline(s)/ziplining. More information: Your Costa Rica Ziplining Questions Answered! and Best Ziplines In Costa Rica: Comparing 6 In Arenal And Monteverde.

Canyoneering
Waterfall rappelling. Also called canyoning. More information: Costa Rica Canyoning Tour: Adrenaline And Assurance Found At The Lost Canyon.

Canyoning
Waterfall rappelling. Also called canyoneering. More information: Costa Rica Canyoning Tour: Adrenaline And Assurance Found At The Lost Canyon.

Catarata(s)
The Spanish word for "waterfall(s)." More information: 25+ Costa Rica Waterfalls & How To Visit Them During Your Trip.

CDW insurance
A type of mandatory Costa Rica car rental insurance, part of which is permitted to be purchased outside of Costa Rica (or inside Costa Rica, if preferred). Also called LDW insurance. More information: Costa Rica Car Rental Insurance Information

Ceda
The Spanish word for "yield." Commonly seen on roadsigns stationed at narrow bridges; when you see a CEDA sign, slow down and check for oncoming traffic, which has the right of way.

City-to-city transportation-inclusive tour(s)
Guided adventure or nature tours that provide transportation between two destinations. These tours can help you save money and vacation time by participating in a tour/activity while traveling between two Costa Rican towns. Also called tour transportation or adventure connections. More information: Costa Rica Tour Transportation: How To Use Tours To Travel Between Destinations.


Despacio
The Spanish word for "slow." Commonly seen on roadsigns stationed at sharp curves; when you see a DESPACIO sign, slow down and drive cautiously.

Dry season
The period of time during each year when Costa Rica receives the least of its annual rainfall; the timeline varies across destinations. Also called summer season. More information: When To Go To Costa Rica According To Cost, Weather, Wildlife, And More!

Green season
The period of time during each year when Costa Rica receives the majority of its annual rainfall; the timeline varies across destinations. Also called wet season or rain/rainy season. More information: When To Go To Costa Rica According To Cost, Weather, Wildlife, And More!

High season
The period of time during each year when Costa Rica receives the greatest number of foreign visitors; typically mid-December to April. Also called busy season. More information: When To Go To Costa Rica According To Cost, Weather, Wildlife, And More!

Holiday season
The period of time during each year when Costa Rica receives a surge of foreign visitors; represents the busiest part of the high season; typically the last two weeks of December to the first two weeks of January, as well as the week of Easter. Also called peak season. More information: When To Go To Costa Rica According To Cost, Weather, Wildlife, And More!

Jeep-boat-jeep service
A common mode of transportation between La Fortuna (Arenal) and Monteverde consisting of ground transportation to Lake Arenal and boat transportation across the lake. Also called van-boat-van service or taxi-boat-taxi service. More information: Best Ways To Travel From La Fortuna To Monteverde (Or Vice Versa) and Costa Rica Transportation: 12 Ways To Get Around Costa Rica.

LDW insurance
A type of mandatory Costa Rica car rental insurance, part of which is permitted to be purchased outside of Costa Rica (or inside Costa Rica, if preferred). Also called CDW insurance. More information: Costa Rica Car Rental Insurance Information

Low season
The period of time during each year when Costa Rica receives the fewest number of foreign visitors; typically May to mid-December. More information: When To Go To Costa Rica According To Cost, Weather, Wildlife, And More!

Peak season
The period of time during each year when Costa Rica receives a surge of foreign visitors; represents the busiest part of the high season; typically the last two weeks of December to the first two weeks of January, as well as the week of Easter. Also called holiday season. More information: When To Go To Costa Rica According To Cost, Weather, Wildlife, And More!

Peligro
The Spanish word for "danger." Can be seen on signs anywhere in Costa Rica, including at beaches where rip currents are present, or around forested areas or estuaries where dangerous wildlife may be present.

Piratas
A Spanish nickname given to unlicensed taxi drivers. Also called unofficial taxi drivers. More information: Costa Rica Transportation: 12 Ways To Get Around Costa Rica.

Playa galardonada
The Spanish phrase for "Award-winning beach." Commonly seen on signs stationed at beaches that participate in Costa Rica's Programa Bandera Azul Ecológica. More information: Costa Rica’s Ecological Blue Flag Program: Safe and Sustainable Beaches.

Playa(s)
The Spanish word for "beach(es)." More information: 66 Costa Rica Beaches (In Photos) And Where To Find Them.

Private transfer service(s)
Private transportation (i.e., a transportation service that is not shared with occupants outside of your travel group) typically performed in an air conditioned microbus (for 5-12 people) or coaster (up to 28 people) with the flexibility to make custom rest stops. More information: Costa Rica Transportation: 12 Ways To Get Around Costa Rica and Private Transfer Services In Costa Rica.

Pura vida
Costa Rica's national mantra, which translates to "pure life." More information: 5 Ways Costa Rica's Mantra, Pura Vida, Can Help You Get Through The Covid-19 Pandemic and What Does Pura Vida Mean.

Rain/rainy season
The period of time during each year when Costa Rica receives the majority of its annual rainfall; the timeline varies across destinations. Also called wet season or green season. More information: When To Go To Costa Rica According To Cost, Weather, Wildlife, And More!

Safari float(s)
Guided, slow-moving river tours typically performed in an inflatable raft, kayak, or canoe.


Shared shuttle service(s)
Collective transportation (i.e., a transportation service that is shared with other occupants) typically performed in an air conditioned microbus (for 5-12 people) with at least one scheduled rest stop. Also called shuttle(s). More information: Costa Rica Transportation: 12 Ways To Get Around Costa Rica and Shared Shuttle Services In Costa Rica.

Shoulder season
The period of time during each year when Costa Rica receives a surge of foreign visitors; represents the busiest part of the low season; typically July (sometimes the end of June) to August. More information: When To Go To Costa Rica According To Cost, Weather, Wildlife, And More!

Shuttle(s)
Collective transportation (i.e., a transportation service that is shared with other occupants) typically performed in an air conditioned microbus (for 5-12 people) with at least one scheduled rest stop. Also called shared shuttle service(s). More information: Costa Rica Transportation: 12 Ways To Get Around Costa Rica and Shared Shuttle Services In Costa Rica.

SLI insurance
A type of mandatory Costa Rica car rental insurance that provides coverage for damage and harm caused to others. Also called TPL insurance. More information: Costa Rica Car Rental Insurance Information

Summer season
The period of time during each year when Costa Rica receives the least of its annual rainfall; the timeline varies across destinations. Also called dry season. More information: When To Go To Costa Rica According To Cost, Weather, Wildlife, And More!

Taxi-boat-taxi service
A common mode of transportation between La Fortuna (Arenal) and Monteverde consisting of ground transportation to Lake Arenal and boat transportation across the lake. Also called van-boat-van service or jeep-boat-jeep service. More information: Best Ways To Travel From La Fortuna To Monteverde (Or Vice Versa) and Costa Rica Transportation: 12 Ways To Get Around Costa Rica.

Tica(s)
Costa Rican individual(s) who self-identifies as female.

Tico(s)
Costa Rican individual(s) who self-identifies as male.

Tour transportation
Guided adventure or nature tours that provide transportation between two destinations. These tours can help you save money and vacation time by participating in a tour/activity while traveling between two Costa Rican towns. Also called city-to-city transportation-inclusive tours or adventure connections. More information: Costa Rica Tour Transportation: How To Use Tours To Travel Between Destinations.

TPL insurance
A type of mandatory Costa Rica car rental insurance that provides coverage for damage and harm caused to others. Also called SLI insurance. More information: Costa Rica Car Rental Insurance Information

Unofficial taxi drivers
Unlicensed taxi drivers. Also called piratas. More information: Costa Rica Transportation: 12 Ways To Get Around Costa Rica.

Van-boat-van service
A common mode of transportation between La Fortuna (Arenal) and Monteverde consisting of ground transportation to Lake Arenal and boat transportation across the lake. Also called jeep-boat-jeep service or taxi-boat-taxi service. More information: Best Ways To Travel From La Fortuna To Monteverde (Or Vice Versa) and Costa Rica Transportation: 12 Ways To Get Around Costa Rica.

VAT
Value-added tax; the tax that applies to most services in Costa Rica including tourism services. More information: What You Need To Know About The 13% VAT Tax In Costa Rica

Wet season
The period of time during each year when Costa Rica receives the majority of its annual rainfall; the timeline varies across destinations. Also called green season or rain/rainy season. More information: When To Go To Costa Rica According To Cost, Weather, Wildlife, And More!

Zipline(s)/Ziplining
A guided adventure tour during which you'll glide through the rainforest on a series of cables suspended among or above the treetops (a.k.a., the forest canopy). Also called canopy tour(s). More information: Your Costa Rica Ziplining Questions Answered! and Best Ziplines In Costa Rica: Comparing 6 In Arenal And Monteverde.

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