Useful Spanish Phrases for Your Costa Rica Adventure
While there’s no language requirement on Costa Rica Rios trips, it’s always fun to use a bit of the local dialect, right? Here are a few phrases to get you started; the locals might even mistake you for a Tico/Tica.
Más rápido, mae – Faster, dude; may be useful with your whitewater rafting guide if you want to pick it up a notch (loco = crazy, by the way).
¡Pero tengo miedo! – But I’m scared! This phrase is often followed by delighted screaming and laughing; say this right before you zip-line across a canopy.
¡Otra vez! – Again! You loved that flight through the trees, didn’t you?
Te amo – I love you. Surprise your new husband or wife with this phrase on your honeymoon as you gaze off into the Caribbean horizon.
¿Cuánto cuesta? – How much does it cost? This will be useful in between adventures if you choose to snatch up a Costa Rican souvenir or two, like a bag of local coffee or artisan pottery.
¡Qué ola tan grande! – What a big wave! While surfing, this may mean you either rush out to sea or rush back to shore, depending on your skill level. Or maybe you’re on the beach and want to warn your friends to pick up their towels.
¿Cómo se llama (pointing at something)? – What is that called? When you spot unknown exotic wildlife while snorkeling or hiking, use this phrase to learn their names, or ask about that volcano up ahead or the bright blue butterfly that landed on your bike.
Me duelen las piernas – My legs hurt. Speaking of bikes, your quads or hamstrings might burn a bit from that mountain biking portion of the trip; use this excuse to take a breather and a snap a few pics of the scenery.
¡Qué lindo/bonito! – How beautiful! Use while pointing to that view, that flower, that sunset, that bird, etc. You’ll probably be using this one at least every five minutes if you’re not busy catching your breath or laughing.
¡Qué rico! – How delicious! Compliment your chef or server, or just rave to your trip companions about the fresh fish on your plate or the fruit smoothie you’re slurping down.
¡Pura vida! – this ubiquitous Costa Rican phrase has a dozen meanings, which makes it applicable in most situations. Literally, it means “pure life” and often refers to the relaxed attitudes of Ticos (Costa Ricans). But it also can be a greeting, an exclamation of approval, a descriptor of how you’re feeling, a synonym for excellent, or just something you scream as you kayak down a rushing river.