Experience Costa Rica’s Culture in Coffee, Shopping and More

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There are a few cultural experiences that you must take in on a Costa Rica vacation which are unique not only to this part of the tropical world, but offer tantalizingly special experiences you just can't find elsewhere.

For instance, while the capital of San Jose is home to museums and performing arts, you don't have to go too far off the beaten track to see the latin influences such as in the National Theatre. A 1,000 seat capacity, it looks inside and out as if you're transported back a hundred years to a time of grand plantations and operettas. In fact there is an Opera Festival in August that is followed up by a music festival. Plays and dance troups also frequent the building.

Visiting a coffee farm is a must to see the native culture as it hasn't changed over the centuries. Monteverde, San Jose, Heredia and Naranjo all boast coffee plantation tours. The Cafe Monteverde tour gives visitors an opportunity to see rural Costa Rican life and the production of coffee. San Jose is home to the Doka Coffee Estate, Heredia home to Cafe Britt and Naranjo home to Espiritu Santo Coffee. Tours include roasting facilities and tastings.

The Sarchi Market, well known for its pink church, is home to skilled artisans and street shopping. Most famous are the unique and colorful oxcarts displayed in so many photographs of Costa Rica. This is a great opportunity to bring home unique and colorful souvenirs, and even furniture. Artisans are available to talk to and provide information about their art and the history behind their pieces. This shopping experience definitely cannot be missed. Costa Rica is well known for its artisans and pottery and pieces should be obtained to remind you of the paradise you had to leave.

San Jose the capital of Costa Rica is known for its variety and bargains when it comes to shopping in Costa Rica. But there are some other areas worth noting and exploring. The Central Valley has three large malls. The Multiplaza mall has two locations, in Escazu which is between the airport and San Jose and the Multiplaza del Este in Zapote, a suburb of San Jose. The Terra Mall is between San Jose and Cartargo.

You don't have to look or go far to enjoy unique cultural experiences in Costa Rica. This is a nation that to an extent is stuck in time, mixing the old with the new, and it's therefore an opportune time to see Costa Rica's transitions and to be able to experience the traditional elements of the Pura Vida lifestyle.
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