Useful Spanish Travel Phrases For Costa Rica Posted on May 22, 2020 (December 21, 2023) by Casa Teresa You hardly need to be fluent in Spanish to be a tourist in Costa Rica, but making an effort to learn useful Spanish phrases for conversation will certainly come in handy, or at least earn you brownie points with the locals! We’ll start you off with the most important phrase, one that’ll be greeted with a smile across the country: ¡Pura Vida! — this phrase is basically the national motto and literally translates to “pure life.” It can also be used to simply mean “excellent.” The Basics If you learn nothing else, at least learn these simple Spanish travel phrases. English Spanish Yes Sí No No Hello Hola (oh-la) Goodbye Adiós Goodbye Adiós Please Por favor Thank you Gracias Good morning Buenos días Good afternoon Buenas tardes Good evening/good night Buenas noches (bwe-nas no-ches) Do you speak English? ¿Habla inglés? (ah-blah een-gles) My name is… Me llamo… Navigation/Transportation You never know when you might take a wrong turn. These are useful Spanish phrases for conversation when you’re trying to get from place to place. Where is the bathroom? ¿Dónde está el baño? I’m lost. Could you please help me? Estoy perdida. ¿Me podría ayudar, por favor? Right La derecha Left La izquierda Bus station La estación de buses Train station La estación de tren Ferry La balsa (Or simply “el ferry”) Ticket (for the bus, ferry, etc) El tiquete (Note: in Latin America, a ticket is “el boleto,” and in Spain, it’s “el billete” or ”el tique.” Central America uses “el tiquete” but they will likely understand the other phrases.) Taxi Taxi Stop here Pare aquí Shopping In addition to these Spanish travel phrases for shopping, brush up on your numbers so you know what price they’re giving you! Open Abierto Closed Cerrado Supermarket El supermercado How much is it?/How much does it cost? ¿Cuánto vale? (kwan-toh ba-leh) Can I pay with a card? ¿Puedo pagar con tarjeta? (Pwe-doh pa-gahr cohn tar-heh-tah) Do you take dollars? ¿Aceptan dólares? (Ah-sep-tahn doh-lah-rays) Do you have…? ¿Tiene…? Use this if you’re looking for something specific (e.g., ¿Tiene agua?) Restaurant Most waiters will know basic English to serve you, but it helps to know some useful Spanish phrases for conversation on the off chance that they don’t. What would you like to drink? ¿Para tomar? May I see the menu? ¿Puedo ver el menú? Thanks for the good service Gracias por el excelente servicio I would like… Yo quisiera or me gustaría… (Note: Avoid saying “yo quiero” because it doesn’t sound as polite.) The bill, please La cuenta, por favor Food If you have allergies or preferences for some basic ingredients, it’s helpful to know some basic foods to read the menu. Water El agua Chicken El pollo Beef La carne de vaca Pork El cerdo Fish El pescado (Note: The animal is “el pez” while the food is “el pescado.”) Vegetarian Vegetariano (male) Vegetariana (female) Beer La cerveza Wine El vino Coffee with milk or black? ¿Café con leche o negro? Rice El arroz Beans El frijol Soup La sopa Did you notice any Spanish travel phrases missing from our list that you’d like to add? Contact us to let us know! Casa Teresa is a full-service luxury villa located right on the beautiful beach of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. From concierge services to private chefs to adventure tours to event planning—we have it all and more. At Casa Teresa, you can see for yourself what pura vida is all about.