The Costa Rican culture is very varied and characterized by its indigenous roots, as well as European, Afro-Caribbean and Asian influences. The result is a multiracial country mixed with many different ethnic groups and a multicultural society.
Before the arrival of the Spaniards Costa Rica is considered the frontier zone between the tribes of the south as the Caribes, Borucas and Chibchas that came from South America, and the cultures of the north, like the Nahuatl and the Indians Chorotegas. These civilizations did not have the magnificence in constructions and infrastructures of the Aztecs, Mayas and Incas, nevertheless, they turned the country into a cultural bridge between the North and the South of the continent. The gold craftwork and clay crafts had a wide development and impressive results. Interesting relics of pre-Columbian culture are the Guayabo National Monument and the mysterious spheres of Diquis in southern Costa Rica. Admirable pieces of jade and gold jewelry can be found at the Jade Museum and Pre-Columbian Gold Museum in downtown San José.
Today, about 2.4% of the Costa Rican population is of indigenous origin from eight different ethnic groups: Bribris, Borucas, Cacécares, Chorotegas, Huetares, Malekus, Ngöbes, Teribes. Most live in southeastern Costa Rica and retain their culture, language and religion. The government officially recognizes 24 fully autonomous territories, the so called "Indigenous Territories". They have their own government and legal system. A great festival that takes place every year in the Boruca Reserve, is the Diablitos Festival, a symbolic struggle and victory of the Indians over the Spaniards.
Costa Rican Culture
The authentic culture of the Ticos can be experienced at local fiestas, as well as at festivals such as the International Festival of Arts, Costa Rica's most important cultural event. A party where you can enjoy the exotic Afro-Caribbean culture is the carnival in Puerto Limón.
In Costa Rica most of the colonial buildings were destroyed by several earthquakes. Among the few buildings of the colonial heritage are the mystical ruins of the Parroquia de Santiago Apóstol in Cartago, the intact Franciscan monastery in Orosi and the romantic ruins of Ujarras. The most important historical building for Costa Rica is the beautiful hacienda La Casona in the Santa Rosa National Park in Guanacaste.