20 Tico Spanish Expressions To Learn Before Visiting Costa Rica:

Yes, there are gorgeous beaches, majestic volcanoes, incredible rainforest, and fantastic wildlife. But perhaps the best thing about Costa Rica is its people, culture, and what they can teach us about how to live a happier lifestyle. It’s in their very language — a philosophy of letting go, relaxing, and knowing how to enjoy life. So enroll in a Summer course with us and study up on a few Costa Rican (Tico) phrases before flying to the land of pura vida.

1. Tico/Tica

Meaning: An individual from Costa Rica.
Used in a Sentence: “Are you from Costa Rica?” “Yes! I’m Tica/Tico.”

2. Tuanis

Meaning: “Too Nice”, cool, or really good.
Used in a Sentence: “You’re going to the beach? Tuanis.”

3. Pura Vida

Meaning: “Pure Life” / hello / goodbye / thank you.
Used in a Sentence: “How are you? Pura Vida!”

4. Diay!

Meaning: Really?! / Wow!
Used in a Sentence: “It’s your birthday? Diay! I didn’t know.”

5. Si / No

Meaning: Wow, really? / Yeah… no.
Used in a Sentence: “Si no… I don’t want to go out tonight.”

6. Chiva!

Meaning: Really cool!
Used in a Sentence: “You painted that? Que Chiva!”

7. Acharita

Meaning: Such a shame.
Used in a Sentence: “Your flight got cancelled? Acharita… sorry.”

8. Chunche

Meaning: Thing.
Used in a Sentence: “Can you pass me the chunche? It’s over there.”

9. Es un Queque.

Meaning: It is really easy.
Used in a Sentence: “The test? Don’t worry. Es un queque.”

10. Ahorita

Meaning: Very soon. In a short but indefinite time.
Used in a Sentence: “I’ll be there ahorita.”

11. Jale!

Meaning: Let’s go!
Used in a Sentence: “Come on! Jale!”

12. Que Pacho!

Meaning: How funny.
Used in a Sentence: “Hahaha, que pacho!”

13. Que Camote!

Meaning: Someone is problematic.
Used in a Sentence: “Ugh, que camote! You’re always so rude.”

14. Estoy Limpio!

Meaning: I don’t have any money! I’m broke.
Used in a Sentence: “Sorry I can’t go. Estoy Limpio!”

15. Manda Huevo.

Meaning: Oh come on!
Used in a Sentence: “Manda Huevo! Come out with us!”

16. Sapo

Meaning: Show off, someone that’s always trying to stand out.
Used in a Sentence: “You’re such a sapo! You don’t have to dress up we’re just going grocery shopping!”

17. Que Madre.

Meaning: Oh no!
Used in a Sentence: “Que madre! What happened?”

18. Upe!

Meaning: Hello, is anybody there?
Used in a Sentence: *knock* “Upe!”

19. Que Torta.

Meaning: Something bad happened.
Used in a Sentence: “Hey, I need to talk to you… que torta.”

20. Mae

Meaning: Men/Dude
Used in a Sentence: “Mae! I can’t believe it’s 5:30 already!”


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A few spots are still open on our Summer courses. Enroll below and contact us at Enrollment@OutwardBoundCR.org or 1.800.676.2018 for any questions.

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