5 Great Gastronomy Experiences in Costa Rica


Costa Rica, known for its stunning natural beauty and biodiversity, also offers a rich culinary scene that reflects the country’s diverse cultural influences and abundant local ingredients. From traditional dishes rooted in indigenous traditions to innovative fusion cuisine, Costa Rica’s gastronomy is a true feast for the senses. If you’re a food enthusiast planning a trip to this Central American paradise, here are five gastronomy experiences you won’t want to miss.

How to make a great coffee!
  1. Coffee Tour

Costa Rica is renowned for its high-quality coffee, and no visit to the country would be complete without experiencing a coffee tour and tasting. Explore the lush coffee plantations that dot the country’s mountainous regions, where you can learn about the coffee production process from bean to cup. Sample a variety of specialty coffees, from rich and bold blends to smooth and aromatic single-origin varietals and discover why Costa Rican coffee is beloved by coffee connoisseurs around the world.

Costa Rican coffee holds a special place in the country’s history and culture, with its cultivation dating back to the early 19th century. Introduced to Costa Rica in the 1700s, coffee quickly became one of the country’s most important crops, transforming the economy and shaping the landscape of the Central Valley. Known for its rich flavor and high quality, Costa Rican coffee gained international recognition and became a prized commodity in markets around the world. Today, coffee production remains a vital part of Costa Rica’s agricultural sector, with small-scale farmers and large estates alike continuing the tradition of growing and harvesting some of the finest Arabica beans in the world. From the lush mountainsides of the Central Valley to the fertile slopes of the Tarrazú region, Costa Rican coffee is not just a beverage – it’s a symbol of the country’s heritage and a source of pride for its people.

Stay at Enchanting Hotel´s Xandari Resort and Spa and visit a Coffee Farm nearby. Its Mediterranean and Californian-inspired restaurant menu includes produce sourced from the hotel´s plantations also.

Cristal Ballena Hotel is located by one of Costa Rica´s 8 Coffee Growing Regions: Brunca. It is said that the coffee has notes of chocolate and tropical fruits and produces coffee with unique profiles.

Hacienda Guachipelin on the slopes of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano has its own Coffee Corner featuring coffee from two of Costa Rica´s most impressive coffee regions. The menu is varied and the perfect place to enjoy the traditional “Café Chorreado”.

Learn how to make chocolate at a workshop. It´s delicious!
  1. Chocolate Workshops

Indulge your sweet tooth and learn about the fascinating history and production of chocolate with a chocolate workshop in Costa Rica. The country’s tropical climate and fertile soil provide the perfect conditions for growing cacao, and chocolate lovers will delight in the opportunity to taste the rich and complex flavors of Costa Rican chocolate. Join a guided tour of a cacao plantation, where you can see how cacao beans are harvested and processed, and then try your hand at making your chocolate treats under the guidance of expert chocolatiers.

The story of chocolate begins in Mesoamerica, where ancient civilizations such as the Olmecs, Mayans, and Aztecs revered cacao as a sacred plant with divine properties. The cacao tree, native to the tropical regions of Central and South America, produces pods filled with cacao beans, which were harvested, fermented, and roasted to create a bitter, spicy beverage enjoyed by royalty and commoners alike. Known as “xocolātl” in the Aztec language, this early form of chocolate was prized for its invigorating effects and was often consumed during religious ceremonies and as a symbol of wealth and power.

Stay at Enchanting Hotel´s Tilajari Eco-Resort and do a local Chocolate Workshop. Learn how chocolate is more than just a sweet indulgence – it’s a symbol of cultural heritage, a source of health benefits, and a delicious way to brighten your day.

Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge has an Organic Chocolate Making Tour where not only do you learn about the process, but you can also make and taste your chocolate.

Costa Rica´s famous Gallo Pinto! Healthy and delicious
  1. Gallo Pinto – one of the best breakfasts in the world

Gallo Pinto, which translates to “spotted rooster” in English, is more than just a delicious dish – it’s a symbol of Costa Rican culture, tradition, and vitality. Whether you’re savoring a plate of Gallo Pinto at a local soda, trying your hand at making it yourself, or simply enjoying the camaraderie of sharing a meal with loved ones, you’re experiencing a taste of Costa Rica’s rich culinary heritage.

Just recently, Costa Rica´s famously delicious Gallo Pinto has been named one of the world´s healthiest breakfasts by Time Magazine just recently!  Coming in at 6th, the Gallo Pinto is “Black beans—and the heavy amounts of iron, zinc, potassium, thiamin, and folate inside—play a central role in breakfast here. Mixed with rice, and spiced with cumin, pepper, and garlic, Gallo Pinto often comes with eggs on the side and a host of vitamin-rich tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, papaya, and plantains. The breakfast might have a lot to do with Costa Rica’s “Blue Zone” designation, given to countries with long-living populations.”

The Blue Zone Connection

Costa Rica is home to one of the world’s five Blue Zones – regions where people live longer, healthier, and happier lives than anywhere else on Earth. In these Blue Zones, centenarians are common, and chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are rare. What’s the secret to their longevity? While there are many factors at play, including diet, lifestyle, and genetics, one thing that stands out is the traditional diet of Blue Zone residents, which is rich in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables – including plenty of Gallo Pinto.

Stay at the Nicoya Blue Zone at Enchanting Hotel´s Rancho Humo Estancia where the dining experience is as beautiful as the views of the wetlands and the true Guanacaste landscape.

Nammbu Bungalows is on the Blue Zone coast and overlooks the stunning Carrillo Beach, just south of its better-known neighbor, Samara Beach. Breakfast overlooks the Pacific Ocean and where better than a plate of Gallo Pinto.

Before exploring the RAMSAR wetlands, enjoy a delicious Gallo Pinto at Hacienda Caño Negro that offers touches of ingredients used by the Maleku indigenous peoples of the area.

For a variation on a theme, try the Caribbean “Rice and Beans” at Manatus Hotel at Tortuguero. Made with rice and beans with coconut and a bit of spice, this is a favorite too!

Colors, flavors, fresh and fun!
  1. Farmers Market

Exploring Costa Rica’s Farmer Markets: A Feast for the Senses

In Costa Rica, a trip to the local farmer market isn’t just about buying groceries – it’s an immersive experience that tantalizes the senses and showcases the country’s abundant natural bounty. Whether you’re a food enthusiast, a cultural explorer, or simply someone who appreciates fresh, flavorful produce, a visit to one of Costa Rica’s farmer markets is a must-do activity. Here’s why:

  • A Riot of Colors and Aromas
  • A Sign of Costa Rica’s Fresh Produce
  • Cultural Immersion and Community Spirit
  • Supporting Local Farmers and Sustainable Agriculture
  • A Culinary Adventure Awaits

Studio Hotel Boutique is by the suburb of Santa Ana and while in one of San Jose´s most up-and-coming areas, Santa Ana retains many traditions including the Sunday morning Fruit and Vegetable Market. What a great way to enjoy the flavors and colors of the produce and the lively atmosphere.

Food, glorious food. Costa Rica cuisine at its best
  1. Fine Dining Experiences

For a truly unforgettable gastronomic experience, treat yourself to a meal at one of Costa Rica’s acclaimed fine-dining restaurants. From elegant beachfront eateries to intimate jungle hideaways, the country boasts a growing number of restaurants that are pushing the boundaries of culinary creativity while celebrating the best of local ingredients. Indulge in innovative tasting menus that showcase the talents of Costa Rica’s top chefs, paired with fine wines and artisanal cocktails that perfectly complement each dish.

The creative kitchens of the Enchanting Hotel are ideal for delighting in the Costa Rican fine dining experiences. Let´s showcase a few:

Le Cameleon´s Noa Bar and Restaurant Beach Club with its signature Caribbean Lobster paired with a refreshing Coconut Mojito overlooking the picture-perfect Cocles Beach

Laggus Fine-Dining Restaurant sits within the cloud forest at El Establo Mountain Hotel and Private Reserve.  Combine delicious dining with a wide variety of quality wines while enjoying the stunning views.

Bosque del Mar Hotel on the Beautiful or Hermosa Beach boasts the Niromi Restaurant which offers a varied menu of dishes ranging from fresh seafood to vegan risotto while listening to the sounds of the sea and the forest.

Costa Rica offers a diverse and vibrant gastronomy scene that is sure to delight food enthusiasts of all tastes and preferences. Whether you’re savoring farm-fresh flavors, sampling traditional street food, or indulging in gourmet fine dining, you’ll find that every bite tells a story of the country’s rich cultural heritage and natural abundance. So come hungry and prepare to embark on a culinary journey like no other in the enchanting land of Costa Rica.

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