Traveling to Costa Rica with kids is an amazing experience that no one is likely to forget (check here for our top 5 travel tips for families traveling to Costa Rica)! While Costa Rica has an incredibly high number of English-speaking residents, it’s always a good idea to have a few family-specific phrases ready to use for when you are off the beaten path, or the kids are feeling impatient. For us, phrases related to basic needs such as eating and sleeping are most helpful, because when the kids have those needs satisfied, they tend to be more flexible travelers. Here are our top 10 Spanish phrases for families traveling with kids in Costa Rica… and there is a free handy printable at the bottom for reference while you travel!
- ¿Cuánto vale? (kwan-to ba-le) How much is it?
Example: ¿Cuánto vale esta camiseta? (How much does this t-shirt cost?)
Note: Many Spanish teachers will teach ¿Cuánto cuesta? to ask how much an item is, however, ¿cuánto vale? is much more common throughout Costa Rica.
- ¿Dónde queda? (dohn-de kay-duh) Where is it located?
Example: ¿Dónde queda la piscina? (Where is the swimming pool located?)
Note: You will not receive a response here with a specific address, more often than not you will receive a response that includes landmarks, so be prepared!
- ¿Cuánto dura? (kwan-to du-ra) How long does it take?
Example: ¿Cuánto dura el tour? (How long is the tour)
Note: Between an extremely laid-back lifestyle and roads and weather that are unpredictable, in Costa Rica, when traveling with kids it´s often a good idea to confirm the length of activities before embarking on the adventure.
- La cuna (la ku-nah) crib
Example: ¿El hotel ofrece cuna? (Does the hotel offer a crib?)
- El menú de niños (el me-nuh day nin-yos) kid´s menu
Example: ¿Tienen un menú de niños? (Do you have a kid`s menu?)
Note: While there may not be kid´s food specifically printed on a menu, restaurants will often make special dishes to order, and often at a low price.
- El coche (para bebé) (el co-chay) stroller
Example: ¿Dónde puedo comprar un coche para bebé?) (Where can I buy a stroller?)
Note: In other Latin American countries and Spain “el coche” means car. In Costa Rica, “el coche” is a stroller and “el carro” is an automobile
- Es asiento de bebé (el ah-sien-toh day be-beh) carseat
Example: ¿El carro viene con asiento de bebé? (Does the car come with a carseat for a child?)
- La silla alta para bebé (la si-ya al-tah pa-da be-beh) high chair
Example: ¿Me trae una silla alta para bebé? (will you bring me a high chair?)
- ¿Dónde está el baño? (don-day es-tah el ban-yo) Where is the bathroom?
Example: No example needed… any potty training parent knows how important this is!
Note: While many places will not offer a public restroom, almost every place in Costa Rica has a restroom, and I have never been denied entry when one of my children has urgently needed to go. Don´t be afraid to ask!
- ¡Pura vida! (pu-dah vi-dah) Literally “pure life,” but also means “thank you,” “great,” “awesome” and pretty much anything positive and happy
Example: ¿Cómo la han pasado en Costa Rica? ¡Pura vida! (How has your trip to Costa Rica been? Awesome!)
Click here for a free handy printable with these phrases, and take it with you as you travel!