Discover the Wonders of Time in Costa Rica

The Current Time in Costa Rica

Costa Rica observes a single time zone, which falls under the UTC—06:00 zone, and doesn't follow daylight savings time. Being situated just 9 degrees north of the equator, Costa Rica experiences comparable daylight hours throughout the year, with the sun rising around 5:30 a.m. and setting by 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. depending on the season. During the rainy season (May-November), the sun rises and sets ahead of the dry season (December-April) by approximately 30-34 minutes.

Time in Costa Rica, Smiling Sloth

Tico Time

As a part of the Costa Rican culture, "Tico time” is a term frequently thrown around. It finds its roots in the "pura vida” mindset that dominates everyday lives in Costa Rica. This way of life brings with it a laid-back attitude that sometimes doesn't cater to punctuality. For instance, if you agree to meet a friend for lunch at 12:00pm, don't be surprised if they show up by 12:30 pm or even later. Host a party starting at 8:00 pm, and expect guests to drop in any time between 8:00 pm and midnight. Even running errands, like visiting a bank or getting a haircut, may take longer than usual.

Tico Time: A Double-Edged Sword

Tico time depicts an enjoyable aspect of the Costa Rican culture and way of life. People generally don't fret over setbacks and confrontations, lending towards a generally respectful and upbeat society marked by the "Pura Vida" spirit embraced by many.

Nevertheless, Tico time can also prove to be frustrating, both for foreigners and Ticos themselves. If you're used to sticking to stringent schedules or expect things to run strictly on time, Tico time may lead to needless stress and disappointment. The capital city, San Jose, mostly follows a business culture and US influences, so you won't find Tico time problematic. However, traveling to the coastline presents a different story, where the locals are often seen as very laid back, embracing the "Pura Vida" lifestyle, and running on Tico time.

If you're a foreigner visiting or living in Costa Rica, it's best to appreciate Tico time as a way of life instead of getting overly stressed or annoyed.

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