Exploring Costa Rica’s National Symbols

Coldwell Banker Pacific Realty | 24th April 2024 | Share
Exploring Costa Rica’s National Symbols

Costa Rica’s national symbols display cultural significance, historical context, and ecological importance. From the majestic yigüirro, whose melodious song heralds the arrival of the rainy season, to the timeless imagery of “La Carreta,” a testament to the nation's agricultural heritage and craftsmanship, each symbol offers a glimpse into the soul of Costa Rica. In this blog we’ll uncover ten of Costa Rica’s most notable national symbols and the rich tapestry of meaning woven into them, offering a deeper understanding of Costa Rica's identity and values.


  1. The National Emblem (El Escudo Nacional)

The National Emblem was declared a national symbol on September 29th, 1848, during José María Castro Madriz first presidential administration. Throughout the years, the Emblem underwent many modifications including the removal of war elements due to the elimination of their national army. Today the emblem features seven stars to represent the seven provinces, three green volcanoes, and a great blue ocean.

  1. The National Flag (La Bandera Nacional)

Also declared a national symbol on September 29th, 1848, the Costa Rican National Flag features three colors: blue, red, and white. Blue represents the blue sky, red represents the energy, courage and selflessness of the soldiers who fought for the independence of the country, and white represents peace.

  1. The Guarianthe Skinner (La Guardia Morada)

On June 15, 1939, La Guaria Morada was declared the national flower as it reflects the diversity of ecosystems in Costa Rica through its presence in multiple regions of the country.

  1. The Guanacaste Tree ( El Árbol de Guanacaste)

On August 24, 1959, the forest species popularly known by the name “Guanacaste” was declared as the National Tree of Costa Rica. A campaign carried out by the director of the newspaper La Tribuna, voted for the Guanacaste tree as a tribute to the people of Guanacaste for joining the country of Costa Rica as the fifth province.

  1. The Clay-Colored Thrush (El Yigüiro)

The Yigüiro make their nests in the month of May and usually live in gardens, parks, coffee plantations, shady pastures, river edges. It was chosen as the national bird on January 14th, 1977, for its beautifully harmonious song.

  1. The National Anthem (El Himno Nacional)

Declared a national symbol on July 15th, 1949, the music of the Costa Rican National Anthem of was written in 1852, by poet Manuel María Gutiérrez, however, the final lyrics were written by José María Zeledón and released on September 15, 1903.

  1. The Oxcart (La Carreta)

During the 19th century, the economic growth of Central America increased due to the incorporation of coffee to the agricultural environment. The carts symbolized the transfer of the “golden grain” to the shipping where it was later taken to Europe and as a means of subsistence for peasant families. The exterior of the carts are decorated according to geographical region of Costa Rica from which they come from.

  1. The White-Tailed Deer (El Venado Cola Blanca)

The White-tailed Deer was declared a symbol of the wildlife of Costa Rica on June 8, 1995. It is generally observed in herds of six members during the night or early morning. When it detects danger, it flees, jumping strongly and agilely, raising its white tail to warn the other members of the herd.

  1. The Marimba

The marimba is the musical instrument associated with the most diverse and popular festivities in Costa Rica therefore it was declared a national symbol on September 3rd , 1996.

  1. The Manatee (El Manatí)

In 2013, two children proposed declaring the manatee as a national symbol due to studying about it in school. Soon thereafter, on September 24, 2014, the manatee was declared a symbol of the marine fauna of Costa Rica and represented the hope and interest of Costa Rican children in the protection of the natural resources present in the national territory.


As we conclude our exploration of Costa Rica's national symbols, we're reminded of the culture, history, and natural wonders that define this extraordinary country. It is important to note that an additional nine national symbols exist in Cost Rica, these include:

  1. The Torch (La Antorcha)
  2. The Crestones Rock Formation
  3. The Stone Spheres of Diquis (Las Esferas Indígenas Precolombinas)
  4. The National Theatre (El Teatro Nacional)
  5. Coffee (El Café)
  6. The Sloth (El Oso Perezoso)
  7. Oxherding (El Boyeo)
  8. The Morpho Butterfly (La Mariposa Morpho)
  9. The Masquerades (Las Mascaradas)

Whether you're dreaming of your next adventure to Costa Rica or simply seeking to connect with the country from afar, may the tales of the national symbols inspire you to explore, discover, and celebrate the wonders of this remarkable culture.


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