Friday 31 March 2023

The most Popular Sports within Costa Rica     

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As it is across the world, sports play a huge part in the culture of different countries and Costa Rica is hooked on a wide range itself.

The central American nation has its passions for the global sports such as soccer and golf as well as the big North American sports such as the NFL.

Some of Costa Rica’s most popular sports include:


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A globally loved sport, soccer is the most popular sport in the world and it’s no different in Costa Rica. The national team have had stars who have represented the some of the best teams in the world, no one more so than Kaylor Navas who has played for Real Madrid and Paris St-Germain in his time.

The national team have been a strong side in CONCACAF despite their size compared with the likes of the United States and Mexico. Once again, they reached the World Cup in Qatar in 2022 where they defeated Germany and came close to reaching the knockout rounds.

Emulating your heroes and playing in local leagues has helped develop the game domestically and their club sides also compete well in CONCACAF competitions.


The most popular sport in the United States is also popular in Costa Rica. While they are still awaiting the first Costa Rican NFL player, that hasn’t dampened the excitement for the sports.

People across the country tune in each week and the Super Bowl is televised in almost every bar. Betting is legal, so Super Bowl prop bets attract plenty of attention each season. The sport is played across the country with a number of teams including the Bulldogs FA who are based in San Jose.


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The beautiful beaches and incredible climate make watersports so popular in Costa Rica. Getting out to the beach and riding the waves, either in the Pacific Ocean or the Caribbean Seas depending on which side of the island you’re on, are perfect places for surfing.

Costa Rica’s authorities promote the development of surfing across the country and there are a number of surfing schools up and down each side of Costa Rica.

Carlos Muñoz is possibly one of the most famous surfers from Costa Rica. Sponsored by Red Bull he first appeared on the professional surfing scene after winning the Volcom Pro Junior Championship in 2010.


With the weather consistently perfect for golfing, with warm, sunny days to enjoy the sport across its selection of golf courses. The outdoor lifestyle is hugely important to Costa Ricans and golf is a great way for people of all ages to get out and play.

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Paul Chapet has been recently crowned the Central American champion and the quality of play continues to increase. Costa Rican players continue to develop and compete, Luis Gagne for example won the PGA Tour Canada Qualifying School and qualified for the 2021 U.S. Open in California.

As well as for residents, golfing holidays are incredibly popular with people coming from all over the world to play the Costa Rican courses each year.


There is a varied landscape and terrain in Costa Rica, and it is a place to get out and discover. Getting out on a bike and exploring the country is something which many locals as well as tourists love to do.

Mountain biking and getting out across the different off-road trails that are on offer. Seeing the exquisite nature as well as getting in some fun and often adrenaline-fueled excitement from the hills and the trails.

Andrey Amador is an influence on many in road cycling and is a professional with the UCI World Team Ineos Grenadiers. He carried the flag for his nation at the 2011 Pan American Games opening ceremony and is the first Costa Rican ever to ride the Tour de France.


Volleyball is popular across the country and is played regularly in schools, colleges and universities as well as going into the professional leagues. The national team has regularly been part of world championships, Olympics, and other international tournaments. They are the only country from Central America to ever sent volleyball players to the Olympics.

The women’s national volleyball team have won the Central American Games eight times as well as finishing second and third on two occasions.

As well as indoor volleyball, beach volleyball is hugely popular with the beautiful beaches an incredible place to practice.

The country is a great place for sports as a tourist and you can see why they are so important to the country.

The focus that is placed on developing opportunities for people to play ensures that there are different opportunities for all to get involved in something they love.

With a great climate, outdoor sports are hugely popular as you’d expect while there are great opportunities for indoor sports like Volleyball which have flourished in the country.

Costa Rica continues to punch above its weight on the international scene in sports like soccer and volleyball with their smaller population but no lack of quality.


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Carter Maddox
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