An Introduction to Costa Rican Art in 6 Captivating Artists

Costa Rican life
Costa Rican life | © Francisco Arighetti
Jenn Parker

When most people think of Costa Rica, they think about the beautiful beaches, biodiverse rainforests, and the abundance of adventurous activities, such as zip-lining, whitewater rafting, and surfing. However, the art world, both past and present, is a very rich part of Costa Rica’s colorful culture that should not be missed. There are quite a few very impressive artists that come from Costa Rica.

Master of all arts


Master of all arts

Francisco Amighetti is one of the most impressive artists, not only in Costa Rica, but in the world. From a young age, he showed immense artistic talent and, while classically trained, he abandoned that training in his early adult life to pursue a wide range of artist expressions. He created over 500 individual pieces of art in his lifetime. He expressed himself through surrealist and abstract art, watercolors, oil paint, sculpture, impressionist landscape painting, and even intricate woodcutting. Some of his work has a permanent residence at the Museum of Costa Rican Art in San Jose.

True talent | © Francisco Armighetti

True talent © Francisco Amighetti

Landscape revolutionist

In the later part of the 1920s, Teodorico Quiros Alvarado, along with several other artists, formed a group called the Group of New Sensibility. Alvarado is one of Costa Rica’s most famous landscape artists and the leader of a great art movement. Alvarado and the other artists of this group created art that portrayed authentic Costa Rican life, including the quaint communities, vibrant colors, and stunning settings of the country during this period.

Stunning landscapes

Picasso of Costa Rica

Manuel de la Cruz Gonzalez Lujan created a vast collection of landscape, abstract, and cubism-style art during the 1920s and 1930s. He was part of a generation of nationalists, who at the time were working to save native landscape art from the Central Valley. He had, and still has, a great influence on the art world, especially in the abstract art realm. Over the course of his art career, he won a lot of awards for his unique creations.


Soccer player, teacher, architect, and artist

Rafael Angel Garcia was born in Costa Rica, but spent a significant part of his early life abroad. Before he was an artist, he was a professional soccer player in Havana, Cuba. It was there that he met Manuel de La Cruz González, who encouraged him to explore painting as a means of self-expression. He continued to play soccer and eventually ended up playing on the Columbian team while he also took several jobs where he was able to use his painting skills. He then ended up meeting Teodorico Quiros Alvarado and worked alongside him, while further developing his artistic skills, especially in landscape and architecture.

Costa Rica cityscape

Painter and poet

Jorge Gallardo studied art extensively in Madrid, Florence, Rome, Paris, and Mexico before returning to Costa Rica. While in Europe and Mexico, Gallardo met and became inspired by several important figureheads, like Octavio Paz and Giovanni Papini. Once back in Costa Rica, he began painting exquisite scenes depicting everyday life in his home country. He used bold colors and strong lines in his lifestyle paintings. Gallardo also was an accomplished poet and novelist.

Daily life

Jack of all trades

César Valverde Vega studied many different topics and held many different positions in Costa Rica. He studied art and law in Costa Rica and also in Spain, France, and Italy. He was deemed one of the most influential artists and members of society in the 20th century in Costa Rica. Aside from being a prolific artist and author, he was also a government official, lawyer, and teacher. In the 1970s he returned to the University of Costa Rica, where he devoted his time to painting and being a professor and the director of fine arts. Vega also published several books.

Rich colors and beautiful faces
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.


Keen to explore the world?

Our passionately curated premium small-group trips are an invitation to connect with like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.