The Best Cooking Classes to Take in Costa Rica

Homemade corn tortillas are the best!
Homemade corn tortillas are the best! | © Yasmina Haryono/Flickr
Jenn Parker

A typical Costa Rican diet contains rice, beans, squash, yams, pejibaye, corn tortillas, papayas and bananas. Such nutrient-rich foods have been linked to why Costa Ricans, especially those living on the Nicoya Peninsula, are living far longer and healthier lives. With diet playing an increasingly significant role in our health and happiness, check out these great cooking classes where you can learn how to make many of Costa Rica’s traditional dishes.

La Senda

The cooking class at La Senda (home of the world’s biggest labyrinth) offers guests a blend of traditional Costa Rican cuisine mixed with international fare. Many of the ingredients used in the dishes for this class have been grown at La Senda, while others are locally sourced. This experience is quite unique because not only can you learn how to prepare your own delicious dish, but you get to enjoy it in a spectacular setting where you also have the opportunity to walk the labyrinth.

Tropical Gardens Cooking School

Tropical Gardens Cooking School offers two different types of cooking classes – the cultural cooking class and the nutritional cooking class – from its beautiful garden home right outside Playa Samara. Most of the ingredients used come directly from its garden and the local area. Both of these classes are designed to teach you how to make some of Costa Rica’s most delicious traditional dishes inspired by fresh and healthy fruit and vegetables, such as ceviche, cascados, empanadas, fresh juices and smoothies, guacamole and corn tortillas.

Learn to make ceviche

Tropical Cooking Classes

Chef Scott Alan and his team of local chefs have been highly praised for their tropical cooking classes. You will learn all about tropical grilling and tropical cocktails using fresh and local ingredients from Costa Rica. Classes take place at Casa Rustica, only 300 meters away from the La Fortuna Waterfall. Your fee includes transportation, all of your ingredients, unlimited tropical cocktails and of course a great teacher.

Costa Rica Culinary Tours

If you’re a total foodie and want to incorporate that passion into an incredible Costa Rica vacation, this week-long culinary tour might just be your dream trip. You will be taken behind the scenes of some of Costa Rica’s best restaurants and breweries and meet some of the best organic farmers, chefs and naturalists. During this tour, you will have the opportunity to take part in several hands-on cooking classes. You will also be treated to delectable private dinners, tastings and luxury eco lodge accommodations.

Home Cooking Class Tour in San Jose

A guide from the Home Cooking Class Tour will take you to the home of a local Costa Rican family where you will learn how to make traditional tortillas and traditional gallos – tortillas stuffed with a variety of ingredients, such as vegetables, chicken, cheese or pork. This is a unique culinary experience as you will be learning how to make traditional Costa Rican staples, while also soaking up the traditions and culture of family life in Costa Rica.

Dinner is served

Cooking classes with a local family

This 4-hour cooking experience takes place at the home of a local Costa Rican family just outside of La Fortuna. A guide will accompany you to the home and introduce you to the family. You will spend the afternoon preparing a number of traditional Costa Rica dishes such as empanadas, tortillas, fried plantains and guisado (a delicious stew). After preparing your meal with the family, you will all sit down to enjoy it together, making it a fantastic opportunity to practice your Spanish!

Cooking class in Manuel Antonio

Karola’s is a gourmet restaurant that is part of The Preserve at Los Altos in Manuel Antonio. As a guest, you can sign up for a cooking class that will be taught by one of the local chefs. What makes this class different from all of the rest is that you actually get to choose which dishes to make. There is also an add-on option to go on a guided tour of the local food market in Quepos. This foodie experience is a perfect choice for beginners or seasoned chefs who are looking to expand their culinary repertoire.

Culture Trips 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. 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 places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article