View Full Version : Turismos

06-06-2015, 09:15 PM
I was just revising a section of my upcoming ebook, regarding Turismos.

For anyone who has not yet run into the term "Turismo," that is the Spanish translation of "Tourism."

However, in Costa Rica, the connotation is a bit different. If you have visited Costa Rica, then you have probably seen the minivans with the yellow stickers that have "Turismo" printed on them. This sticker gives the "Turismo" (a Tourist Driver) a few special privileges, and a little extra leeway, as he moves about Costa Rica.

Who are Turismos? Well... a few of them... a SMALL percentage... are Scam Artists. They'll rob you blind, if they can. That's true, and I cannot deny it.

However, the vast majority of Turismos have a story that goes something like this: "I used to drive a taxi, and I was trying to make money by driving people around. Then, I got caught up in drugs, girls, booze, etc. and I started ripping people off. I got into all kinds of trouble, and I hit rock-bottom. I finally got myself straightened out, I bought my own minivan, and now... I am a TURISMO!"

Turismos... especially those that work in front of reputable hotels... tend to be the best people in Costa Rica's tourism business that you will ever meet. They have made their mistakes, and now they are mature and running a solid business. When I see a Turismo who looks like he's more than 40 years old, hanging out in front of a reputable hotel, I think to myself, "Oh Yeah! There's MY BITCH!" I'm not saying that in a bad way. No decent hotel is going to let a bad Turismo hang out in front of their hotel. If he's there, he has his shit together.


One outstanding example of this is a guy named "Martin" -- which is pronounced in Spanish like "Marteen". He drives a very nice minivan, and is usually parked in front of the Sportsmens Lodge, when he is not currently transporting a client. I ASSURE YOU... You will not find a Finer Human Being in Costa Rica -- Gringos Included.