Costa Rica Travel Guide
Everyone wants to travel to a country where nature shows off, and Costa Rica is the perfect destination. Costa Rica is home to eco-tourism, with approximately 28% of its territory designated as a protected natural area. Its steaming forests, tumbling rivers, palm-fringed sandy beaches, and smoldering volcanoes will attract you instantly. Understanding what this country brings to the table will help convince you to plan a trip soon. Here are a few insights into what Costa Rica offers.
Table of Contents
Is it Safe to Travel to Costa Rica?
Costa Rica Weather
What to Pack for Costa Rica
Getting to Costa Rica
Where to Stay in Costa Rica
Things to do in Costa Rica
Digital Nomads in Costa Rica
Is It Safe to Travel to Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is ranked the most peaceful and safest country in Central America & the Caribbean. The locals are very friendly and welcoming towards tourists. However, petty crime exists, meaning you should not leave your valuables unattended. Standard travel safety precautions will keep your valuables secure and ensure you stay safe.
The healthcare system is among the best in the world. Recently, Costa Rica has put on a spirited fight to ensure citizens and tourists are protected against airborne health complications, including Coronavirus.
Weather in Costa Rica
Costa Rica sits approximately 10 degrees north of the equator so the country enjoys tropical weather throughout the year. Choosing the best time of year to visit depends on which part of Costa Rica you’re traveling to. There are three major regions of the country; the Pacific coast, the central valley, and the Caribbean coast.
The best time to visit the sandy beaches along the Pacific coast is between December and March. This period is dry and has the most sunshine. May to October can be too hot and humid for most travelers.
The central valley region is an excellent destination between January and March, as the weather is warm with little rain.
Alternatively, you could visit the Caribbean coast in the dry months of February, March, and September.
What to Pack for Costa Rica?
Costa Rica enjoys tropical weather throughout the year, meaning casual wear will be an excellent choice. The best option is to pack breathable and lightweight clothes to keep you comfortable. Lightweight cotton and linens are ideal choices. Loose-fitting clothes are a haven. Include a couple pieces of warmer clothes for the evenings when it can cool down.
With so many different things to do, consider the activities you’ll indulge in when packing your clothes. For instance, greens and browns will suit birding and wildlife viewing. You will also need appropriate footwear. Pack hiking shoes, water bottles, and a hiking backpack if you’re adventuring off road. Sturdy sneakers and a functional daypack are your best friends for long days exploring the cities. Meanwhile, pack sandals or water shoes, a waterproof phone case or a waterproof backpack, and some folding travel sunglasses for fun in the ocean.
Being a tropical country, mosquitos are generally present. Ensure that you have suitable mosquito repellant and clothing. A raincoat will also be a great addition.
Above all, have the right luggage. A large capacity travel backpack is best if you’re moving around frequently so you can easily haul your gear & clothes. If you plan to stay in just one or two places for the trip a rolling suitcase will work great. Equally important is a great daypack. A mid-sized daypack backpack will be your go to item for your daily essentials when you’re out exploring.
How to Get to Costa Rica
Flights are the most convenient means of transport to Costa Rica. Various airlines offer flights that generally take between three and seven hours from most U.S. hub cities. Most international flights land at San Jose’s Juan Santamaria International Airport.
Once you are in the country, moving around is effortless. Various transport means are at your disposal, including the following options.
Taxis are an excellent airport transfer to consider. You can rely on taxis to get to your accommodation, to move around the cities, and to run errands. Traveling with a group will make taxi fares more cost effective.
Traveling by car around Costa Rica is relatively easy. Renting a car is an ideal choice, as it allows you to tour and explore the sites around the country at your own pace, which is especially helpful for Costa Rica honeymooners. A US driver's license is valid to secure a car rental. The pricing is reasonably decent, typically between $40 and $80 per day depending on the type of vehicle you choose.
For budget travelers bus travel is an excellent choice. Buses are pretty affordable, allowing you to save a significant amount on transport costs.
Local flights between different cities could also help, mainly when covering significant distances. Various regional airlines are at your disposal, including charter jets. Choose an airline based on your budget and preferences.
Where to Stay In Costa Rica
Accommodation determines the quality of your trip, safety, and satisfaction. Choosing suitable accommodation should be a priority. This choice will depend on your budget, preferred destination, and personal preferences. Costa Rica offers multiple accommodation options, including hotels, camps, and lodging with sustainability. Here are a few insights into each.
Since Costa Rica is a thriving tourist destination, expect an array of hotel options, from five-star and family-run hotels to hostels. When planning a family vacation in Costa Rica it's best to pre-book your hotel to avoid any inconveniences once you land.
Camps and Wilderness Lodges
Costa Rica has an excellent reputation for wilderness lodges. These lodges provide enhanced tranquility and a sense of privacy, protecting you from the everyday city noise. Choose a lodge that fits into your planned itinerary.
Costa Rica is a top destination for environmental enthusiasts and sustainability-minded travelers. The government has classified specific accommodations around the country on their approach to sustainability. Keep in mind these options are typically more expensive than average.
Things to Do In Costa Rica
With so much to do in Costa Rica, planning your itinerary requires you to first consider the type of experiences you love.
Include the Arenal Volcano area in your trip itinerary. This place is packed with natural beauty, including greenery, lakes, and waterfalls. It is a fantastic locale for kayaking, fishing, and swimming.
For thrill seekers looking for some adventure travel, consider canopy tours, a remarkable ziplining experience as you watch wildlife pass by.
The Caribbean coast is a perfect place to unwind and relax, offering you an excellent view of the national park, immersive beaches, and wildlife. Spend some time in Tortuguero National Park to marvel at the immense natural beauty.
The Cloud Forests sit in Costa Rica's highlands. This place is suitable for environmental enthusiasts. The Monteverde Rainforest is the most popular here, and it offers multiple Costa Rica adventures and activities in which you can indulge.
Exploring San Jose, the Costa Rican capital city, is worthwhile. It hosts various tourist attractions, including the National Theater, Gold Museum, Jade Museum, and Contemporary Art and Design Museum.
Is Costa Rica a Good Destination for Digital Nomads?
Costa Rica has proven one of the best destinations for digital nomads, allowing them to work and live remotely. Its beautiful beaches, quality of living standards, and vibrant nightlife make it a great place to work & travel. Just remember to check WiFi speeds with your accommodation provider in advance, internet access is still being modernized in much of the country.
Visiting Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a haven for nearly all types of travelers, from its safety to its incredible tourist destinations, there’s something to enjoy for everyone. How about planning a trip to Costa Rica next?
About the Author
|Co-Founder of Costa Rica Escapes and Costa Rica Explorations, John Rabenau has been designing Costa Rica vacation itineraries for travelers since 2006. He lives in both Park City, UT, and Turrialba, Costa Rica.|
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