24 Costa Rica Journey Ideas To KNOW (2023)


Have plans to travel to Costa Rica and wish some Costa Rica journey suggestions? With low-cost and direct flights from the US, a plethora of wildlife, gorgeous shoreline, and pristine jungle, it’s no marvel Costa Rica has develop into a scorching journey vacation spot within the final decade.

We have been transfixed by lovely nation photos and knew it was time to make the journey. Should you’re like us and dreaming of a Costa Rican trip, listed here are my greatest Costa Rica journey suggestions that can assist you plan.

Costa Rica Journey – High Excursions

Useful Costa Rica Journey Tricks to know

Welcome to an Eco-Lovers Paradise

Costa Rica Jungle

Certainly one of my prime Costa Rica journey suggestions is to get pleasure from all the character. Within the ’80s, the primary ecotourism increase started in Costa Rica. Vacationers started to be taught of the nation’s wealth of pure wildlife and acted quick to protect it.

As tourism {dollars} continued, the Costa Ricans rapidly fell in step and preserved their nation’s magnificence. It’s now trickled all the way down to nearly each stage; we even discovered small soda retailers (native eating places) utilizing eco-friendly products like biodegradable straws and ditching styrofoam takeaway.

What’s wonderful is over 27% of the nation is protected as a nationwide park, wildlife refuge, or reserve. To make issues higher, even the Costa Rican authorities has taken energetic measures to guard the nation’s biodiversity. Should you’re questioning the place to go in Costa Rica – be certain to incorporate the rainforest!

Take Observe of Your Invoice

yoga in costa rica

One other of my Costa Rica journey suggestions is to be aware of your checks. It’s price noting that anytime you eat out, whether or not at a restaurant, soda store, or restaurant, there shall be a ten% service cost and a 13% tax added to each invoice.

So don’t be shocked in case your invoice is 23% greater than what you thought it could be. This additionally signifies that there isn’t any want to go away an additional tip on your server until you wish to ( you Americanos).

Roads = Crap

No record of Costa Rica journey suggestions can be full with out mentioning that a lot of the roads are absolute crap. Should you plan on driving in Costa Rica, it’s greatest to know that the roads will be fairly terrible, a few of the worst in all of the Americas, to be exact.

All of it is dependent upon the place you journey, however we discovered nearly any street, not a part of the nationwide freeway, to be fairly meh. The worst we personally traveled on was from Nicoya to Santa Teresa (I could or could not have had again spasms from the fixed crater-like potholes).

It’s greatest to lease a 4×4 in case you drive in Costa Rica. Belief me, pay the additional quantity and save your self the headache of touring with a small car. You’ll need the excessive clearance and energy from a four-wheel-drive car, granted it doesn’t should be something big.

Examine Your Automotive Rental Costs

best places to stay in costa rica

If there’s one Costa Rica journey tip I may give you, double-check your car rental prices. After we first began trying to find automobile leases in Costa Rica, we have been shocked by the loopy low costs we noticed. Sadly, for our wallets, we simply hadn’t clicked to the fee web page but. In Costa Rica, all drivers are required to have third-party legal responsibility insurance coverage.

This isn’t coated together with your bank card or residence insurance coverage supplier like in different international locations (however test simply in case you are feeling it might be coated). Even our major insurance coverage coated by our Chase Sapphire Reserve (one of many top travel credit cards available on the market) doesn’t work in Costa Rica as a third-party legal responsibility plan.

As a result of insurance coverage, the net worth is way more costly than you assume. We recommend including the insurance coverage to your reserving to make sure you aren’t met with a shock price addition whenever you land in Costa Rica. For 25 days, we received a small 4×4 for $436 from Alamo and had a fantastic expertise, and that was a fairly first rate deal, for my part! I usually wish to test comparability websites to get the very best costs. You can see our rental car tips here.

In case you have extra particular rental car necessities, just a few websites I like to check charges and specs on are:

Drive Fastidiously

Travel In Costa Rica

Now that you’ve your rental automobile, it’s time to observe secure driving. Once more, most of the roads in Costa Rica are pothole-ridden and grime. They are often powerful for an inexperienced driver to navigate. To not point out as with many international locations, we discovered the drivers right here to be impatient, quick, and scary, and I’m not even speaking in regards to the semi-truck drivers who don’t appear to worth life.

We noticed one motorcycle accident in our 25 days in Costa Rica and two, sure two, overturned semis in a ditch. Watch out and get travel insurance earlier than touring to Costa Rica.

USD is Completely Acceptable

US Dollar

The colón is the foreign money of Costa Rica, however nearly anyplace will settle for USD as fee too; you simply could get a foul trade charge. On the time of writing the trade charge is 1 USD = 560 Costa Rican Colón. Ensure to obtain the XE app so you’ll be able to at all times keep updated with the charges.

Nature is Not Free

travel in Costa Rica

After all visiting all of the pure points of interest is the best thing to do in Costa Rica. The primary waterfall we visited in Costa Rica was Catarata del Toro, and I used to be shocked once they requested for a whopping $15 admission price to see it.

I anticipated I must pay one thing, perhaps $5 – however $14? Little did I do know that this may not be a first-time incidence.

All through our time in Costa Rica, we visited numerous waterfalls. All the time paying at the very least $12-$20 per particular person to go to. Don’t be shocked in case you go to La Paz waterfalls and pay a $50 entrance price! I hope all these charges are going again to conservation as an alternative of a authorities official’s pocket.

The Ticos are So Welcoming

If there’s one fact about Costa Rica I can stress, it’s that the persons are amiable and symbolize Costa Rica tourism properly! Costa Ricans or “Ticos” are comfortable to welcome you to their lovely nation, aid you out, chat with you, and share their piece of paradise with guests.

We additionally discovered that the majority Ticos might communicate English properly, however it actually will assist to choose up just a few Spanish phrases.

Watch Out for the Humidity

Travel in Costa Rica - Lapa Rios

If there’s one factor that killed us (and our electronics) in Costa Rica, it was the humidity. We discovered the humidity in Costa Rica horrible within the south, together with the coast, and just about anyplace away from the cloud forest. It was powerful to dry our garments and hold them from not smelling and molding, however the true drawback was with our electronics going haywire.

Should you’re touring with a number of electronics, as we did, it’s greatest to stuff socks filled with rice in your bag to soak of the moisture. Or, in case you assume you should have hassle within the warmth, be certain to guide locations with AC.

We booked Airbnb just a few occasions with a washer, dryer, and AC to dry our stuff out. Ensure to learn in regards to the best time to visit Costa Rica so you’ll be able to entry temperatures and rain on your go to.

Carry Water Sneakers

Waterfalls in Costa Rica

Not certainly one of your typical Costa Rica journey suggestions, however a useful one! Cameron could have laughed at me just a few occasions whereas exploring the waterfalls, however I received the final snigger with lovely ft protected by my water footwear.

Should you plan on spending time across the waterfalls and going within the water, it’s price selecting up a pair of cheap water shoes. They may aid you grip the slippery rocks and defend your ft from cuts.

Costa Rica is Not Low cost

Travel In Costa Rica - Villa Buena Onda

You could assume that Costa Rica is a cheap destination to journey to, given its location in Central America. We came upon first hand that this was not the case. Whereas touring round Costa Rica, we discovered park charges to be excessive for the vacationers (bear in mind these waterfalls I talked about?), gas costs costly, automobile rental costs are excessive given that you simply had so as to add insurance coverage to all the things, and meals costs a rip-off.

Assume I’m mendacity? Costa Rica is rated as one of the costly locations to dwell in Latin America and has the very best costs in Central America.

The nation is filled with vacationers, ex-pats, and American retirees looking for their little slice of paradise. This, mixed with excessive taxes on imports and sustainability efforts, has elevated costs over time.

I’m not saying that Costa Rica is as costly as Norway. It’s simply one of many higher-cost locations to journey in Central America.

There are Methods to Save Cash

Costa Rica Packing List

Regardless of the nation being a bit costly there are methods to save money in Costa Rica. My recommendation can be to:

  • Keep in dorm rooms or camp: Like anyplace on this planet, hostels and campsites are the most affordable lodging choices.
  • Eat native: Sodas will provide you with an opportunity to attempt the native meals at the very best worth.
  • Skip the touristy websites: Issues like zip-lining, four-wheeling, and horseback using are enjoyable however usually are not precisely budget-friendly.
  • Go to within the Off Season: Visiting within the inexperienced season will yield decrease costs and fewer vacationers.
  • Keep out of San Jose: Not that you simply’ll actually wish to hand around in the capital anyway, however lodging and getting round this space can add up

Plan Your Journey Accordingly With the Wet Season

Travel in Costa Rica - Natasha Alden on Beach

Should you’re questioning find out how to journey in Costa Rica effectively, be sure to time your journey proper. You’re not assured dry, sunny climate anytime in Costa Rica, however the regular wet season in Costa Rica is from Could to December. The wet season right here might have an effect on the place you journey, and I’d pay specific consideration to the climate patterns.

As beforehand talked about, many Costa Rican roads are grime and dust, so in case you add somewhat rain to that, they are going to rapidly develop into impassable. We visited firstly of the wet season in Could and had completely no hassle driving. Though it did rain a bit greater than we preferred, the plush jungle surroundings was beautiful, costs have been decrease, and it was certainly much less busy than within the dry season.

A phrase of warning – We have been instructed that October is the worst time to go to Costa Rica. Rainfall is excessive, and plenty of companies shut down. Should you can’t keep away from touring in September or October, head to the Caribbean coast for the very best likelihood of dry climate.

Credit score Playing cards are Broadly Accepted

One other Costa Rica journey tip to know is that bank cards are broadly used. I used to be pleasantly shocked to pay with my bank card at most institutions in Costa Rica. Even little soda retailers have been accepting playing cards. We at all times attempt to pay with a card after we can whereas touring to rack up airline factors.

Nonetheless, I’d by no means recommend touring round Costa Rica cashless. All the time have some USD or Colons in your pocket simply in case. Read more of our travel banking tips here.

Costa Rica is the Switzerland of Central America

Costa Rica Packing List

Costa Rica has been dubbed the “Switzerland of Central America” for just a few causes. They’ve a secure democracy and no army. They like to stay impartial and never get entangled in battle and violence.

Costa Ricans usually dwell first rate lives out of poverty, not like a lot of the remainder of Central America. There’s good well being care and training system in place as properly. Typically, Ticos are very comfortable and pleased with their small nation.

The Actual Rainforest Cafe

Travel in Costa Rica - Rio Celeste Waterfall

I wished to journey to Costa Rica for the jungle and to really feel like I used to be in Jurassic Park 5. Fortunately, I used to be not dissatisfied when visiting Costa Rica. It really is a phenomenal nation with many major and secondary forests, wildlife, and pure lushness.

It was exhausting for me to imagine this gorgeous nation was so shut and accessible to america and even Europe. Significantly we traveled to Costa Rica cheaper than it could have price us to fly again to North Carolina. There are many direct flight choices from the US that fly proper into San Jose!

Benefit from the Wildlife

in the Costa Rican rainforest

Costa Rica is residence to greater than 500,000 species, with 300,000 of these bugs. This staggering quantity represents practically 4% of the whole species estimated worldwide. That’s a complete lotta wildlife in a single little nation.

Costa Rica is definitely one of the biodiverse international locations on this planet. Regardless of the place you’re within the nation, many wonderful animals and birds will be discovered.

Should you’re trying to find a sloth, you in all probability know to go to Costa Rica. Then there are the monkeys, coati, ocelots, toucans, macaws, and the quetzal. They even have jaguars, however good luck discovering one of the elusive animals on this planet!

Costa Rica Frog

In our time within the nation, we noticed numerous monkeys, toucans, macaws, birds, anteaters, and frogs. The highlights for us must be the scarlet macaw, sloth, fiery acari, coati, inexperienced and black poison dart frog, and squirrel monkeys.

You could have higher luck than us and spot the well-known Resplendent Quetzal within the cloud forests. To search out the very best place for wildlife in Costa Rica, you must take a look at the Osa Peninsula. It’s been named essentially the most biodiverse area on earth.

Costa Rica Saved Their Atmosphere

Travel in Costa Rica - Treehouse - Finca Bellavista

So, the place does all this wildlife dwell? Over 25% of Costa Rica’s land has been became protected parks and reserves to guard the wonder. In accordance with Go Costa Rica, there are literally 27 nationwide parks, 58 wildlife refuges, 32 protected zones, 15 wetland areas/mangroves, 11 forest reserves, and eight organic reserves, in addition to 12 different conservation areas that defend the distinctive and various pure habitats discovered all through the nation. Wowza!

It’s Nice for Households, Honeymooners, Associates, and Solo vacationers

Travel in Costa Rica - Latitude 10

Costa Rica is an each man’s vacation spot. Whereas there, we discovered each stroll of life, together with solo backpackers, surfers chasing the waves, {couples}, honeymooners, teams of associates, and households. Significantly it’s received some sort of journey or romantic exercise for everybody!

The Married Man’s Meal

There are various typical Costa Rican dishes to attempt, however maybe the one we discovered essentially the most was the cascado. A cascado, or a “set meal of meat,” or a “married man’s meal” consists of mainly rice, beans, meat –it could possibly be fish, hen or beef.

There are additionally vegetarian cascados that normally embody plantains and avocado too. It’s one of many least expensive meals that may be had in Costa Rica, usually for below 5000 colons, and it’s scrumptious and plentiful.


costa rica travel tips
Certainly one of my prime Costa Rica journey suggestions is to attempt a standard soda store!

These casados that I communicate of and plenty of different typical dishes will be discovered at sodas. Sodas are native family-run eating places that serve typical Costa Rican meals and drinks. Sodas are the place the locals eat and the place your greatest worth for meals will be had.

You can not miss seeing a soda store as they’re in every single place within the nation. Ensure to offer one a attempt! Trace Search for the one with essentially the most locals consuming there at lunchtime. It’s probably the very best one!

There’s a Lot of Climate Going On

Travel in Costa Rica - Clouds over forest

For a small nation, there’s a number of climate and completely different environments. Certainly one of my prime Costa Rica journey suggestions is to pay shut consideration to the climate.  Round Monteverde and the cloud forest, temperatures drop, and it stays fairly cool, particularly at night time.

San Jose and the encompassing space are recognized to have an “everlasting spring,” Guanacaste is dry and scorching, whereas the coastal areas are simply miserably scorching and humid all yr spherical. The nation usually sees a number of solar and usually enjoys 12 hours of sunshine each day. The solar normally rises earlier than 6 am and units simply earlier than 6 pm.

Faucet Water is Typically Secure to Drink in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Travel

One other necessary Costa Rica journey information is that the water is fairly secure. Yep, the faucet water in Costa Rica is usually okay to drink. Nonetheless, in case you really feel you can simply get an upset abdomen, it’s best to keep on with a water filter, bottled water or boil your water earlier than you drink it.

Every time we arrived at a brand new place, we’d ask if the water was okay to drink; for essentially the most half, it was. Our associates at My Tan Ft do a fantastic job of delving in-depth into the water situation in Costa Rica.

Pura Vida

What to wear in Costa Rica

My final Costa Rica journey tip entails the saying Pura Vida. Pura Vida means Pure Life and is a lifestyle in Costa Rica. Ticos will use this time period with one another and guests to say good day, goodbye, and something in between. It means don’t stress, get pleasure from life, don’t fear, and be grateful. Embrace it and benefit from the Pura Vida way of life!

Our Favourite Locations to Keep in Costa Rica

Lapa Rios Lodge
Lapa Rios

One of many best places to stay in Costa Rica! This property is a part of the well-reputed Cayuga Assortment. A number of the greatest guides within the nation work right here, and there are all types of excursions to suit everybody’s wants. We personally spent our two days right here on night time walks scouting uncommon frogs, dawn hen watching, waterfall trekking, and guided hikes to see the howler monkeys.

On some days, yoga is obtainable, and native distributors usually are available in to share their crafts. Or you’ll be able to chill on the pool all day and get full-on watermelon juice. No matter exercise you select shall be distinctive and remind you of why you got here to Costa Rica within the first place. All meals and actions are all-inclusive. Charges begin at $800 an evening.

Travel in Costa Rica - Treehouse - Finca Bellavista
Finca Bellavista

Finca Bellavista is without doubt one of the most unusual and coolest locations to remain in Costa Rica. This eco-community is about in the course of the Costa Rican jungle alongside the Pacific Coast.

It’s a surprising monitor of secondary and first forest with a community of climbing trails to discover by yourself. Rooms right here come within the type of treehouses unfold all through the forest, some an hour-plus hike from the principle lodge so be sure to guide accordingly.

The entire neighborhood is off the grid and runs on solar energy. Visitors must be ready to be fairly self-sufficient when visiting, though there’s a principal kitchen dishing up tasty Costa Rican classics for individuals who don’t wish to prepare dinner.

With a down-to-earth vibe, it attracts a clientele trying to find digital detox and good dialog. Treehouses begin at $100 an evening, meals not included, however you should have entry to their wonderful grounds and climbing.


Hope these Costa Rica journey suggestions assist you’ve gotten the very best journey ever! For extra studying round Costa Rica, see beneath.

Costa Rica Journey Planning Assets

  • Packing Information — Try our Costa Rica packing list to assist pack your baggage and make sure you don’t depart something at residence.
  • Lease a Automotive — We recommend most guests think about renting a automobile for the very best journey doable. Strive Uncover Automotive Rent to check quotes from completely different rental businesses. Check Price Here!
  • Defend Your Journey — Don’t overlook to buy travel insurance! We at all times carry journey insurance coverage to guard us from damage, theft, or a canceled journey. Strive HeyMondo for aggressive short-term plans.
  • Excursions in Costa Rica — Try our record of the best tours you can enjoy in Costa Rica!
  • Journey Adapter – Be sure to discover a good adapter to maintain your private electronics charged. In any other case, you could be paying for an inexpensive one when you land. Purchase one here.

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