Country Guide » Things to Do
Visiting Costa Rica for the first time? Not sure about what to do and what to see? Well, my first recommendation is to start planning as soon as possible because even though Costa Rica is a small country, it offers plenty of things to do and see: from rivers to rainforests, from cloud forests to beautiful white-sand beaches. It’s a small piece of land that once you visit; you will want to come back soon. Here are a few recommendations about planning your trip.
First, check on international flights – sometimes you will be able to find some very good deals on airfare flying to either San Jose or Liberia. San Jose usually offers the best options, and it’s a great way to start your vacation if you are interested in seeing the Arenal Volcano, Monteverde or the Central Pacific. If, on the other hand, you are able to find a good deal to Liberia, then you can plans this as a beach vacation as Liberia is much closer to all the beaches in the North Pacific of Costa Rica.
Second, once you have airfare, sit down and start checking on options for the land portion. If you are looking to spend a weekend in the country, it would be wise to make this a one-stop vacation rather than planning to visit several destinations. If you are coming for at least six nights, then you can decide to stay in one place only, or maybe visit two. The most popular destination in Costa Rica is the Arenal Volcano – 90% of the itineraries I have prepared for my customers include this location as their first stop for people arriving either to Liberia or San Jose as the travel distance is about the same. For those arriving San Jose, Manuel Antonio in the Central Pacific is a very popular destination, and it offers you the opportunity to see a rainforest, and enjoy a beautiful beach as well. Most people choose Liberia as their arriving airport if they are interested in visiting a beach in the North Pacific of the country.
Third, don’t read too much. The amount of information you will find on line is overwhelming and you will end up getting totally confused as of what to do and see. Have an initial idea in mind about an area or areas you want to see, and then start checking on hotel accommodations in each location so that you can start getting some rates as well. If you get confused or frustrated, it’s time for you to check with a local travel agent in Costa Rica; someone who knows the country and can guide you well.
Don’t try to cover too much in a short time; otherwise, by the time you get back home, you will be probably be more tired than when you left! Plan wisely and relax!