Costa Rica Travel Guide
Welcome to the Costa Rica Travel Guide! We’ve created your virtual best friend—an insider’s guide full of practical information and videos for Costa Rica travel as well as plenty of interesting details about this amazing country.
With more than 25 years in the industry of creating and coordinating amazing Costa Rica vacations and dozens of experts that live in Costa Rica on staff, we’ve seen and heard it all. We’ve compiled the answers to your burning questions into one easy-to-navigate guide. So grab that cup of coffee, sit back, enjoy the videos and dig in. Soon you’ll have the “how” out of the way, so you can start planning the “where,” the “what,” and all that other good stuff.
Get all the best Costa Rica travel tips from the people who know. From airlines and airports to things to bring and what not to do while you are here, this guide on travel to Costa Rica is indispensable.
Where are the best places to stay in Costa Rica? Tough answer as the sheer diversity of landscapes and environments. From cloud forests and mountain peaks to volcanoes and pristine beaches means there is something for everyone.
Generally, at any given time, there’s a part of Costa Rica experiencing perfect weather. Even in the traditional “rainy season,” May through mid-November, there are sunny skies in certain parts of the country, like Guanacaste, an area that tends to be drier than most parts of Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is a very safe country. Of course, we recommend taking precautions you would in any other place, such as leaving valuables locked up, locking your car, not wearing flashy jewelry, etc.
Especially now with covid-19 worldwide you have to be careful to choose a travel destination like Costa Rica that has adequate protocols in place for your safety and has an excellent health care system just in case you need it. Costa Rica has strict sanitary measures in place throughout the country to protect citizens and guests.
As of November 1, Costa Rica is allowing visitors from all over the world, as long as they meet visa requirements (the same ones as pre-covid).
There are a few new steps to take but it’s nothing hard. Covid tests and quarantines will not be needed! Read more about it here
With airlines only recently opening up again, they are competing for business, offering you better-than-ever-before prices to take advantage of. Click here for more information on flying to Costa Rica.
There are two international airports, the Daniel Oduber International Airport, in Liberia, and the Juan Santamaría International Airport, in the Greater Metropolitan Area. We can advise you of which one is closer to your destination in Costa Rica. There are also a number of regional airports you can use to travel around Costa Rica. Most of the tourist hotspots are 1-3 hours drive time from one of the airports and some are accessible in just 30 minutes by domestic flight.
Let’s play a game…you name an adventure… Costa Rica has it. Here are just some of the many adventure options: zip lining, waterfall rappelling, sky walk, sky tram, tarzan swinging, white-water rafting, tubing, ATVing, mountain biking, horseback riding, jet skiing, sunset cruising, volcano viewing, dipping in hot springs. Whale watching, observing giant sea turtles laying eggs or the babies scurrying to the ocean, birdwatching, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, diving, surfing, sport fishing, checking out the butterfly, frog, bat, and snake centers, museum visiting, gastronomical tours, wildlife reserve visits, yoga, boating through the mangroves, coffee and chocolate tours, and nature hikes through the rainforest, cloud forest, jungle, and national parks.
Group travel is a fun way to explore the country. Groups benefit from the diversity of activities in Costa Rica. There are a number of tourist hotspots where there will be options for every travel personality in your group all in the same general area, so you can each go on your preferred adventures and easily meet up for meals and nightlife. There are some rentals that are specifically geared towards groups, with layouts that favor entertaining and amenities like surround sound, conjoined rooms, private decks, etc.
Often dubbed “The Happiest Country in the World,” Costa Rica is full of delights that will never cease to surprise and impress those who travel here. For three years in a row, Costa Rica was at the top of the “World Happiness Report.” It ranked #1 in the Americas and #12 in the world. What makes Costa Ricans so happy? The “pura vida” lifestyle makes the most of every day and every moment with family and friends, peace, faith, and equality. They have universal healthcare, great education, and tend to be generous toward one another. Oh, and they live in a place with great views from just about everywhere! That can’t hurt! Costa Ricans put their emphasis more on joy than on stress. This happiness is contagious.
A common misconception is that Costa Rica is an island. It’s actually located in Central America, between Nicaragua and Panama. There are land borders with both of those nations, Nicaragua to the North and Panama to the South. Costa Rica is between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, with many gorgeous beaches along both coasts.
What to Pack
First off, pack less than you originally planned too. Most people bring way too many clothes they never end up using. It’s unlikely that you’ll need more than one suitcase per person, unless staying for an extended amount of time. As far as clothing goes, you need beachwear and jungle wear, most likely. By jungle wear, I mean long pants that can be tucked into boots. If you are going to Monteverde, you’ll want a jacket. In any other location, a light sweater should be fine. Next, don’t forget your medicines. Not all of the same kinds and brands are available here. Anything else you forget you can likely purchase here. Sunblock and insect repellant are important. And chargers for all your devices. Outlet adapters, however, are not necessary. Read more about it here.