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Introducing Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a nature lover's dream travel destination. Hike to hidden waterfalls, fly through the rainforest on a zip line, raft amazing white-water, or catch a wave on one of the many epic surf breaks.

When is the best time to visit?
Due to Costa Rica's location in Central America, near to the equator, it enjoys just two seasons annually as opposed to four. The dry season lasts from mid-November through April, and the rainy season lasts from May to mid-November. The latter is also referred to as the "green" season due to the brilliant vegetation that thrives during this period.  

Travelers often opt to visit during the dry season. Peak crowds hit in December, with folks continuing to come during January and February and (for many North Americans) during spring break. However, there are advantages to visiting Costa Rica in the "green" season, from less crowds to lower prices.  Read our travel guide for visiting Costa Rica in the "green" season to find out more.

Still not sure when to go, read our guide on the best times to visit Costa Rica.

Where to go in Costa Rica?
The people of Costa Rica are happy to welcome travelers and teach them about adventure and the pure life, or 'Pura Vida'. This country relies on the eco and adventure tourism that put it on the map, read about the main regions of the country to decide where you want to visit. Visit a baby sloth rescue, get to know Manuel Antonio National Park, see Arenal Volcano, and explore the Osa Peninsula Rainforest.

How many days do I need?
Costa Rica is a small country (size of West Virginia), with many sights situated fairly close together.  With great roads (mostly), throughout the country, makes it easy to get around. In one week, you can explore a number of sights and get a great sense of the country if you are ready to be on the go. With 2 weeks, you have a bit more time to relax in each destination or explore more of the country.  Still not sure how many days you need, read our guide to help you decide.

Explore tours by duration: 5 days · 6 days · 7 days · 8 days · 9 days · 10 days · 11 days · 12 days · 14 days

Costa Rica Tours & Itineraries

Looking for tours and itineraries for your Costa Rica trip, here is a collection of ideas from kimkim's network of local travel specialists in Costa Rica.
Storm clouds over Arenal volcano
Map of Best of Costa Rica in 7 Days: Explore Jungles, Volcanoes and Beaches
Best of Costa Rica in 7 Days: Explore Jungles, Volcanoes and Beaches

With a mix of rugged jungles, active volcanoes and world-class beaches, Costa Rica offers some of the best natural sights and experiences in the world, all conveniently packed into one territory. Almost a quarter of the land is preserved within national parks, allowing a wide range of animals and plants to flourish, making Costa Rica an ideal destination for ecotourism. With this itinerary, you'll discover the best attractions Costa Rica has to offer in just a week.

Monteverde Cloud Forest
Map of Classic Costa Rica: 7-Day Self-Drive Tour
Classic Costa Rica: 7-Day Self-Drive Tour

Taking a road trip through Costa Rica gives you the freedom and flexibility to explore where you want. You'll pass through stunning natural scenery — from lush cloud forests to picturesque beaches — in seven days of scenic driving. This tour can be extended or shortened depending on how much time you have.

Beautiful Rio Celeste in Tenorio National Park
Map of Best of Costa Rica - 14 Days
Best of Costa Rica - 14 Days

This two-week itinerary includes many of Costa Rica's greatest hits. You'll venture into the country's most beautiful national parks and enjoy zip-lining adventures, nature hikes, beach excursions, and more. All the while you'll spot exotic animals as you traverse some of the most virgin rainforest landscapes in Central America.

Whitewater rafting down the Pacuare river
Map of Costa Rica Adventure: Whitewater, Beaches & Volcanos - 8 Days
Costa Rica Adventure: Whitewater, Beaches & Volcanos - 8 Days

Explore Costa Rica's amazing natural scenery through a thrilling series of activities including whitewater rafting, kayaking, zip-lining, and more. This tour will take you to a wide range of coasts, jungles, and rivers, all while keeping your adrenaline pumping.

View of the Arenal Volcano from the hotel
Map of Costa Rica Family Vacation - 6-Day Itinerary
Costa Rica Family Vacation - 6-Day Itinerary

Traveling with your family is a great way to create wonderful memories. In Costa Rica, you and your children will have a wonderful time doing adventurous activities together. All the activities have been selected to be family and kid-friendly.

Arenal Volcano
Map of Family-Friendly Arenal and Manuel Antonio National Park- 9 Days
Family-Friendly Arenal and Manuel Antonio National Park- 9 Days

Fun for the whole family, this itinerary covers two of Costa Rica's most famous areas. Arenal and Manuel Antonio are some of the best representations of Costa Rica; Arenal area features one of the most famous volcanos in the country, surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, while Manuel Antonio National Park is renown for its white sandy beaches and vast diversity of tropical plants and wildlife.

How Many Days To Spend in Costa Rica

Planning a trip to Costa Rica? Read this first to maximize the things to see and do during your visit
How Many Days Should You Spend in Costa Rica

You can have a great adventure in Costa Rica in as short as a long weekend. With only a few days to spare you will have enough time to hike through a rainforest, see an active...

Guanacaste coast
5 Days in Costa Rica - 6 Unique Itineraries

With less than a week, it's possible to experience many of Costa Rica's star attractions. You can visit misty cloud forests, go whale watching on the Pacific, view wildlife in...

Arenal Volcano
10 Days in Costa Rica - 5 Unique Itineraries

Travelers with more than a week to spend in Costa Rica have time to experience much of what makes the country so exceptional, from its many ecosystems and spectacular wildlife...

Costa Rica Travel Essentials

All you need to know to get started planning the perfect trip
Best Time of Year to Visit Costa Rica

Coastal panoramas, rare ecosystems, volcanoes to climb—Costa Rica is all of this, and more. For access to all the country has to offer, visit during the dry season that runs...

Essential Costa Rica: 4 Regions to Visit

Costa Rica is proof that big things can come in small packages. Although this Central American gem is barely the size of West Virginia, it’s the most biodiverse country on the...

Costa Rica FAQ

Costa Rica is a natural marvel—a relatively small country boasting four UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and 28 national parks. Travelers heading to this biodiverse wonderland can read...

How kimkim Trips Work in Costa Rica

Planning a trip to Costa Rica? Here's a quick introduction to kimkim, how our trips work, and what makes us unique. We'll go over how our itineraries are customized to your...

Costa Rica Travel Advice

Read our detailed insights to make sure you have the best trip
Why Costa Rica is Great for Families

For parents toying with the idea of an international vacation, this Latin American nation is chock-full of family experiences that will leave a lasting impression for years to...

A colorful toucan perches on a tree branch in a Costa Rican forest
Birding Guide to Costa Rica: 7 Great Regions

More than a quarter of Costa Rica is protected jungle, home to a wide variety of native wildlife—including 850 colorful species of birds. Learn about the country's best areas to...

Arenal Volcano
Unique Ways To Experience Costa Rica

Costa Rica's most common outdoor destinations are so sought-after for a reason: they truly are beautiful landmarks. But, for every popular attraction, there are plenty of...

Costa Rica Travel Guides

Detailed travel guides for the main regions of the country
Tips for Visiting San José, Costa Rica

San José offers much more than the international airport most visitors fly into. Costa Rica's capital is a cultural hub worth getting to know, and provides a great intro to the...

Costa Rica Experiences

Unique things to do in Costa Rica
Brave the whitewater on Río Pacuare
Río Pacuare Whitewater Rafting

Located along Costa Rica’s Caribbean slope, Río Pacuare’s deep gorge is considered one of the best river-rafting sites in the world.  The Río Pacuare runs 67 miles from...

Leatherback turtle
Snorkeling & Scuba Diving at Isla del Caño

The Caño Island Biological Reserve (Isla del Caño) is a protected marine area is located just off the northern tip of the Osa Peninsula, next to Bahía Drake.  There is not much...

Bridge over the Rio Celeste
Río Celeste

Rio Celeste river, inside Tenorio Volcano National Park, is one of Costa Rica's most beautiful and mysterious natural places.  The local legend has it, that after God was done...

Our Latest Costa Rica Content

Best Places to Eat in the Gulf of Papagayo

On the north end of Costa Rica's Pacific coast lies the Gulf of Papagayo, a tropical beach-laden region that's still relatively undiscovered. As remote as Papagayo is, you'll find many options for grabbing a bite. Most are centered in Playas del Coco, where you'll find (very) fresh seafood, vegetarian Lebanese cuisine, and authentic Italian fare. The list below also includes a beachfront option in Playa Ocotal and innovative Asian-fusion in Playa Hermosa.

Map of Volcanoes, Cloud Forests, and the Pacific Coast - 11 Days
Volcanoes, Cloud Forests, and the Pacific Coast - 11 Days

This 11-day itinerary is perfect for travelers who like to combine their mountain adventures with a bit of a beach holiday. You'll arrive in Liberia, the hub of Costa Rica's Guanacaste Province. From the airport, you'll head to Rincón de la Vieja and spend two days exploring the nature surrounding one of the country's most active volcanoes. Then travel deeper inland to spend a few days crossing suspension bridges, zip-lining over trees, and hiking through the jungles of La Fortuna and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. You'll end your trip in Manuel Antonio National Park. More than just stunning white-sand beaches, Manuel Antonio is rich in biodiversity and wildlife viewing opportunities.

La Fortuna Waterfall
Map of Manuel Antonio & Arenal For Families - 7 days
Manuel Antonio & Arenal For Families - 7 days

With the awe-inspiring Arenal volcano, an exciting rafting trip, visiting the jungle in Manuel Antonio, and just some time to relax on the beach in Manuel Antonio, this trip captures the essence of Costa Rican motto - Pura Vida!

Costa Rica Travel Maps

Get the lay of land, and understand distances between the places you want to visit
5-Days in Costa Rica : 5 Unique Trip Itineraries
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10 Days in Costa Rica: 5 Unique Itineraries
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3 Days in Costa Rica: 3 Great Itineraries to Maximize Your Time
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Meet our Local Travel Specialists

Experienced travel specialists with a passion for Costa Rica
Travel specialist Randall Jiménez
active 15 hours ago

Randall Jiménez

Phrases like “The trip was wonderful beyond my dreams”, “I came back home being a different person…I have grown physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually”, “A job well done my friend”,...

read more...
Travel specialist Olman Romero
active 14 hours ago

Olman Romero

I was born in Turrialba, which is a region famous for the Guayabo Archeological Monument, it is the oldest and most important pre-hispanic archeological site in the country. Turrialba is also known...

read more...
Travel specialist Carlos Rodriguez
active 10 hours ago

Carlos Rodriguez

I was born in San José, Costa Rica. I have always felt passionate about my country, and enjoy showing it to others, which is the reason why I studied Tourism. I started as a tour guide, and later...

read more...
Travel specialist Mónica Meneses
active 13 hours ago

Mónica Meneses

I love traveling! I believe traveling is essential to discover other cultures and realities as well as to experience your inner self in different ways. Whenever I travel I like to think that I will...

read more...

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Trip Reviews for Costa Rica

The latest reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim

Trip to costa rica, Costa Rica - Dec 16 - Jan 1, 2019

Traveler: Marguerite R. - Local specialist: Randall Jiménez

The trip was well-planned by KimKim staff, and was very enjoyable. The few snags we ran into were quickly corrected. Randall was very attentive.

We especially enjoyed our time in Monteverde, perhaps because the chilly wind and clouds are what we're accustomed to in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. The day at Selvatura was fabulous - the nature hike, led by Juan, introduced us to many plants and symbiotic systems. Zip-lining was fabulous (team of about a dozen energetic guides). Grace and... read more

The trip was well-planned by KimKim staff, and was very enjoyable. The few snags we ran into were quickly corrected. Randall was very attentive.

We especially enjoyed our time in Monteverde, perhaps because the chilly wind and clouds are what we're accustomed to in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. The day at Selvatura was fabulous - the nature hike, led by Juan, introduced us to many plants and symbiotic systems. Zip-lining was fabulous (team of about a dozen energetic guides). Grace and Renzo were excellent hosts at El Viandante, and gave very helpful advice on getting around the town.

We also enjoyed the hike at Volcan Arenal, led by Esteban. Our driver kindly stopped the van on the drive there so we could see howler monkeys and coati. Jimmy, another driver, was happy to answer our many questions, and he stopped so we could see a sloth up close at a produce stand. The chocolate-making tour and Proyecto Asis were interesting (guides Kyle (?) and Hector, respectively).

At Manuel Antonio we loved seeing all the animals right outside our hotel room. We never tired of watching iguanas and birds. Our tour of the national park, on Christmas Day, was too crowded to properly enjoy it. Our guide, Milo, was very good.

Rancho Corcovado was complicated. Our itinerary did not specify how we were to get from Sierpe to Rancho Corcovado, and our driver did not know where to leave us. When he learned where we would be staying, he knew which of the two boat landings we needed to get to. But we didn't know when our boat would arrive or how to recognize it. Between Randall's help and a call to the hotel, we got there. Boating on the river was pleasant, but getting through the surf was scary and unexpected (it took the driver two tries to make it through the waves). The hotel room had either no hot water, or scalding water. Sometimes no water at all. The food was very good, the trip to P. N. Corcovado was wonderful (Luis was an excellent guide) and the snorkeling was spectacular (excellent guides - Carol and a woman whose name I did not catch). There was an upsetting incident one night when angry people visited our next-door neighbors. All in all, the trip to Corcovado involved very good times and the least pleasant times, as well.

Our drivers were all good - Ricardo, Christian, Andres. The Hotel Don Carlos was a lovely secluded place in San Jose. We found a very good lunch at Cafe Rojo near the hotel, and spent a pleasant morning at Zoologico y Jardin Botanico Nacional.

Ultimate costa rica honeymoon - 10 days, Costa Rica - Jan 25 - Feb 2, 2019

Traveler: Alyssa S. - Local specialist: Adriana Prado

We had a wonderful experience booking through KimKim and Adriana for our 10-day Honeymoon to Costa Rica! Adriana was professional, responsive and accommodating. We wanted a mix of adventurous yet relaxing, cultural but touristy, romantic but casual, and Adriana planned THE perfect vacation for us. My only hiccup was not receiving our arrival packets 2 days before our departure, as noted, but someone else from the KimKim team stepped up and responded to our message stating that Adriana out of... read more

We had a wonderful experience booking through KimKim and Adriana for our 10-day Honeymoon to Costa Rica! Adriana was professional, responsive and accommodating. We wanted a mix of adventurous yet relaxing, cultural but touristy, romantic but casual, and Adriana planned THE perfect vacation for us. My only hiccup was not receiving our arrival packets 2 days before our departure, as noted, but someone else from the KimKim team stepped up and responded to our message stating that Adriana out of the office. Those thoughts when booking through a website always pop into your head, "What if no one shows to pick us up? What if this is too good to be true?", but we truly felt both safe and taken care of upon arrival - in the shuttles, at the hotels and everywhere in between. We flew into San Jose with an overnight stay, then spent 2 nights in La Fortuna, 2 nights in Monteverde and 3 nights in Manuel Antonio. During our trip we hiked a volcano, swam in a natural hot spring, went ziplining, took a sunset/snorkling catamaran, visited a National Park and somehow still had plenty of time to sit by the pool and ocean to rest. Our activities were perfectly spaced out, allowing us enough time to not feel rushed with travel, check-in or excursions. Our transportation to and from the airport as well as to each city and excursion was timely, professional and labeled with their respective companies. Some of our favorite parts of the trip were simply traveling between cities! Our guides were knowledgeable, fun and even gave us suggestions for local cuisine and hang out spots. Thank you to KimKim & Adriana for helping us create such a memorable trip, we will be booking again in the near future!

Group departure - costa rica coast to coast: biking, hiking, rafting and kayaking - 12 days, Costa Rica - Jan 4 - Jan 15, 2019

Traveler: Anne T. - Local specialist: Randall Jiménez

We had an amazing adventure trip from start to finish.
Great communication from Rendell who took on board what we wanted to do. It was far better than we expected.
Fez our guide was absolutely fantastic along with our drivers and extra guides especially Martine who guided us on our long hike.
All food, all accommodation was brilliant.
Everyone was so friendly and made our trip truly wonderful. Thank you all at coast to coast.

Example Trip Requests

Need some inspiration? Look at what others have requested. View more examples

Wildlife Adventure in Costa Rica

We will be travelling with a 5 yr old boy who is snakes, bird and all wildlife mad and a two year old girl. We would like to see wildlife, volcanoes and rainforest and end with a few days at a beautiful beach. We do not want resorts, we would prefer rustic,...

Family of 2 adults and 2 children visited Costa Rica in February 2018

30th Birthday Adventure in Costa Rica

A way to celebrate my 30th birthday. Inviting some of my closest friends to experience everything we can. Culture, people, activities. Hikes, camping, fishing, farming, surfing, relaxing, anything. Seeing what others typically won't see but living the...

Group of 8 friends visited Costa Rica in June 2017

Active vacation in Costa Rica

One week adventure trip - cycling, white water rafting etc One week surf/yoga camp on the coast We are a young energetic couple so would like it to be an active holiday - but also offering some relaxation time as well!

A couple visited Costa Rica in October 2017

Spring Break for 2018

Looking for a Costa Rica trip that includes volcano hot springs, zip lining, horseback and ATV riding, waterfalls, authentic food, fresh market, white water rafting, picture opportunities, a little adventurous but also relaxing. 3 adults and one child ages...

Family of 3 adults and 1 child visited Costa Rica in March 2018

Costa Rica adventure honeymoon

We are pretty adventurous but also want the relaxation since it is our honeymoon. This will be our first time traveling out of the country so we want to see all that we can without feeling rushed. My fiance and I have been together 5 years and when we get...

A couple visited Costa Rica in April 2018