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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
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
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
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
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
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
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...

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
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
The remarkable keel-billed toucan is among Costa Rica's 900 species of birds
Where to Spot Wildlife in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries, and over a quarter of its territory is protected. Use this list of recommended viewing locales for your best shot at...

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...

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...

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...

Our Latest Costa Rica Content

Ultimate Guide to Tortuguero National Park: Costa Rica's Wild Northern Caribbean Coast

When travelers want to experience an even wilder side of Costa Rica, they come to Tortuguero National Park. This protected area, famous as a nesting ground for sea turtles, is remote, little developed, accessible only by boat and plane—and totally worth the journey. Read on for all the info needed to make the most of your Tortuguero adventure.

Where to Eat in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

After a day of trekking around the enormous Volcan Arenal, there are likely only two things you want: a soak in a nearby hot spring and a good meal. Luckily, La Fortuna is a tourist haven, and there's no shortage of restaurants. Find Mediterranean fare, Peruvian dishes, great sushi, elevated Costa Rican cuisine, and more—most within short walking distance from the main square—with this list.

Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica
Wildlife, Rainforest & Beach Adventure - 14 Days

Go from coast to coast as you encounter wildlife, swim under jungle waterfalls, and unwind on magnificent beaches on this well-rounded Costa Rican adventure. You'll start in the rugged Osa Peninsula, where you'll find untouched shores and a plethora of tropical animals. Then explore the rainforests of Monteverde and Arenal before embarking on a two-day whitewater rafting trip down the famous Pacuare River. End your unforgettable stay in the Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo, where you'll snorkel, surf, and enjoy "pura vida".

Costa Rica Travel Maps

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

Experienced travel specialists with a passion for Costa Rica
Travel specialist Randall Jiménez
active 18 mins 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 Adriana Prado
active 1 min ago

Adriana Prado

I was born and raised in a mountainous region in the highlands of the Talamanca Mountain Range. This area is known for being the habitat of the most beautiful bird of the Americas, the Resplendent...

read more...
Travel specialist Mónica Meneses
active 4 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...
Travel specialist Olman Romero
active 1 min 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...

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Trip Reviews for Costa Rica

The latest reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim
Katy

Arenal & manuel antonio in 6 days, Costa Rica - Dec 3 - Dec 8, 2018

Traveler: Katy S. - Local specialist: Adriana Prado

The easiest experience ever! First time using kim kim and would definitely use it again! Adriana was my specialist/travel agent. She was a pro and knew exactly what i wanted to do. The hotels books were very nice and the activities were everything we expected. My favorite part was the white water rafting! Over all happy and easy experience.

Best of costa rica in 7 days: explore jungles, volcanoes and beaches, Costa Rica - Nov 17 - Nov 26, 2018

Traveler: sally c. - Local specialist: Randall Jiménez

We had a great trip despite the driver being 20 minutes late to pick us up at the airport. The Holiday Day Inn in San Jose wasn't anywhere near a 4-5 star hotel but was fine.

Rafting with Wave Company in La Fortuna was a great. The Baldi Hotel/Springs was nice but they had constructions going on the entire time we were there which was loud.

Ziplining (forget the company) in Fortuna was aweseome, small outfitter with great guides.

The Hanging Bridges at Mystic was great but could do... read more

We had a great trip despite the driver being 20 minutes late to pick us up at the airport. The Holiday Day Inn in San Jose wasn't anywhere near a 4-5 star hotel but was fine.

Rafting with Wave Company in La Fortuna was a great. The Baldi Hotel/Springs was nice but they had constructions going on the entire time we were there which was loud.

Ziplining (forget the company) in Fortuna was aweseome, small outfitter with great guides.

The Hanging Bridges at Mystic was great but could do without the walk down to the waterfall as the crowds were a real turn off.

Biking with Arenal Bike Company was nice.

Monteverde Lodge and Garden was really nice, very quiet and the grounds were impressive and the proximity to town was ideal for walking to restaurants.

We opted for another zipline which we booked through the hotel, Sky Adventure would have been fine but nobody mentioned how cold it would at that high location.

The horseback riding was one of our favorite tours, we had a private guide which made a huge difference.

Si Como No was a huge hit with my daughter. The only tour we had was to the Manual Antonio Park was fine but could didn't care for the crowds.

Randall did a great job but would have appreciated a bit more information on what to expect on each tour and how long each tour would last. Aside from that, he did a great job.

Best of costa rica in 7 days: explore jungles, volcanoes and beaches, Costa Rica - Oct 13 - Oct 20, 2018

Traveler: Rosemary S. - Local specialist: Sylvia Jurado

My daughter and I very much enjoyed the trip planned for us by Sylvia which met our interests and our budget. All of the tours were great (cacao farm, waterfall, hanging bridges) and the guides and drivers were excellent. Despite a bit of traffic noise, we also appreciated the lovely views at each of our accommodations. At our first resort near La Fortuna, we had a direct view of the Arenal Volcano, lush vegetation and colourful birds from the patio of our cabina. At our second resort in... read more

My daughter and I very much enjoyed the trip planned for us by Sylvia which met our interests and our budget. All of the tours were great (cacao farm, waterfall, hanging bridges) and the guides and drivers were excellent. Despite a bit of traffic noise, we also appreciated the lovely views at each of our accommodations. At our first resort near La Fortuna, we had a direct view of the Arenal Volcano, lush vegetation and colourful birds from the patio of our cabina. At our second resort in Tamarindo, we had a beautiful view of palm trees, the beach and the Pacific Ocean from the balcony of our low rise hotel. The staff we met at each resort were terrific and we spent many enjoyable moments chatting with them.

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