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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.

Getting around Costa Rica
Shuttles or private transfers are great options to get around in Costa Rica. Driving is not always straightforward, but still a great choice if you feel comfortable driving on curvy or unpaved roads.  For longer transfers, Costa Rica has a network of domestic airports that connect the main locations in the country.  Read more

Explore tours by duration: 5 days · 6 days · 7 days · 8 days · 9 days · 10 days · 11 days · 12 days · 13 days · 14 days · 15 days · 16 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.

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.

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.

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.

Arenal Volcano
Map of Arenal Expedition Self Drive Tour - 4 Days
Arenal Expedition Self Drive Tour - 4 Days

This itinerary is one of the shortest, yet most action-packed options for travelers looking for a compact Costa Rica experience. Zip-line, rappel, and horseback ride your way throughout the Arenal region and enjoy some of the best volcano views the country has to offer.

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
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...

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...

Costa Rica Travel Essentials

All you need to know to get started planning the perfect trip
Essential Costa Rica: 4 Regions to Visit
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 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...

A road to Arenal Volcano
Driving in Costa Rica: Road Trip FAQ

Costa Rica has a way of igniting the adventurous spirit within. This is, after all, one of the world's most biodiverse countries loaded with rainforests, wildlife species,...

Costa Rica Travel Advice

Read our detailed insights to make sure you have the best trip
Explore Costa Rica's wildlife with your family
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
7 Best Places for Birding in Costa Rica

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...

Costa Rica Travel Guides

Detailed travel guides for the main regions of the country
costa rica
Ultimate Guide to 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 Río 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

Volcan Arenal
Map of Monteverde & Samara - 5 Days
Monteverde & Samara - 5 Days

This fun, five-day Costa Rica itinerary takes in many of the country's natural highlights, from wildlife reserves to beautiful beaches. Enjoy a combination of outdoor activity and relaxation, structured and free time, to ensure your quick trip to Monteverde and Samara is just what you want it to be. As this is a self-driving tour you can go at your own pace.

Jacó
Map of Costa Rica Nature & Beach Adventure: Arenal, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio, Uvita, & Jacó
Costa Rica Nature & Beach Adventure: Arenal, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio, Uvita, & Jacó

On this 14-day tour, you’ll experience some of Costa Rica’s most iconic destinations. First, stroll the capital city of San José prior to adventuring through La Fortuna, from Arenal volcano to whitewater rafting. Next, zipline through the biodiverse cloud forests of Monteverde. Then, tour three of the country’s most iconic beaches—Manuel Antonio, Uvita, and Jacó—which will include equal-parts exploration and relaxation, topped off with beautiful nightly sunsets.

Manuel Antonio National Park
Map of Coastal Costa Rica: Caribbean & Pacific Adventure - 14 Days
Coastal Costa Rica: Caribbean & Pacific Adventure - 14 Days

This 14-day seaside adventure takes you from scenic Uvita Beach on the south Pacific Coast all the way to Puerto Viejo, on the Caribbean side. Along the way, you’ll stop in Manuel Antonio, with its beautiful beaches and namesake national park. Then, enjoy a day exploring La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano. Mingle with monkeys, sloths, and other animals at the Jaguar Rescue Center on this family-friendly vacation that ends in the capital city of San José.

Costa Rica Travel Maps

Get the lay of land, and understand distances between the places you want to visit
10 Days in Costa Rica: 5 Unique Itineraries
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5-Days in Costa Rica : 5 Unique Trip 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 agents with a passion for Costa Rica
Travel specialist Randall Jiménez
active 5 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 1 hour 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 Adriana Prado
active 3 hours 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 3 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
Travis

Trip to costa rica, Costa Rica - Sep 11 - Sep 15, 2019

Traveler: Travis B. - Local specialist: Randall Jiménez

Our whole experience couldn’t have been more seamless. Our transportation, our lodging, our activities...everything was perfect. We had an amazing time in Costa Rica, and Randall made it happen!

Randall Jiménez profile photo
Randall Jiménez, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Travis,

I appreciate your review of the trip and your kind comments, I am really glad that you and Rebecca enjoyed your vacation and that it covers all your expectations :)

We hope to have the chance to welcome you again in the future and organize a new trip to our small but diverse country.

Pura Vida!
Randall

Costa rica adventure vacation for a family of 4, Costa Rica - Aug 17 - Aug 26, 2019

Traveler: Laura K. - Local specialist: Olman Romero

We had an amazing time in Costa Rica. The communication with Olman during the planning process was excellent. He was extremely responsive. The trip was extremely well planned and well organized. All the transportation and transitions went off without a hitch. All of the hotels were lovely, but Tabacon was the winner. The rooms and grounds were beautiful, especially the hot springs and the breakfast was sumptuous. All of the tours were great and well run but the wildlife tour and turtle... read more

We had an amazing time in Costa Rica. The communication with Olman during the planning process was excellent. He was extremely responsive. The trip was extremely well planned and well organized. All the transportation and transitions went off without a hitch. All of the hotels were lovely, but Tabacon was the winner. The rooms and grounds were beautiful, especially the hot springs and the breakfast was sumptuous. All of the tours were great and well run but the wildlife tour and turtle nesting tour in Tortuguerro were incredible (and Willis, our guide, was extremely knowledgable) and the white water rafting trip with Wave Expeditions was the highlight for all of us. Our guide, Yorjani, was incredible. He made us feel safe and kept us laughing the whole time. And thanks to the kayaking photographer for preserving our memories (and saving our cameras and phones from being submerged). Thank you for a wonderful and well-planned trip. Our kids keep saying how much they miss being in Costa Rica and can't stop talking about all the animals they saw. thanks kimkim!

Olman Romero profile photo
Olman Romero, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Laura!

Thank you very much for your good review, we appreciate it.
That is great to know you had a terrific time in Costa Rica, happy to know all tours, guides, and trasnportation were fine.
We hope you had incredible memories and hope to see you on your next visit to this amazing country, we will be more than glad to offer another experience in the future.

Pura Vida!
Olman

Trip to costa rica, Costa Rica - Aug 7 - Aug 13, 2019

Traveler: Deborah K. - Local specialist: Adriana Prado

This was my first time using KimKim and I was definitely leery. I usually book all of our trips by myself. I have to say though that Adriana, who booked our trip to Costa Rica was wonderful. She answered all of my questions and rearranged our trip so that it fit what we wanted to do and our budget. She was even able to change a pick-up time in the middle of our trip when I requested it. All of the excursions we went on were run by top-notch companies and guides and the hotels she recommended and booked had amazing views. Everything was very smooth! I'd highly recommend her!