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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 trips 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
Punta Uva Beach on the Caribbean Coast
Map of 7 Days in Costa Rica - 5 Unique Itineraries
7 Days in Costa Rica - 5 Unique Itineraries

Cycle from coast to coast, take a culinary journey, chill on the beach, or have a world-class whitewater adventure: there are countless ways to spend a week in Costa Rica. These...

Arenal Volcano
Map of 10 Days in Costa Rica - 5 Unique Itineraries
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...

Enjoy a sunset in Costa Rica
Map of 2 Weeks in Costa Rica - 5 Unique Itineraries
2 Weeks in Costa Rica - 5 Unique Itineraries

With two weeks, you can traverse the length and breadth of Costa Rica. You can visit the most famous national parks, indulge in all the adventure activities, laze on white-sand...

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...

Visit Costa Rica on your next kimkim trip
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...

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...

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...

Costa Rica Travel Guides

Detailed travel guides for the main regions of the country
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
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...

A bridge over the brilliant blue 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...

The sea turtle, a magnificent and regal creature
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

Arenal, one of Costa Rica's most majestic landmarks, towers over the countryside
Arenal & La Fortuna: Best Itinerary Ideas

Most people visiting Arenal spend about 8 to 10 days in Costa Rica, which usually includes some time in Manuel Antonio and Monteverde as well. If you're not interested in Manuel Antonio and Monteverde, 4 to 5 days is enough for your Arenal trip. With less time, it's still possible to see the highlights in as few as 3 days. Read on for the best itineraries including Arenal, La Fortuna and beyond.

A view over the beaches at Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio: Best Itinerary Ideas

Most people visiting Manuel Antonio spend about 8 to 10 days in Costa Rica, which usually includes some time in Arenal/La Fortuna and Monteverde as well. For travelers wanting to visit Manuel Antonio exclusively, plan about 5 days for a well-paced trip. A fast-paced highlights trip is possible in 3 or 4 days for travelers with limited time. Check out our favorite Manuel Antonio trips below.

A view over the Gulf of Papagayo
Gulf of Papagayo: Best Itinerary Ideas

Eight to 10 days is the most popular trip length for Costa Rica travelers interested in visiting the Gulf of Papagayo, especially when also including Arenal/La Fortuna and Monteverde. For travelers wanting to visit the Gulf of Papagayo exclusively, plan about 5 days for a well-paced trip. A fast-paced highlights trip is possible in 3 or 4 days for travelers with limited time. Check out our favorite Gulf of Papagayo trips below.

Costa Rica Travel Maps

Get the lay of land, and understand distances between the places you want to visit
Costa Rica map: 10 Days in Costa Rica: 5 Unique Itineraries
10 Days in Costa Rica: 5 Unique Itineraries
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Costa Rica map: 5-Days in Costa Rica : 5 Unique Trip Itineraries
5-Days in Costa Rica : 5 Unique Trip Itineraries
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Costa Rica map: 2 Weeks in Costa Rica: 5 Unique Itineraries
2 Weeks in Costa Rica: 5 Unique Itineraries
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Meet our Local Travel Specialists

Experienced travel agents with a passion for Costa Rica
Travel specialist Randall Jiménez
active 1 day 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 16 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 Carlos Rodriguez

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

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

It was very easy to plan our trip with the tr... · Costa Rica - Feb 28 - Mar 10, 2020

Traveler: Fran D. - Local specialist: Randall Jiménez

It was very easy to plan our trip with the trip planner. We were able to choose the types of things that we wanted to do like hiking & eliminate those that we weren’t interested in doing such as no shopping. We could also choose the areas that we wanted to visit. Randall coordinated everything so we didn’t have to worry about transportation or guides. It was all included. It’s a great way to explore such a beautiful country. Our hotels were all very nice. I would recommend KimKim to arrange a trip to Costa Rica.

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

Dear Fran,

What a nice surprise to hear from you after all these months. I hope you, Paul and your relatives are doing well.

I certainly want to thank your feedback for the trip that you took to our country last February and it makes me happy to read that you found the whole process very smooth, which is actually the main purpose of our service, to make the vacation arrangements to our clients an unstressful process.

We wish you all health and strength during these difficult times.

Best,
Randall

Where to start - this trip was perfection!!! · Costa Rica - Mar 10 - Mar 21, 2020

Traveler: Kimberley B. - Local specialist: Francisco Herrera

Where to start! This trip was perfection. From the greeting at the airport by an incredibly knowledgeable driver who gave us such insight into the area that we already felt at home by the time we arrived at Tabacon. Every tour guide we had was on time, extremely informative (not only about the specific adventure but about the country) and each one had an amazingly warm personality. We saw every animal that we had hoped to see and some we didn't even know about! We started in Arenal; then to... read more

Where to start! This trip was perfection. From the greeting at the airport by an incredibly knowledgeable driver who gave us such insight into the area that we already felt at home by the time we arrived at Tabacon. Every tour guide we had was on time, extremely informative (not only about the specific adventure but about the country) and each one had an amazingly warm personality. We saw every animal that we had hoped to see and some we didn't even know about! We started in Arenal; then to Monteverde and finished in Conchal. It gave us such an amazing appreciation of so many different aspects of Costa Rica.

When I started thinking about this trip, I had a fairly specific idea of what we wanted to do. This was a trip for me and my 24 year old daughter. Alex and Francisco came up with a custom itinerary that far surpassed anything I could have thought up. They listened to everything I said and turned my ideas into a trip that became a trip of a lifetime. During the planning process they were with me the whole time. Always available by email and phone, to go over any question I had. We were there when the Corona virus just started to impact the US. By the time we left we were one of eight guests at our hotel. During the last week of the trip, the Costa Rican government closed their borders to incoming non-residents. Not only did everything go as planned, but as they were trying to get people home and deal with all of the cancellations, we never felt like we weren't being taken care of.

I could write a book about this trip and how amazing it was and I have Alex and Francisco to thank for that. If I could - I would go back tomorrow morning and have them plan everything. I plan to do just that next year as soon as I possibly can.

Francisco Herrera profile photo
Francisco Herrera, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you Kimberly.

We are very glad to hear that you had a wonderful Adventure of a Lifetime here in Costa Rica. We were honored with the opportunity to host you in our country.

Lisa

Kim Kim exceeded expectations · Costa Rica - Feb 22 - Feb 29, 2020

Traveler: Lisa H. - Local specialist: Carlos Rodriguez

We had a great time in Costa Rica. Carlos did an excellent job organizing our trip. All of the hotels were wonderful and check-in was seamless. I am usually a do-it yourself travel planner, but would highly recommend KimKim for a work free trip if you would like to go multiple places.

Carlos Rodriguez profile photo
Carlos Rodriguez, local specialist, responded to this review:

Good afternoon Lisa from sunny and shiny Costa Rica!
It was my pleasure make this trip come true for you, I’m si thankful for visiting our country and I ‘m happy about you because Got it!
Thank you for your feedback trip I really appreciate it, I hope you can visit us in the future when everyone will be safe and ready to travel again!
Take care and Pura Vida Amiga!
Carlos.