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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

Looking for inspiration? See our top Costa Rica itineraries

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

Get inspired by Costa Rica trips other travelers loved
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 country. 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 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.

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.

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
Relax on your Costa Rica Vacation
How Many Days to 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...

Costa Rica Travel Essentials

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

For access to all the country has to offer, visit during the dry season that runs from December through April—winter is the most popular time, with great weather and sizable...

Manzanillo
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 Monteverde
Where to Eat in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde is known for its stunning cloud forest, but there's also plenty of incredible dining options to fill you up after those long sky walks and zip-line adventures . The...

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...

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...

Costa Rica Travel Guides

Detailed travel guides for the main regions of the country
Manzanillo
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 Hotel Advice

Unique places to stay, curated by kimkim specialists
Enjoy the Views in Manuel Antonio
The Best Boutique Hotels in Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio National Park has it all: rainforests, coral beaches, and wild rivers. Make the most of your time in this exceptionally scenic and diverse area with a mix of...

Best Things to do in Costa Rica

Unique things to do, curated by kimkim specialists
Rio Celeste Waterfall
Map of Best Waterfall Hikes in Costa Rica
Best Waterfall Hikes in Costa Rica

With ample mountains and rainforests, Costa Rica’s fortunate topography is a breeding ground for rivers and streams that turn into rushing waterfalls. Climbing these picturesque...

Best Hot Springs in Costa Rica
Map of Best Hot Springs in Costa Rica
Best Hot Springs in Costa Rica

As a result of Costa Rica’s volcanoes and their geothermal activity, the country has a plethora of natural hot springs. These healing pools are a relaxing place to soak after a...

6 Family-Friendly Activities in San José
6 Family-Friendly Activities in San José

Costa Rica abounds with wildlife and outdoor activities, setting the scene for an ideal family vacation. But you don't need to head straight to the beach—travelers flying into...

Our Latest Costa Rica Content

Keep an eye out for the resplendent quetzal in Monteverde's cloud forests
How to Choose the Best Cloud Forest Experience in Monteverde

The colorful wildlife (yes, the resplendent quetzal resides here), lush vegetation, and abundance of hiking trails found in the misty cloud forests of Monteverde make it an appealing destination for travelers looking to immerse in nature. But with so many activities, parks, and private reserves to choose from, it can be challenging to know where to start. Our expert tips can help you choose a memorable cloud forest experience in Monteverde.

Hike to a waterfall during a short stay in Costa Rica
Map of 4 Days in Costa Rica - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
4 Days in Costa Rica - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With four days to spend in Costa Rica, it's wise to focus on one region. A popular choice is a highlights tour of the Arenal area, featuring volcano hikes and a dip in hot springs. Head to Manuel Antonio National Park for an active itinerary that includes surfing and kayaking, or travel to Monteverde for zip line adventures and horseback riding in the cloud forest. Alternatively, opt for a wildlife-themed luxury tour around the Osa Peninsula, or mix wildlife spotting with cultural experiences in Tortuguero National Park.

Look for wildlife on the water in Tortuguero National Park
Map of Culture & Wildlife in Tortuguero National Park - 4 Days
Culture & Wildlife in Tortuguero National Park - 4 Days

Spot vibrant wildlife and learn about Costa Rican culture on this educational four-day tour. You'll start with a day of sightseeing in San José, then move on to Tortuguero National Park, where you'll learn about Indigenous traditions on a village visit. Enjoy a motorboat excursion along the park's jungle waterways, looking for toucans, sloths, and monkeys along the journey. Then tour a coffee farm, sampling locally produced coffee and finding out more about the country's coffee-growing history.

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 - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in Costa Rica - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas
View article
Costa Rica map: 2 Weeks in Costa Rica: 5 Unique Itineraries
2 Weeks in Costa Rica: 5 Unique Itineraries
View article
Costa Rica map: 5-Days in Costa Rica : 5 Unique Trip Itineraries
5-Days in Costa Rica : 5 Unique Trip Itineraries
View article

Meet our Local Travel Specialists

Experienced travel agents with a passion for Costa Rica
Travel specialist Randall Jiménez
active 17 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 15 hours ago

Olman Romero

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

read more...
Travel specialist Bryan Leon
active 15 hours ago

Bryan Leon

I was born in one of the coffee plantation areas located right in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. My parents are from the countryside, they guided me about how to enjoy nature. I studied...

read more...
Travel specialist Yuliana Valverde
active 15 hours ago

Yuliana Valverde

I am originally from Tarrazú, located in the mountains of the Cordillera de Talamanca. Over these mountainous regions, visitors can find the best coffee in Costa Rica comes from. Additionally,...

read more...

Related Destinations

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A portion of every kimkim trip goes toward the removal of carbon from the atmosphere. Learn more
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Seller of Travel Registration number: CST #2136279-40.
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Trip Reviews for Costa Rica

The latest reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim

14 Day Best of Costa Rica
Costa Rica | Jan 23 - Feb 5, 2023

Cheri
Cheri A.
Simi Valley, CA | Reviewed on Feb 06, 2023

My 14 day Best of Costa Rica trip was amazing. Bryan, Nancy, and Charlotte did a wonderful job of tailoring a mixture of the excursions I wanted with enough relaxing time so as not to be exhausting. Each destination had it's own unique quality and beauty to it. This was my first time doing anything like this, and I was very overly nervous about how it would all come together. The team answered my repeated questions, rapidly, effectively, in person, and kindly. The excursions, transportation,... read more

My 14 day Best of Costa Rica trip was amazing. Bryan, Nancy, and Charlotte did a wonderful job of tailoring a mixture of the excursions I wanted with enough relaxing time so as not to be exhausting. Each destination had it's own unique quality and beauty to it. This was my first time doing anything like this, and I was very overly nervous about how it would all come together. The team answered my repeated questions, rapidly, effectively, in person, and kindly. The excursions, transportation, and lodging all came through on time and with no problems. KimKim and the team have earned my trust, and I am planning my next adventure with them.

Hotel Review
El Faro Beach Hotel
Manuel Antonio

The view is gorgeous and the best part of the hotel. It is on a steep hill, if someone is not able to walk well, but you can request a shuttle ride. All the furnishings were uncomfortable. The bed was hard, there was a cheap sofa facing a wall that only served to put luggage on, no inside chairs, and patio chairs also uncomfortable. Pool lounges uncomfortable too.

Authenticity & Character
it should be more homey. is uncomfortable and cold
Location
it is close to manuel antonio
Staff
didn't really interact with the staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
i guess it was clean, but not comfy
Local specialist: Bryan Leon
Bryan
Bryan Leon
Local specialist in Cartago, Costa Rica | Reviewed on Feb 06, 2023

Thank you for your valuable feedback, Cheri,

We were thrilled to read your glowing review. We take great pride in our work, and our sincerest hope is that it helps each one of our customers accomplish their goals. Your feedback has demonstrated that it does, and we appreciate you letting us know.

We’d love to hear from you again! Costa Rica has a lot of nice places to explore.

Pura Vida!
Bryan Leon,
Serendipity Adventures

Amazing Costa Rica!
Costa Rica | Jan 30 - Feb 5, 2023

M
Margaret P.
Owasso, OK | Reviewed on Feb 06, 2023

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Costa Rica and are grateful for the planning by KimKim. We had a 3 hour tour of Hanging Bridges and it was fantastic! Loved it! We learned so much and would've missed so much had we walked through by ourselves. Then they recommended the Arenal Whitewater rafting and that was amazing! My husband said it was his favorite thing in Costa Rica. Thank you for your help and especially for Hanging Bridges tour!! read more

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Costa Rica and are grateful for the planning by KimKim. We had a 3 hour tour of Hanging Bridges and it was fantastic! Loved it! We learned so much and would've missed so much had we walked through by ourselves. Then they recommended the Arenal Whitewater rafting and that was amazing! My husband said it was his favorite thing in Costa Rica. Thank you for your help and especially for Hanging Bridges tour!!

Activity Review
Arenal Hanging Bridges Guided Walk
Arenal/La Fortuna

Fantastic guide! Learned so much!! Beautiful!!!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Guide, Cindy, at Bridges was knowledgeable and friendly. Excellent!
Local specialist: Brittany McNamara

My first review did not go through. I did pr...
Costa Rica | Jan 17 - Jan 30, 2023

B
Bill B.
Canada | Reviewed on Feb 06, 2023

My first review did not go through. I did provide a review to Yuliana noting that everything was as represented, no surprises and all is good. KimKim, Amazilia, Yuliana, all transportation and excursions were excellent.

Contact Yuliana for my review.
Thanks
Bill Bennnett read more

My first review did not go through. I did provide a review to Yuliana noting that everything was as represented, no surprises and all is good. KimKim, Amazilia, Yuliana, all transportation and excursions were excellent.

Contact Yuliana for my review.
Thanks
Bill Bennnett

Local specialist: Yuliana Valverde
Yuliana
Yuliana Valverde
Local specialist in San José, Costa Rica | Reviewed on Feb 07, 2023

Hi Bill,
I hope you are well.
Thanks for your message and the time to leave us this beautiful review.
I was glad to assist you during this time and was so amazing that you were very interested from the beginning of this trip. I hope you had a good time here.
Best regards from Costa Rica.
Best,
Yuliana