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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

Zip-lining through the jungle in Costa Rica
16 Days in Costa Rica - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Sixteen days is plenty of time for a comprehensive tour of Costa Rica, including multiple regions and national parks. Road-trip to waterfalls and Caribbean beaches, go rafting down wild rivers, relax in luxurious hot springs, hike to volcanoes, spot sloths and monkeys in the jungle, visit indigenous villages, try zip-lining in the cloud forest, go horseback riding with real-life cowboys: learn how with these unique itineraries.

An aerial view over Costa Rican wetlands
13 Days in Costa Rica - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 13 days to spend in Costa Rica, you can choose an action-packed adventure that takes you to rainforests and beaches all over the country — or you could focus your energy on one region, like laid-back Nicoya Peninsula. Spot toucans in the wild on a bird-themed tour, visit indigenous villages and traditional farms on a culturally-oriented itinerary, cycle along the coast on a mountain biking trip, road trip to quiet surf towns, or raft and kayak on an outdoorsy trip plan: learn how with these five unique itineraries.

Mistico Hanging Bridges Park
9 Days in Costa Rica - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Nine days in Costa Rica offers a great canvas of exploration in this biodiverse paradise. Tour a handful of the country’s volcanoes, including Arenal, Irazú, Poás, and Turrialba. Relax in the thermal hot springs of La Fortuna. Explore the cloud forests of Monteverde, or go whitewater rafting on the Pacuare River—see the itineraries below for more on what to do during your trip.

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 3 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 33 mins 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 2 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 - Jul 31 - Aug 14, 2019

Traveler: Florence P. - Local specialist: Olman Romero

My trip has been amazing. Olman perfectly understood my expectations and organized it as well as I could have hoped. Strongly recommended.

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

Hi Florence!

Happy to hear that your trip was amazing, I hope you enjoyed each experience you had in Costa Rica.
Thanks for your feedback and we hope to see you again in the future.

Pura Vida!
Olman

Trip to costa rica, Costa Rica - Jun 26 - Jul 7, 2019

Traveler: Chris J. - Local specialist: Carlos Rodriguez

We couldn't have been more pleased with our trip. We took a 12-day family trip with 3 teenagers (18,16,13). All of our accommodations were perfect, from the hotels, the excursions, and the included meals. It was the perfect mix of adventure and fun with learning about the history of the country, the agriculture, and seeing all the plants and animals in their natural habitat. All of our drivers, guides, and excursion leaders spoke perfect English, and were so friendly and eager to tell us... read more

We couldn't have been more pleased with our trip. We took a 12-day family trip with 3 teenagers (18,16,13). All of our accommodations were perfect, from the hotels, the excursions, and the included meals. It was the perfect mix of adventure and fun with learning about the history of the country, the agriculture, and seeing all the plants and animals in their natural habitat. All of our drivers, guides, and excursion leaders spoke perfect English, and were so friendly and eager to tell us about their country. Highlights of our trip would be white water rafting on the Balsa River, ziplining in Monteverde, and the hot springs/thermal baths in La Fortuna/ Arenal volcano. The wildlife at the beach in Quepos was unreal- we saw sloths, monkeys, and iguanas daily on the ground of our hotel and around town. Carlos’ attention to detail was great and he checked in on us multiple times during our trip to make sure everything was perfect.

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

Hello Chris!
Greetings from Costa Rica ...
I just want to say thank you for join us and meet our beatiful Costa Rica. I hope you can return and explore more then.
Thank you for your feedback it is very important for us. Please do not hesitate in ask me in the future you have friends in Costa Rica know.
Pura Vida Amigo!!
Carlos.

Trip to costa rica, Costa Rica - Jul 18 - Jul 26, 2019

Traveler: Sarah C. - Local specialist: Adriana Prado

We made a fairly last minute decision to take our family of 4 to Costa Rica in July. Without enough time to research an itinerary, we are so glad we found kimkim online. Working with our trip planner, Adriana, was effortless and she planned a fantastic vacation for us!

Some comments on the service first. Adriana was extremely responsive. Using kimkim's messaging service, I received texts when she sent updates which allowed us to plan the trip very efficiently. We caught up by phone as well... read more

We made a fairly last minute decision to take our family of 4 to Costa Rica in July. Without enough time to research an itinerary, we are so glad we found kimkim online. Working with our trip planner, Adriana, was effortless and she planned a fantastic vacation for us!

Some comments on the service first. Adriana was extremely responsive. Using kimkim's messaging service, I received texts when she sent updates which allowed us to plan the trip very efficiently. We caught up by phone as well when a couple of quick decisions needed to be made and I was really impressed with her knowledge of the local hotels, restaurants and activities. While we were in Costa Rica, we reached out a couple of times just to let her know how great the trip was and, again, she responded immediately, making us comfortable that we could reach her if we had a problem.

We made a couple of decisions on activities, but for the most part Adriana planned our itinerary and her choices were excellent. We did at least 3 guided tours at popular local attractions which offer multiple guide options. Her resource choices were awesome - extremely knowledgeable and with great language skills (we are English-speaking with some Spanish skills). Her hotel choices also were excellent. We stayed in four places and it was clear at each stop that she knew the venues well and had taken our interests into consideration (pools, views, rooms together).

After speaking with Adriana, we decided not to rent a car. Given the number of times we moved, it made the transportation logistics important. Every transfer she set up showed up on time, the drivers and boat operator were efficient and professional and we were so happy in the end with our decision as the driving would not have been impossible, but challenging.

FInally, a few words about Costa Rica if you are considering it as a destination. We loved this country! The people are very friendly and the variety of activities, terrains and even weather is incredible. We were there during rainy season but even so really enjoyed the trip (if you go at the same time, bring a quality rain jacket and a quick dry shoe option). Highlights for us were the Selvatura Park in Monteverde and our tour of the Manuel Antonio National Park. If you stay in Manuel Antonio, consider La Mariposa - it's beautiful and the service is fantastic.

We definitely will use kimkim again - thanks again to Adriana and the team for giving us such a special experience!