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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 · 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
Best Time of Year to Visit Costa Rica
Best Time of Year to Visit Costa Rica

Coastal panoramas, rare ecosystems, volcanoes to climb—Costa Rica is all of this, and more. For access to all the country has to offer, visit during the dry season that runs...

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...

Rugged mountain trails are one way to enjoy Costa Rica by bike
Guided Cycling in Costa Rica: FAQ

With diverse jungle scenery, long stretches of coast, and traveler-friendly culture, Costa Rica is one of the best cycling destinations in the world. Kimkim offers a number of...

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
Tips for Visiting San José, Costa Rica
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 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

Due to the exuberance of the vegetation that surrounds it, and the numerous rapids that form during its descent towards the Caribbean plains, suitable for rafting, the Pacuare is an important tourist attraction of Costa Rica. The Pacuare basin has been protected by the Matina Pacuare Forest Reserve.
Map of Costa Rica Luxury Hot Springs and Rivers Getaway - 6 Days
Costa Rica Luxury Hot Springs and Rivers Getaway - 6 Days

Even with a mere six days at your disposal, you can rejuvenate your mind and body while enjoying exciting adventures in Costa Rica. This itinerary begins with some luxury spa treatments followed by long soaks in the natural volcanic hot springs in the Arenal region of the country. You'll then learn how to prepare authentic Costa Rican chocolate before finishing the trip with more pampering at a wellness retreat.

costa rica
Map of Hot Springs, Waterfalls, and Luxury Retreats in Costa Rica - 7 Days
Hot Springs, Waterfalls, and Luxury Retreats in Costa Rica - 7 Days

All you need is a week to replenish your body and soul on the trip of a lifetime. The destination is Costa Rica and over seven days you'll enjoy whitewater rafting, waterfall hikes, and luxury accommodations in the best eco-lodges and wellness retreats in the country. You'll even take part in a hands-on course where you learn to prepare artisanal chocolate.

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 Adriana Prado
active 24 mins 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 Olman Romero
active 6 hours 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 Randall Jiménez
active 8 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 Carlos Rodriguez
active 1 day ago

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...

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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 - Jun 10 - Jun 16, 2019

Traveler: Nik K. - Local specialist: Carlos Rodriguez

Carlos arranged an amazing trip for my family that captured all the best things about travel: opening hearts and minds, meeting new people and some great fun! I'd say that the trip included something for everyone, but it actually included everything for everyone. We all - myself, my wife and my 10 and 8 year old kids - loved rafting on the Balsa with Carlos T., a chocolate tour near Arenal with Katherine and surfing (or trying to, anyway) on Playa Blanca with Walter and Niels. Along the way... read more

Carlos arranged an amazing trip for my family that captured all the best things about travel: opening hearts and minds, meeting new people and some great fun! I'd say that the trip included something for everyone, but it actually included everything for everyone. We all - myself, my wife and my 10 and 8 year old kids - loved rafting on the Balsa with Carlos T., a chocolate tour near Arenal with Katherine and surfing (or trying to, anyway) on Playa Blanca with Walter and Niels. Along the way we managed some relaxation in the Arenal springs and some poolside chillin' in Papagayo.

Unexpectedly, the highlight of the trip may have been the afternoon before we left when Carlos himself came out to spend an afternoon with us in San Jose. We walked, ate and went to markets where we met some of the warmest and friendliest people you can imagine. Thanks Carlos, for sharing some of your amazing home town with us.

Carlos arranged a seamless trip. Every tour and transfer he arranged was with warm, friendly, and reliable guides. To a T, each was on time and ready to go. Carlos was immediately available by phone, text or WhatsApp throughout the trip.

The highest compliment was from my 8 year old who had tears in his eyes as we left, wanting to know when we could go back to Costa Rica and willing to give up his Nintendo Switch just to stay another day.

Thanks Carlos. Pura Vida!

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

Dear Nik,

Greetings from Costa Rica, Pura Vida Amigo!
I want to thank you and your loving and respectable family for sharing with me last evening in San Jose. I enjoyed it a lot.
Thank you for sharing a little of you with me, that has been my reward for you, remember that you will always have a friend in Costa Rica, have my contact and if someday you want to come just look for me as well as your friends as well they can do.
Thank you very much for this beautiful comment, thank you for taking... read more

Dear Nik,

Greetings from Costa Rica, Pura Vida Amigo!
I want to thank you and your loving and respectable family for sharing with me last evening in San Jose. I enjoyed it a lot.
Thank you for sharing a little of you with me, that has been my reward for you, remember that you will always have a friend in Costa Rica, have my contact and if someday you want to come just look for me as well as your friends as well they can do.
Thank you very much for this beautiful comment, thank you for taking your valuable time to write it.

I almost forgot and I want to make clear for you:
.. did you remember the type of pizza that I mentioned during the lunch? I do not know what I was thinking about, the type of pizza is a Baked pizza but in a clay oven, maybe next time we can go and try in Arenal.

Muchas Gracias Amigo y Pura Vida from Costa Rica!

Trip to costa rica, Costa Rica - May 18 - May 25, 2019

Traveler: Darren H. - Local specialist: Olman Romero

Olman was amazing responding to all my queries in a timely manner and changing things in the itinerary based on my daughter’s animal and wildlife requirements!

Our trip, while only 7 days, incorporated so many trips and places. We had an absolutely amazing time and pretty much saw most of the country’s animals in their natural habitats.

Absolutely stunning country and Olman’s help definitely helped us to make the most of our limited time there.

Thanks again!

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

Hi Darren,

I just can say thanks to you, it was a pleasure to assist you in all the special requirements to offer an unforgettable experience in Costa Rica.
I hope it was something special for you and your daughter, thanks for your good review.

Pura Vida!

Misha

Driving, sightseeing, Costa Rica - Jun 9 - Jun 14, 2019

Traveler: Misha M. - Local specialist: Adriana Prado

We enjoyed the whole trip and I just wish we could have extended our stay! From the transportation to the hotels and activities, Adriana made thiis trip really enjoyable for us. Thankyou Adriana and the rest of the kimkim staff :)

Adriana Prado profile photo
Adriana Prado, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Misha,

Thank you for your message and nice comments of your trip, I am very happy to know that all the services, hotels, transportation and activities were to your liking and that you had a great time in our country. :-) We hope to welcome you again in the future and organize a new experience for you.

Best,
Adriana