Costa Rica Travel Advice

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Hot Springs in Arenal/La Fortuna
Map of How to Choose the Best Hot Springs in Arenal/La Fortuna
How to Choose the Best Hot Springs in Arenal/La Fortuna

The Arenal/La Fortuna region in Costa Rica offers 12 different thermal pools. Each hot spring has a unique character making it ideal for different travel tastes, from romantic, luxurious, budget-friendly, family-friendly, to adventurous, and more. Whether you're looking for peace and relaxation or hot springs with exciting waterslides, our list has them all.

Best Whitewater Rafting in Costa Rica For Every Level
Best Whitewater Rafting in Costa Rica For Every Level

Costa Rica's dry season is from November to April. But May signals the beginning of the rainy season, and it's then that the rivers rise—making it the best time for aquatic adventurers of every skill level to hit the country's rivers in search of whitewater.

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 central mountain village in this nature reserve offers a diverse array of great food served everywhere from five-star hotels to rustic mountain lodges. Diverse options include local dishes, seafood, crepes, wood-fired pizzas, fresh pasta, and so much more.

Experience Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica
How to Choose the Best Arenal Volcano Experience

Arenal Volcano is Costa Rica's best-known and most popular volcano, and travelers can experience it through hikes, horseback riding, and walking across hanging bridges. These activities create the perfect combination of lake views, hardened lava flows, and dense rainforests, all waiting to be explored.

A colorful toucan perches on a tree branch in a Costa Rican forest
Map of 7 Best Places for Birding in Costa Rica
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 spot them, from the Osa Peninsula to the Monteverde Cloud Forest.

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 come. Below, we’ve compiled five reasons why you should put Costa Rica at the top of your family's travel list.

The remarkable keel-billed toucan is among Costa Rica's 900 species of birds
Map of Where to Spot Wildlife in Costa Rica
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 seeing howler monkeys, humpback whales, jaguars and more.

Surfing Costa Rica: A Beach for Every Skill Level
Map of Surfing Costa Rica: A Beach for Every Skill Level
Surfing Costa Rica: A Beach for Every Skill Level

With two coasts, Costa Rica is a dream for travelers looking to catch a wave. Both the Pacific and Caribbean sides offer some of the best breaks in the world, with enough variety to accommodate beginners and experts alike. If you’re keen to surf the “Rich Coast,” you don’t have to be a professional—you just need to know where to go.

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.

Irazu Volcano
Map of Costa Rica - 5 Must Visit Volcanos
Costa Rica - 5 Must Visit Volcanos

Volcanos define the landscape of Costa Rica, these volcanos created the fertile valleys and diverse ecosystems of the country. If you want to truly experience Costa Rica's nature at its core, visiting these stunning volcanoes is a great way to start.

Photos from top left clockwise: Sunset at Tamarindo beach, Wildlife on Manuel antonio beach, aerial view of Manuel Antonio beach, Surf boards on Tamarindo
Map of Manuel Antonio or Tamarindo
Manuel Antonio or Tamarindo

Costa Rica is blessed with countless beautiful beaches, but two destinations that consistently top the list are Manuel Antonio and Tamarindo. Both offer stunning coastlines, abundant activities, and unique experiences, but each has its own distinct charm. In this guide, our local specialists, Randall Jiménez, Sergio Bolaños , Yuliana Valverde and Olman Romero help you decide which beach destination is the perfect fit for your Costa Rican adventure, covering aspects like activities, wildlife, accessibility, nightlife, and accommodation.

Coffee Tour in Costa Rica
Map of The Ultimate Guide to Costa Rican Coffee:  How to Choose the Best Experience
The Ultimate Guide to Costa Rican Coffee: How to Choose the Best Experience

Through hands-on coffee plantation tours, you can learn how Costa Rica's climate and environment are ideal for coffee production—and taste the country's award-winning java. Whether using San José as a hub or visiting Monteverde or Arenal/La Fortuna, you can tour coffee farms, production facilities, and even an ecolodge offering coffee, chocolate, and sugar cane tours, plus add wildlife viewing into the mix.

What to Pack for Costa Rica
The Ultimate Costa Rica Packing List: What to Bring

Packing for your trip to Costa Rica is an exciting part of the adventure but can be challenging. Costa Rica is a beautiful country with various weather patterns and activities, so creating a packing list is essential in the planning process. Whether you're going north or south, to the Pacific or the Caribbean, we've compiled the ultimate packing list for Costa Rica so that you'll know what to bring and what to leave behind.

Red-eyed tree frogs are one of the nocturnal creatures you may meet in Monteverde
How to Choose the Best Night Walk in Monteverde

The lush landscapes and brightly-colored birds Monteverde is known for are undoubtedly worth seeing during the day. However, with 80 percent of the area's wildlife active after dark, a night walk affords the opportunity to experience all that the region truly has to offer.

Arenal Volcano
Unique Ways To Experience Costa Rica

Costa Rica's most common outdoor destinations are so sought-after for a reason: they truly are beautiful landmarks. But, for every popular attraction, there are plenty of lesser-known must-sees that'll treat open-minded explorers to an incredibly fulfilling and memorable adventure.

Costa Rica sandman
Tips for Visiting Costa Rica During the Holidays

Any way you cut it, traveling to Costa Rica during the holidays will coincide with the tourist high season. This has its advantages, as there are more parties and celebrations than at any other time of year. Here's some advice to ensure you get the most out of your festive tropical vacation.

Planning Your Honeymoon in Costa Rica
Planning Your Honeymoon in Costa Rica

The perfect honeymoon mixes romance with fun, adventure with relaxation, and promises stellar scenery, food, and lodging throughout. Look no further than Costa Rica: from cushy Pacific resorts to rainforest hikes and chilled-out surf spots, this little slice of Central America has something for every couple. Read on for itinerary ideas, planning tips, and lodging suggestions.

Inside San Jose International Airport
Costa Rica Entry Requirements

Costa Rica is open to all international travelers without requiring a PCR test as of October 2020. This article describes current entry requirements for entering Costa Rica during the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as some of the current protocols setup in the country to protect your health. We will keep this up to date as the situation evolves.

When to visit Costa Rica

How to Visit Costa Rica in the Rainy Season: Best Regions, Activities, & Travel Tips
How to Visit Costa Rica in the Rainy Season: Best Regions, Activities, & Travel Tips

With epic surf, rainforest eco-adventures, romantic getaways, and more, only one question remains: when should you go to Costa Rica? The dry months are certainly popular with tourists, but the rainy season can be a great time to go—think beaches all to yourself, cooler temps, brilliant vegetation, and lower prices. Maximize your travels with these tips on where and when to go during Costa Rica's "green season."

Costa Rica
Costa Rica in January: Travel Ideas, Weather, and More

January kicks off a new year in Costa Rica with wild parties and an epic celebration. It's also a couple months into the high season, when the skies are clear and the glory of nature is on full display. This monthly guide illustrates how best to ring in the new year in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica
Costa Rica in February: Travel Ideas, Weather, and More

Dry, warm weather makes February the perfect time to visit Costa Rica. You'll experience the country's famous beaches and virgin rainforests, not to mention one of the largest carnival celebrations in the region. Even better, the January crowds are starting to thin out as locals head back to work. Read on for more about visiting in February.

Costa Rica
Costa Rica in March: Travel Ideas, Weather, and More

March in Costa Rica means the sun is out and the beaches are calling your name. This is still the high season, but by March you should find availability at even the most popular resorts. Moreover, it's a great month for wildlife spotting, be it the humpback whales of the Pacific coast or the exotic birds of the inland rainforests.

Costa Rica
Costa Rica in April: Travel Ideas, Weather, and More

April is the last hurrah of Costa Rica's high season—a time of grand religious holidays, epic fiestas, and reliably sunny beach weather. Throw in all those spring-break vacationers, and you have the makings of one great party.

Costa Rica
Costa Rica in May: Travel Ideas, Weather, and More

May in Costa Rica is the start of the nation's rainy season, but this doesn't happen overnight—most of the month you can expect great weather. What's certain is that a May trip to Costa Rica means lower prices and epic beauty without the big crowds. It's the perfect month for savvy travelers to enjoy a wide-open tropical paradise.

Costa Rica
Costa Rica in June: Travel Ideas, Weather, and More

In June, Costa Rica is easing into its rainy season. Crowds are down and the foliage is in full bloom. Travelers who venture here during this month might have to endure some precipitation, but they'll also have the nation's most desirable destinations almost all to themselves. This monthly guide reveals more.

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Costa Rica in July: Travel Ideas, Weather, and More

In the middle of Costa Rica's rainy season are a precious few weeks of sun and clear skies. This typically occurs in July, and anyone lucky enough to visit during this month gets the best of Costa Rica at reduced prices and with fewer crowds. Read on for tips on how best to enjoy this "sweet spot" on Costa Rica's calendar.

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Costa Rica in August: Travel Ideas, Weather, and More

August falls right in the middle of Costa Rica's "green" season, a rainier time of year when all of the country's famous flora is in bloom. Take advantage of the precipitation with whitewater rafting, or head to the Caribbean coast if you're looking for a vacation with more sun. One of the biggest religious holidays of the year occurs during this month, too. Read on for more on the nature and festivities of Costa Rica in August.

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Costa Rica in September: Travel Ideas, Weather, and More

September is right in the middle of Costa Rica's rainy season—but visitors this month are still in for a treat. Not only are Costa Rica's famous rainforests in lustrous bloom, the rivers are perfect for whitewater rafting and the Caribbean Coast is still warm enough to sunbathe. Plus, you'll be in town for Independence Day—this monthly guide offers more insight into the great party.

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Costa Rica in November: Travel Ideas, Weather, and More

November in Costa Rica is the calm before the tourist high season of December. Get here early enough and you might even make it for Costa Rica's own "Day of the Dead" celebrations. Otherwise, enjoy all this country's nature and beaches without the oppressive crowds.

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Costa Rica in December: Travel Ideas, Weather, and More

December is Costa Rica's peak travel season. There's a near endless procession of festivities and holiday merrymaking fit for any reveler young or old. Plus, there's all that natural beauty the country is famous for. Find out how best to enjoy Costa Rica during the December holiday season with this monthly guide.