From the jungle to the coast, Costa Rica is a laid-back traveler’s tropical paradise. This tiny nation is positioned on the Central American isthmus, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Caribbean Sea to the east, Nicaragua to the north, and Panama to the south. Its tropical topography and various landscapes make Costa Rica one of the crucial biodiverse nations on this planet. Divided into 29 nationwide parks, 19 wildlife refuges, and eight organic reserves, the nation thrives on ecotourism and vacationers will discover all the things they’re on the lookout for: exhilarating adventures, solar drenched seashores, lush jungle, energetic volcanos, unique wildlife and rather more, together with chic resorts and wellness services.
Get probably the most out of your (luxurious) journey to Costa Rica with my journey information. Discover out extra about:
TRAVEL GUIDE TO COSTA RICA: BEST TIME TO VISIT
Costa Rica is a tropical nation, so you have to be ready for rain at any time of yr. And that’s not a nasty factor because it’s this rainfall that makes Costa Rica so lush and in addition a heaven for wildlife. The nation’s local weather is outlined by two major seasons: the wet season and the dry season. The dry season (or excessive season) is from December to April and it’s thought-about one of the best time to go to as there’s a smaller likelihood of being drenched within the rain. The wet season (or “inexperienced” season) is usually from Might to November: it might rain for a number of days in a row and torrential rains are frequent, however on a optimistic notice, resort charges and tour costs are considerably decrease and the nation turns a beautiful deep inexperienced with waterfalls gushing.
The perfect time to go to Costa Rica is determined by the place you need to go because the nation’s local weather and seasons fluctuate by area:
- The Osa Peninsula – residence to the world-famous Corcovado Nationwide Park – is probably the most southern zone of Costa Rica and in addition the wettest space of the nation. The dry season on the Osa Peninsula is comparatively brief and runs from January to March. Additionally, the dry season right here is just not dry in any respect as the realm’s humidity is extraordinarily excessive, normally leading to a day bathe or thunderstorm.
- Guanacaste on the Northwest Pacific Coast experiences a lot much less rain than the remainder of Costa Rica. Even in the course of the wet season, it may be sunny right here for a number of days in a row.
- Opposite to the remainder of Costa Rica, the Caribbean Coast has its personal local weather. This space experiences one of the best climate from April to September, with typically sunny skies and calm blue waters whereas the remainder of Costa Rica is drenched in rain.
- Throughout the summer time months of July and August, the wet season is in full swing in a lot of the nation (apart from the Caribbean Coast). Wildlife fanatics may desire this time for a go to although since summer time is one of the best time to look at inexperienced sea turtles on the shoreline of the Tortuguero Nationwide Park and the whales within the Pacific Ocean across the city of Dominical.
- The months of September and October are the peak of Costa Rica’s moist season. Journey throughout these months is just not beneficial as torrential heavy rainfall makes wildlife recognizing troublesome and roads might grow to be impassable attributable to larger river crossings or landslides.
TRAVEL GUIDE TO COSTA RICA: HOW TO GET THERE
Most vacationers arrive in Costa Rica through one of many nation’s two main airports:
- Juan Santamaría Worldwide Airport is Costa Rica’s major airport, serving it capital San José. The airport is known as after Costa Rica’s nationwide hero, Juan Santamaría, a drummer boy who died in 1856 defending his nation in opposition to forces led by American filibuster William Walker. Click on right here for a listing of airways that provide direct flights to San Jose.
- Guanacaste Airport, recognized earlier than as Daniel Oduber Quirós Worldwide Airport is positioned near the town of Liberia within the Guanacaste Province, and it serves as a tourism hub for many who go to the Pacific coast and western Costa Rica. Click on right here for a listing of airways that provide direct flight to Liberia.
If you’re touring your complete nation, I recommend you fly in through Juan Santamaria Airport and – after ending your vacation on the seashore in northwestern Costa Rica – depart through Liberia.
Before you purchase a aircraft ticket, contemplate studying my suggestions & tips for purchasing the most affordable aircraft ticket.
TRAVEL GUIDE TO COSTA RICA: ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Necessities for entry in Costa Rica differ from nation to nation, and are topic to vary. Previous to departure, all the time verify together with your authorities and your nearest Costa Rican embassy or consulate what paperwork you want for journey to Costa Rica. Some necessary factors:
- Guests to Costa Rica will need to have a legitimate passport in addition to proof of their intent to exit the nation earlier than their visa or entry stamp expires, normally inside 90 days.
- All non-resident vacationers should possess a return ticket or a ticket as proof of once they intend to exit the nation, generally known as an outbound exit or onward ticket.
- Vacationers coming from the next nations should possess a yellow fever vaccination certificates earlier than entry into Costa Rica can be allowed: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and the Republic of Guyana.
Be sure you learn my 10 tricks to plan a worry-free journey.
TRAVEL GUIDE TO COSTA RICA: GETTING AROUND
Getting round Costa Rica is comfy however it may be time-consuming (roads within the mountains are slim and winding, and there’s a whole lot of site visitors). Important enhancements to the nationwide freeway community previously few years have made touring across the nation a lot simpler than it as soon as was, and a brand new multi-lane freeway is presently being constructed between San José and Liberia.
- In case you’re brief on time, the easiest way to journey inside Costa Rica is by aircraft. The nationwide provider Sansa provides turbo-prop flights between the capital San José and the nation’s many seashore locations and provincial cities. These flights might be significantly useful for touring to the extra distant corners of the nation. For instance, the flight from San José to Puerto Jiménez (the principle city on the Osa Peninsula) takes simply 50 minutes in comparison with six hours by automobile.
- Renting a automobile is the best and sometimes most cost-effective manner of getting across the nation. The situations of the roads in Costa Rica are fairly good, plus with your individual car you’ll be able to see the nation at your individual tempo with out having to stick to aircraft or public switch schedules. The vast majority of the car-rental firms are positioned close by the worldwide airports of San José and Liberia. Shopping for primary insurance coverage is obligatory.
- If you’re on a finances, it’s possible you’ll contemplate public transport. Privately run buses and vans by Interbus are effectively maintained and tickets might be booked on-line on the official web site.
- If a bus or aircraft sounds too public for you otherwise you don’t discover a time schedule that matches your itinerary, it additionally attainable to e book personal transfers with a chauffeur-driven automobile through most resorts at typically cheap costs.
TRAVEL GUIDE TO NAMIBIA: INSPIRATION, HIGHLIGHTS & TRAVEL TIPS
There are lots of the reason why Costa Rica needs to be in your bucket record:
- Multi-day trekking within the rainforest of Corcovado Nationwide Park
- Journey excursions within the space across the Arenal Volcano (white water rafting, ziplining, canyoning)
- Stress-free on the seashores of the Guanacaste Province
- Staying at a luxurious resort or rainforest lodge
- Observing tropical wildlife in Manuel Antonio Nationwide Park (e.g. sloths, pumas, monkeys, and many others …)
- Get a fowl’s-eye view of the forest from a suspended bridge at Monteverde cloud forest
- Witness turtle hatching on the seashores of Tortuguero Nationwide Park
The next, complete articles may additionally encourage you and make it easier to plan your vacation to Costa Rica:
TRAVEL GUIDE TO COSTA RICA: SUGGESTED ITINERARIES
It’s unimaginable to recommend one itinerary for Costa Rica on this journey information, however I hereby share with you a schedule primarily based by myself holidays in Costa Rica, which is nice if you wish to see the nation in a timeframe of two weeks:
- Day 1, 2, 3 & 4: arrive in San Jose, switch to La Fortuna and discover the Arenal space
- Day 5 & 6: switch to Guide Antonio & tour of Guide Antonio Nationwide Park
- Day 7, 8, 9 & 10: switch to the Osa Peninsula & tour of Corcovado Nationwide Park
- Day 11, 12, 13 & 14: flight to Guanacaste & rest on the Peninsula Papagayo
- Day 15: flight again residence (with departure from Guanacaste Airport)
In case you have extra time, I recommend so as to add the Caribbean Coast and Tortuguero Nationwide Park to your itinerary (at the beginning of your journey).
TRAVEL GUIDE TO COSTA RICA: RECOMMENDED HOTELS (+ REVIEWS)
I like to recommend to learn my prime 10 record of the most fantastic resorts in Costa Rica if you’re desirous to know the way I rank Costa Rica’s prime resorts, primarily based my very own expertise.
Under, you discover my detailed evaluations of one of the best resorts and lodges in Costa Rica (with execs, cons, & suggestions to economize per resort).