What to see in Costa Rica

Welcome to Costa Rica, the fascinating tropical paradise of Central America!

In this dreamlike corner, where nature unfolds in all its exuberance and the warmth of its people embraces you, an unforgettable travel experience awaits. Embark with me on this land of contrasts, where white sandy beaches merge with dense jungles full of life, and majestic volcanoes rise above postcard-perfect landscapes.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica, a small country filled with great wonders, delights us with its unique biodiversity. Immerse yourself in its crystal-clear waters to discover coral reefs and a variety of marine species. Explore its dense tropical forests, home to playful monkeys, colorful exotic birds, and a wide variety of flora and fauna that will leave you amazed.

In addition to its natural beauty, Costa Rica takes pride in its rich culture, steeped in traditions and festivities that celebrate life and national identity. From the passion of football to the sweetness of coffee, every aspect of Costa Rican life has its own charm.

In this travel blog, I will guide you through the most special corners of Costa Rica, give you tips to plan your adventure, and share anecdotes that will connect you with the very essence of this incredible destination.

So get ready to discover a magical world full of color, flavor, and overflowing nature!

Where is Costa Rica?

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Costa Rica is located in Central America, in the region known as the Central American isthmus. It borders to the north with Nicaragua, to the east with the Caribbean Sea, to the southeast with Panama, and to the west and south with the Pacific Ocean.

What Language is Spoken in Costa Rica?

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The official language is Spanish. The vast majority of the population speaks Spanish as their first language, so you shouldn’t have any problems communicating if you speak Spanish.

Religion in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is a country with wide religious diversity, and freedom of worship is guaranteed by the Constitution. The majority religion is Christianity, with Catholicism being the most widespread denomination. However, there are also Protestant, evangelical, and other religious communities present in the country.

Costa Rican Frog

Time Difference with Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is in the UTC-6 time zone throughout the year. However, keep in mind that some countries may observe daylight saving time, which could affect the time difference during certain times of the year.

During standard time (from November to March): Costa Rica is 7 hours behind Spain.

During daylight saving time (from March to November): Costa Rica is 6 hours behind Spain.

Costa Rica View

What Currency is Used in Costa Rica?

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The official currency of Costa Rica is the Costa Rican colón, represented by the symbol “₡.” Although the US dollar is widely accepted in many tourist areas and hotels, I recommend carrying some local currency for your daily expenses.

Currency Exchange drawing

If you want to take some money from home, I recommend exchanging currency with RIA as they offer the best commission-free exchange rate and send and collect the currency at your own home.

Cambio de Divisa Dolar

RIA Currency Exchange:

  1. Key Services:
    • Currency Exchange: RIA provides currency exchange services for various currencies, including US dollars, yen, pounds, and many more.
    • Money Transfers: In addition to currency exchange, RIA is known for its international money transfer services.
  2. Exchange Rates:
    • Ria stands out for offering competitive exchange rates. You can compare their rates with other options to ensure you get the best possible exchange rate.
  3. Physical Offices in Spain:
    • RIA has a physical presence through its offices in Spain. You can visit one of their locations if you prefer to conduct transactions in person.
  4. Home Delivery:

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Credit Cards Drawing

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Cabaña de Costa Rica

What is the Best Time to Travel to Costa Rica?

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The best time to travel to Costa Rica may depend on your personal preferences and what you want to experience during your visit. Costa Rica enjoys a tropical climate throughout the year, but there are two distinct seasons: the dry season and the rainy season.

Dry Season (Summer)

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The dry season in Costa Rica extends from December to April. During these months, the weather is generally warmer and drier, with clear skies and less rain. It’s an excellent time to enjoy beaches and outdoor activities, as well as explore national parks and nature reserves.

Rainy Season (Winter)

Winter drawing

The rainy season spans from May to November, with September and October being the rainiest months. Despite the rains, many people consider this season the best time to visit Costa Rica as the landscapes become lush and vibrant. Rain is typically more intense on the Caribbean coast and in the northern region of the country. During the rainy season, you can also enjoy lower accommodation prices and fewer tourists.

Cayo Zapatilla Beach

In addition to the division between the dry and rainy seasons, note that Costa Rica has a great variety of microclimates due to its mountainous topography. For example, in mountainous areas like Monteverde and Arenal, the climate can be cooler throughout the year.

If you want to observe wildlife in its splendor, the rainy season offers a greater abundance of fauna and flora. If you prefer to enjoy the sun and outdoor activities without the threat of rain, the dry season might be your best choice.

It’s important to mention that, regardless of the season you travel, always be prepared for occasional rain, as Costa Rica is known for its unpredictable weather at any time of the year.

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Birds on the beach

What to Visit in Costa Rica?

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Costa Rica is a destination filled with natural beauty, biodiversity, and adventures. I want to share with you a gem for travel enthusiasts: GetYourGuide is much more than a tour booking site, as it offers you the opportunity to discover every corner in English or Spanish, with passionate guides sharing the best of each destination.

Excursión dibujo

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Manuel Antonio National Park

With white sandy beaches, jungle trails, and a diverse range of wildlife, this park is a paradise for nature lovers.

Located on the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica, near Quepos and about a 3-hour drive from San José. The park stands out for its dazzling beaches, jungle trails, varied wildlife, and panoramic views. Despite its small size, it offers diverse ecosystems such as tropical rainforest, mangroves, and beaches.

Manuel Antonio Park Sonia

Explore trails that wind through the jungle and discover the local fauna, such as monkeys, sloths, birds, and more. One of the trails leads to spectacular beaches where you can enjoy the sun and the sea. Manuel Antonio is home to a rich diversity of animals, including capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, sloths, coatis, iguanas, and others. It’s a paradise for wildlife observation.

The park has several beautiful beaches, such as Manuel Antonio Beach and Espadilla Sur Beach. They are perfect for swimming and relaxing in crystal-clear waters and white sand.

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Manuel Antonio National Park Toucan

Opening Hours and Costs: As of my last update in September 2021, the park used to open from Tuesday to Sunday, closing on Mondays. It generally opened from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Prices varied based on nationality and age. For adult foreign visitors, the cost is around 13 to 15 euros. Prices could be different for children and Costa Rican citizens.

Poas Volcano

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Poas Volcano is one of the most famous and accessible volcanoes in Costa Rica. It is located in Poas Volcano National Park, in the province of Alajuela, and is one of the country’s main natural attractions. Here’s more information about this impressive volcano:

Active Crater: Poas Volcano has one of the largest craters in the world, with a diameter of approximately 1.5 kilometers. Inside the crater is an acid lake with turquoise green color, known as Lake Botos.

Fumaroles and Activity: The volcano is known for its fumarolic activity, meaning it emits gases and vapors through cracks in the ground. Over the years, it has experienced several small eruptions and shown signs of volcanic activity.

Easy Access: Poás Volcano National Park has well-developed tourist infrastructure, making access easy. There are trails leading to viewpoints where visitors can observe the crater and the lake.

Poás Volcano main crater

Viewpoints: The viewpoints offer breathtaking views of the crater and the lake. Volcanic activity can vary, so the views may differ at different times.

Hiking: In addition to observing the crater, the park features trails through a cloud forest, providing an opportunity to observe the area’s flora and fauna.

Visitor Center: In the park, there is a visitor center where tourists can obtain information about the volcano’s geology and history. Details about recent volcanic activity are also provided.

Poás Volcano

Tips for the Visit:

Due to its volcanic activity, it is advisable to check the current status of the volcano before visiting.

The best time to visit is usually early in the morning, as the crater is more likely to be clear before clouds gather. Dress warmly and wear sunscreen, as the temperature at the summit can be cool due to the altitude, though it will depend heavily on the time of year you visit.

Poás Volcano offers a unique experience for visitors who want to get up close to volcanic activity and enjoy spectacular panoramic views. The stunning nature of the crater and its lake makes it an appealing destination for those exploring the geology and natural beauty of Costa Rica.

Arenal Volcano

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An iconic active volcano surrounded by hot springs, walking trails, and adventures like zip-lining and rafting. Arenal Volcano is located in the northern region of Costa Rica, near La Fortuna and Lake Arenal.

Arenal is one of Costa Rica’s most iconic volcanoes, known for its perfect conical shape. It was one of the most active volcanoes in Costa Rica until 2010 when it entered a period of inactivity. Despite its current inactivity, Arenal remains an impressive attraction due to its majestic shape and natural surroundings.

Arenal Volcano Sonia

Although no longer active in terms of eruptions, Arenal Volcano offers many exciting activities. You can enjoy hiking in the volcano’s surroundings, visit nearby natural hot springs, take zip-lining tours in the forests, and appreciate the beauty of Lake Arenal and visit La Fortuna waterfall.

There are several trails that take you through the jungle and near the base of the volcano. The trails offer the opportunity to observe the local flora and fauna, as well as volcanic formations. The Arenal Volcano area is full of natural hot springs heated by geothermal activity.

There are various hot spring complexes with pools of warm water and natural waterfalls. We visited the one shown in the photo, but the hotel where we stayed, Oasis Arenal, also had its own hot springs—pools with different temperatures, and the priceless experience of bathing at night in warm water. You can also go directly to the river that borders the volcano, where you can see the hot water; it’s simply breathtaking.

Ziplines in the volcano area allow you to enjoy spectacular views as you glide through the jungle. There are also opportunities for quad excursions or rafting in nearby rivers. Weather permitting, you can enjoy panoramic views of the volcano from observation points in the vicinity.

There is no specific cost to visit the volcano itself, but activities and excursions may have variable fees depending on the provider and the activity.

La Fortuna Waterfall

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La Fortuna Waterfall, also known as Catarata La Fortuna, is one of the most impressive and popular natural attractions in Costa Rica. It is located in the La Fortuna area, near the Arenal Volcano, and is a favorite destination for nature lovers and adventurers alike.

La Fortuna Waterfall has an impressive height of approximately 70 meters (230 feet). The water falls into a natural pool surrounded by lush vegetation, creating a truly stunning landscape. It is located in the middle of the rainforest, making it a perfect place to combine nature and adventure.

To reach the waterfall, you usually need to take a hike through well-maintained trails in the Arenal Volcano National Park. The hike can take between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on the pace and physical condition.

There are several viewpoints along the way where you can stop to admire the waterfall from different angles and take photographs. Once you reach the base of the waterfall, you can enjoy the view and swim in the natural pool. The water is refreshing, and the experience of swimming in front of the waterfall is truly unique.

Visiting La Fortuna Waterfall is an opportunity to connect with the natural beauty of Costa Rica. The experience of being surrounded by the rainforest and contemplating a majestic waterfall is unforgettable. If you are planning to visit the Arenal Volcano area, definitely consider including La Fortuna Waterfall in your itinerary.

Tortuguero

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Known as the “Amazon of Costa Rica,” this place is famous for its wildlife and the sea turtles that come to lay eggs on its beaches. Tortuguero is located on the northeast coast of Costa Rica, bordering the Caribbean Sea. It is a region of great ecological importance due to its biodiversity and turtle nesting beaches.

Tortuguero is renowned for its navigable canals, dense tropical forests, and beaches where sea turtles come to lay their eggs. It is called the “Amazon of Costa Rica” because of its extensive network of natural canals. The area is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, jaguars, water birds, and caimans. It is an ideal place for bird watching and jungle life.

Tortuguero Canal

Tortuguero is one of the most important places in the world for sea turtle nesting. You may have the opportunity to observe green turtles, leatherback turtles, and hawksbill turtles coming to the beach to lay their eggs during certain seasons.

Tortuguero Canal boat

Exploring the canals by boat is a popular activity in Tortuguero. You can enjoy boat tours that allow you to observe the flora and fauna along the canals, including crocodiles, monkeys, and birds.

The Tortuguero National Park protects a vast area of wetlands and tropical forests. It offers a variety of walking trails and opportunities to enjoy nature.

Turtle Season: Turtles nest at different times of the year. The main nesting season for green turtles is usually from July to October, while leatherback turtles nest from March to June. Hawksbill turtles also nest, but in smaller numbers.

In Tortuguero, you will find a variety of lodges and eco-friendly accommodations. Most accommodations offer packages that include tours and activities in the area. Tortuguero is primarily accessible by boat due to its remote location.

You can take a boat from the town of La Pavona or from nearby areas like Puerto Limón.

Monteverde

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A community in the clouds with cloud forests, hanging bridges, and a plethora of bird and orchid species. Monteverde is a mountainous area in the northern region of Costa Rica, in the province of Puntarenas. It is famous for its cloud forest and biodiversity.

Monteverde is known for its lush cloud forest, shrouded in constant mist due to humidity and altitude. The forest is home to a wide variety of unique flora and fauna, creating a special ecosystem characterized by high humidity and the constant presence of mist. Monteverde is one of the few places in the world where you can experience this type of environment.

Cloud Forest

This reserve is one of the main attractions in the area. It offers hiking trails that take you through the cloud forest, crossing hanging bridges and allowing you to observe birds and orchids.

Canopy and Zip Lines: Monteverde is renowned for its thrilling zip line and canopy tours, allowing you to glide through the canopy of the cloud forest. Monteverde is a paradise for bird watchers. You can find unique and colorful species, such as the resplendent quetzal.

Due to its altitude, Monteverde can be cooler than other areas of Costa Rica. Dress warmly, especially for the evenings. You can reach Monteverde by car or public transportation, but keep in mind that some roads may be a bit challenging due to the mountainous terrain. I always recommend renting an off-road vehicle for such roads, as not all are paved.

Cloud Forest Sonia

Monteverde is a unique destination that combines the natural beauty of the cloud forest with exciting adventures and a welcoming community. It’s a perfect place to explore nature and experience an almost magical environment. The size of the plants surrounding this forest is gigantic; here you can see a leaf I found on the ground, almost serving as an umbrella!

Hummingbirds in Monteverde

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Hummingbirds are small, vibrant birds found abundantly in the jungles and forests of Costa Rica. Their beauty and peculiar behavior make them a captivating attraction for nature lovers and bird watchers.

Green Forest is a place in Costa Rica where visitors can enjoy hummingbird watching in their natural environment.

Hummingbird

Feeding Stations: In some places, like Green Forest, specific feeding stations have been established for hummingbirds. These stations are designed to provide nectar and attract the birds, making close observation easier.

Features of Hummingbirds in Green Forest:

Diversity of Species: In Green Forest and many areas of Costa Rica, it is possible to find a variety of hummingbird species. Some of the most common species include the emerald hummingbird, sword-billed hummingbird, and Jacobin hummingbird, among others.

Hummingbirds Monte Verde

Natural Habitat: Green Forest is an ideal environment to observe hummingbirds, as it offers a diverse habitat rich in flowers and vegetation. These birds are attracted to nectar-rich flowers, which are part of their diet.

Fascinating Behavior: Hummingbirds are known for their agile and rapid flight, as well as their ability to hover in the air in a fixed position, as if suspended. They are also famous for their vibrant coloration and shiny plumage.

They are trusting, and if you extend your finger for them to perch on, they will do so to access the nectar you provide.

Hummingbird feeding on my hand

Green Forest and other natural areas in Costa Rica offer visitors the opportunity to experience the beauty and charm of hummingbirds in their natural environment.

Observing these birds can be a memorable experience, as it allows you to connect with the biodiversity and wonder of wildlife in a country as rich in nature as Costa Rica.

The World’s Longest Zipline – Superman Zipline

The “Superman” zipline in Costa Rica is one of the most exciting and popular adventure attractions in the country. It is also known as the “Superman Zipline” or “Superman Cable” and is famous for being one of the longest ziplines in the world.

It has an astonishing length of approximately 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) and is located in the Guanacaste region in northwestern Costa Rica, near the city of Liberia. During the experience, participants glide along a cable from an elevated platform in a horizontal position, similar to Superman in flight.

Mega Tarzan

This allows you to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views as you traverse the tropical jungle at thrilling speeds, with your arms wide open, you’ll feel like you’re flying above the trees, a unique sensation of freedom and excitement.

Zipline 2 kilometers

The “Superman” zipline offers a unique combination of excitement, safety, and spectacular panoramic views of Costa Rica’s natural surroundings.

If you’re an adventure enthusiast seeking a unique experience in the jungle, you should definitely consider trying this zip line during your visit to Costa Rica.

Tarzan’s Extreme Swing in Monteverde

Remember swinging as high as you could on the playground swings as a kid and feeling an adrenaline rush as if you were flying through the air? Yes! Who doesn’t? Now imagine that swing hanging at a height of 143 meters (470 feet) above the floor of the cloud forest.

Swing

Get ready for the same childhood thrill multiplied by ten on our Tarzan’s Extreme Swing at the Monteverde Extreme Adventure Park in the Costa Rican cloud forest!

There’s nothing quite like this Tarzan Swing in Monteverde, Costa Rica, to get your adrenaline pumping.

Swaying from a height of 143 meters (470 feet) up and falling almost 90 meters (300 feet) sounds a bit scary, I know. This is not your average zip-lining tour in Costa Rica, I want to warn you, although if I could do it, anyone can!

Corcovado National Park

One of the most biodiverse places on earth, this park offers the opportunity to see wildlife such as monkeys, sloths, and jaguars.

Corcovado National Park is located on the Osa Peninsula, on the southwest coast of Costa Rica, in the Puntarenas province. Corcovado is famous for being one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet, with an incredible variety of wildlife and ecosystems. It is considered one of Costa Rica’s natural treasures.

Corcovado is home to an amazing variety of species, including jaguars, pumas, monkeys, tapirs, macaws, toucans, and many more. It’s a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. The park offers a series of trails that allow you to explore different areas and ecosystems. Local guides are highly recommended to help you spot wildlife and provide valuable information.

Corcovado’s wild beaches are stunning and virtually untouched.

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Sirena Beach is one of the most well-known and is a perfect place to enjoy tranquility and nature. In addition to the terrestrial area, Corcovado also includes a part of the Golfo Dulce Marine Reserve. This means you can also enjoy water activities such as snorkeling and diving.

In the park, there are research stations and some basic camps for visitors. However, most people stay in accommodations outside the park and take guided day trips. Access to Corcovado National Park can be a bit challenging due to its remote location. Usually, you have to take a boat from nearby towns like Drake Bay or Puerto Jiménez to reach the park entrances.

Since Corcovado is a protected and remote area, it’s essential to plan ahead. Book your accommodations and guides in advance and make sure to follow the park’s conservation guidelines. Corcovado National Park is an ideal destination for nature lovers and those seeking an authentic experience in an unparalleled natural setting.

Rincón de la Vieja National Park

Home to hot springs, geysers, trails, and waterfalls, it is an excellent choice for exploring nature.

Rincón de la Vieja National Park is located near the city of Liberia in the Guanacaste province. Rincón de la Vieja is a volcanic national park that offers a variety of landscapes and activities, including volcanoes, hot springs, waterfalls, and wildlife.

The park is named after this active volcano. Although not one of the most visited volcanoes, its beauty and geothermal activity make it interesting for nature lovers. The park features a network of trails that take you through tropical forests, volcanic fields, and geothermal landscapes. Some trails lead to waterfalls and hot springs.

Waterfalls: Rincón de la Vieja has several impressive waterfalls, such as La Cangreja and Las Pailas, where you can enjoy the natural beauty and refresh yourself.

Hot Springs and Mud: The park is famous for its hot springs and mud pools. You can indulge in relaxing natural baths and therapeutic mud in some areas.

Clima dibujo

The climate can vary in the park due to its elevation. Wear appropriate clothing for changing weather conditions. Rincón de la Vieja offers a unique experience by combining volcanic activity, hot springs, waterfalls, and nature in one place. It is an ideal destination for those seeking outdoor adventures and a close encounter with Costa Rica’s geology and wildlife.

Río Celeste Canyon

With blue waters and a stunning landscape, it is a popular spot for hiking and waterfall watching. Río Celeste Canyon is located in Tenorio Volcano National Park, in the Alajuela province, in the northern region of Costa Rica.

Río Celeste Canyon is famous for its astonishing celestial blue color, a result of a natural chemical reaction between minerals and volcanic gases present in the water. The river flowing through the canyon is known for its distinctive color, especially visible in certain areas of the canyon. The combination of minerals and light refraction creates this spectacular natural phenomenon.

Tenorio Volcano National Park offers trails that take you through tropical forests and allow you to reach Río Celeste Canyon. The trail is a moderate-level hike that offers breathtaking views and the opportunity to see the river’s waterfall.

Waterfall drawing

One of the highlights of the journey is the river waterfall, where the water falls into a turquoise blue pool. It’s a perfect spot for taking photographs and enjoying the natural beauty.

Mirador de los Tenideros: One of the most impressive places is Mirador de los Tenideros, where you can see the exact point where clear and blue waters merge, creating the characteristic color of the river.

Tenorio Volcano National Park is a protected area to preserve the ecosystem and natural wonders of the Celeste River Canyon. Access to the Celeste River Canyon is through Tenorio Volcano National Park. You can reach it by car from La Fortuna or other parts of the country.

Climate drawing

The climate can vary in the park due to the elevation. Wear suitable clothing for changing weather conditions. The Celeste River Canyon is a magical and mysterious place that captivates visitors with its unique color and natural beauty. It’s an incredible experience for those who want to explore one of Costa Rica’s natural wonders.

Cahuita

Cahuita is a picturesque coastal town located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, in the Limón province. With its relaxed atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and rich Afro-Caribbean culture, Cahuita is a popular destination for travelers seeking an authentic and laid-back Caribbean experience.

Beaches and National Park:

Cahuita is known for its National Park, which bears the same name. This park hosts one of the largest coral reef strips on the Caribbean coast of Central America, making it a popular spot for snorkeling and diving.

Cahuita’s beaches are beautiful and pristine, with crystal-clear waters and white sand. Playa Blanca and Playa Negra are two of the standout beaches in the area.

Cahuita National Park

Culture and Local Life:

  • Afro-Caribbean culture is strongly evident in Cahuita, reflected in music, food, art, and local festivities. You can enjoy reggae and calypso rhythms, as well as unique and delicious Caribbean dishes.
  • The town of Cahuita is tranquil and welcoming, with streets lined with colorful houses, restaurants, and craft shops.

Biodiversity and Wildlife:

  • The Cahuita National Park is a refuge for a variety of animal species, including capuchin monkeys, sloths, iguanas, and tropical birds. You can take walks on the park’s trails to observe wildlife in its natural habitat.

Relaxed Atmosphere:

  • Cahuita is known for its relaxed and friendly atmosphere. It’s a perfect place to unwind, enjoy the beach, and experience authentic Caribbean hospitality.

Activities and Attractions:

In addition to diving and snorkeling, you can participate in activities such as jungle hikes, kayaking tours through the mangroves, and horseback rides on the beach. We hired a snorkeling tour very close to the town and even saw sharks and stingrays; it was an incredible experience.

The town also hosts several restaurants serving delicious Caribbean cuisine, as well as bars and nightlife entertainment. Cahuita offers visitors a unique and authentic Caribbean experience in Costa Rica. If you’re looking for beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and a relaxed atmosphere, this charming coastal town is a destination you won’t want to miss.

Hire the Best Tours in Costa Rica

Dibujo binoculars

It’s an ideal place to engage in a multitude of activities as mentioned, and here you can hire them directly, hassle-free, and at a good price.

The best Tours in Costa Rica. You can also book door-to-door transportation as well as transportation from the airport to the hotel or your final destination.

Pacific Beaches 

Costa Rica boasts an impressive Pacific coastline with a variety of beaches that offer different experiences and atmospheres. Here are some highlighted beaches in the Pacific region:

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Tamarindo Beach: A popular beach in the Guanacaste region, known for its lively atmosphere, surf-friendly waves, and a variety of water activities.

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Conchal Beach: Famous for its sand composed of small shell fragments, giving it a unique appearance. It offers crystal-clear waters ideal for diving and snorkeling.

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Manuel Antonio Beach: Part of Manuel Antonio National Park, this beach combines lush nature with turquoise waters. It’s ideal for swimming and wildlife watching.

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Hermosa Beach (Guanacaste): Perfect for those seeking a quieter atmosphere. With an extensive beach and moderate waves, it’s popular among surf enthusiasts.

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Santa Teresa Beach: Located on the Nicoya Peninsula, it’s famous for its consistent waves, making it a paradise for surfers.

Caribbean Beaches

Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast offers a different atmosphere, with more relaxed beaches, Afro-Caribbean influence, and a rich culture. Here are some highlighted beaches in the Caribbean region.

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Cahuita Beach: With Cahuita National Park nearby, this area offers white sandy beaches and the opportunity to explore coral reefs while snorkeling.

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Puerto Viejo: A relaxed town with a vibrant Afro-Caribbean culture. Its beaches, like Cocles Beach and Playa Negra, are ideal for relaxation and surfing.

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Manzanillo Beach: The beach offers a peaceful setting and crystal-clear waters. It is also an excellent spot for snorkeling.

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Tortuguero Beach: Part of Tortuguero National Park, this beach is important for the nesting of sea turtles. Its isolation makes it perfect for those seeking a unique experience.

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Bonita Beach: Located in Limón, it is a tranquil and picturesque place to relax and enjoy the views. Keep in mind that beach conditions may vary depending on the season and weather. Additionally, some beaches may be more accessible than others due to topography and infrastructure.

This is just a selection of the many wonders that Costa Rica has to offer. Consider your interests and the time available to plan your itinerary and make the most of your visit to this adventure-filled and naturally beautiful country.

Healthcare in Costa Rica

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Healthcare in Costa Rica is considered one of the best in Central America and a model for many countries in the region. The Costa Rican healthcare system is public, universal, and freely accessible to all citizens and legal residents. This means that anyone in the country has the right to receive medical care regardless of their socioeconomic status.

The country has an extensive network of healthcare centers, hospitals, clinics, and health centers spread throughout the territory, both in urban and rural areas. Primary and specialized care services are widely accessible.

For tourists visiting Costa Rica, it is important to consider the following:

  1. Medical Insurance: While healthcare is free for citizens and residents, tourists do not have free access to health services. It is highly recommended that visitors purchase Travel Medical Insurance to cover any necessary medical emergencies during their stay in Costa Rica.
  2. Vaccinations: Before traveling to Costa Rica, it is advisable to consult with a doctor or travel health center to learn about recommended vaccinations and other preventive measures. The yellow fever vaccine is mandatory for travelers coming from countries where there is a risk of transmission of this disease.
  3. Drinking Water: In general, tap water is safe to drink in Costa Rica. However, in some rural areas or outside tourist centers, it is advisable to drink bottled water to avoid any gastrointestinal issues.
  4. Medications: If you need specific medications during your stay, it is recommended to bring them from your home country, ensuring that they are legal and permitted in Costa Rica. Visit the post on Organize Your Luggage to make sure you don’t forget any essential medication or other travel items.

If you need medical assistance during your trip, look for a nearby medical center or clinic. Public and private hospitals in major cities offer high-quality services and highly trained medical staff.

Get Your Travel Insurance 

Travel insurance drawing

Getting travel insurance for Costa Rica is highly recommended as it will provide you with peace of mind and protection in case of any unexpected events during your stay in the country.

In this unpredictable world, don’t let unforeseen events ruin your plans; you can get your Travel Insurance with a 5% discount just for being a reader of Viajera por el Mundo. If you experience a flight delay or cancellation, lost luggage, you’ll have your insurance to assist you in every situation.

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Do I Need a Visa for Costa Rica?

Passport and visa drawing

The need for a visa to travel to Costa Rica depends on the traveler’s nationality and the planned duration of stay in the country. Below, I provide general information about visa requirements for different types of visitors:

  1. Tourists: Citizens of many countries do not require a visa to enter Costa Rica as tourists. If your nationality is included in the list of visa-exempt countries, you can stay in Costa Rica for up to 90 days as a tourist. Some countries that do not require a visa for tourism include the United States, Canada, European Union countries, and several Latin American countries.
  2. Extended tourist permits: If you wish to stay in Costa Rica for more than 90 days, you can apply for an extension of the tourist permit at the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners of Costa Rica. It is important to note that extensions are subject to approval, and the process may vary depending on your situation.
  3. Other visitor categories: If you are traveling to Costa Rica for purposes other than tourism, such as studying, working, or residing permanently, you may need a specific visa for that category. The requirements and procedures for these visas are different, and you should inquire with the Embassy or Consulate of Costa Rica in your country before traveling.

It is essential to check the specific visa requirements for your nationality before traveling to Costa Rica, as policies may change, and there may be exceptions depending on the country of origin. You can check the official website of the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners of Costa Rica or contact the Embassy or Consulate of Costa Rica in your country for updated information on visas and entry requirements.

Arenal Volcano

How to Get There and Move Around Costa Rica?

To get to and move around Costa Rica, you have different transportation options that suit your preferences and budget. Here, I explain some of the most common ways to reach the country and get around once you’re there:

  1. Getting to Costa Rica:
Airplane and World Drawing

Plane: The most common and fast way to get to Costa Rica is by plane. The country has two main international airports: Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in San José and Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR) in Liberia, Guanacaste. These airports receive international flights from various cities in North America, Europe, and other Latin American countries.

It’s time to book your flights. You can read the post about Cheap Flights to find affordable flights and all my tips so that you can also save when booking your flights.

Land: If you are traveling from a neighboring country, such as Nicaragua or Panama, you can also reach Costa Rica by land through official border crossings.

Internal Transportation:

Bus Buses: Buses are an economical and popular way to get around Costa Rica. There are bus services that connect most cities and towns, operated by different companies. Buses are an excellent option for traveling within the country and exploring various regions.

Off-Road Vehicle Drawing Car Rental: If you prefer more freedom and flexibility in your itinerary, you can rent a car. Costa Rica has a good network of roads, although keep in mind that some rural areas may have more challenging roads, so it’s essential to hire an off-road vehicle. The car rental company Rentcars is a market leader. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway to a nearby city or an epic road trip across the entire country.

Taxi Drawing Taxis: Taxis are easy to find in cities and tourist areas. If you’re moving within a city or need a timely transfer, taxis are a comfortable option, but make sure the driver uses the meter or agrees on the price before starting the journey.

Plane and World Drawing Local Flights: If you want to travel quickly between distant cities, there are options for local flights. Companies like Sansa and Nature Air operate internal flights that will save you time on long journeys. Enter this Flight Search and book your internal flights now.

Remember that Costa Rica is a country with many breathtaking landscapes and activities to enjoy, so plan your itinerary well to make the most of your travel experience. The choice of transportation will depend on your personal preferences, available time, and budget.

Bicycle Costa Rica

Dances of Costa Rica

Among a variety of rhythms that can be heard in Costa Rica, the one that has undoubtedly become a tradition over time is the Punto Guanacasteco, considered the national Costa Rican dance. This indigenous dance is already part of folklore and is also called “loose dance” because, although danced in pairs, both dance freely.

According to the history of the Costa Rican dance, the Punto Guanacasteco dates back to 1830 and originated in the town of Guanacaste (northwest of the country), hence its name. This lively dance, with contagious sound, was named by President Teodoro Picado in 1944 as the National Dance of Costa Rica.

The Punto Guanacasteco and most dances of Costa Rica are characterized by the sound of drums, a common feature shared with dances in other countries, as these sounds were introduced by Afro-Americans during the conquest era.

A common element in different dances of Costa Rica is that many are theatrical, incorporating elements of religion, customs, passions, celebrations, and patriotic tributes. As you can appreciate, Costa Rican culture is very rich.

Dance of Costa Rica

The diversity of rhythms in this country has over time given rise to various folk dances of Costa Rica. One of the most deeply rooted in the culture is the Swing, which since the 1960s has captivated countless people. Essentially, it is a fusion of Colombian cumbia and American swing. Although initially considered vulgar, it later spread in society to become part of the cultural heritage.

The dance itself involves the couple holding hands and taking fast steps, almost jumping, alternating each foot rhythmically, combined with turns.

Other dances typical of this country include tambito (with Spanish influence) and the Nicoya caballito. Although there are other rhythms, these have gained greater importance and influence in Costa Rican culture.

What to see in 10 days in Costa Rica?

Calendar drawing

Costa Rica offers a wide variety of stunning places to visit and exciting activities to enjoy. Below, I propose an itinerary for 10 days in Costa Rica, allowing you to explore some of the country’s most prominent destinations:

Day 1-2: Tortuguero

  • Arrival at Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José in the evening/night.
  • Rest at a hotel near the airport for the night.
  • The next day, start your journey by car to Tortuguero.
  • Drive through the Braulio Carrillo National Park and then take a boat to reach Tortuguero.
  • Explore the canals and lush rainforest of the Tortuguero National Park by boat.
  • Observe incredible wildlife, including sea turtles (depending on the season), monkeys, caimans, and a variety of birds.
  • Enjoy the beach and relax in this natural paradise.

Driving distance: Juan Santamaría International Airport to Tortuguero – Approximately 160 kilometers (approx. 4 hours by car and 1 hour by boat).

Day 3-4: Arenal

  • Return by boat and car from Tortuguero to Guápiles.
  • From Guápiles, head towards the Arenal Volcano.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities such as hikes on the trails of the Arenal Volcano and Arenal Volcano National Park.
  • Relax in the Natural Hot Springs near the volcano.
  • If you enjoy thrilling experiences, you can partake in adventure activities such as canopy tours, rafting, or boat rides on the Peñas Blancas River.
  • Driving distance: Tortuguero to Guápiles – Approximately 70 kilometers (approx. 2 hours by car), Guápiles to La Fortuna (Arenal Volcano) – Approximately 150 kilometers (approx. 3-4 hours by car).

Day 5: Poás Volcano – Monteverde

  • Wake up early and head to the Poás Volcano National Park.
  • Enjoy panoramic views of the volcano crater and its surroundings.
  • Continue your journey to Monteverde, famous for its biological reserve and Monteverde Cloud Forest.
  • Explore the trails and savor the rich biodiversity of the area.
  • Driving distance: La Fortuna (Arenal Volcano) to Poás Volcano – Approximately 70 kilometers (approx. 2 hours by car), Poás Volcano to Monteverde – Approximately 120 kilometers (approx. 3 hours by car).

Day 6-7: Monteverde

  • Continue exploring Monteverde and its surroundings.
  • Take a guided hike through the trails of the Monteverde Reserve and admire the rich biodiversity of the area.
  • Experience the thrill of a Canopy Tour, crossing the treetops with breathtaking panoramic views.
  • Visit the Butterfly Sanctuary and the Hummingbird Garden to get up close to these beautiful creatures.

Day 8-9: Manuel Antonio

  • Head towards the Pacific coast to visit Manuel Antonio National Park.
  • Explore the park and enjoy its beautiful beaches, rich wildlife, and hiking trails.
  • Relax on the beach and enjoy the warm ocean waters.
  • If you have time, you can engage in snorkeling or kayaking activities in the area.
  • Driving distance: Monteverde to Manuel Antonio – Approximately 200 kilometers (approx. 4-5 hours by car).

Day 10: Return to San Jose and Airport

  • Drive back from Manuel Antonio to San Jose.
  • If you have time, make a stop in Sarchí, known for its traditional craftsmanship and colorful carts.
  • Return the rental car in San Jose and head to Juan Santamaria International Airport for your return flight.
  • Driving distance: Manuel Antonio to San Jose – Approximately 175 kilometers (approx. 3-4 hours by car).

Remember that road distances and flight times are approximate and may vary depending on traffic conditions and flight schedules. It is always advisable to check flight schedules and availability in advance to plan your itinerary efficiently.

What are the plugs like in Costa Rica?

Plug drawing

In Costa Rica, the electrical plugs and outlets are type A and B. Here are the details about these types of plugs: Electricity 120V, 60Hz

  • Type A: Has two flat parallel pins. It is the most common type of plug in Costa Rica.
  • Type B: Similar to type A but with a third round pin for grounding. Some places may have outlets of this type.
Type A plug

Type A plugs (2 flat parallel pins)

Type B plug

Type B plugs (2 thin round pins and one round)

If you need a plug adapter for your electronic devices, you can purchase one before traveling at this Amazon link Travel Adapters, or find it in stores and airports once you arrive in New York. Additionally, some hotels and tourist accommodations may have adapters available for their guests.

The need for a power plug adapter also depends on the country you live in. If you need more information about plugs from anywhere in the world, you can visit the World Plugs page.

Costa Rica

SIM Card or E-SIM for Internet Access

wifi drawing

The eSIM is a virtual SIM card that is directly embedded in the phone, meaning you don’t need a physical card to access the network. However, not all devices support eSIM, so it’s important to check if your phone is compatible.

Activation: In some countries, including Costa Rica, you may be able to activate an eSIM through your phone settings or by visiting a local mobile network operator store.

Data Purchase: Once you have the eSIM activated, you can purchase mobile data packages just like you would with a physical SIM card.

Coverage: Before choosing an operator or a SIM/eSIM card, check the coverage in the areas you plan to visit to ensure a reliable connection.

SIM Card or E-SIM for Internet During Your Trip

Holafly Descuento por ser lector de Viajeraporelmundo
wifi dibujo

I recommend that you learn about E-SIM cards; they are virtual cards. You download a QR code, install it on your phone, and you can have internet from the moment you get off the plane and throughout your stay, allowing you to make calls without cost and without surprises on your bill upon your return from your vacation.

These cards cover practically the entire world, including Argentina, Australia, Cambodia, Colombia, Egypt, the Philippines, India, Israel, Montenegro, Oman, Peru, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Vietnam, among many others.

The physical and the virtual, known as ESIM Cards with Holafly, with activation that is faster because you don’t have to wait for it to be sent to you by mail. Sign up in advance and make sure to stay connected on your trip!

What Clothes to Take to Costa Rica?

Clothing drawing

Choosing the right clothing for Costa Rica is essential to comfortably enjoy your trip. Due to the variety of climates and activities the country offers, it’s important to pack a mix of lightweight and versatile clothing. Here are some recommendations on what clothes to take:

  • Light and Breathable Clothing: Costa Rica has a warm and humid climate in most regions. Wear lightweight clothing, such as cotton T-shirts, cool blouses, and shorts. Opt for light colors that reflect the sun and help you stay cool.
  • Beachwear: If you plan to visit the beaches, don’t forget to pack swimwear, pareos or caftans, comfortable sandals, and sunglasses. A hat or cap is also essential to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Hiking Gear: If you plan to hike in national parks or nature reserves, wear comfortable hiking-appropriate clothing. Lightweight and quick-drying pants, long-sleeve shirts to protect yourself from the sun, and a pair of hiking shoes are advisable.
  • Cold Weather Clothing: If you plan to visit higher altitude areas such as Monteverde or Arenal Volcano, where temperatures can be cooler, bring a light jacket or sweater for cooler nights.
  • Rain Gear: The rainy season in Costa Rica is from May to November. Pack a waterproof jacket and a compact umbrella to stay dry in case of rain.
  • Adventure Clothing: If you plan adventurous activities like ziplining, rafting, or canopy tours, make sure to wear comfortable and sporty clothing. Long pants and a long-sleeve shirt can also provide additional protection during these activities.
  • Appropriate Footwear: Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking and outdoor activities. A pair of sturdy and comfortable sandals are also ideal for the beach and wet areas.
  • Elegant Clothing: If you plan to dine in fancier restaurants or attend special events, it may be useful to bring some more elegant attire, such as a dress or a more formal shirt.
  • Protective Items: In addition to clothing, don’t forget to pack sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat, sunglasses, and a small bag to carry your personal items during your excursions.

With the aim of facilitating the Organization of your Luggage,  you can print or view the list  that you will find at this link, where you will find everything you need to take when you travel. So you don’t forget anything!

Is it safe to travel in Costa Rica?

Police drawing

Yes, overall, Costa Rica is considered a safe travel destination. The country has a long tradition of tourism and is known for its natural beauty, biodiversity, and friendly local population. However, as in any destination, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:

In tourist and urban areas, the level of security is generally high. However, it’s advisable to maintain usual precautions, such as not displaying valuables in public and being aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas.

When using public transportation or renting a vehicle, follow local traffic rules and make sure you have Travel Insurance in place. Roads may vary in quality, so drive with caution and follow road safety guidelines.

In general, by following usual precautions and respecting local norms, you can enjoy a safe and memorable trip in Costa Rica.

Food drawing

Typical Foods of Costa Rica

Costa Rica Roma is known for its rich and varied gastronomy. Costa Rica has a rich culinary tradition that reflects its culture, local ingredients, and authentic flavors. Here are some of the standout typical foods of Costa Rica:

Gallo Pinto: One of the most iconic dishes of Costa Rica. It consists of rice and black beans cooked together with onions, peppers, and cilantro, often accompanied by eggs, cheese, and fried plantains.

Casado: It is a traditional dish consisting of rice, beans, meat (chicken, pork, beef, or fish), salad, ripe plantain, and sometimes tortillas. It is a complete and balanced meal.

Olla de Carne: A hearty soup made with beef, vegetables, yucca, yam, and green plantain. It is a comforting and popular dish, especially in rural areas.

Ceviche: Costa Rican ceviche is prepared with fresh fish marinated in lime juice, cilantro, onions, and peppers. It is served cold and is a fresh and tasty option.

Picadillo: A dish made with ground meat (can be pork, beef, or chicken), cooked with chopped vegetables like carrots and chayote, in a tomato and spice sauce.

Tamales: Although more common during the Christmas season, tamales are popular in Costa Rica. They are made with corn dough filled with meat, vegetables, and seasonings, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.

Sopa Negra: A soup made with black beans seasoned with spices and garlic, often accompanied by hard-boiled egg and rice. It is a hearty and flavorful dish.

Arroz con Pollo: A comforting dish made with rice, chicken, and vegetables cooked together. It often includes carrots, peas, and peppers.

Chifrijo: A popular appetizer that combines rice, refried black beans, pork cracklings (fried pork pieces), and pico de gallo. It is usually served with tortillas.

Seafood Soup: In coastal areas, seafood soups are common and are prepared with a variety of fresh seafood such as shrimp, squid, and fish.

Ripe Plantain: Ripe plantains are cooked until caramelized and served as a side dish in many meals.

Traditional Sweets: Among the traditional sweets of Costa Rica are cajetas (sweet milk), tropical fruit jams, and cakes.

These are just some of the delicious typical foods you can enjoy during your visit to Costa Rica. Local food reflects the richness of the country’s ingredients and culture, offering you an authentic and tasty experience.

Cahuita Pancakes

Typical Drinks of Costa Rica

drinks drawing

These are just some of the typical drinks you can enjoy during your visit to Costa Rica. Each one reflects aspects of the culture and local ingredients, offering you an authentic experience in terms of flavors and traditions.

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Coffee: Costa Rica is known for its high-quality coffee. Coffees from mountainous regions, such as the Tarrazú region, are especially prized. You can enjoy a cup of fresh and aromatic coffee almost anywhere in the country.

Coconut Water: Also known as “agua de coco,” this refreshing drink is obtained from green coconuts. It’s a natural and delicious way to stay hydrated in the tropical climate.

Sweet Water: A traditional hot drink made with panela, which is unrefined sugarcane. It’s usually mixed with hot water, and sometimes lemon is added for flavor.

Chan: A fermented drink made from purple corn. It’s sweet and slightly alcoholic, consumed especially during celebrations and festivals.

Natural Sodas: In many places, you’ll find “refrescos,” which are natural drinks made from local fruits such as passion fruit (parchita), soursop, guava, and more. They are a delicious and refreshing option.

Sapo Water: A traditional drink made from elderflower, infused with spices and panela to create a warm and comforting beverage.

Aguadulce: A hot drink made with panela and spices, similar to sweet water but with a more complex flavor.

Local Beers: Costa Rica produces several local beer brands, such as Imperial, Pilsen, and Bavaria. They are popular among locals and visitors alike.

Guaro: Guaro is a sugarcane spirit used in cocktails and mixed drinks in Costa Rica. It’s part of many celebrations and parties.

Smoothies and Juices: Given the rich variety of tropical fruits in Costa Rica, smoothies and fresh fruit juices are a common delight in restaurants and street stalls.

Where to Stay in Costa Rica?

hotel drawing

Below, I provide you with a list of hotels offering good value for money in different areas you’ll visit in Costa Rica, along with approximate prices per night based on standard rooms for two people. Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the season and availability, so I recommend checking directly with the hotels for the most up-to-date information.

Day 1-2: Tortuguero

hotel drawing

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express San José Airport

Approximate Price: $80 – $150 USD per night.

This hotel is located just minutes from Juan Santamaría International Airport, making it a very convenient option for travelers needing a place close to the airport.

Facilities and Services: The hotel offers a variety of services and facilities for guests. This includes free transfers to and from the airport, making arrival and departure much easier.

It also features a buffet breakfast included in the rate, as well as free Wi-Fi throughout the property.

Rooms: The rooms are comfortable and modern, designed to provide a relaxing environment for guests looking to rest before or after their flight. They include standard amenities such as cable TV, a coffee maker, air conditioning, and a private bathroom.

Holiday Inn Express San Jose Costa Rica

Common Areas: In addition to the rooms, the hotel also features common areas such as a gym where you can maintain your exercise routine and a pool for relaxation.

Traveler Convenience: The proximity to the airport and the services offered make Holiday Inn Express San Jose Costa Rica Airport especially convenient for travelers arriving late or departing early, or for those looking to avoid San Jose traffic.

hotel dibujo

Hotel:  Pachira Lodge  

Approximate Price: $120 – $200 USD per night.

A comfortable lodge with rooms surrounded by nature and close to the canals of Tortuguero.

Location: Pachira Lodge is located in the Tortuguero region, amidst the rainforest and near the canals that characterize this area. The location allows you to enjoy the nature and wildlife of the region.

Facilities and Services: This lodge offers a lodging experience in the midst of nature, with amenities that allow you to relax and enjoy the jungle. The lodge features a restaurant, bar, pool, relaxation areas, and direct access to the canals.

Pachira Lodge

Rooms: Pachira Lodge offers rooms surrounded by vegetation and distributed in various buildings. The rooms are comfortable and simple, with a fan or air conditioning depending on the category. The decoration details are inspired by the natural surroundings.

Tours and Activities: The lodge offers various excursions and activities to explore the Tortuguero region. You can enjoy boat tours through the canals to observe wildlife, guided walks, visits to the beach to see turtles (seasonal), and more.

hotel dibujo

Hotel: Laguna Lodge

  • Approximate Price: $200 – $300 USD per night.

A cozy and simple accommodation with access to the canal and a private dock. This lodge is located in the middle of the rainforest, on the banks of the Tortuguero River, providing an immersive experience in the area’s nature.

Facilities and Services: Laguna Lodge offers an eco-luxury experience with comfortable rooms and a focus on sustainability. The lodge features a restaurant with panoramic views, a river-view pool, and responsible tourism programs in collaboration with local communities.

Rooms: The rooms are spacious and well-equipped, some with private balconies overlooking the jungle or the river. They are designed to provide a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere, with decor details inspired by the surrounding nature.

Tours and Activities: Laguna Lodge offers a variety of tours and activities to explore the Tortuguero region, including boat trips through the canals, jungle hikes, and visits to the beach for turtle watching (seasonal).

Day 3-4: Arenal

hotel dibujo

Our Hotel: Arenal Oasis Eco Lodge

Approximate Price: $80 – $150 USD per night.

An eco lodge with views of the Arenal Volcano and accommodation options in cabins, this was the hotel we chose to stay near the Arenal Volcano, it was a wonderful stay with incredible views of the volcano, in fact, at night we could see the volcano emitting incandescent lava down its slopes.

Location: This lodge is located in the La Fortuna region, near the Arenal Volcano and its natural beauties. The location allows you to be surrounded by nature and tranquility.

Facilities and Services: The Arenal Oasis Eco Lodge focuses on offering a sustainable accommodation experience in harmony with the natural environment. It features lush gardens, walking trails, and offers services for guests to enjoy the wildlife surrounding the lodge.

 Arenal Oasis Eco Lodge

Rooms: The rooms are simple but comfortable and designed to offer a relaxing and welcoming environment. Some rooms have views of the gardens or the volcano.

Tours and Activities: The Arenal Oasis Eco Lodge offers a variety of tours and activities that allow you to explore the surrounding nature. You can enjoy guided walks on the lodge’s trails, bird watching, observation of fauna and flora, and more.

Cahuita Room
Hotel Drawing

Hotel: Hotel Kokoro Arenal

Approximate Price: $100 – $180 USD per night.

A hotel with a pool and tropical gardens, located in La Fortuna. Hotel Kokoro Arenal is situated in La Fortuna, near the majestic Arenal Volcano. This location provides you the opportunity to enjoy volcano views and explore the natural beauty of the area.

Facilities and Services: The hotel offers a relaxing and welcoming experience with tropical gardens, an outdoor pool, and common areas to enjoy the surroundings. Additionally, it provides access to an on-site spa.

Rooms: The rooms are comfortable and feature balconies or terraces with panoramic views of the volcano or gardens. They are equipped with modern amenities such as air conditioning, cable TV, and a private bathroom.

Restaurant: The hotel has a restaurant that offers options of international and local cuisine. You can enjoy your meals with views of the volcano.

Hotel Kokoro Mineral Hot Springs

Activities and Excursions: Kokoro Arenal can assist you in organizing various activities, such as volcano tours, hot springs, adventure tours, and more.

Rating and Comments: The hotel has received positive reviews for its tranquil atmosphere, volcano views, and friendly service.

Day 5: Poás Volcano – Monteverde

Night in La Fortuna. Take the opportunity to return to La Fortuna and spend another night at the same hotel or choose alternative accommodation according to your preference.

Approximate Price: $100 – $180 USD per night (depending on the chosen hotel).

Days 6-7: Monteverde

hotel drawing

Casa Batsú Charming BnB Monteverde

Approximate price: $90 – $130 USD per night.

This was, for me, the best option we could find in Monteverde. I would repeat without a doubt, a 10 accommodation and I have traveled a lot, as you know, all over the world.

Casa-Batsu-garden

The service was exquisite, super attentive, and the breakfasts incredibly delicious. Upon arrival, they offered us a mango juice they had just harvested from the garden’s own tree.

In the garden, you could see toucans coming to visit the beautiful surroundings.

Conveniently located in Monteverde, Costa Rica, this establishment offers access to the region’s attractions and various activities.

The rooms are bright, colorful and equipped with amenities such as flat-screen cable TV, a safe, and a private bathroom with complimentary toiletries. Additionally, they offer a fully equipped apartment with a kitchen and living area, ideal for those who want a more spacious and autonomous space.

Casa-Batsu-jardín

The on-site restaurant is a plus, and the fact that it offers free breakfast every day is an additional convenience. It is also mentioned that they prepare meals upon request, providing options for those who wish to dine on the premises.

Breakfast is included and is amazing; here I show you what they served us in the morning.

They offer horseback rides and visits to coffee plantations, providing guests with the opportunity to explore and learn more about local culture and nature.

The tourist information desk can help guests organize trips to nearby attractions, such as Arenal Volcano National Park, located in the center of the village. Airport transfer is also a convenient service for travelers if you haven’t arrived with your own car.

Casa Batsu Charming

If you stay at Casa Batsu, I recommend visiting an area of Giant Ficus, recommended by the owners, where there are enormous ficus, over 40 meters high, where you can walk and climb inside—an authentic experience, as you can see in these photos.

Climbing a tree becomes an extreme sport with this climbing tour in Monteverde.

Use a harness and a rope to climb the hollow inside or outside a 130-foot (40 meters) tall ficus tree in the forest. However, how you want to ascend depends on you. In my case, as I only climbed a few meters, I didn’t use anything; I was already dizzy looking down. It’s impressive!

Hollow tree

At the top, your efforts are rewarded with an unobstructed view of the forest from a built-in platform before rappelling back down. Admire a panoramic view of the forest from the top of the tree.

Monteverde Tree

Day 8-9: Manuel Antonio

hotel drawing

Hotel: Hotel Plaza Yara

Approximate Price: $150 – $200 USD per night.

A boutique hotel with a pool and panoramic views of the ocean and jungle, Hotel Plaza Yara is located in Manuel Antonio, one of Costa Rica’s most famous areas known for its beautiful combination of tropical jungle and beach.

Facilities and Services: The hotel stands out for offering a luxurious and comfortable experience. It features an outdoor pool, tropical gardens, concierge service, and free parking.

Rooms: The rooms are spacious and elegantly decorated. Some rooms have a private terrace with ocean or garden views. Additionally, they come with amenities such as air conditioning, cable TV, and a private bathroom with a bathtub or shower.

Hotel Plaza Yara

Restaurant: The hotel has an on-site restaurant that serves dishes from both international and local cuisine. It offers options for both breakfast and dinner.

Prime Location: Hotel Plaza Yara is located near Manuel Antonio National Park, giving you the opportunity to explore this magnificent park and its beaches. Additionally, it is within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and local activities.

Additional Activities and Services: The hotel can assist you in organizing various activities, such as bird-watching tours, boat rides, snorkeling, fishing, and more.

Rating and Reviews: The hotel has received positive reviews for its location, amenities, and friendly service.

hotel drawing

Hotel: Tulemar Resort

Approximate Price: $180 – $300 USD per night.

A resort with accommodation options in villas and bungalows, close to Manuel Antonio National Park.

Location: Tulemar Resort is situated on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Manuel Antonio, one of the most beautiful areas of Costa Rica that combines tropical jungle and spectacular beaches.

Facilities and Services: The resort is known for offering a luxurious and comfortable experience amid nature. It features private pools, direct beach access, spa services, restaurants, and bars.

Tulemar Resort

Diverse Accommodation: The resort provides a variety of accommodation options, from private villas with pools to bungalows and luxury rooms. Each accommodation is designed to offer comfort and privacy.

Breathtaking Views: Many of the accommodation units offer panoramic views of the ocean or the rainforest, allowing you to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

Private Beach: The resort has its own private beach with amenities such as sun loungers and umbrellas, providing you with the opportunity to relax by the sea in an exclusive setting.

Activities and Excursions: Tulemar Resort offers a variety of activities and excursions, such as wildlife observation tours, kayaking, hiking, and more. Additionally, Manuel Antonio National Park is nearby to explore its rich biodiversity.

Rating and Reviews: The resort has received high praise for its facilities, services, and location.

Day 10: Return to San Jose and Airport

Night in San Jose

Take the opportunity to return to San Jose and spend another night in the same hotel or choose alternative accommodation of your preference.

Approximate Price: $80 – $150 USD per night (depending on the chosen hotel).

What to Buy in Costa Rica?

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Costa Rica offers a variety of authentic products and crafts that you may consider purchasing as souvenirs from your trip. Here are some interesting options:

Coffee: Costa Rica is famous for its high-quality coffee. You can buy fresh coffee beans or packaged coffee as a souvenir.

Wooden Crafts: You’ll find hand-carved items such as animal figures, boxes, and masks, reflecting the artistic skill of the locals.

Jade Jewelry: Jade is a significant precious stone in pre-Columbian culture. You can find authentic jade jewelry in many local stores.

Weaved Crafts: Look for bags, clothing, hammocks, and other handwoven products by local artisans.

Sarchí Products: The town of Sarchí is famous for its hand-painted wooden products, such as ox carts, furniture, and decorative items.

Traditional Textiles: Clothing, blankets, and other textiles crafted by indigenous communities with unique designs and colors.

Pineapple and Banana Products: Costa Rica is one of the leading producers of pineapples and bananas. You can find products like sauces, jams, and dried goods made from these fruits.

Chocolate: In addition to coffee, chocolate is another product you can enjoy. Look for stores that sell local and organic chocolates.

Traditional Souvenirs: Postcards, magnets, keychains, and other typical souvenirs are a simple way to carry a piece of Costa Rica with you.

Musical Instruments: If you love music, consider buying indigenous instruments such as maracas, pan flutes, or drums.

Natural Beauty Products: Costa Rica is rich in natural ingredients, so you can find beauty products made with local ingredients like essential oils and plant extracts.

Visual Arts: Paintings, prints, and artworks by local artists can be excellent additions for art lovers.

Make sure to purchase products from local stores and trusted markets to ensure you are acquiring authentic items. Additionally, remember to check customs regulations and restrictions in your country before buying products such as food and agricultural items.

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How to Make a Phone Call from Costa Rica

To make a phone call from Costa Rica to Spain:

  • You will need to dial: 00 + 34 + [Phone Number in Spain].

Remember to check rates and conditions with your phone provider and consider the time zone differences. I recommend that you learn about E-SIM cards in the post where I explain how to have internet from the moment you get off the plane and throughout your stay to make calls without cost and without surprises on your bill upon your return from your vacation. Internet at your destination.

National Holidays in Costa Rica

Calendar drawing

Costa Rica has several national holidays and celebrations that reflect its culture, history, and traditions. Here are some of the most important holidays in the country:

Independence Day (September 15): Costa Rica celebrates its independence from Spain with parades, cultural events, and music throughout the country. The lantern parade is especially iconic, where children carry handmade lanterns at night.

Cultural Day (October 12): Also known as the Day of the Encounter of Cultures, this date celebrates the cultural diversity of Costa Rica and marks the meeting of different cultures after the arrival of Christopher Columbus.

Christmas (December 25): Costa Rica celebrates Christmas festively, with decorations, lights, and religious activities throughout the country. Christmas Eve dinner is an important tradition.

New Year (January 1): The arrival of the New Year is celebrated with parties, events, and fireworks in various cities.

Holy Week (variable dates in March or April): During Holy Week, there are a series of religious celebrations and processions that commemorate the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus.

Juan Santamaría Day (April 11): In honor of the national hero Juan Santamaría, who participated in the battle against filibusters in 1856, parades and events take place in Alajuela.

Worker’s Day (May 1): Similar to many parts of the world, Costa Rica celebrates Worker’s Day with events and activities to honor workers.

Nicoya Party Annexation Day (July 25): Nicoya Party was annexed to Costa Rica in 1824, and this date is celebrated with parades, music, and cultural events in the province of Guanacaste.

These are some of the main national holidays in Costa Rica. Each has its own cultural and social significance, and you may have the opportunity to participate in local events if you visit the country during these dates.

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