What to see and do in Costa Rica
A peaceful paradise in South America; Costa Rica has made tremendous efforts over the last fifty years to protect and preserve its stunning natural landscapes, while also maintaining the highest standards of living and the lowest crime rates in Latin America. Our local agents all live and work in Costa Rica and exploring these incredible places is a part of their daily lives, and they are ready to share them with you. With more than a third of the country being protected national parks, it almost feels like there are too many options to pick from for both relaxation and adventure. Find the perfect beach, volcano, river, or nearly untouched forest to create your ideal holiday.
Why go to Costa Rica with a local travel agent?
Our local travel agents live in Costa Rica, so they know all the right people, from hotel owners to jungle guides, to give you the best experience possible. Since they work in travel, they spend their weekends exploring the country themselves, finding new places and ensuring old favourites are still great recommendations for visitors. With a local agent on your side, you also have someone in Costa Rica who can help you with any questions or concerns, whether they be urgent problems or the name of a nearby restaurant with the best ceviche in town.
What are the most common things to do in Costa Rica?
Families and adventurers who love hiking and exploring will have an incredible range of choices with plenty of time spent relaxing; lounging in hammocks between the Pacific and Caribbean oceans. Our agents have helped past travellers with plenty of activities:
- Visit Manuel Antonio park and its tropical beaches, where the number of visitors has been limited to preserve the exotic environment.
- See the largest breeding ground for green turtles in the Caribbean or enjoy relaxing in the natural Arenal Hot Springs.
- Hike in Corcovado Park, the last outpost of the tropical virgin forest of the Central American lowlands, or take a canopy tour in the Cloud Forest Reserve in Monteverde.
- Stroll through Puerto Viejo, a mix of Caribbean and indigenous culture, with ideal surfing conditions or if surfing isn’t your sport, go Kayaking, rafting, or hiking over a volcano.
- Enjoy an exciting bird-watching tour.
What is the most popular Costa Rica tour experience?
One of the most popular tours is a 3 day, 2 nights trip to the National Park Tortuguero. Due to its rich biodiversity, this national park is often referred to as the "small Amazon". Take an hour-long boat trip through the canals of the national park alone is incredibly exciting and you can see so many different animals! The Rainforest Lodges offer bungalow-style accommodations, and our tourists often describe their stay as “like in a fairy tale forest”.
When is the best time of the year to go to Costa Rica?
The dry season, between December and April, is the best time to visit Costa Rica, as the rest of the year can experience heavy rains that could ruin days at the beach or make back roads impassable. However, booking during the rainy season has its perks; locals refer to these rainier, summer months as the “green season” for the incredible colours that come to life, and it can be easier to book hotels and excursions during this period. Ask your local agent which time of year is right for you and what you want from your holiday in Costa Rica.
What is the most unique off the beaten track experience in Costa Rica?
Out of all the unique adventures possible in Costa Rica, our agents highly recommend the Corcovado National Park. Even getting there is thrilling; it requires crossing an unbelievable bay at the edge of a rainforest in the early morning hours. Few other tourist attractions in the world can boast such a beautiful setting. Here, you can be completely immersed in the nature and wildlife of Costa Rica. Unusual animals, like the Tapir, that can only be found here, can be observed in their natural habitat from only several feet away.
What makes Costa Rica’s nature special?
Costa Rica has amazing biodiversity. The Corcovado National Park is an unmissable experience that National Geographic has often cited as being one of the world’s richest natural sites, especially considering its relatively small size. The variety of plant and animals you will find throughout the country is unparalleled thanks to different climate zones and major preservation efforts made by the Costa Rican government. You can easily move from pristine rainforests to the hot springs of the dry forest around the Arenal Volcano or simply explore the coast, with more than 800 miles of coastline to roam.
Which coast is better in Costa Rica?
The Caribbean and Pacific coasts offer two very different cultural experiences that reflect the different sides of Costa Rica. The debate between which coast is better has no clear answer. The Pacific coast usually caters more to tourists looking for a wide range of experiences, while the Caribbean coast feels more off the beaten path and laid back. Get an idea of what each has to offer, (or maybe you want to try both) by looking at tours our agents have put together in the past.
What is the food Costa Rica is known for?
The country has an amazing variety of fruits and vegetables available, so they make up the main diet in Costa Rica. That’s what makes the food in Costa Rica so unique. Agents will often organise for visitors to see the farmer's market on Saturday, and the variety to be found there is incredible. Most of our travellers say they have never seen anything like it. Once you have tried the pineapples, bananas, or papaya available in Costa Rica, they find it difficult to enjoy the fruits back home.
The most common and famous meal in Costa Rica is Gallo Pinto, which is rice and beans, onions, brown pepper and some herbs. Costa Ricans eat it in the morning with eggs, avocado, corn tortillas, and sour cream. It’s a very healthy and delicious breakfast that provides enough energy for a day filled with lots of activities—but that’s only one of the incredible, local delicacies your agent can introduce you to.
Why are people in Costa Rica so happy?
First-time visitors to Costa Rica will often remark that Costa Ricans seem to be generally happier than people in other countries. What they’re noticing is called Pura Vida by the locals. An expression that’s difficult to translate directly, it comes from the positive outlook Costa Ricans have on life—and our agents love showing people why: it’s because Costa Rica is safe, beautiful, and filled with delicious food.
What makes Costa Rica a great destination for couples?
Costa Rica has something for every couple and its wonderful, lush nature makes the perfect backdrop for special occasions and celebrations. Our agents have put tours together specifically for anniversaries, honeymoons, milestone birthdays, and even just romantic getaways.
Couples wanting a slower pace appreciate that Costa Rica is filled with beautiful hotels and safe streets to wander at sunset and well into the night, while more active couples can opt for a custom adventure, taking them on challenging hikes to see the wildlife and plant life that only exists in Costa Rica’s Tortuguero National Park. No Internet, no TV, only amazing nature and time with that special person in your life.
What are the activities Costa Rica offers for a family holiday with children or teenagers?
Family travel to Costa Rica offers a great way to get everyone off their phones and laptops and engaged with nature. Tours offer plenty of animal-centric adventures that children as young as 4 will love, as well as more intense excursions for teenagers and experienced trekkers. Our local travel agents recommend visits to wildlife sanctuaries for close encounters with Costa Rica wildlife, and in the past, they have even organised special school and farm visits to allow children to see what life is like in Costa Rica for kids their age.
Families travelling with older kids often want to keep them as busy as possible all day, and there is a whole lot to do. Enjoy an adventurous rafting tour, hikes to the hanging bridge, safari floats, and a special chocolate tour to learn about the cocoa production that is central to Costa Rica. It's easy to keep kids active for two weeks or more here in Costa Rica.
Which tours and activities are best to travel Costa Rica in two weeks?
For travellers wanting to take full advantage of everything Costa Rica has to offer, the following Costa Rica two-week tour is suggested to see the entire country:
- Get used to the tropical climate in the lovely capital, San Jose.
- Head to the Caribbean side for 2 days in Tortuguero enjoying the sunshine, nature, wildlife, and fewer tourists—a taste of the real Costa Rica.
- Visit national parks to see sloths and monkeys hanging around in trees just waiting to be discovered.
- Head to the Volcano Arenal, one of Costa Rica’s most popular attractions; here, you can go rafting, relax in a hot spring, take a bike tour, or even fly over the forest.
- Venture into the lush Cloud Forest region where some of the best coffee on Earth is produced.
- Visit coffee farms to learn all about cocoa production and sample one of Costa Rica’s best exports fresh at the source.
- Take a horseback ride through the Cloud Forest, walk across its famous hanging bridges, or even do Tarzan swings through the jungle.
- Finally, give yourself one last break with some ample time to spend a few lazy days on a beach on the other coast soaking up the Pura Vida.
Why should I spend my honeymoon in Costa Rica?
A Costa Rica honeymoon offers incredible luxury accommodations for couples that want to feel really spoilt on their special trip. Our agents have found couples everything from wonderful little villas with private Jacuzzis and amazing ocean views in the Cloud Forest to luxury tents set up in remote and very romantic places.
Costa Rica is a great honeymoon destination because it's easy to build an itinerary with a few exciting activities, while still having plenty of time to relax and enjoy each other’s company. It’s easy to have little adventures here with a romantic touch, like sunset tours that finish with a bottle of champagne right on the beach or a couples massage after enjoying the hot springs. Costa Rica is perfect for a romantic honeymoon.
What vaccinations do you need to do before going to Costa Rica?
It is always recommended to see a doctor before travelling to Costa Rica so that a professional can evaluate you based on your personal medical history. The most common vaccinations doctors will recommend are Tetanus, Hepatitis A, and Diphtheria. If you will be spending most of your time in remote areas with a history of infections, your doctor might also recommend Hepatitis B, Rabies, or even Malaria vaccinations.