A country that prides itself on being the eco- and adventure-tourism capital of Central America, Costa Rica packs a punch that belies its diminutive size. A veritable playground for the intrepid traveller, Costa Rica has it all- from pristine beaches to lush jungles, and from active volcanoes to thunderous white-water rivers. An astonishing twenty-five percent of Costa Rican territory enjoys some form of environmental protection, and as such, it boasts a diversity of flora and fauna that has to be seen to be believed. Costa Rica’s dramatic landscape has also made it a centre for high-adrenaline activities like surfing and zip-lining; and yet, with some of the finest luxury eco-lodges in Central America, it is equally ideal for those in search of a more relaxing holiday experience. The people of Costa Rica have perfected the art of pura vida- a national motto that literally translates as ‘the pure life’ and that refers to the easygoing, carefree lifestyle that is an integral part of this country’s identity.
- Relax on the golden beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park.
- View egg hatching Turtles at Tortuguero.
- Come face-to-face with howler monkeys and tapirs in Corcovado National Park
- Combine a trip to Arenal Volcano with a visit to the surrounding hot springs
- Experience life amongst the treetops whilst ziplining through the Monteverde Cloud Forest
- Surf, snorkel or simply relax on the magnificent beaches of Guanacaste province
- Take a tour of Costa Rica’s famous coffee plantations
- Discover San Jose’s many museums and art galleries
- See monkeys, iguanas, crocodiles and listen out for macaws.
Costa Rica experiences two distinct seasons- a wet season, which lasts from May to mid-November, and a dry season, which lasts from mid-November to April. In any given region, however, the weather is dictated not only by the season, but by elevation and proximity to the sea.
Guanacaste - The dry season lasts several weeks longer in Costa Rica’s northwest province than it does elsewhere in the country. During the wet season, rainfall is generally restricted to short showers in the afternoon and evening.
Caribbean Coast - The Caribbean Coast is always humid, and experiences rain throughout the year. Both coasts are consistently hot, with temperatures ranging from the high 20s to the mid 30s.
Central Valley - Costa Rica’s interior boasts a perennially pleasant climate with average temperatures of around 22 C. Here, the constant humidity that is a symptom of Costa Rica’s equatorial location is tempered by cool breezes from the coast.
The Highlands - At elevation, the climate is noticeably cooler, with average daytime temperatures of approximately 13 C. At night, temperatures drop dramatically and frost is not uncommon during the coldest months of the year.
Best time to go
The best time to travel to Costa Rica is during the November to April dry season. The wet season, or ‘green season’, has its benefits, including cheaper prices, fewer crowds and wonderfully verdant scenery. However, be warned that heavy rains during this time can make some areas of the country inaccessible.
Capital- San Jose
Point of Entry- San Jose
Airlines- British Airways, American Airlines, Iberia
Flying Time- Approx. 15 hours
Time Zone- GMT -6 hours
Visa- Not required for a stay of three months or less
If you’re planning to make the most of Costa Rica’s breathtaking natural spaces, make sure to pack accordingly. Sturdy hiking boots, binoculars, a light rain coat and decent sun protection should all feature at the top of your holiday packing list.
10 night birdwatchers tour in Costa Rica
From £3,459 per person based on 2 people sharing a room
Duration: 10 days
Birders and photographers alike will enjoy this Costa Rican tour. You will visit a number of well-equipped lodges, with feeders which are always busy and has a lot of protected land surrounding them. Start your trip at Caño Negro, which has wetlands with over 350 species of birds like th...
Best of Costa Rica
From £2,429 per person based on 2 adults sharing
Duration: 7 days
If you are a first time visitor to Costa Rica, then this is the perfect itinerary for you. Drive through Braulio Carrillo National Park, and get on a boat to Tortuguero National Park for one of the best opportunities to experience a wide range of tropical wildlife. A guided boat tour will take you a...
Highlights of Costa Rica
From £1,839 per person based on 2 people sharing a room
Duration: 7 days
Start your journey into Costa Rica by travelling to Arenal where you can enjoy Latin America's finest white water rafting, visit the primordial rainforests, and volcanic thermal mineral pools at Tabacón Hot Springs. From here head to Monteverde's Cloud Forest Reserve, which is on...
Arenal Volcano National Park
In a town where boutique hotels are difficult to find, Arenal Nayara is something of an oasis. Individual casitas - elegantly furnished stand-alone bungalows - are dotted around lush tropical grounds connected by a series of pathways, offering a private, secluded feel. Facilities such as the hotel&r...
The simple Volcano Lodge with first class views is surrounded by dense tropical rainforest, looking out towards the spectacular cone of Arenal volcano.The modern guest rooms are set around two swimming pools and a pleasant garden, and are comfortable with plenty of natural light. Each guest room has...
Caño Negro Wetlands
Natural Lodge Caño Negro
Natural Lodge Cano Negro is a simple but comfortable eco-lodge of 42 rooms, enjoying an unrivalled location at the edge of the renowned Cano Negro Wildlife Reserve.All deluxe rooms are en-suite and air conditioned, and set in well maintained tropical gardens. The lodge has a swimming pool with ...
Cerros de Turrubares
Resting among the hills and lush forests of Cerros de Turrubares in the Central Pacific region of Costa Rica, Macaw Lodge is more than an eco-resort. It’s a paradise where you can indulge your passions while discovering the genuine natural wonders of Costa Rica.The Lodge, cabins and other buil...
Club Del Mar
Club del Mar is an intimate hotel offering beautifully furnished and spacious rooms on the south end of Jaco Beach. Accommodations consist of four one-bedroom casitas, eighteen two-bedroom casitas, an eight-room boutique hotel and two penthouse suites. The casitas are built in harmony with the natur...
La Ensenada Lodge
Located in the heart of the Guanacaste region, this working ranch offers great birding opportunities in a variety of habitats which comprise of open grasslands, for easy spotting and photography, mangroves, tropical dry forest and shrub. A great way to get around is on horseback, or alternativ...
Hotel Trapp Family Lodge
The Trapp Family Lodge is a true rustic mountain lodge tucked away up a 300-metre steep hill, 10 minutes out of Monteverde town and the closest hotel to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.It is built in Swiss chalet style offering rooms and mountain suites all with good views of the surrounding for...
The Belmar was one of the first hotels in the Monteverde area and remains one of the most popular. With just 23 rooms, this family-run hotel offers warm and friendly service and views over the cloud forest that are second to none. The rooms are housed in two main buildings. Both built in...
Hotel Grano De Oro
Situated on a shady street just off Paseo Colón, San José's main thoroughfare, Hotel Grano de Oro is a beautifully converted Victorian mansion.The 35 rooms are furnished in an old fashioned style with wrought-iron beds and rich damask fabrics in three jewelled colour schemes - navy...
El Rodeo Boutique Hotel
Hotel El Rodeo is a country style hotel located just 15 minutes from the shops and restaurants of San Jose. The hotel is a great place for anyone looking for a relaxing experience and anyone seeking a quiet hotel in an otherwise busy area. Amenities of the hotel include a gym, tennis ...
Located on San José’s famous Central Avenue, the hotel is within walking distance of all the attractions. Close to shopping, dining and cultural landmarks, including the National Theatre, the National Museum, Gold Museum, Costa Rican Congress, Plaza de la Cultura and the beautiful Natio...
Tenorio Volcano National Park
La Carolina Lodge
Escape into the tropical forests of Costa Rica at La Carolina Lodge. This large family owned ranch offers a unique experience to unplug and experience the Costa Rican nature up close. A fresh water river winds through the ranch. You can take a dip in the crystal clear water after hiking through the ...
Manatus Lodge is a very comfortable lodge located directly on the river in the Tortuguero. The lodge offers 14 beautifully furnished air-conditioned bedrooms - all with mini-bar, as well as a small swimming pool, gym, games room and internet service.There is also a massage facility. There is a lovel...