Costa Rica

Summary

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. 

Experiences

  • 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. 

Seasons

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. 

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FAST FACTS

Capital- San Jose
Currency- Colon
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

INSIDER TIPS

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. 

Arenal Volcano National Park


Caño Negro Wetlands


Cerros de Turrubares


Jaco Beach


Manzanillo


Monteverde


San Jose


Tenorio Volcano National Park


Tortuguero