Tours and Travels

Tropical seashores, rugged rainforests, and countless journey. Whether or not you need to occasion the evening away or immerse your self in a few of Central America’s richest historical past—that’s what awaits you in Costa Rica.

Earlier than you begin planning your Costa Rica journey, there are some key belongings you’ll need to know. Referred to as one of many happiest international locations on Earth and probably the most sustainable, Costa Rica is an impressive place you’re positive to fall in love with.

Costa Rica journey ideas – issues it is advisable know

Anytime you’re visiting a spot for the primary time, you’re sure to study a factor or two about your vacation spot. Irrespective of the place within the nation you’re headed from San José to Puntarenas, Jacó, or Liberia, the very best issues to do in Costa Rica vary from wild zipline excursions to breathtaking rainforest hikes, and nearly the whole lot in between. Be ready to your journey with our ideas!

1. You should use USD in most locations

RomanR / Shutterstock

One of many greatest challenges that include touring internationally is determining the native forex. Nevertheless, once you go to Costa Rica, you should utilize america Greenback all through many of the nation.

For probably the most half, USD is accepted all through the nation. Not solely does this make touring simpler (for Individuals at the least), but it surely’s additionally an effective way to save cash by avoiding change charges.

For probably the most half, taxi drivers, accommodations, and eating places all through many of the tourism sizzling spots are very happy to just accept cost in American {dollars}. In the event you plan on tipping although, which is extremely inspired, strive to take action within the official forex, the Costa Rican Colón. It makes it simpler for whoever you’re tipping to spend it.

Most if not all of the metropolitan and touristy components of Costa Rica have trendy monetary applied sciences that you’ve got at residence. This implies you could additionally use your credit score and debit playing cards in addition to applied sciences like Apple Pay in additional populated areas. That stated, make sure you all the time select to pay in Colón if utilizing playing cards as a result of the change price charged by your financial institution ought to be much less.

See Associated: Confirmed Methods to Save Cash for Journey

2. Paying in money will get you a less expensive value

Journey man / Shutterstock

One of many greatest insider Costa Rica journey ideas is understanding that money is king. That’s really true in plenty of components of the world, particularly as card transaction charges develop and price companies cash. In Costa Rica, charges are sometimes 1% to three% of the sale value however may be in extra of 5%.

You could be used to placing the whole lot in your bank card at residence, however you undoubtedly need to deliver money once you come to Costa Rica. It’s frequent to get a greater value on nearly the whole lot there in the event you’re paying in money quite than utilizing a bank card or an app like Apple Pay.

So paying in money enables you to pay the sticker value for items and companies in Costa Rica with out getting hit with that further markup. Some corporations will even provide you with an extra low cost when paying in money simply because it makes their paperwork that a lot simpler.

3. Select your seasons fastidiously earlier than reserving your journey

Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Costa Rica is really a phenomenal nation, and there’s actually no unhealthy time of 12 months to make a journey down there. Nevertheless, Costa Rica has some wild climate, and understanding your seasons goes that will help you have a good time.

Broadly talking, Costa Rica has two seasons; the dry one operating from January to the tip of April, and the moist one, operating from Might by way of December.

Understanding these seasons in Costa Rica goes that will help you decide your trip vacation spot. September and October are stated to be the worst occasions to go to the Pacific coast because it’s so wet, and plenty of companies shut down for the season.

Conversely, September and October are regarded by some as the very best months to go to the Caribbean coast the place heat climate and clear skies make for a soothing seaside journey.

In the event you’re trying to save some huge cash in your Costa Rican trip, April and Might characterize the shoulder season the place you’ll be capable to discover the very best reductions on the whole lot from accommodations to transit. And visiting within the dry season means getting extra good days to discover the numerous stunning seashores, see the gorgeous waterfalls, or have clear sufficient climate to see the Arenal Volcano. Simply be cautious of freak showers!

See Associated: Most Lovely Cities within the World to Go to

4. Study some Spanish phrases

Juan Roballo / Shutterstock

The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish. Which means road indicators, authorities data, and most main media retailers are going to offer all of their data in Spanish. With that in thoughts, understanding some Spanish goes to turn out to be useful, however getting that official data isn’t the one purpose to know just a little Spanish when going to Costa Rica.

It’s generally held tourism knowledge that understanding your means round a neighborhood language will do wonders to your expertise. You’ll really feel much less like a vacationer and the locals will likely be extra inclined to chop you a greater deal or do you a favor in the event you’re talking their native language. Belief me, studying some primary Spanish goes to get you numerous once you go to Costa Rica.

Though English is extensively spoken all through the nation (notably in tourism hotspots) and lots of Costa Ricans, notably within the capital metropolis of San José, converse English, it’s all the time courteous to have the ability to converse within the native language. Even just a bit effort goes a good distance.

So don’t be an ignoramus, decide up a Spanish phrase e book, use your favourite language studying app, chat with a Spanish-speaking pal, or take a couple of Spanish programs at a local people group to arrange to your journey to Costa Rica. The Ticos (a enjoyable time period for Costa Ricans), will admire that you simply tried. You don’t need to be fluent, however anytime you go to a spot that speaks a special language than you it’s all the time deeply appreciated once you give the native language a strive.

You’ll get a lot extra out of your journey to this tropical nation in the event you study some primary Spanish. My previously fluent, at the moment rusty Spanish abilities helped me make buddies that I nonetheless converse to right this moment. Plus your language abilities will enhance as you’re surrounded by it which provides you a invaluable probability to follow, which implies you’re opening so many doorways for future travels to Spanish-speaking international locations!

5. Renting a automotive unlocks Costa Rica’s potential

Sara Valenti / Shutterstock

There could be no Costa Rica ideas extra vital than those who provide help to get round. And one of the simplest ways to get round Costa Rica is by automotive.

Costa Rica provides rather more inexpensive rental automotive costs than different locations in Central America or america. For just some {dollars} a day, you possibly can hire a brand new automotive to get pleasure from in your drive by way of the Costa Rican countryside.

You’re undoubtedly going to need to perform a little research in your driving routes forward of time, notably if you’re going to go to throughout the wet season when roads can get washed out. Costa Rica additionally has much less highway signage than you could be used to.

Costa Rican drivers even have a repute for being very assertive on the highway. So, take it straightforward once you’re driving down streets till you get used to this new stream of site visitors. Usually, the nation is protected for drivers and paved roads can take you thru the entire main cities.

See Associated: Finest Automobile Rental Websites to Discover Nice Offers

6. Prepare for rain

riekephotos / Shutterstock

Irrespective of the season, Costa Rica has a tropical local weather so you possibly can count on some critical downpours. If you wish to be prepared for rain like a neighborhood, you’ll go away the umbrella at residence. Although umbrellas are frequent in Costa Rica, locals are likely to want ponchos and rain jackets for his or her flexibility.

You need to deliver at the least a light-weight poncho on you even in the event you’re visiting throughout the dry months. Sudden downpours are frequent and just a little further preparation can spare you from getting drenched.

We additionally advocate having a dry bag with you. This allows you to stash your smartphone and some other electronics in a water-proof bag to maintain them protected.

7. Sure, you possibly can drink faucet water in Costa Rica

fizkes / Shutterstock

It’s previous information that faucet water in some Latin American international locations will not be protected for vacationers to drink. It is because the faucet water in international locations like Mexico accommodates microscopic organisms that don’t seem in different climates, and the water provides don’t undergo the identical therapy processes as they do in say Europe or North America.

These organisms can simply get you actually sick and spoil your trip – or worse. It will probably take a very long time for the physique to get used to those new organisms, which is why the locals can drink the water however vacationers can’t. This has led to a delusion you could’t drink faucet water in any Latin American nation in anyway.

However haven’t any concern, faucet water is protected all through all of Costa Rica. You gained’t have to fret about any disagreeable abdomen bugs ruining your journey as a result of faucet water. The nation has a recent plumbing infrastructure and trendy water therapy processes, that means your faucet water in your resort room in addition to in main cities and tourism zones is completely protected to drink.

You would possibly need to deliver some bottled water together with you in the event you’re heading into the extra rural areas of Costa Rica. Rural areas all through the nation are likely to have much less trendy infrastructure and typically depend on extra rudimentary water sources.

See Associated: Enjoyable & Finest Issues to Do in Liberia, Costa Rica

8. Costa Rica is (regionally) costly

Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Sure elements of Costa Rica may be surprisingly costly. That is very true when evaluating Costa Rica to its neighboring international locations like Nicaragua.

Why is Costa Rica a lot costlier than its neighbors? Merely put, you’re getting extra bang for that buck. Let’s check out how far a greenback will get you in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica has gotten just a little costlier during the last a number of years as taxes on Imports have elevated. Which means there are a couple of items which might be going to value about the identical as they do at residence – and typically extra.

Another excuse is that the tourism business in Costa Rica has been extremely profitable and remains to be on the rise. That success has introduced extra monetary alternatives which implies increased prices for vacationers and standard areas. So, as a vacationer, it’s kinda your fault too.

Some main prices nevertheless, like transportation and lodging, are going to be means decrease in Latin America than they’d be elsewhere on the earth. Although Costa Rican accommodations value greater than neighboring international locations, they’re nonetheless extremely inexpensive by American requirements.

All in all, in comparison with trip locations in possession of comparable climates, climate, landscapes, actions, and lodging, Costa Rica is an extremely inexpensive trip vacation spot, even in the event you do plan on sticking to standard tourism sizzling spots.

9. Keep one step forward of mosquitos

GrooveZ / Shutterstock

Being a tropical nation, mosquitoes take up residence all 12 months lengthy in Costa Rica, and so they’re not going wherever any time quickly. That stated, there are methods of mitigating these mini-menaces.

Mosquitoes can carry harmful diseases like dengue fever and malaria. You need to just be sure you have an efficient mosquito repellent on you always, and in the event you’re tenting be sure you’ve bought some mosquito nets to your tent or hammock.

Mosquitos are at their worst throughout the wet season in Costa Rica. The moist season creates loads of stagnant swimming pools of water that are perfect breeding grounds for clouds of mosquitoes. The dryer months have fewer mosquitoes, however they’re nonetheless fairly frequent all through the nation.

The one place you possibly can actually keep away from mosquitoes in Costa Rica is at increased elevations, equivalent to the realm across the Arenal Volcano. In the event you plan on visiting extra mountainous areas, you’ll be capable to dodge the worst of those pesky bugs.

See Associated: Most Beautiful, Distinctive Costa Rica Animals

10. Be prepared for restaurant service expenses and taxes

Totsapon Phattaratharnwan / Shutterstock

One of many missed ideas for Costa Rica is understanding to be prepared for added restaurant service expenses and taxes. Eating places will doubtless add a ten% service cost to your invoice, which is frequent follow all through the nation, so don’t be stunned in the event you see a service cost in your receipt.

There are additionally extra taxes that it’s important to pay each time visiting a restaurant or a bar in Costa Rica. A 13% added tax is frequent throughout most eating places and bars throughout the nation.

Tipping can be frequent follow all through the nation. A great tipper will go away a minimal tip of 20% at a restaurant or when using some other historically tipped service.

In contrast to in america, the service cost and ideas are thought-about separate in Costa Rica. Service expenses are taxable revenue whereas a tip can go straight into the employee’s pocket.

11. Go to nationwide parks and trails

Simon Dannhauer / Shutterstock

Aside from its balmy local weather, pleasant locals, wonderful meals, and large biodiversity, Costa Rica is understood the world over for its seashores, however do you know that lots of these seashores are additionally nationwide parks?

The largest attracts of Costa Rica are the nationwide parks, seashores, and trails. Costa Rica has 28 nationwide parks and three of these are additionally UNESCO World Heritage Websites.

The nationwide parks in Costa Rica embrace secluded seashores, volcanoes, and rugged rainforest jungles. It doesn’t matter what you’re into, there’s a nationwide park in Costa Rica that may make a great trip vacation spot only for you.

That is the proper nation to go to in the event you love the outside and also you need to expertise one thing actually untamed on a great stroll. Costa Rica is residence to stunning climbing alternatives and varied trails for all ability ranges.

All the nationwide parks in Costa Rica have some trails. There are straightforward trails which might be excellent for newbies in addition to tougher trails designed for skilled out of doors lovers.

Costa Rica additionally has a formidable Nationwide Path often known as the Costa Rica El Camino. This path is over 170 miles lengthy and connects the Pacific coast to the Caribbean coast.

Whether or not you need to spend your complete journey in Costa Rica backpacking by way of the rainforest otherwise you’re on the lookout for a day journey to a volcano, the nationwide parks and this nation are an absolute should for any journey.

See Associated: Issues to Do in Las Catalinas

12. Get suggestions from folks at locations you keep

Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

In the event you’re utilizing a neighborhood information, like my pal José from Passport Journey, it’s straightforward to get suggestions. However for solo vacationers, it may be even higher to get recommendation from locals on the place to remain just like the unbelievable Arenal Springs Resort & Spa or Crocs Resort & On line casino.

Costa Rica is a reasonably protected nation, so there may be much less to fret about on that entrance. Nevertheless, locals can level you within the course of hidden gems you won’t in any other case discover equivalent to hanging out on the Sloth-Watching Path or the unbelievable Superman Zipline over the rainforest. These could make journeys much more particular since you’ve uncovered one thing different vacationers are much less prone to discover.

Getting recommendation from locals is way simpler if you already know some primary phrases in Spanish, which solidifies how vital it’s to know just a little of the language earlier than you go to.

A great Costa Rica journey information or concierge service like José may also help personalize your itinerary to what is going to finest serve you. Plus their journey ideas as locals are means higher than something a fellow traveler may give.

13. Eat on the small native “sodas” to save cash

phortun / Shutterstock

Doesn’t one drink a soda? Chill out, it’s not that form of soda. Sodas are roadside diners the place locals eat and vacationers don’t all the time make use of them.

However these spots can have among the finest native meals, particularly Costa Rica’s nationwide dish – Casado. In the event you’re something like me, you’ll fall deeply in love with this dish.

Casado interprets in English to “married” which is the proper identify for this meal. The simplicity of beans, rice, greens, salad, plantains, and a protein selection (or no matter else the kitchen throws in) is so comforting, like a hug from a cherished one.

Not solely is a meal at a soda going to be cheaper, however you’ll additionally get a extra genuine expertise. They aren’t catering to vacationers, they’re catering to the locals. And also you’ll be hard-pressed to discover a higher plate of casado elsewhere.

14. Get insured

SafetyWing / SafetyWing

It doesn’t matter what time of 12 months you go to Costa Rica, journey insurance coverage is all the time a good suggestion. With an insurer like SafetyWing you possibly can relaxation straightforward understanding that your travels, self, and baggage are coated.

Journey insurance coverage protects you from the surprising so you possibly can spend extra time having fun with your journey and fewer time worrying about what may go fallacious. In case your flights get canceled, you get harm, you lose your baggage, or want emergency care? You’re coated.

SafetyWing is made for nomads, in order that they know what vacationers want. They’re there once you want them and even little kiddos are coated regardless of the place on the earth you’re.

See Associated: Finest Journey Insurance coverage for Costa Rica

15. Embrace Pura Vida

Marcus Grip / Shutterstock

All of the locals will rapidly introduce you to the Pura Vida life-style of Costa Rica. Pura Vida interprets to “pure life”, “easy life”, “the straightforward life”, no matter you need man, it’s Pura Vida. This straightforward time period exemplifies the expertise of being in Costa Rica. You’ll hear it in all places you go.

It will probably imply “howdy,” “goodbye,” “thanks,” or “how are you” amongst so many different meanings. Largely it’s only a factor that folks say. Greater than all of that, it’s only a feeling of familiarity that you simply’ll undoubtedly get by being in a small nation like Costa Rica.

My greatest Costa Rica journey tip? Embrace the approach to life. Enable the experiences on this unbelievable place to pour over you want a waterfall. You and your journey will each be higher for it. Pura Vida, child.

Costa Rica Packing Listing

Kittiphan / Adobe Inventory

Irrespective of the place your adventures might take you, from surf classes on the coast, exploring Manuel Antonio, or horseback using on the seashore, there’s some gear you’ll want. Costa Rica is an incredible nation with tons of nature to expertise.

Usually, the costume codes are very laid again. Each women and men lounge round in athleisure or put on sporty clothes for lengthy out of doors hikes. It’s not unusual to see locals and vacationers alike kicking again in eating places sporting their seashore garments.

Insect repellents

Path Guard Important Oil Roll On Mix / Amazon

You completely must deliver mosquito repellent as these buzzing bugs are an issue all 12 months lengthy, and sunscreen is an absolute should too, however remember the fact that throughout the nation’s protected parks you might be forbidden from utilizing spray lotions or repellents.

Costa Rica is likely one of the world’s most closely targeted conservation areas to guard its distinctive biodiversity. Take into account packing or buying a special form, or making an attempt a pure various like coconut oil, which ought to assist with each bugs and solar.

Mountaineering footwear

Merrell Males’s Moab 2 Vent Mountaineering Shoe / Amazon

In the event you’re an adventurous form of traveler, put money into some good climbing footwear or boots in addition to water footwear for these day journeys to pure locations. Good climbing footwear or boots will maintain your ft dry and your ankles supported on your whole adventures in Costa Rica.

There are numerous climbing trails across the nation, many with rainforest environments. Preserve that in thoughts when buying your footwear for the journey. Waterproof goes to be your finest pal.

See Associated: Important Solo Journey Baggage & Equipment

Reusable water bottle

Take into account packing sensible daily-use objects like a reusable water bottle (once more, you possibly can drink faucet water in Costa Rica). Costa Rica is a really environmentally pleasant nation and having a reusable water bottle is a superb means to assist protect nature. Plus there are many locations to fill your bottle as a substitute of getting to purchase single-use bottles as a substitute.

Personally, I just like the Brita water bottles as a result of the filter helps enhance the style of water wherever you go. They’re additionally light-weight and simple to clip onto a bag with a carabiner.

Interval merchandise

Those that use interval merchandise also needs to think about bringing them alongside if wanted as these are sometimes in excessive demand in Costa Rica. Tampons specifically are onerous, or practically unimaginable, to seek out – and price their weight in myrrh.

If you wish to save area in your baggage, menstrual cups are one other nice choice. Some kits embrace cleaners and sterilizers that fold up and are straightforward to take alongside.

The foldable sterilizers simply must be crammed with sizzling water, from an in-room kettle for instance, and the cup must be soaked within the water. (Don’t fear, boiling them takes care of any scent, so your baggage gained’t scent).

Associated Assets

Lock In Your Journey Now
Discover Low-cost Flights
Use Skyscanner to seek out flight offers. As my private favourite flight search engine, Skyscanner scours web sites and airways throughout the globe, leaving no stone unturned that will help you discover the very best deal potential. And in the event you actually need to take your financial savings to new heights, pair Skyscanner with Going (Previously Scott’s Low-cost Flights). With entry to unique mistake fares delivered straight to your inbox, you will be packing your luggage and jetting off in your subsequent journey earlier than you already know it.
Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage is a low value means to make sure your journey plans go easy it doesn’t matter what’s thrown at it. Cowl your self in opposition to sickness, harm and theft, and shield the preparations you have made with our versatile journey cancellation insurance coverage. My favourite choices for journey insurance coverage are:

Guide Your Lodging
To be able to seize the widest choice of properties and the very best value, use as they’ve the most affordable charges for guesthouses, accommodations, luxurious condos, B&Bs and a lot extra.
Need Extra Vacation spot Concepts Direct to Your Inbox?
Be sure you be a part of the ViaTravelers Publication for knowledgeable ideas, methods and inspiration to your subsequent journey journey!
Uncover the Finest Journey Instruments
Be sure you go to our web page on our favourite journey assets to learn the way you can also go to over 10 international locations in 12 months.

Disclosure: This put up might comprise affiliate hyperlinks, that means that we get a fee in the event you determine to make a purchase order by way of our hyperlinks, without charge to you. Study extra.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *