Holiday to Costa Rica? Follow these 9 tips!

Inspired by photos of Costa Rica’s rainforests full of exotic flora and fauna, steaming volcanoes and world-class beaches? We also. If you dream of a trip to this Central American country, here are nine indispensable Costa Rica travel tips to help you plan your vacation.

1. Plan for the high season

With so many North Americans flying south for the winter – not to mention the locals traveling home – it is crucial to book in advance if you want to travel during the Christmas and New Year period.

Both rooms and buses may be sold out weeks in advance, but by being smart and using different transport connections (such as a private shuttle to a hub combined with a public bus from there), things can still work.

The week before Easter is another pressure point, although the parades and processions that take place during this time may be worth the extra effort.

2. Consider an organized tour

Veterans’ independent travelers might sniff the idea of ​​taking a guided tour, especially in a country where hostels and hotels seem to be in every corner and English is spoken quite often.

But many activities have both high demand and surprisingly high prices, and there are few regular public bus services throughout the country. A group trip is an ideal choice for trips to Costa Rica, because you can include many experiences in one 10-day visit without worrying about availability or logistics.

3. Be prepared for expenses

Costa Rica is one of the most expensive countries to visit in Latin America – and it’s not just pricey compared to its neighbors. For certain supermarket items, such as bottled water and sunscreen, the country can even compete with the UK and the US.

To save money, eat plates with gallo pinto at small soda factories, pay for groceries and other small purchases with local currencies instead of dollars and travel during the low season (also known as the rainy season) for lower room rates.

4. Choose between the adventurous gateways

Monteverde and La Fortuna are two favorite backpackers in northern Costa Rica and great starting places for outdoor activities. But getting in between them can prove a lengthy process and much of the adventure offer is comparable.

If you don’t have time for both, our best travel tip is to pick Monteverde, because it has the advantage thanks to the drier climate and the bohemian charm of the hilltop.

5. Pay attention to the warning when it comes to wind and weather

Even in the dry season (between December and April), visitors to the central highlands and the Atlantic coast need to prepare for frequent downpours.

No matter how clear the air is at daybreak, make sure you pack waterproof clothing and dry bags for valuables during all trips to the rainforest. And if the showers dampen you, you can always head west to the sun-drenched plains of the Pacific slope.

6. Learn the language

You won’t struggle to find locals with good English in Costa Rica, but getting some Spanish can not only earn you a compliment and a warm welcome – it can really increase your negotiating power.

Those with a good amount of time can go one step further and register for one of the many local language schools that are spread across the country, testing their tico accent immediately.

7. Swap the Pacific coast for the Caribbean

A quick solution for escaping from the hustle and bustle of Costa Rica is to drive east instead of west. With Liberia’s international airport so close to the Pacific coast, it is an easily accessible beach destination.

However, the sand of the Caribbean coast is much harder to reach, which means that the region is also much less developed.

8. Respect the country's sustainability references

Costa Rica has set itself the goal of becoming the world’s first CO2 neutral country by 2021. To support its green objectives, you choose environmentally-friendly ecolodges and operators that operate sustainable tourism as much as possible.

To distinguish between the good, the bad and the ugly, the Costa Rica Tourism Institute has developed the CST (Certificate of Sustainable Tourism). Companies are ranked from level one to five based on their involvement in the cause.

9. Also visit one or more neighboring countries

Although crammed close to America, every Central American nation has its own character, attractions, and heritage. Neighbors Nicaragua and Panama make the easiest and most obvious additions to a stay in Costa Rica.

Nicaragua is a more raw destination that is most suitable for fearless, price-conscious travelers, while Panama offers a cosmopolitan capital, as well as guts for more rural adventure activities.

Convinced of a vacation to Costa Rica?

Then book a trip at the first Indian travel agency ZAUCA – Pristine Journeys in Costa Rica.