Costa Rica Travel Guide: 15 BEST Things to do in Costa Rica (& Places to Visit)
Beautiful beaches in Costa Rica with a monkey
Wild Beauty
Beautiful beaches and abundant wildlife

Wild Beauty

Beautiful beaches and abundant wildlife

Keel-billed Toucan in Costa Rica
Keel-billed Toucan
Although the Keel-billed Toucan remains fairly common in much of its range, habitat loss poses a persistent threat to many populations. Also, this bird is captured for the pet trade and is sometimes still hunted for its meat and colorful feathers.

Keel-billed Toucan

Although the Keel-billed Toucan remains fairly common in much of its range, habitat loss poses a persistent...

Sloth in a tree in Costa Rica
Did you know that without sloths there would be no avocados? The extinct giant ground sloths were some of the only mammals that had digestive systems large enough to process the huge avocado seeds whole.


Did you know that without sloths there would be no avocados? The extinct giant ground sloths were some of the...

Capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica
Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio
The capuchin monkeys are New World monkeys of the subfamily Cebinae. They are readily identified as the "organ grinder" monkey, and have been used in many movies and television shows.

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

The capuchin monkeys are New World monkeys of the subfamily Cebinae. They are readily identified as the "organ...

Costa Rica flag

Costa Rica Travel Information

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Key facts


San Jose


Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Nicaragua and Panama


Costa Rican colones (CRC)


51,100 sq km


5,151,140 (July 2021 est.)


Spanish (official), English


Roman Catholic 71.8%, Evangelical and Pentecostal 12.3%, other Protestant 2.6%, Jehovah's Witness 0.5%, other 2.4%, none 10.4% (2016 est.)



Tel Code:


Things to Do

  • 1. Arenal Volcano Hike

    Embark on a thrilling hike to the summit of the Arenal Volcano and witness breathtaking views of the surrounding rainforest. Learn about the volcano's history and geology from knowledgeable guides.

  • 2. Monteverde Cloud Forest Tour

    Explore the enchanting Monteverde Cloud Forest on a guided tour. Walk along suspended bridges and witness the incredible biodiversity of the area. Keep an eye out for toucans, sloths, and monkeys.

  • 3. Manuel Antonio National Park

    Visit the stunning Manuel Antonio National Park and experience the beauty of Costa Rica's rainforest. Spot a variety of wildlife, relax on pristine beaches, and take a dip in crystal-clear waters.

  • 4. Tortuguero National Park

    Take a boat tour through Tortuguero National Park and observe nesting sea turtles. Explore the park's intricate network of canals and encounter a diverse range of wildlife, including monkeys, caimans, and exotic birds.

  • 5. White Water Rafting on the Pacuare River

    Experience the thrill of white water rafting on the Pacuare River. Navigate through challenging rapids surrounded by lush rainforest scenery. Admire the natural beauty of the river and keep an eye out for wildlife.

  • 6. Poás Volcano National Park

    Visit Poás Volcano National Park and witness the power of an active volcano. Explore the park's trails, admire the crater lake, and learn about the geological forces that shape the landscape.

  • 7. La Fortuna Waterfall

    Hike through lush rainforest to reach the magnificent La Fortuna Waterfall. Take a refreshing swim in the natural pool at the base of the waterfall and marvel at the cascading water surrounded by verdant vegetation.

  • 8. Corcovado National Park

    Explore the untouched wilderness of Corcovado National Park. Trek through dense rainforest, spot rare wildlife species, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth.

  • 9. Cahuita National Park Snorkeling

    Discover the colorful coral reefs of Cahuita National Park through snorkeling. Swim alongside tropical fish, sea turtles, and vibrant marine life in the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean coast.

  • 10. Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park

    Embark on a journey through the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park and traverse suspended bridges amidst the lush rainforest canopy. Observe wildlife from a unique vantage point and enjoy panoramic views of the Arenal Volcano.



Costa Rica is located in Central America, and it has a tropical climate with high temperatures and humidity throughout the year, with average temperature ranging between 25-30C. However, the country has a diverse topography, which means that the climate can vary depending on the region.

The Caribbean coast has a tropical climate with high humidity and rainfall, while the Pacific coast is more dry and arid. The Central Valley, which includes the capital city San José, has a milder climate with cooler temperatures and less humidity. The highlands have a cooler and more temperate climate.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Costa Rica depends on the type of activities you want to do and the region you want to visit. In general, the dry season runs from December to April and it's considered the best time to visit the country, as the weather is more stable, and the chances of rain are lower.

The rainy season, also known as the "green season" runs from May to November, during this time the weather is more unpredictable and it rains more frequently. However, it's also the time when the nature is more lush and the wildlife is more active, making it a great time for nature lovers.

It's worth noting that the peak season for tourism is during the dry season, December to April, which means that the prices are higher, and the tourist destinations can be more crowded.



Costa Rica has a wide range of hotels, from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts. You can find hotels in most of the major cities, towns and tourist destinations. Many of the hotels in Costa Rica are eco-friendly and have a strong focus on sustainability.

Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals such as apartments, villas, and houses can be rented on a short-term basis. This is becoming an increasingly popular option in Costa Rica, and it can be a great option for those looking for more privacy and space.


Costa Rica is known for its eco-tourism, and there are many eco-lodges available throughout the country. These lodges are typically located in remote areas, and they offer comfortable accommodations in harmony with nature.


Campsites are available in most of the national parks and nature reserves, and they can be a great option for budget-conscious travelers or those who enjoy camping.

Home Stays

Home stays are a great way to experience local culture and hospitality. They are typically run by local families, and they offer comfortable and budget-friendly accommodations.


Air travel

Costa Rica has two major international airports: Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) located in the Central Valley, and Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) located on the Pacific coast. From there, you can take a domestic flight to reach other destinations in Costa Rica.

Bus travel

Buses are a popular and convenient way to travel around Costa Rica, with extensive networks of long-distance and local buses that connect most of the cities and towns. Bus travel is relatively inexpensive, safe, and comfortable.

Car rental

Car rental is a great option for those who want to explore Costa Rica at their own pace. It's widely available in most cities and towns, but it's worth noting that the roads can be in poor condition in some remote areas and can be challenging to navigate.


Taxis are widely available in most cities and towns, and they are a convenient and safe way to get around. It's worth noting that it's best to use a licensed taxi and to agree on the fare before starting the journey.

Shuttle services

Shuttle services are a popular option for those who want to travel between destinations, they are comfortable, safe and convenient. They usually run from the major airports to the major tourist destinations, and also between different destinations.



  • The currency of Costa Rica is the Costa Rican Colon (CRC).
  • USD is widely accepted in tourist areas.
  • It is advisable to carry local currency for smaller establishments and off-the-beaten-path locations.

Cash And Cards

  • Credit cards are widely accepted in major cities and tourist areas.
  • It is recommended to carry some cash for smaller establishments and transportation.
  • Notify your bank about your travel plans to avoid any issues with your cards.


  • ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas.
  • It is advisable to use ATMs located in secure and well-lit areas.
  • Be cautious of skimming devices and cover your PIN while entering it.


  • Tipping is not mandatory in Costa Rica.
  • However, it is customary to leave a small tip (around 5-10%) for exceptional service in restaurants.
  • Tipping tour guides and drivers is also appreciated.

Cost Of Living

  • The cost of living in Costa Rica varies depending on the region.
  • Major cities and tourist areas tend to be more expensive.
  • Eating at local sodas (small restaurants) and shopping at local markets can help save money.


  • Be cautious of unsolicited assistance from strangers, especially at ATMs.
  • Be wary of overcharging and always confirm prices before purchasing goods or services.
  • Avoid leaving valuables unattended and use hotel safes for secure storage.