Visit Costa Rica

You will find what you are searching for in Costa Rica, whether you are looking for luxurious hotels, great food, family-friendly activities, or adventure.

This beautiful country, full of luxurious hotels, bars, restaurants, biodiverse wildlife, river valleys, beaches, and rainforest, has always been an excellent place to go on vacation. However, over the past few years, it has become even more popular as a stunning destination.

Costa Rica is well-known for its incredible national parks, where thrilling activities can be enjoyed by tourists such as zip-lining, cave tubing, canyoning, and river rafting. It is also among the best places in the world for animal lovers to see interesting wildlife such as sloths, sea turtles, and macaws.

It has a glamorous, hip side as well. San Jose, the capital city, is fast becoming a hotspot for shoppers and foodies, especially since many young chefs are opening new bars and restaurants in the city. San Jose is making a name within the craft brewing industry as well.

If you would simply like to relax, then the best place to visit is a five-star spa close to one of the many hot springs in the country or a beautiful beach resort. In one vacation, you can relax at a geothermal pool, go surfing and swimming, get a massage, or work on improving your tan.

costa rica palm trees

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    Best Attractions In Costa Rica

    National Parks

    There are 27 national parks in Costa Rica, and it contains five percent of the entire world’s biodiversity. However, it is not all jungles. There are also rainforests, dry forests, coral reefs, swamps, and cloud forests. Taking a hike in one of the protected areas is one of the best things that you can do in Costa Rica. Places such as Tenorio Volcano National Park, where the impressive Rio Celeste waterfall is located, offer amazing views of the country’s natural beauty and wildlife.

    Volcanoes

    Currently, there are six active volcanoes, as well as more than 60 extinct or dormant ones in Costa Rica. One of the most popular attractions in the country is the Arenal Volcano, especially for individuals who would like to relax in the geothermal hot springs or hike the rugged terrain. The area has many resorts and spas that take full advantage of the country’s natural warm waters.

    Biodiverse Wildlife

    More than 30 percent of Costa Rica is dedicated to its national parks. That means there are many areas for animals to thrive in the country. Everywhere you go, there is wildlife for you to see. There are more than 500,000 animal species, including sloths, sea turtles, iguanas, humpback whales, butterflies, howler monkeys, and scarlet macaws.

    The World’s Hummingbird Capital

    It can be argued that Costa Rica is the world’s hummingbird capital. This country is a great place for bird watchers already, but it is especially impressive if you want to see one of the 50 different hummingbird species that live there. Some of the kinds of birds you may see include the magenta-throated woodstar, the coppery-headed emerald, and the violet sabrewing.

    Adventures

    Look no further if you are searching for lots of exciting outdoor activities. No matter what type of adventure you are interested in, it most likely can be found in Costa Rica. Dozens of Costa Rican tour companies specialize in zip-lining through the rainforests, horseback riding, tubing, scuba diving, ATV driving, fishing, and river rafting. Costa Rica fishing is as good as it gets when it comes to sport fishing in the tropics. There also many places to go swimming, surfing, and hiking.

    costa rica horseback riding

    Food

    Costa Rica tends to be overlooked as a foodie destination. Some of the more popular dishes include arreglados (a type of sandwich), vuelve a la vida (much like ceviche), and pejibayes (peach palm fruits). San Jose is becoming increasingly popular as a hip city for craft brewers and young chefs also.

    Beaches

    Costa Rica is a country that cares very much about its environment. It is making major efforts to protect the country’s national parkland. The same thing is true for its beaches. Due to this, Costa Rica has over 800 miles of beautiful, pristine shoreline on both the Caribbean and Pacific sides of the country. One of the most popular beaches of Guanacaste Province is Tamarindo. It is especially great for spotting sea turtles and surfing.

    World-Class Resorts

    With all of its beautiful hot springs, rainforests, and beaches, Costa Rica is not merely a rugged land for adventure seekers. It is also the ideal place to enjoy a relaxing spa getaway. The Arena Volcano area is particularly popular for all of its luxury spas and resorts that provide relaxing swims in the natural hot springs. The area’s beach resorts are also becoming more popular, with five-star accommodations and easy beach access.

    Coffee

    Some of the world’s best coffee is from Costa Rica, making it a paradise for java lovers. According to some estimates, people in Costa Rica drink about six cups of coffee every day. It is one of the major drivers of Costa Rica’s economy, so you can probably find a great bag of coffee beans or a delicious cup of coffee while visiting.

    Cacique Guaro

    Whenever you are not drinking coffee, there is another option you can consider, which is Costa Rica’s other favorite drink: cacique guaro. This sweet, clear liqueur is made out of sugar cane juice and contains very high alcohol content. Drinking it in shots is not recommended unless you have drunk it before. However, it is enjoyed by many people as a cocktail or chilled with lime and sugar.

    Proximity

    Getting to Costa Rica from the US is easier than ever. From Miami, it is a two-and-a-half-hour flight, five hours from New York City, and six hours from Los Angeles. There are also many airlines that offer inexpensive flight deals to Costa Rica, so it is very easy to plan a budget-friendly vacation. No matter which time of year you would like to visit, there are always interesting things to do.

    Happiness

    ‘Pura Vida” is one of the most well-known mottos of Costa Rica. It means ‘pure life.’ This motto is really taken to heart by Costa Ricans. The people and cultures of the country are very diverse, but many of the people like living according to this simple philosophy of living life to its fullest. That is probably why Costa Rica is considered to be the happiest country by the Happy Planet index. This phrase can also be used for greeting, or as a response when someone asks the question, “How are you?”

    Why Visit Costa Rica?

    Although Costa Rica is a fairly small country, it offers great habitat and biological diversity due to its varying geography, two oceans, and the convergence of two separate hemispheres. All of this creates amazing views for visitors. A chain of mountains runs down the entire length of the country.

    It begins with the Guanacaste Cordillera (or mountain range) in the north, continues to the Tilaran Cordillera (the location of Arenal and Monteverde), then to the Central Cordillera (Braulio Carrillo, Poas, Irazu), and finally to the southern Talamanca Cordillera (the country’s highest mountains).

    Although the Pacific coastline is nearly 780 miles long, the Caribbean is just 132 miles. Hilly peninsulas are nestled within the Pacific coast. In addition, there are two large gulfs, along with many small bays and coves. On the Pacific side, there are two major commercial ports: Puerto Caldera and Puntarenas.  The Caribbean side features a natural harbor located in the Moin- Limon area. Taking up about one-fifth of the country, this is the biggest stretch of lowland plains. It stretches from the northern coastline nearly to Limon.

    Costa Rica is situated in the tropics from 8 to 11 degrees north of the equator. Although you expect to find moderate temperatures there, many micro-climates are created by the rugged mountain chains. Many people are surprised to discover that ice and frost can develop on some of the highest peaks, like Chiripio. On the Pacific side, temperatures tend to be somewhat higher compared to the Caribbean side (at the identical elevation) since the Caribbean watershed has more clouds year-round. On both sides at sea level, the yearly average is always over 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Some of the higher peaks average 54 degrees Fahrenheit, although temperatures in those areas can drop below freezing.

    couple walking in costa rica sunset

    In Costa Rica, there is no fall or spring. The seasons are referred to as Invierno (winter) and Verano (summer). It is much more likely for there to be a dry season from December through April, and then a rainy season from May through November. Daily temperature differences average from 14 degrees to 18 degrees Fahrenheit. From November through January, cold breezes come from the north as well as North America’s mountains, which causes a little drop in temperature. It is one of the world’s few countries where polar air gets that close to the equator. March, April, and May are the warmest months, while September and October are the wettest months. Amounts of rainfall vary from under 59 inches up to over 190 inches during those months. The average rainfall pattern of the country is 79 to 158 inches.  In Costa Rica, precipitation may come as a topical downpour with steady rain, impressive thunder, and lightning, or a continuous light rain that lasts for several days.

    Even during the rainy season, it will not rain the entire day, every day. Usually, it will start during the early afternoon in highland areas like the Central Valley, and move into the Pacific lowlands later in the afternoon. Each season has its very own unique characteristics and beauty. During wet times, there are profuse amounts of flora, with a very vibrant life that touches the soul. On the other hand, the dry season is ideal for colorful trees, Reina de la Noche (or queen of the night), bougainvilleas, and orchids.

    Costa Rica holds the title for the country with the highest percentage (25%) of its area designated as protected areas. They include National Parks, Nature Shelters, Biological Reserves, and Forest Reserves. This is another reason why so many North Americans and Europeans not only visit but have made this country their home, which is about 1% of Costa Rica’s population these days.

    Where is Costa Rica?

    The mountainous country of Costa Rica features many mountain ranges and volcanoes. The highest point is Cerro Chirripio, with an elevation of 12,530 feet above sea level. It is Central America’s fifth-highest mountain. Costa Rica’s highest volcano is Irazu Volcano, with an elevation of 11,257 feet above sea level.

    where is costa rica in the map

    In addition to the mountains and volcanoes, Costa Rica has several small islands. Located about 8,000 miles from the mainland port of Puntarenas is Cocos Island, a paradise of natural sea wonders. The land area of Cocos Island is 24 square kilometers. Costa Rica’s largest island is Isla Calero, with a land area of 151.6 square kilometers. Also, Costa Rica is renowned for protecting its natural resources. 25% of the country belongs to its protected area system.

    The country’s biodiversity makes it possible to have an internal study of around 360 different species of amphibians and reptiles (210 reptiles and 150 amphibians), around 850 different species of birds (225 migratory and 635 nestings), and over 205 species of mammals, including non-flying mammals and bats.

    This incredible country is the ideal getaway for people who would like to relax near nature.

    costa rica hot springs

    Costa Rica has the world’s highs percentage of protected areas – around 20% of Costa Rica is comprised of National Reserves and Parks. Most National Reserves and Parks are easy to access from any place in the country, making Costa Rica the ideal destination for those who love nature. National Parks entrance fees range from $7 to $15 per individual.

    Costa Rica’s most widely spoken language s Spanish (spoken by 97% of residents), although there are also other native languages spoken mainly in the indigenous reserves. There are also many businesses around and in San Hose, as well as the resorts throughout Costa Rica, with English-speaking employees.

    Is It Safe to Travel to Costa Rica?

    Costa Rica is situated in Central America, which is ranked as among the most visited of all international destinations. Tourism is one of the major sources of income for Costa Rica. It is a peaceful and democratic country and has not had its own army since 1948.

    Why Choose to Visit Jaco, Costa Rica?

    This is not only the most Americanized beach town in Costa Rica but also and the go-to area for many Costa Ricans on holidays and during the weekends. Jaco has been dubbed the nightlife capital of Costa Rica, and it is a favorite with young travelers who want to socialize with other tourists and just let loose. Travelers who can look past the town’s indiscreet and obvious vices will find plenty of vibrancy in the town’s surf culture, specialty shops, and souvenir stores dotted across the main strip of Jaco.

    Things To Do When Visiting Jaco Costa Rica

    • Bike rentals
    • Relax at one of the local spas
    • Parasailing
    • Hang gliding
    • Golfing
    • Ziplining
    • Horseback riding
    • Stand-up paddling
    • Outrigger canoeing
    • Snorkeling
    • Sailing
    • Kayak fishing
    • Kayaking
    • Hiking
    • Visit waterfalls
    • Visit botanical gardens
    • Take an aerial tram ride
    • Crocodile tours
    • Visit Carara National Park
    • Take an ATV tour
    • Central America’s party town
    • World Class Sport Fishing
    • Surf lessons, board rentals, and surf trips

    costa rica beach

    How Expensive Is It to Visit Costa Rica?

    Compared to the past, Costa Rica is not as affordable as it once was. There is a 13% tax on all hotels and restaurants (along with a 10% service charge on restaurants). At restaurants, tipping is not common. However, it is customary to round up to the closest 100 colones for taxi drivers and to give a couple of extra bucks to tour guides. If you are satisfied with the service you get, drivers, tour guides, and hotel maids appreciate receiving a tip.

    Costa Rica’s national currency is the Colon (¢1.00). The exchange rate with the US dollar may vary on a daily basis, and that is why we recommend that you exchange your currency at the National Banking System.

    In most of Costa Rica’s most populated areas, you can easily find ATMs. A majority of international credit cards, including American Express, Master Card, and Visa, are accepted throughout Costa Rica.

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