Country guides South & Central America
Costa Rica Travel Guide
When it comes to natural wonders, there is very little that Costa Rica doesn't offer visitors. Travellers can experience spectacular volcanic activity in Arenal Volcano National Park, explore the unique cloud forests on the world famous Monteverde Sky Walk, dive the colourful coral reef of Cahuita National Park, or go white river rafting down the canyons of the Rio Toro river.
The country has the highest density of biodiversity on the planet and its wildlife is a big draw for visitors. The numerous animal refuges and national parks allow tourists to witness creatures such as sloths and various monkeys in their natural habitats, as well as marvel over the brightly coloured frogs, snakes, and butterflies of the country. Thousands of people flock to Tortuguero National Park every year to watch green sea turtles hatch and set out for the ocean.
The cities and towns of Costa Rica tend to take a backseat to the natural splendour of the country. However, there are picturesque coastal settlements to enjoy, with the resort town of Jaco and the laidback Caribbean village of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca among the favourites. The capital city, San Jose, is a fun urban centre with plenty of opportunities to eat out, shop, and party.
Best time to visit Costa Rica
Costa Rica has a tropical climate, which means that its seasons are not distinct and there is little variation in temperature throughout the year. The peak tourist season in Costa Rica is between November and April but it is a popular year-round holiday destination.
What to see in Costa Rica
-Visit the artistic community of Monteverde.
-Join a guided night tour from Fortuna to watch the red-hot volcanic activity of Volcan Arenal.
-Lounge on the stunning Caribbean beaches of Playa Chiquita and Punta Uva.
-Explore the bustling market of Puerto Limon.
What to do in Costa Rica
-Take a horseback tour across the Continental Divide.
-Enjoy a luxurious soak in the Rio Negro Hot Springs of Liberia.
-Experience the thrill of white water rafting in Costa Rica.
-Dare a zip-line tour of the jungle canopy in Manuel Antonio National Park.
Getting to Costa Rica
There are direct flights to Costa Rica from Fort Lauderdale and New York in the US, but there are currently no direct flights from the UK to Costa Rica. However, there are plenty of cheap indirect flights to Costa Rica from the UK, connecting through other European cities. Flights land in Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, and San Jose Juan Santamaria Airport, outside of San Jose.
Marcos Ramirez by Carlos Luis Fallas, and Monkeys are Made of Chocolate by Jack Ewing.
Luis Angel Castro and Debi Nova.
The Blue Butterfly (2004), and Caribe (2004).
Guaro (rum) and Costa Rican coffee.
Ceviche and casado.
What to buy
Wood carvings and coconut crafts.
What to pack
Plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent.
Did you know?
-There are seven active volcanoes in Costa Rica.
-Costa Ricans refer to themselves as Ticos (men) and Ticas (women).
-A 'soda' is a small, informal restaurant which serves cheap, traditional meals.
-Costa Rica has a life expectancy of almost 77 years, one of the highest in the world.
A final word
Costa Rica's unmatched ecological diversity and natural splendour make it a dream destination for adventurous eco-tourists, and its lovely beaches and friendly people ensure a relaxing holiday for those in search of sand and sun.