There’s nothing more exciting than preparing for a vacation in Costa Rica. Your bags are packed, you’ve got a new swimsuit and you’re ready to kick back on the beach with a fruity cocktail. But wait – not so fast! From the ocean to the rainforest, Costa Rica is home to a unique ecosystem filled with quirks and surprises. If you’re planning on traveling to Costa Rica in 2020, there are few things you need to know.


traveling in costa rica

Pack Appropriate Footwear

Are there plenty of places for you to wear flip-flops in Costa Rica? Yes. Will you need something OTHER than flip flops in Costa Rica? Definitely. Many people traveling to Costa Rica for the first time make the mistake of not packing comfortable footwear. Depending on your itinerary, it’s likely that you’ll need comfortable tennis shoes or even hiking boots – especially if you’re heading to the Cloud Forest in Arenal! Unexpected downpours can leave roads (many of which are dirt) quite muddy, so waterproof shoes are always a plus. You might not end up needing them, but it’s better to be over-prepared than under!

You Can’t Always Drink The Waterpacuare lodge waterfall

If you’ve done your research, it’s likely that you’ve discovered that not all drinking water in Costa Rica is created equal. If you’re in San Jose or Tamarindo, for example, you can sip out of the faucet to your heart’s content. If you’re in Puerto Viejo? Not so much. The rural areas of Costa Rica often lack proper filtration systems, and many homes and businesses don’t have hot water. Tread lightly if you’re moving around the country, but asking locals is always the easiest way to ensure that the water is safe when you’re traveling to Costa Rica.


snake in costa rica finn sparenTread Lightly 

Whether you’re hiking in the rainforest or walking on the beach, Costa Rica is teeming with life. Sloths, toucans, and monkeys make their home in the trees, but many frogs, centipedes and beetles spend their day scrambling across the ground. It’s important to not only watch where you step, but be careful where you place your hands, too. In the rainforest, there are spiders, snakes and trees with spines that could quickly bring your vacation to an end. That being said, there’s no need to be afraid, but it always helps to explore a new place mindfully.


Arrive With an Open Mind 

When you’re traveling somewhere new, it always helps to remember that local customs and traditions are going to different (sometimes REALLY different) than your traditions at home. From the way people interact to nightlife and cuisine, there’s always something to be learned from a new destination. At Gecko Trail, we encourage you to try new foods, embark on new adventures and make friends with people from different parts of the world. There’s nothing more rewarding than finishing your vacation in Costa Rica and realizing that you’re not only leaving with souvenirs, but a lifetime of memories, too.