Costa Rica Travel Guide

Meet the “happiest people in the world” whilst exploring the beauty of this small country that packs a big heart. Costa Rica offers a rich diversity, not only in nature and wildlife, but also as a culture. Pura Vida; not only a phrase, but this proud nation’s way of living.


Why Visit Costa Rica?

Costa Rica Travel Guide Vacation… Upon hearing this word, the mind evokes images of white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, palm trees, hammocks and perhaps a refreshing fruity cocktail. For others, the word vacation awakens their adventurous side and the desire try something new. Whether you call it vacation, holiday, or something else, we all need a little time away from the daily grind of work, school, meetings, and the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A little escape does the body, mind, and soul a world of good. But where can you go unwind? Where can you travel to both relax and experience new adventures?

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Popular Destinations in Costa Rica

One country, two different worlds. Costa Rica’s Pacific and Caribbean coasts not only have different seasons, but also offer different, even contrasting vibes. Discover each unique and exotic destination while admiring the awe-inspiring natural beauty of this small nation and being captivated by its charming culture. Explore the cloud forest in Monteverde, discover the raw beauty of Tortuguero and the ever-vibrant Caribbean Coast, surf the gnarly waves of the Pacific Ocean, or observe the electrifying volcano in Arenal – these are just a few of the best places to go in Costa Rica, as the country offers unending possibilities. Certainly, you’ll want to see everything that this natural jewel has to offer. However, it can be challenging to know what activities are possible within the timeframe of your visit. Browse our recommended trips further down this page, or contact us via our Trip Planner page and it will be our pleasure to take care of planning a trip to Costa Rica with all the details for you. The Vacation Planner is an ideal, stress-free way to discover the land of Pura Vida!


Puerto Viejo · Southern Caribbean

The Southern Caribbean, an endless stretch of pristine beaches and untouched rainforest. Puerto Viejo and its laid back atmosphere make many to stay longer than planned. Discover the coast to Manzanillo by bike or hike the Cahuita National Park which also offers great snorkeling.


Arenal · Monteverde · Northern Zone

Arenal stands for hot springs and the most famous volcano in Costa Rica. Monteverde is best known for its incredible Cloud Forest. But the Northern Zone has more to offer. Take some time to discover Rio Celeste, Caño Negro and the volcano range around Tenorio National Park.


Manuel Antonio · Central Pacific

A unique combination of wildlife and beautiful beaches, both to be found in the Manuel Antonio National Park. But the Central Pacific coast offers more than only this famous park, you can find rural towns, hidden waterfalls and big crocodiles.


San Jose · Central Valley

The center of San Jose offers some hidden gems which are worth spending a night in the Central Valley. If you have more time, discover one of the surrounding volcanoes or get taught the secrets of coffee.


Tortuguero · Northern Caribbean

Tortuguero is also called the Amazon of Central America. Observe wildlife on a boat gliding through the canals or be part of the one in a lifetime experience, turtle nesting. The Northern Caribbean is known for deep untouched jungle and remote villages in the rainforest.


Osa · Corcovado · Southern Pacific

Explore Costa Rica’s most diverse National Park with a stunning flora and fauna, a picturesque coastline and an amazing undersea world. The Southern Pacific offers unspoiled beaches, lush green hills and is home to a marine national park.


Nicoya Peninsula

Fancy surfer towns, bays with calm water to snorkel, endless beaches and small villages are some of the highlights of this area. The Peninsula Nicoya has preserved a lot of its traditional character whilst along the coast you can experience a fusion of cultures.



Gauchos, waves and incredible sunsets, this is Guanacaste. This dry and sunny region, with one beautiful beach following the other, is one of the more developed coast lines in Costa Rica.



Nicaragua, our neighbor in the north, is considered one of the safest countries in the Americas. It is home to cultural highlights such as Granada and Leon, tiny tropical islands and an unspoiled coastline. Poetry and revolution are its passions. Smoking volcanoes and pristine lakes, Nicaragua indeed deserves the name “The Land of Lakes and Volcanoes”.



The archipelago of Bocas del Toro is one of the highlights in Panama and also easily and fast accessible from Costa Rica. Our neighbor in the south also offers mist-capped highlands, turquoise seas and a cosmopolitan capital, Panama City, where you can find great shopping options as well as the world famous Panama Canal.

General Travel Information for Costa Rica



Average weather, climate and regional differences


Currencies, ATMs


Tips to keep yourself safe from crime


What to expect from food and drink in Costa Rica


Should you tip? How much?


The healthcare system, vaccinations

Packing List

Don’t forget to pack your…


Where you’ll land in Costa Rica

National Parks

What to expect and a roundup of the major parks


We’ve got answers to frequently asked questions