Golden beaches, lively cities and emerald green forests, Costa Rica is a classic combination of rich Latino culture and jaw-dropping natural beauty. The world’s first ‘carbon neutral’ nation, this is a destination for the conscientious and the curious – a friendly, laidback slice of sun-drenched Central America.
Costa Rica Tours & Travel
Top deals in Costa Rica
|16 Dec 2014 Costa Rica & Panama Discovery||13||$1270||View trip|
All our Costa Rica trips
Costa Rica trip reviews
Our Costa Rica trips score an average of 4.53 out of 5 based on 154 reviews in the last year.
Classic Costa Rica, May 2014
Having not experienced a tour before I had no idea what to expect, but it was fantastic to have like minded people on the trip (tour leader and other members of the group).
Review submitted 25 Jun 2014
Classic Costa Rica, May 2014
I had a really awesome trip!
Review submitted 23 Jun 2014
Articles on Costa Rica
Move over Mexico: 7 awesome foods from Central America
Posted on Fri, 12 Sep 2014 by Louise Burton
Move over Mexico, your neighbours have some pretty sensational tastebud pleasers of their own.Read more
Leaping to life in Costa Rica
Posted on Mon, 19 Aug 2013 by Sue Elliot
Oprah Winfrey once said “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” But maybe the bigger adventure is living a life that’s beyond [...]Read more
A birthday to remember
Posted on Tue, 23 Apr 2013 by Sue Elliot
"For my birthday my husband and I went to Cost Rica for a week-long party..."Read more
Unforgettable and unbeatable Costa Rica
Posted on Mon, 23 May 2011 by Sue Elliot
"There have been two things I have always wanted to do - take a surf lesson and walk at the base of live Volcano!..."Read more
About Costa Rica
At a glance
|Capital city:||San Jose (population 315,000)|
|Time zone:||(GMT-06:00) Central America|
|Electricity:||Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin) Type B (American 3-pin)|
Best time to visit Costa Rica
Year-round tropical warmth means there really isn’t a bad time to visit Costa Rica. December to April are normally the driest months; however, Costa Rica’s diverse topography and blanket of rainforests suggest that you should be prepared for at least some rain - a very small price to pay for such incredibly lush scenery. The good news is that even during the rainiest of seasons, the rainfall tends to be limited to a couple of hours a day… just enough time for you to enjoy a cup of Costa Rica's world-renowned coffee in one of its many cafes. Temperatures vary with altitude, with San Jose's temperatures ranging between 15C and 21C and the coastal areas experiencing much warmer climes.
Geography and environment
Apart from being a beach lover’s paradise, Costa Rica is renowned for its incredible biodiversity. Over half of the country is blanketed in forest, and those seeking to spot local wildlife will be enthralled by Costa Rica’s unique species of plants and animals. Scuba diving is another popular activity, with Costa Rica boasting some of the most beautiful bays, beaches and reefs in the world.
Top 5 Beautiful Beaches in Costa Rica
1. Tortuguero National Park
One of Costa Rica’s best-kept secrets, this national park is the unspoilt paradise you’ve been searching for. Will you slip effortlessly into Tortuguero’s warm turquoise waters or simply relax on its idyllic shores? The choice is entirely yours.
2. Manuel Antonio
Leave the hassles of modern life behind and discover an eco-playground surrounded by unlimited coastal delights. Spend a day exploring misty rainforests before cooling off on one of Manuel Antonio’s delightful beaches, or head into town for some famous, fiery nightlife.
Once a sleepy beach town, Jaco’s proximity to San Jose has made it a one-stop shop for those seeking big waves and even bigger parties. Not exactly a remote oasis, but there is no denying Jaco’s uber-cool surf-town vibe.
4. Playa Tamarindo
An upmarket alternative to Jaco’s backpacker bliss, Playa Tamarindo is an elegant town that delivers a ton of truly exquisite beaches. Pristine blue waters meet a backdrop of bottle green forests – it's no wonder that Playa Tamarindo is one of Costa Rica’s most famous destinations.
Well off the tourist trail, Corcovado’s ebony sands are not your average beach-going experience. Boasting diversity in colour, landscape and wildlife, Corcovado is perfect for those seeking beaches with character and charm.
FAQs on Costa Rica
Can of soft drink = 450 CRC
Bottle of beer = 1000 CRC
Basic lunch = 2000 CRC
Sit down dinner in a restaurant = 5000-7500 CRC
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Apr 6 Easter *
Apr 11 Juan Santamaria's Day
May 1 Labour Day
Jul 25 Guanacaste Annexation Day
Aug 2 Virgin of Los Angeles, Feast of Patroness of Costa Rica
Aug 15 Mother's Day and Assumption
Sep 15 Independence Day
Dec 25 Christmas Day
* This is week-long holiday
Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/costa-rica/public-holidays
Australia: Not required
Belgium: Not required
Canada: Not required
Germany: Not required
Ireland: Not required
Netherlands: Not required
New Zealand: Not required
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: Not required
United Kingdom: Not required
USA: Not required
Health and Safety
Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:
From New Zealand?
Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/
Go to: http://travel.state.gov/
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
The World Health Organisation
also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/
Costa Rica Travel Tips
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Costa Rica
1. Be considerate of Costa Rica’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.
3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
4. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
5. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
6. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
7. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
8. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
9. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.
10. Admire coral while diving and snorkelling, but never remove coral from a reef or buy coral items from markets. Coral belongs in the sea.
|Green Phoenix: Restoring the Tropical Forests of Guanacaste, Costa Rica||William Allen|
|The Ticos: Culture and Social Change in Costa Rica||Mavis Hiltunen Biesanz|
|Off the Map||Dorien Kelly|
|The Costa Rica Reader: History, Culture, Politics||Steven Palmer and Ivan Molina|