Costa Rica hangs its jaunty Panama hat on two things: eco-tourism and adventure sports.
It helps when more than a quarter of your country is protected rainforest with more biodiversity than USA and Europe combined, and the rest is a jaw-dropping combo of bubbling volcanoes, Pacific surf beaches and laid-back towns like Quepos and Sarapiqui. Costa Rica tours are all about nature putting on a show –you’ll quickly become a pro at spotting keel-billed toucans in the cloud forests of Monteverde or listening out for the distant whoop of white-faced capuchins – but really it’s the pace of life here that gets you. ‘Hustle’ and ‘bustle’ aren’t really in Costa Rica’s vocab. Pretty much what you’d expect from a country’s whose unofficial motto is pura vida (the pure life).
Top Costa Rica travel deals
|Departing||Trip name||Days||From ZAR|
|Costa Rica Express||9||
|Classic Costa Rica||15||
|Costa Rica & Panama Discovery||13||
|Raft, Snorkel & Kayak in Costa Rica||8||
Our Costa Rica trips
17 Days From R21,636
18 Days From R60,015
8 Days From R25,990
11 Days From R36,605
16 Days From R53,011
9 Days From R15,260
15 Days From R22,838
9 Days From R23,755
13 Days From R16,006
29 Days From R40,565
32 Days From R44,125
4 Days From R6,655
15 Days From R44,690
8 Days From R33,450
58 Days From R80,270
44 Days From R61,395
46 Days From R63,060
21 Days From R36,260
30 Days From R52,270
53 Days From R77,980
16 Days From R46,820
23 Days From R69,291
30 Days From R123,208
65 Days From R95,190
Costa Rica tour reviews
Our Costa Rica trips score an average of 4.58 out of 5 based on 294 reviews in the last year.
Costa Rica Experience, April 2017
We were hesitant traveling with a group but it completely enhanced our experience. Intrepid eliminates the worry of lodging and transportation. Our guide was so knowledgable as he was Costa Rican and we saw and learned things we could never have experienced on our own. You can spend all your time and meals with your group or go off on your own. You can sign up for group experiences or have your own arranged. We had a great group and the comeraderie actually encouraged me to do more adventurous things.
Review submitted 24 Apr 2017
Costa Rica Experience, April 2017
Being a young female traveler (early 30's), I was nervous about traveling solo for the first time. But I am glad I did, because the trip was epic. Costa Rica is beautiful, and our group was filled with like-minded, kind individuals with adventurous spirits, ages ranging from 25-60. Our tour leader was Randy, and I cant recommend him enough! He was funny, and informative, and made us feel safe and secure with our plans. He even arranged a private bus driver Giovanni (or Jefe, as we lovingly nicknamed him), who was amazing and full of wisdom. Randy made sure we had the best tours at our disposal, introducing us to Zendar, who became a quick fan favorite. It is hard to choose my favorite part of the trip, but the homestay def was a highlight. It was an enriching experience to be amongst the locals, hear their inspirational stories, laugh with the children, and dance the night away. Overall: As a group, we started off, not knowing each other, but towards the end, it felt like I was saying goodbye to family. Thank you Randy & Giovanni, for hosting such a great and memorable trip! I truly cant wait for the next one.
Review submitted 23 Apr 2017
Articles on Costa Rica
Costa Rica travel highlights
Swim in the pristine waters of the Caribbean
Discover the cloud forests of Monteverde
Pick up some handmade crafts in Costa Rica’s colourful markets
Manuel Antonio National Park
Explore the beaches and forests of Manuel Antonio National Park
Arenal Volcano National Park
Witness the golden glow of the Arenal Volcano
Costa Rica holiday information
At a glance
Best time to visit Costa Rica
Geography and environment
Top 5 Beautiful Beaches in Costa Rica
Health and safety
Costa Rica travel FAQs
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
While tipping isn't mandatory in Costa Rica, rounding up the bill and leaving spare change at restaurants and cafes is generally standard practice. 500 colones should be sufficient.
Costa Rica's cities and tourist centres have internet access available in internet cafes and hotel lobbies. Internet access is less available in rural and remote areas.
Mobile phone coverage is generally good in Costa Rica's cities and metropolitan areas, although expect limited coverage in remote or mountainous areas. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier if you wish to use your phone while in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica's toilets are a mixture of flushable toilets and squat toilets, so be prepared to encounter both. Carry your own supply of toilet paper and soap as these aren't always provided.
Coconut drink = 250 CRC
Can of soft drink = 450 CRC
Bottle of beer = 1000 CRC
Basic lunch = 2000 CRC
Sit down dinner in a restaurant = 5000-7500 CRC
Although tap water is considered safe to drink in Costa Rica's cities, it's probably a good idea to avoid drinking tap water in Costa Rica. For environmental reasons, try to avoid bottled water. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found as some hotels provide this. Remember to peel fruit and vegetables before eating and avoid ice in drinks.
Major credit cards are accepted by most large shops, hotels and restaurants, although smaller vendors and market stalls often only accept cash.
ATMs are easily found in the large cities and airports, although are less common in rural and remote areas. When travelling out of the city, come prepared by having enough cash as ATMs aren't always an option.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
- 1 Jan New Year's Day
- 11 Apr Juan Santamaria Day / Battle of Rivas
- 13 Apr Maundy Thursday
- 14 Apr Good Friday
- 1 May Labor Day
- 25 Jul Annexation of Guanacaste Day
- 2 Aug Patron Saint Day / Our Lady of Los Ángeles
- 15 Aug Mother's Day / Assumption Day
- 15 Sep Independence Day
- 16 Oct Cultures National Day
- 25 Dec Christmas Day
Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Costa Rica go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/costa-rica/public-holidays
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
- Be considerate of Costa Rica’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
- For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.
- Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
- When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
- Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
- Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
- Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
- Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
- When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.
- Admire coral while diving and snorkelling, but never remove coral from a reef or buy coral items from markets. Coral belongs in the sea.