Iguana in Costa Rica

Your Guide to a Perfect Vacation in Costa Rica

January 1, 2018

in costa rica, exploring, outdoors, travel tips, trip planning

If you’re looking to escape reality for a while, Costa Rica is the ideal location. With rainforests, beaches on both the Caribbean and Pacific and beautiful natural wonders to explore, it’s an exotic, relaxing destination with a ton to do for all interest types and ages. Everyone’s idea of the perfect vacation in Costa Rica will be different but we’ve included a few tips to help you design your trip to this luscious Central-American locale.

Accommodation

Costa Rica offers a range of accommodation types to choose from such as hotels, beachfront villas and apartments. If you want Costa Rican rentals and villas, there are luxury options such as Casa Ramon, located near Dominical and Playa Hermosa, which offers panoramic views of the ocean and jungle. Villa Estrella is an all-inclusive on a hilltop overlooking volcanic mountains in the beach town of Ocotal. Casa Campana is close to both a golf course and a beach club and offers mix of adventure and luxury.

If a traditional hotel is more your speed, the Tamarindo Bay Boutique Hotel, Peace Lodge and Maquenque Eco-Lodge are some of the best-rated hotels that provide rooms with a variety of price points. In Costa Rica’s capital city of San Jose, the Hotel Grano de Oro is a historic 40-room space with rooms including patios, fish-filled fountains and tropical greenery.

The type of accommodation you choose will of course depend on the type of vacation you want to have, budget and how many are traveling in your party. But rest assured, there is something for everyone looking for a perfect vacation in Costa Rica.

Volcano in Costa Rica

Photo courtesy Arturo Sotillo, Creative Commons

Activities

Whether you want relaxation, adventure or eco-tourism, Costa Rica has it all. It’s become quite the spot for adrenaline-fueled activities, but there is plenty to do even if you don’t want to do something daring as part of your perfect vacation in Costa Rica.

If you want to relax, head to the beach—you have the south and north Caribbean, Pacific and more to choose from—get a massage or have an elegant dinner. Take in the natural wonder of rain forests, or cloud forests like Monteverde and Santa Elena, and waterfalls—and if you’re more adventurous, zipline through the rain forests, hike a volcano such as Arenal or white-water raft in the Central Valley. There is also snorkeling, surfing in locales like Mal País and Santa Teresa, hot ballooning and more, plus a range of golf courses. Costa Rica is also home to a number of national parks, such as Barbilla, Barra Honda and Cahuita. For the eco tourists, Tortuguero offers both jungle and wetland that house wildlife, such as sea turtles, you can watch for as you canoe down its narrow waterways.

Iguana in Costa Rica

Photo courtesy Vlad Podvorny, Creative Commons

Points of Interest

If cultural points of interest are part of your perfect vacation in Costa Rica, you have options throughout the country from which to choose. Take historical walks through San Jose, Cartago, Heredia, Alajuela and Puntarenas. Or visit the National Museum of Costa Rica, which houses pre-Columbian gold and archeological specimens. Calderon Guardia Museum commemorates Dr. Calderon Guardia and his work on social form during the 1940s. The La Salle Natural Science Museum offers a glimpse at more than 70,000 items, invertebrates, reptiles and other animals.

Yellow flower in Costa Rica

Photo courtesy Randy Robertson, Creative Commons

Restaurants

Food will definitely be part of your perfect vacation in Costa Rica. You can get Latin, Caribbean, European, Southern and other culinary influences when dining throughout the country, whether you are in the city or the country. San Jose has quite the emerging food scene. Park Café in that city is Michelin-starred and described by Travel + Leisure as “haute cuisine or molecular gastronomy.” Cocina Clandestina in Mariposario is a low-cost option serving seafood, vegetarian and vegan options. Graffiti Restro Cafe and Wine Bar in Jacó has a Southern-influenced menu with craft cocktails. Maxi’s by Ricky in Calle San Rafael is a popular spot to watch soccer and devour rice and beans with coconut milk.

Getting Around

Car, taxi, train, bike? To truly have the perfect vacation in Costa Rica, you’ll want to figure out how you plan to navigate the country, especially if you are traveling to multiple locations. The good news about Costa Rica is that it has a convenient public transportation system that can get you pretty much anywhere by bus. You can also rent a car, but be warned the at driving at night can be treacherous due to Costa Rica’s mountainous terrain. Costa Rica also has the ride service Uber.

An interesting thing about is that its domestic airlines offer a package for unlimited flights, so if you’re traveling around the country, particularly to more remote locations, this is something to consider.

There it is—your guide to planning the perfect vacation in Costa Rica. Enjoy your journey!

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