Costa Rica Travel Info
Explore the huge variety of stunning ecosystems that Costa Rica has to offer. From coastal jungles and cloud forests to spotting its abundant flora and fauna, it really is a travellers paradise. Costa Rica has dozens of national parks and nature reserves, offering guaranteed wildlife sightings. If you’d rather hit the beach, choose from the laid-back Caribbean coast or the livelier Pacific side.
Costa Rica is the only country in Central America with no standing army.
The main exports of Costa Rica are coffee, bananas and pineapple.
What to see
Corcovado National Park
Take a walk through the stunning coastal rainforest and keep an eye out for a glimpse of Scarlet Macaws, white-lipped peccaries and an array of exotic plant species.
One of the most active volcano’s in the area, the rumbling Arenal Volcano regularly spews out lava during its sensational eruptions. If your not lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a spectacular eruption, you can also view its past activity at the visitors centre.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Hike through the rainforest perched high in the slopes where clouds drift amongst the trees and hanging vines resulting in an utterly breathtaking landscape rich in colour and variance.
Tortuguero National Park
A famous nesting spot for sea turtles between July to October, Tortuguero is the ideal spot to take a boat ride and experience the epic wildlife of Costa Rica.
Top experiences / sites of particular interest
Costa Rica boasts some of the best fishing spots in the world with a wide variety of chartered fishing trips available to visitors. Catch tuna, snapper, dorado, snook and tarpon depending on the season
Fly through the tree tops on a zip line and take in the stunning landscape of Costa Rica from another perspective whilst learning about the fascinating wildlife in the area
If you’d rather hit the beach, choose from the laid-back Caribbean coast or the livelier and more developed Pacific side, in particular the Nicoya peninsular, with many of the country’s best beaches and surfing opportunities.
When to go
Weather and Seasons: Dry season occurs between December and April making Costa Rica the perfect place to escape to for a winter break. The wet season, known as ‘green season’ due to the rich vegetation as a result of showers, begins in May and so prices tend to be more competitive.
Important Dates and Festivals: Semana Santa is a huge celebration throughout Costa Rica which is held the week before Easter. People gather to watch religious processions in the streets, the largest of which happen in San Jose city. It is advised to pre book accommodation during this week as places tend to close on Thursday and Good Friday and alcohol is not available Dia de Juan Santamaria commemorates Costa Rica’s national hero, Juan Santamaria. Parades and music concerts are held in his birthplace, Alajuela Province.
Getting there / around
Flights: The main airport for Costa Rica is the Aerpuerto Internacional Santamaria and currently there are no direct flights from the UK to Costa Rica so visitors usually change flights in the US. It takes approximately 15-20 hours depending on stop over times and flights.
Bus: The bus network in Central America is extensive and effective and is a cheaper option for travellers visiting Costa Rica from Nicaragua or Panama.
Car: Many travellers rent a car or motorcycle upon arrival in Costa Rica and rental services can be found in the larger tourist areas such as San Jose.
Adventure Holidays: With so much outdoor adventure activities on offer, Costa Rica is ideal for thrill seekers. Zip through the tree tops, mountain bike around volcanoes or go white water river rafting before hitting the beach for a surf. There’s no shortage of adventure activities in Costa Rica.
Rice and beans are the staples of Costa Rican cuisine known as gallo pinto , a mix of rice and black beans. Many types of international cuisine are available to travellers particularly in the city of San Jose which offers a vast array of cuisines and generally prices are reasonable.
The evening entertainment of Costa Rica varies from laid back bars in costal towns to larger clubs in the city of San Jose. The city has a bustling and vibrant nightlife as well as an array of jazz bars, concert halls, museums, cinemas and restaurants to entertain travellers.
The Colon (colones)
Three-month visa-free stays are available to UK citizens however some countries (including Ireland) are only permitted 30 days visa free stays
It is recommended to have vaccinations against Hepatitis A & B, Typhoid and some areas require precautions against Malaria.
Safety, FO travel advice
Useful Telephone Numbers
Costa Rican country representatives can be found
in the UK atFlat 1, 14 Lancaster Gate, Bayswater London W2 3LH. Tel:- 0207 706 8844.
and in the US at2114 S Street, N.W. 20008 Washington District of Columbia. Tel:- 202 234 2945.
For more information visit: www.costaricanembassy.co.uk , www.visitcostarica.com .