Vacations Costa Rica

If you're considering where to go on your next vacation, try the world of outstanding tropical adventure called Costa Rica.

If you’re considering where to go on your next vacation, try the world of outstanding tropical adventure called Costa Rica.

Planning your Costa Rica trip

A Costa Rica Caribbean vacation lets you research active volcanoes, see wild animals, see exuberant rain forests up close, and swim and lounge on great beaches.  Costa Rica is one of the few ultimate paradises that have been left untouched on planet Earth. Costa Rica is in a tropical climate, so there’s no winter to deal with.

Costa Rica is in a tropical climate, so there's no winter to deal with.

In Central America, south of Nicaragua and north of Panama is Costa Rica.  Costa Rica has the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west side.  Hence, the majority of Costa Rica’s borders, sixty-five percent, are coastline.

Although a comparatively small area, nearly the size of Vermont and New Hampshire aggregated, it has everything one could want in a holiday.  Lovely white sand beaches, great surf, active volcanoes, natural hot springs, and dominating rain forests are just some of the places in Costa Rica.  Site seeing in the area is relatively simple by means of rental car or public bus.

Costa Rica. A number of the principal mountain ranges are volcanic, and visitors can easily visit many of these regions. 

A number of the principal mountain ranges are volcanic, and visitors can easily visit many of these regions.  In the province of Cartago, for example, which is not far from the capital of San José, you will find Irazú volcano, which erupted in the early sixties.  Poás volcano, based in the province of Alajuela, has one of the biggest active craters in the world.  In addition, Arenal volcano, in the northwestern region, enchants thousands of visitors each year to a constant stream of red, hot lava rocks tumbling down its slopes. Arenal is the site of a spa with natural hot springs.

The capital of Costa Rica is San José and is a good root for exploring the land.
Photo by Wha’ppen

The capital of Costa Rica is San José and is a good root for exploring the land.  It is handily located in the center of the country and all the bus lines stop here.  Evenings in San José can be cool due to the high altitude, but you will not forget that you are in a tropical place even in this active city.  The city itself is busy and filed with traffic.

Costa Rica. There are many things to do, but travelers often miss these sites selecting instead to head straight from the airport to beaches or rainforests.

There are many things to do, but travelers often miss these sites selecting instead to head straight from the airport to beaches or rainforests.  Although San José is not the most pretty city in the world, it is normally safe and has a lot to offer to tourists.

The port of Limon on the Caribbean Coast has quite a different environment from the capital. Life is easy carrying on the Caribbean coast compared to the city life in San Jose.
Photo by roger4336

The port of Limon on the Caribbean Coast has quite a different environment from the capital.  Life is easy carrying on the Caribbean coast compared to the city life in San Jose.

Costa Rica’s peak season for travel and leisure runs from late November to late April, which fits nearly totally with the cold of winter in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. The high season is also the dry season. If you’d like some unadulterated time on a sunny beach and a little less rain while having your rainforest go through, this is the time to go to. During this time (and particularly around the Christmas holiday), the vacation industry works at full tilt. Prices are increased, sight-seeing opportunities are more crowded, and reservations should be made in advance.

Best Beaches

With over 750 miles of coastline on its Pacific and Caribbean shorelines, Costa Rica gives beachgoers a profusion of riches.

• Santa Rosa National Park: If you genuinely wish to escape from it all, the beaches inside the northwest corner of Costa Rica are the ideal choice. You’ll need to four-wheel-drive or walk 8 miles from the central ranger station to arrive at them. And when there, you’ll find only the simplest of camping facilities: outhouse latrines and cold-water showers. But you’ll likely have the spot practically for yourself. Actually, the only time it gets populated is in October, when a considerable number of sea turtles nest in one of their yearly arrivals.

Playa Sámara itself is pleasant enough, however, if you go just a bit farther afield, you’ll have some of the very best and least established beaches on the entire Guanacaste coastline.
Photo by melawnduh

• The Beaches near Playa Sámara: Playa Sámara itself is pleasant enough, however, if you go just a bit farther afield, you’ll have some of the very best and least established beaches on the entire Guanacaste coastline. Playa Carrillo is a long, usually deserted crescent of palm backed pristine sand situated just south of Sámara, while Playa Barrigona and Playa Buena Vista are two great finds hidden down a few dirt roads to the north.

Playa Montezuma: This small beach at the southern point of the Nicoya Peninsula has endured popularity and infamy, but maintains a refreshing feeling of uniqueness.
Photo by dylandibona

• Playa Montezuma: This small beach at the southern point of the Nicoya Peninsula has endured popularity and infamy, but maintains a refreshing feeling of uniqueness. European hikers, vegan yoga fans, and UFO seekers decide upon Montezuma’s beach over any other in Costa Rica. The waterfalls are what distinguish it from the rivals, but the seaside extends for miles, with lots of separated places to put down your towel or mat. Close by are the Cabo Blanco and Curú wildlife preserves.

• Malpaís: Even though the secret is definitely out, there’s nonetheless some time to go to Costa Rica’s hot spot before the crowd appears. With just a few luxury resorts, surf camps, and simple cabins, Malpaís is the place where to come if you’re searching for kilometers of deserted beaches and excellent surf. If you discover Malpaís is too packed, head even farther on down the road to Santa Teresa, Playa Hermosa, and Manzanillo.

The very first beach spot to gain popularity in Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio keeps its appeal regardless of growing crowds and mushrooming hotels.
Photo by Nouhailler

• Manuel Antonio: The very first beach spot to gain popularity in Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio keeps its appeal regardless of growing crowds and mushrooming hotels. Beaches within the national park are beautiful, and the sights from the hills approaching the park are wonderful. This is one of the few still left environments for the endangered squirrel monkey. Rooms with views are generally a little costly, but a majority of happy guests will tell you they’re worth the cost.

Punta Uva and Manzanillo are the two most shining treasures of this coast.
Photo by Experience Costa Rica

• Punta Uva & Manzanillo: Below Puerto Viejo, the beaches of Costa Rica’s eastern coastline take on real Caribbean attractiveness, with turquoise seas, coral reefs, and palm-lined stretches of almost empty whitesand beach. Punta Uva and Manzanillo are the two most shining treasures of this coast. Tall coconut palms line the shore, giving shady relief for many who enjoy spending a full day on the sand, and the water is generally reasonably calm and great for swimming.

San Jose hotels

When is the perfect time to visit Costa Rica? The least expensive time? Should you rent a car (or will you need 4WD), and just what will it cost you? Where should you travel in Costa Rica? What are the hotels like?

Radisson Hotel San Jose – Costa Rica

Radisson Hotel San Jose - Costa Rica. This hotel is geared primarily to business travelers, but it’s a good choice for anyone looking for a big, dependable luxury hotel near downtown San José.

Calle Central y Tercera Av 15, Barrio Tournon, 00001 San José, Costa Rica

This hotel is geared primarily to business travelers, but it’s a good choice for anyone looking for a big, dependable luxury hotel near downtown San José.

This stylish hotel offers an outdoor swimming pool, an indoor heated pool, and a conference center. Each spacious room includes free Wi-Fi and an iPod dock.

The Radisson Hotel San Jose Costa Rica is located in central San José, 801 m from Central Avenue. Free 24-hour secure parking is offered on site.

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection By Hilton

The Gran Hotel Costa Rica is located in the heart of San José, surrounded by national museums, plazas and walking boulevards, the venue is within walking distance to the main cultural and tourist attractions.

2nd Avenue between streets 1 & 3, San José, Costa Rica

The Gran Hotel Costa Rica has arguably the best location of any downtown hotel (bordering the Teatro Nacional and the Plaza de la Cultura), and a major remodeling has finally brought the rooms and amenities almost up to snuff. Most of the rooms here are fairly large, and they sport fresh carpets, paint and furnishings.

The Gran Hotel Costa Rica is operated by the hotel group Elite Hotels and Resorts of Costa Rica. It is the only hotel in San José declared by the government as a historical and architectural monument. Located in the heart of San José, surrounded by national museums, plazas and walking boulevards, the venue is within walking distance to the main cultural and tourist attractions.

Hotel Aranjuez

Hotel Aranjuez is probably the best and deservedly most popular budget option close to downtown.
Calle 19, Avs. 11-13, de la Iglesia Sta. Teresita, 200 mtrs. al norte, 200 mtrs. al oeste y 25 al sur., 10101 San José, Costa Rica

This is probably the best and deservedly most popular budget option close to downtown. Located on a quiet and safe street in the Barrio Amón neighborhood, this humble hotel is made up of five contiguous houses. All rooms are simple and clean, although some are a little dark. Rooms and bathrooms vary greatly in size, so ask when reserving, or try to see a few rooms when you arrive.

The nicest features here, aside from the convivial hostel-like atmosphere, are the lush and shady gardens; the hanging orchids, bromeliads, and ferns decorating the hallways and nooks; and the numerous open lounge areas furnished with chairs, tables, and couches—great for lazing around and sharing travel tales with your fellow guests.

Hotel Aranjuez is an eco-friendly bed and breakfast hotel, hosted in five wooden houses built in the 30’s.

Hotel Aranjuez will offer you “an authentic Costa Rican lodging experience” in an urban oasis surrounded by tropical gardens. Each room features an authentic decor and is equipped with a 32″ flat screen TV, hot water, safety-deposit box and a desk.

Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen

For the money, the Marriott is the best large luxury resort hotel in the San José area. Amenities are plentiful, and service here reaches a level of attention to detail uncommon in Costa Rica.
700 meters west from Bridgestone/Firestone, Asuncion, San José, Costa Rica

A former hacienda located on a 30-acre coffee plantation, this hotel features 2 outdoor swimming pools, a golf driving range and a coffee-inspired spa. Downtown San Jose is about a 15-minute drive away.

The Kuö Spa at Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose offers a wide variety of body and beauty treatments using coffee, volcanic ash and other natural ingredients from Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is persistently among the most popular vacation and adventure-travel locations in Latin America, with more than a million guests every year. Regardless of the growth in travelers, Costa Rica continues to be a place full of natural treasures and bio-diversity, where one can still feel removed from the frustrating crowds. The country features a lot of unsullied beaches that extend for miles, small accommodations that haven’t drawn large numbers of holidaymakers, jungle rivers for rafting and kayaking, and breathtaking cloud and rainforests with enough options for bird-watching and hiking.

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