Explore Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Journey into the wild

Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica, is a country in Central America. This rainforested Central American country is known for its biodiversity, beaches, and volcanoes. In fact, the country boasts one of the world's largest densities of flora and fauna. The vibrant city of San Jose is home to Costa Rica's best museums and charming squares. With such an abundance of nature, there is something here for hikers, wildlife lovers, and adventure seekers. 


Popular cities: 

  • San José

  • Jacó

  • Tamarindo 

  • Alajuela

  • Heredia

Climate
Costa Rica enjoys a tropical climate. The best time to visit the country is between December and April.

  • January — Dry
  • February — Dry
  • March — Dry
  • April — Dry
  • May — Humid
  • June — Wet
  • July — Wet
  • August — Wet
  • September — Wet
  • October — Wet
  • November — Dry
  • December — Dry
Things to do
City Life
San José is the capital of Costa Rica. It's an impressive mix of Spanish and modern day architecture. The city boasts a number of colourful markets, museums and performing arts centers. The Central Market is filled with shops to buy souvenirs and scrumptious food. Jacó is known for its surf beaches and nightlife. There are several nature-rich sites housed by this scenic town. It also offers fantastic eco-tours. With numerous casinos, bars, discos and nightclubs, this town is the best place to enjoy a vibrant nightlife in Costa Rica. Tamarindo's main attraction is its beaches where you can enjoy a wide range of activities. There are world-class golf courses which will surely delight golfers. Owing to its close proximity to the rainforest you can also enjoy jungle trekking, horseback riding, hiking and ATV tours.
Historic/Architectural Heritage
The National Theater of Costa Rica is considered to be the most impressive building in San José. It features a Renaissance styled façade adorned with  statues symbolizing Music, Dance and Fame. Its interior is adorned with painted murals depicting themes in Costa Rican life. Castillo Azul (The Blue Castle) is a neoclassical residential home constructed in 1908. This magnificent castle is famous for detailed finish and overall architecture. Our Lady of Solitude Church, located in San José is a beautiful edifice built with limestone in baroque style. Legislative Assembly, Democracy Plaza, Maria Auxiliadora Church, Nicolas Ulloa Soto Central Park are a few of the other historical and architectural landmarks of Costa Rica.
Museums
The National Museum of Costa Rica gives visitors an insight into Costa Rica's history, archeology, anthropology, culture and politics. The Jade Museum is home to thousands of pieces of jade. In fact, it houses the largest collection of pre-Columbian jade in the world. Museum of Costa Rican Art is home to some of the most prominent art collections of San José and Costa Rica. It features interesting paintings, engravings, photographs, videos and sculptures. Other prominent museums are Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, Museum of Popular Culture, Juan Santamaria Historical Cultural Museum and Museo de Guanacaste.
Nature & Adventure
Arenal Volcano National Park, located in Cordillera de Tilarán, is one of the best volcano viewing areas in Costa Rica. The magnificent Arenal Volcano is the main attraction of this park. The park also houses a number of Costa Rican birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. Within the park are splendid landscapes of dense forests, lakes, rivers and mountains all offering a wide array of adventurous activities. It's nothing short of a paradise for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. The Cloud Forest of Monteverde is one of the best places to visit in the country for ecotourism. Hiking is one of the best ways to explore the forest. Corcovado National Park, situated on the Osa Peninsula, harbors several major ecosystems that include rainforest, palm forest, mangrove swamps, cloud forests and beaches. It has exhilarating trails which are popular with travellers who enjoy long-distance hikes. You also stand a chance to spot a variety of fascinating wildlife. Irazú Volcano National Park encompasses the highest active volcano in Costa Rica. Its summit is a lunar-like landscape with mystical craters. The Toro and Sarapiquí Rivers are the best place in the country to go whitewater rafting. The rapids and surrounding lush greenery makes it a memorable experience. Osa Peninsula, Arenal Lake, Pura Veda Park, Bijagual Waterfall, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Chirripo National Park, Catarata del Toro, and Rincón de la Vieja are some other beautiful places worth visiting in Costa Rica.
Islands
Tortuga Island is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the country. It's only accessible by boat and offers a wide array of interesting activities including hiking, kayaking, diving and snorkeling. Its sandy beaches and serene ambience is perfect to relax and rejuvenate. Cocos Island is home to numerous animal and plant species, cascading waterfalls, forests, translucent water and rivers. You'll have an amazing scuba diving experience as Cocos has rich marine life. The entire island and the water surrounding it, is protected as the Cocos Island National Park. Isla del Caño, Islas Murciélagos, Isla Pájaros, Chira Island, Cabuya Island, Santa Catalina Islands are some other islands worth visiting for their scenic beauty and nature.
Beaches
Playa Manuel Antonio is one of the most stunning and popular beaches in Costa Rica. Located within the Manuel Antonio National Park, there are a number of trails that'll lead you into the dense jungle. Besides incredible scenery, you can also catch a glimpse of some vibrant birds, howler monkeys and iguanas. With its exhilarating waves and sandy beach, Dominical is one of the best places for surfing. Tamarindo is known for long stretch beaches with strong surf like Playa Langosta and Playa Tamarindo. The area around Tamarindo also offers eco-friendly adventures that include turtle watching, ziplining, horseback riding, diving and snorkeling. Jocó beach is a very popular destination in Costa Rica. It offers excellent surfing waves which even the beginners can enjoy. Playa Grande located near Tamarindo is an ideal place to visit if you seek solitude. It also has some of the best surf spots in the country. Santa Teresa much like other villages on the Nicoya Peninsula is home to a scenic beach away from the buzzing crowds. Other popular beaches are Playa Guiones, Playa Montezuma, Tortuguero Beach, Playa Flamingo, and Playa Hermosa, among others.
Wildlife
Manuel Antonio National Park is known for its rich biodiversity and beautiful beaches. You can spot a variety of wildlife here such as Howler monkeys, sloths, capuchins and squirrel monkeys. Tortuguero National Park is a protected area on the northern Caribbean coast. Its beaches are nesting grounds for sea turtles, especially the endangered green turtles. From the hiking trails to boating or canoeing along the canals and to spotting snakes, basilisk lizards, peccaries, manatees, tapirs, monkeys, river otters, kinkajous and sloths, everything you do in this park feels adventurous. Braulio Carrillo National Park, located near San José, is home to rugged mountains, canyons, lush rainforest, waterfalls and dormant volcanoes. It also shelters many different mammals such as pumas, jaguars, monkeys, sloths, tapirs and several species of birds including Quetzal, eagles and toucans. Other prominent places known for fascinating biodiversity and wildlife are Carara National Park, Rincón de la Vieja National Park, Marino Las Baulas National Park and Simon Bolivar Zoo.
Places of Worship
Iglesia de Coronado is a beautiful structure displaying the mixture of French and German gothic architectural style. The views of San José from the towers are splendid. Iglesia de la Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles is one of the most important religious monuments and cathedral of Cartago. It's an ornate Byzantine-inspired basilica adorned with stained-glass windows, beautifully carved wooden altars and hand-painted interiors. Iglesia de la Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, La Inmaculada Conception Parish, Iglesia de San José de Orosi, Iglesia de San Rafael, Basílica de Los Ángeles, Catedral Metropolitana, Iglesia de Cañas, Cathedral of Alajuela are some other beautiful and tranquil places of worship in Costa Rica.
How to spend time / how long will it take?

Costa Rica’s prominent places can be explored in 8 to 10 days. Spend a day exploring the historical and cultural sites, museums and markets of San Jose. Spend a day exploring the Braulio Carrillo National Park. Take a day trip to Jaco for its pristine beach. Spend a day in Orosi Valley amidst nature and then go to Tortuguero National Park for a day for some memorable adventure. Spend a day in Alajuela to enjoy some urban delights. Move to La Fortuna and take a detour to Catarata del Toro. Next day you can explore the magnificent Arenal Volcano National Park. Take a short day trip to Santa Teresa for surfing and relaxing at the beach. Spend a day or two away from the buzzing towns and head for a soulful escapade to the scenic Tortuga Island. 

Cuisine
  • Costa Rican cuisine includes use of fresh ingredients, tropical fruits and vegetables. In addition to traditional Costa Rican dishes you also find nearly every type of cuisine. In every bite of the traditional food items, you'll feel a beautiful mix of cultures. Some must-try foods include Casado, Olla de Carne, Ceviche, Chifrijo, Gallo Pinto, Tamal, and Arroz con Leche, among others.
Costs
  • In general, a regular meal might cost around CRC 4,000 (USD 6.46) per meal.
Visa
  • Indians require a Visa.
  • Other nationalities may or may not require a Visa.
Season to Visit
  • December
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April

Typical Duration to Visit
  • 8 - 10 days

Known For
  • Wildlife
  • Beaches
  • Islands
  • Volcano
  • Hiking
  • Rivers
  • Markets
Areas to Visit
  • Santa Teresa and Jaco Beach for surfing
  • San Jose and Alajuela for urban delights & museums
  • National Parks such as Arenal Volcano, Tortuguero, Braulio Carrillo for wildlife & adventure
  • Tortuga Island for sandy beach, nature, marine life and adventure

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