9 Traveling Tips for Costa Rica
Have you been dreaming of traveling to Costa Rica? If so, follow the nine tips listed below and get the most out of your travel plans to this Central American destination.
#9 Plan Ahead
A plethora of North Americans fly South for winter, along with many locals traveling home as well. Thus, it is of utmost importance that you book your trip in advance if you plan on traveling anytime between Christmas and New Years. Hotel Rooms and bus routes sell out weeks ahead! However, a savvy traveler will use his or her transport links wisely. Get creative, book a private shuttle one way and take a public bus back. High season in Costa Rica is well worth the extra time and effort. (Keep in mind that Easter week is another high tourist time in Costa Rica due to its many parades and processions that line the streets.)
#8 Check Out Organized Tours
Veteran travellers may turn their noses up at the mere idea of partaking in an escorted tour, especially in country where hotels and hostels are available in abundance and English is spoken almost everywhere. Still, nevertheless a lot of Costa Rican activities have a high demand which means increased prices and less regular public transportation availability. But, by booking a group tour you can pack several experiences into a single 10-day trip without worrying about logistics or availability. Talk about a stress free vacation. (For those completely appalled by group travel, hiring a car is your next best alternative.)
#7 Save Accordingly
Costa Rica is one of the most expensive countries to travel to within Latin America. Its supermarket prices have even proven to rival the U.S. as well as the UK. To avoid overspending while traveling, dine at family run sodas, use the local currency when making purchases, and travel during ‘off-season’ when room rates are reduced.
#6 Pick an Adventure
La Fortuna and Monteverde are two popular Costa Rican getaways offering a plethora of outdoor activities. However, traveling between them can become an extremely lengthy process which will cost you time as well as money. Instead, pick one adventure. Many choose Monteverde as it hosts a drier climate and displays a certain boeheim charm.
#5 Watch the Weather
Costa Rica experiences downpours all year long, even during its dry season. Thus, travelers should come prepared for rain no matter when they plan to visit. Waterproof clothing and dry bags are vital while day tripping. Do not let the clear morning sky fool you.
#4 Learn the Language
While you may not struggle to find locals who speak English, picking up a few key Spanish phrases will only help you in the long run. Speaking the locals native language will earn you kudos and boost your bargaining power when spending. For eager beavers, try enrolling in one of the nearby language schools where you can learn their tico accent with ease.
#3 Support the Sustainability
Costa Rica is set out to become the world’s very first carbon-neutral country. Be respectful when visiting and help support the country’s green goals by practicing sustainability whenever possible. Stay at an ecolodge and shop at businesses committed to the cause. If you ever find yourself unsure of what is sustainable or not, check out the Costa Rican Tourism Institute’s CST where businesses are ranked according to their sustainability.
#2 Visit the Caribbean
If Costa Rica becomes too crowded try visiting the Caribbean. Liberia’s international airport is fairly close to the Pacific coastline making it an easy beach destination. Keep in mind that the Caribbean cost is more rural and less developed than Costa Rica's.
#1 Hop Locations
Central America has several other destinations besides Costa Rica full of character, heritage, and attractions. Panama and Nicaragua are next door and make the most sense to add onto any Costa Rican trip. Panama is a bustling cosmopolitan capital while Nicaragua offers raw adventurous activities for budget-conscious travellers.