Costa Rica Travel Guide (2020) | Best Things to do in Costa Rica

Things to do in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the best place to travel to Central American countries. If you are planning to visit here, you must visit here. You will be rewarded with an ecological treasure-trove. Despite its small size, this place is one of the most biodiverse areas on the earth. Costa Rica is famous for untouched beaches and lush rainforests, dense mangrove swamps, and steaming volcanoes. Some of its parts are made up of protected jungle, teeming with various wildlife, from lovable sloths and tiny, green frogs to brightly plumed macaws and toucans including quetzal birds and spider monkeys. Read our travel guide for Costa Rica to know everything, before visiting here such as Facts, Tourist attracttions, things to do, where to stay, costa rica foods, costa rica drinks etc.

Costa Rica Travel Facts

  • Currency: Costa Rican colón
  • Language: Spanish
  • Population: 4.8 Million
  • Area: 51,100 Square Kilometres
  • Income Source: Bananas and Coffee, but in recent years most of the income is generated from tourism.
  • Conservation: Roughly a quarter area of Costa Rica is protected, mostly through an extensive network of wildlife refuges and national parks.
  • Wildlife: Costa Rica has over 400 varieties of amphibian and reptile, around 250 species of mammal, approximate 900 species of birds and 250,000 types of insect, with the world’s best-known butterflies.

Airports near Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country in Central America that bordered by Panama to the southeast, Nicaragua to the North, the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Costa Rica is the largest city of San José.

Let’s talk about flights of Costa Rica

Costa Rica has several flights, I am going to mention all the International, Domestic, and some other airports below with locations.

International Airports

S.no City Airports
1. Liberia Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport
2. Limón Limón International Airport
3. San José Juan Santamaría International Airport
4. San José Tobías Bolaños International Airport

Domestic Airports

S.no City Airports
1. Barra del Colorado (es) Barra del Colorado Airport
2. Carrillo Playa Sámara – Carrillo Airport
3. Coto 47 Coto 47 Airport
4. Drake Bay Drake Bay Airport
5. Golfito Golfito Airport
6. Guápiles, Pococí Guápiles Airport
7. La Fortuna(es) Arenal Airport
8. Los Chiles Los Chiles Airport
9. Nosara Nosara Airport
10. Palmar Sur Palmar Sur Airport
11. Puerto Jiménez Puerto Jiménez Airport
12. Punta Islita Punta Islita Airport
13. Quepos Quepos La Managua Airport
14. San Isidro de El General San Isidro de El General Airport
15. Tamarindo Tamarindo Airport
16. Tambor Tambor Airport
17. Tortuguero Tortuguero Airport
18. Upala Upala Airport

Other Airports

S.no City Airports
1. Buenos Aires Buenos Aires Airport
2. Cabo Velas Cabo Velas Airport
3. Cañas Las Piedras Airport
4. Puntarenas Chacarita Airport
5. Dieciocho Dieciocho Airport
6. El Carmen de Siquirres (es) El Carmen de Siquirres Airport
7. Finca 63 Finca 63 Airport
8. La Flor La Flor Airport
9. Laurel Laurel Airport
10. Nicoya Nicoya Airport
11. Palmar Sur Nuevo Palmar Sur Airport
12. Palo Arco Palo Arco Airport
13. Pandora Pandora Airport
14. Siquirres San Alberto Airport
15. Santa Clara de Guapiles Santa Clara de Guapiles Airport
16. Santa Maria de Guacimo(es) Santa Maria de Guacimo Airport
17. San Vito San Vito de Java Airport

Best Sights in Costa Rica

The traveler could be Beach lovers, Natures seekers or adventurers. Costa Rica offers a little something for every traveler. Whether the traveler seeks sun, nature or adventure, there is much to discover in Costa Rica. let see the best things to do in Costa Rica.

Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano is one of the unavoidable presence while traveling within Costa Rica. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and its height is more than 5,000 feet high and the diameter is 460 feet. Arenal Volcano is in north-western Costa Rica around 90 km northwest of San José.

The perfectly symmetrical shape of Arnall Volcano makes it a dreamer’s dream, while it is an abundance of outdoor activities that makes it an easy place to check things off your “must-do in Costa Rica” list.

Best Things to Do

  • Active Volcano with hiking
  • Hot springs

Some Basic Knowledge

  • Location: Alajuela Province, Costa Rica
  • Elevation: 1670 m
  • Prominence: 813 m
  • Last eruption: 2010
  • Age: 7000 years old
  • You must know: Arenal Volcano is the second most visited national park in Costa Rica.

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio is one of the smallest protected green spaces in Costa Rica, but its size should don’t matter to you. Because the 3 square miles’ National park has several things such as you will find untamed beaches, secluded coves, thick rainforest and nature trails. You can take a walk on one of the park’s walking path or coastline to see the camouflaged iguanas, purple and orange crabs, and rare birds. Manuel Antonio has so many monkeys so that the park built a suspension bridge for the visitor. The monkeys get free reign of the area. The visitor like to enjoy a picnic lunch on white sand under the palm tree, However, the visitor will want to watch their food closely as the monkeys have been known to steal food.

Best Things to Do

  • Beaches
  • Rainforest
  • Diverse Wildlife

Some Basic Knowledge

  • Location: Puntarenas Province, Quepos, Costa Rica
  • Area: 1983 ha (7.66 sq mi)
  • Timing: Daily 7 am to 4 pm except for Monday, Monday is the week off. ( I recommend to go at 7 am for the best experience)
  • Governing body: National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC)

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Monteverde is closed to the Pacific coast, it is one of the Americas’ remaining high-altitude cloud forests and it will astound you with its beauty, bounty, and biodiversity. You will find a way to rainforests where tall trees, bromeliads, ferns, festooned with orchids, vines, and mosses, Some areas of Monteverde has poor drainages support swamp forests, while other areas are dissected by deep, expansive gorges that have numerous streams tumbling through, creating rapids, waterfalls and standstill pools. You can’t say it just the forest and landscape that is so diversified.

The large altitudinal gradient and variable climate sustain the amazingly diverse set of creatures that live here live in Monteverde. Its wildlife includes the ocelot, three-wattled bellbird, Baird’s tapir, bare-necked umbrella bird, jaguar, and resplendent quetzal.

Best Things to Do

  • Tours
  • Trails
  • Biodiversity

Some Basic Knowledge

  • Location: Carretera a Reserva de Monteverde, Provincia de Puntarenas, Monteverde, Costa Rica
  • Area: 105 km²
  • Timing: Daily 7 am to 4 pm
  • Established: 1972

Corcovado National Park

Corcovado National Park is one of the world’s most biodiverse regions reserve on southwest Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula that protects varied tropical ecosystems. It is not surpassed by any region of similar size anywhere on earth. The Corcovado forests are just as impressive in height as the Amazon basin or the dipterocarp forests of Indonesia and Malaysia. The Corcovado forest is the example for the popular conception of the tropical rain forest, with a multitude of species, spectacular buttresses, very tall trees, abundant herbaceous vines, and large woody lianas.

Best Things to Do

  • Trekking
  • Hiking
  • Camping

Some Basic Knowledge

  • Location: Los Patos Sirena Trail, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica
  • Area: 424 km²
  • Timing: Daily 8 am to 4 pm
  • Established: 24 October, 1975

Parque Nacional Tortuguero

The Parque Nacional Tortuguero is one of the few Costa Rican National Parks. The beach has marked the trail for observing turtle nesting and the best way to see most of the park is from the boat. It doesn’t mean you will escape from the workout while nature watching. There are many places to take rental canoes and kayaks(boats or cayucas).

Due to high rainfall and the rich environment, freshwater meets seas makes the beaches, canals, and lagoons. Nature lovers must visit here it the best opportunity.

Best Things to Do

  • Trekking
  • Turtle Tour
  • Canal Tour
  • Jungle Canopy Tour

Some Basic Knowledge

  • Location: Limón Province, Costa Rica
  • Area: 312 km²
  • Visitors: 10,000 (in 1995)
  • Established: 1975

6. Poás Volcano

Poás Volcano is one of the most visited national parks and it is a major attraction in the Central Valley region. Poás Volcano is a powerful symbol of the geothermal forces. When you see the sulfuric, bubbling on the green surface of the lake, surrounded by smoke and steam rising from fumaroles. Constantly seeping water through cracks in the hot rock. You will never miss visiting here.

Note: Volcan Poas has one of the largest active craters on the earth.

Best Things to Do

  • Hiking
  • Walking Trails

Some Basic Knowledge

  • Location: Costa Rica
  • Elevation: 2,708 m
  • Prominence: 804 m
  • Mountain Rance: Cordillera Central
  • Last eruption: April 2017

Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park is known for its active Arenal Volcano, hot springs and wildlife with jaguars and tree frogs. It is a protected area in northern Costa Rica. This region has a large wealth of geological and biological complexity, as revealed by the active and unreliable Arran volcano. This national park has two Volcanos – 1600 meter Arenal Volcano and 1140 meter Chato Volcano.

Best Things to Do

Some Basic Knowledge

  • Location: Calle Real el Castillo, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica
  • Area: 121.2 km²

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park has two volcanoes, 32 rivers, and streams with an incredible variety of flora and fauna. The capital of Guanacaste Province is Liberia and the city of Liberia is approximately 15 miles to Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park. This park is serviced by two ranger stations – (i) Santa Maria sector and (ii) Las Pailas sector.

It has a wide variety of tropical forests with dwarf cloud and montane ecosystems.

Best Things to Do

  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Swimming
  • Hot Springs
  • Picnicking
  • Camping

Some Basic Knowledge

  • Location: Costa Rica
  • Timing: 24/7

Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal is one of the largest lakes situated in the northern highlands of Costa Rica. the size of Lake Arenal is 85 sq kilometer and depth varies between 30 to 60 meters seasonally. Before the construction of a hydroelectric dam, it was three times larger than its original size. The dam was constructed in 1979 and now this dam is hugely important to Costa Rica because it produces 12% of Costa Rica’s electric energy.

Best Things to Do

  • Pedal Boarding
  • Fishing

Some Basic Knowledge

  • Location: Costa Rica
  • Area: 85 km²
  • Length: 30 km
  • Surface elevation: 544 m

Irazú Volcano

Irazú Volcano is one of the most famous places on earth. The meaning of Irazú is “thunder and earthquake mountain”, it is actually a derivative of an Indigenous word. The name Irazú Volcano could come from either a corruption of Iztarú or the combination of ‘ara’ and ‘tzu’. The recent eruption was in 1994, but it could be active any time again. The trip to Costa Rica will not be completed without visiting Irazú Volcano. It is one of the easiest spots to go and no need much time at all to see the volcano in all its natural majesty. It is only 30 km far from the former capital city ‘Cartago’.

Note: Irazú has frequently erupted 23 times in historical times since 1723.

Best Things to Do

  • Climbing the Mountain

Some Basic Knowledge

  • Location: Costa Rica
  • Area: 85 km²
  • Length: 30 km
  • Elevation: 3432 m
  • Last Eruption: 1994
  • Mountain and Parent Range: Cordillera Central
  • Prominence: 1862 m

When to Visit Costa Rica?

Mid-December to April is the dry season and it is the best time to visit Costa Rica. This is a peak tourist season at this time the sunshine makes the ideal time for lounging on beaches and exploring rainforests. The dry season is the most popular time for traveling. The traveler has to book their reservation 3 months in advance to secure the spot. If you like to get a little wet while enjoyment, you can visit from May to November. If you are planning to visit Costa Rica, keep in mind that the weather varies by region.

Costa Rica Weather

Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Min 15.4 15.3 15.8 16.4 17 16.9 16.3 16.7 16.5 16.4 16.3 15.8
Max 23.4 23.9 25.1 25.7 26.1 25.7 24.9 25.2 25.8 25.4 24.2 23.4

Average Precipitation (mm)

Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Precip 9.1 5.3 11.9 43.7 222 282.7 208 252.2 325.1 325.9 139.2 40.4

Events of Costa Rica

  • January: Copa del Cafe
  • January: Palmares Fiestas
  • January: Santa Cruz Fiesta
  • January: Diablitos Fiesta
  • March: National Orchid Show
  • April: Juan Santamaría Day
  • July: Virgin of Seas Fiesta
  • July: Annexation of Guanacaste Day
  • September: Independence Day
  • October: Maiz Fiesta
  • October: Limon Carnival
  • December: El Tope and Carnival
  • December: Festejos Populares

Where to Stay In Costa Rica

You can stay in the resorts in Costa Rica, the hotel’s costs are too affordable. You can choose from the many varieties of hotels. It depends on your required facilities. I have listed some hotels below.

1. Barceló Tambor

5-star hotel

Address: Playa Tambor Tambor Puntarenas 771 Puntarenas Tambor Playa Tambor Puntarenas, 1150, Costa Rica

Amenities

  • Free breakfast
  • Paid Wi-Fi
  • Free parking
  • Outdoor pool
  • Hot tub
  • Air conditioning
  • Fitness center
  • All-inclusive
  • Spa
  • Beach access
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Airport shuttle
  • Golf
  • Full-service laundry
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Business center
  • Kid-friendly
  • Smoke-free property
  • No pets

2. Occidental Tamarindo

4-star hotel

Address: Calle Playa Langosta Santa Cruz Tamarindo CR 50309, Provincia de Guanacaste, Santa Cruz, Costa Rica

Amenities

  • Free breakfast
  • Paid Wi-Fi
  • Free parking
  • Outdoor pool
  • Hot tub
  • Air conditioning
  • Fitness center
  • All-inclusive
  • Spa
  • Beach access
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Airport shuttle
  • Full-service laundry
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Business center
  • Kid-friendly
  • Smoke-free property
  • No pets

3. Selina Manuel Antonio

2-star hotel

Address: National Road Manuel Antonio, km 5 In front of Restaurant “El Avion, Provincia de Puntarenas, Quepos, 60601, Costa Rica

Amenities

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free parking
  • Outdoor pool
  • Air conditioning
  • Pet-friendly
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Kitchen in some rooms
  • Airport shuttle
  • Full-service laundry
  • Business center
  • Smoke-free property
  • No hot tub
  • No fitness center
  • No spa

4. Tucan Hotel

3-star hotel

Address: 100 Mtrs Este del Banco de Costa Rica, Carr. Pacífica Fernández Oreamuno, Provincia de Puntarenas, Uvita, 60504, Costa Rica

Amenities

  • Free parking
  • Air conditioning
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Kitchen in some rooms
  • Full-service laundry
  • Kid-friendly
  • No hot tub

5. Selina La Fortuna

2-star hotel

Address: Avenida 325 75 meters east of the bus terminal La Fortuna Provincia de Alajuela CR 21007, Provincia de Alajuela, La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Amenities

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Parking
  • Outdoor pool
  • Air conditioning
  • Pet-friendly
  • Spa
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Airport shuttle
  • Full-service laundry
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Business center
  • Kid-friendly
  • No hot tub

6. La Fortuna Backpackers Resort

2-star hotel

Address: 21007, Provincia de Alajuela, La Fortuna, 21007, Costa Rica

Amenities

  • Full-service laundry
  • Kid-friendly
  • No hot tub

7. JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa

5-star hotel

Address: Hacienda, Guanacaste Province, Pinilla, 50309, Costa Rica

Amenities

  • Wi-Fi
  • Free parking
  • Outdoor pool
  • Hot tub
  • Air conditioning
  • Pet-friendly
  • Fitness center
  • Spa
  • Beach access
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Kitchen in some rooms
  • Full-service laundry
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Business center
  • Kid-friendly
  • Smoke-free property
  • No free breakfast
  • Not all-inclusive

8. Costa Rica Backpackers

2-star hotel

Address: Avenida 6 – Calle 21 & 25, De la Iglesia Sagrado Corazon, 100 metros Norte, 50 Oeste., San José, Costa Rica

Amenities

  • Free breakfast
  • Wi-Fi
  • Parking
  • Outdoor pool
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Kitchen in all rooms
  • Airport shuttle
  • Full-service laundry
  • Kid-friendly
  • No hot tub

9. Flutterby House

Address: Puntarenas Province, Uvita, Costa Rica

Amenities

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free parking
  • Pet-friendly
  • Beach access
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Kitchen in some rooms
  • Full-service laundry
  • Kid-friendly
  • Smoke-free property
  • No free breakfast
  • No pools
  • No hot tub
  • No air conditioning

10. Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

5-star hotel

Address: Liberia Guanaste 26Km al Norte del Doit, CR-G, Peninsula Papagayo, 05000, Costa Rica

Amenities

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Parking
  • Outdoor pool
  • Hot tub
  • Fitness center
  • Spa
  • Beach access
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Airport shuttle
  • Golf
  • Full-service laundry
  • Business center
  • Kid-friendly
  • No free breakfast
  • No pets
  • Not all-inclusive

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Costa Rica Travel Guide (2020) | Best Things to do in Costa Rica
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