Costa Rica Travel Tips.
These days, a trip to Costa Rica seems to be on everyone’s bucket list! We’ve been hearing more and more stories of friends, acquaintances, and lots of our readers planning their upcoming trips and activities in Costa Rica and asking us for some Costa Rica travel tips!
Every year, close to 3 million tourists visit Costa Rica, that’s equivalent to the size of the entire population of Costa Rica! It’s a huge number and one that’s likely going to increase in the coming years. Some expats in Costa Rica grunt and complain about the crowds, but we are thrilled to hear that more people are traveling to experience this beautiful country!
You Can Visit Costa Rica Any Time of the Year
When people think of visiting Costa Rica, we often get asked, “What’s the best time of the year for visiting Costa Rica?” And our answer is always the same, “Any time is a good time!”
Costa Rica has two well defined seasons: The dry season, which runs from December to April and green season from May to November.
Dry Season in Costa Rica
Don’t be fooled by generic weather forecasts; the weather here really depends on what part of Costa Rica you are visiting.
Dry Season in Northern Guanacaste
Costa Rica’s northern Guanacaste is the country’s driest region. If you are spending time in Guanacaste during the dry season, prepare for very hot days. Beautiful blue skies are common, but so are droughts.
Dry Season in Central Valley
In the Central Valley surrounding San Jose, in Monteverde, Arenal and other mountainous regions across the country, the weather is much cooler and rainier. So if your itinerary includes a stop in any of these regions, pack layers and rain gear no matter what time of the year you are visiting.
One Week in Costa Rica is Not Enough
The country may look small, but there are so many amazing activities in Costa Rica. There are hundreds of beaches to explore, two dozen national parks, half a dozen volcanoes and an immense number of activities to take part in during your visit.
Many travelers ask whether it is possible to see Costa Rica in a week and our answer is: it really isn’t.To really appreciate Costa Rica, you have to give yourself time to really soak it in. You can’t base yourself on the beach in Guanacaste and take day trips to check out Arenal Volcano, Manuel Antonio National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest, and other main sights in Costa Rica. The distances between them may not look far apart, but trust us, the drives are long and exhausting!
For example, the drive time between Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste to Monteverde Cloud Forest is a minimum of 3 and a half hours by car. If your taking public buses add a couple of hours more. The trip requires bus transfers.
It is not realistic (or enjoyable) to travel a minimum of 7 hours for a day trip. If a week is all you have, come to terms with the fact that you won’t see it all and treat it like a little sneak preview.
If you do have limited time and want to make the most of it, check out our Costa Rica articles for loads of ideas. The Top 10 Things To Do in Costa Rica will give you the ‘must-do’s’ for your trip.
We think that each destination in Costa Rica warrants at least 2-3 days to appreciate and to get a good taste of the country.
You’ll want to spend at least 2 weeks in Costa Rica. A fortnight will give you just enough time to soak up the atmosphere and try the wide variety of fun activities Costa Rica has to offer.