How To Plan a Costa Rica Vacation

Whether you're a student, a family or a single person, Costa Rica is a vacation hot spot. Its endless beaches and great weather attract millions of vacationers each year. Thinking of visiting Costa Rica? Here's how to plan a great trip to Costa Rica.

Step 1

What time of year will you go? Costa Rica is always warm, but some months are definitely nicer than others. During the high season in Costa Rica (December - April), there is less rain. Wildlife will be drawn to the limited water sources in the area, so you'll be able to spot them easily. Days are longer during the high season, and it's the ideal time of year for snowbirds to escape the harsh winter. Keep in mind though that high season is also busy season. You'll be contending with lots of other vacationers for accommodations, and prices will inevitably be higher to match the demand. You'll find that the beaches are swarming with people during this time of year in Costa Rica.

If you travel to Costa Rica during the green season (May - October), there won't be as many vacationers there. This is because it is the rainy season. It will probably rain for a few hours every day before the sunshine appears again.

Step 2

What part of Costa Rica will you visit?  There are several areas of Costa Rica that you can travel to. There are airports in San Jose and Liberia. If flights are booked and you can't fly into San Jose (the most convenient place to fly to), book a ticket into the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport near Liberia, and then rent a car to get you to your destination (in most cases).

San Jose is the most popular part of Costa Rica to visit. But if you prefer to get away from the crowds, consider taking a trip to nearby Alejuela or Heredia. Both are safe, quiet, clean and friendly, and you'll find them less crowded than the capital, San Jose.  You might also consider venturing a bit further north to La Fortuna. With its ideal location at the edge of Arenal Volcano National Park, you'll enjoy the hiking trails and the magnificent views. There are places to the south of San Jose like San Isidro and Golfito that are also quite popular, although getting transportation there will be a little tricky. Also, there aren't as many developed tourist spots in this area of Costa Rica yet. Your other option is to travel to the west of San Jose and visit Nicoya and the Pacific beaches. There isn't much to Nicoya, but the beaches are spectacular. Do a bit more research to decide what part of Costa Rica you'd like to travel to.

Step 3

How will you travel to Costa Rica? You can get to Costa Rica most easily by plane. But that's not to say that some adventurous people haven't driven there from the U.S. and Mexico before. Flying is definitely recommended. Flights begin at around $400 US to San Jose.

Step 4

Where will you stay? Costa Rica has many unique accommodation options. You could stay in a Tico home (with a local family) and experience daily life during your trip. Knowing Spanish is almost a necessity with this choice. You could also camp as you travel around Costa Rica. There are inexpensive Cabinas you could sleep in as well, but don't expect too many modern conveniences at these places. And there are always the usual types of places you could stay - hotels, lodges, eco-camps, and resorts. A quick search of the internet will uncover hundreds of travel accommodations in Costa Rica.

Step 5

What will you do there? As you finalize your plans for Costa Rica travel, make sure you have at least an idea of what you would like to do when you get there. You can't travel to Costa Rica without visiting the rainforests. And some of the beaches are just fabulous. You might also enjoy perusing the local shops for the work of local artisans. You'll definitely find a souvenir you love. You can rent mountain bikes just about anywhere and explore the rain forest, or go hiking on the many trails. (There are tour guides you can hire to lead you on a day-trip if you'd rather not go alone). As well, you might enjoy visiting one of the many hot springs in Costa Rica, going sailing, surfing, backpacking and even trying your luck at a casino. When you plan to travel to Costa Rica, the options for what you can do are truly endless!


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