A Costa Rica Travel Guide For First-Time Visitors

| POSTED ON March 24th, 2020
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While you might go online and find any number of results when searching for a Costa Rica travel guide or Costa Rica travel tips, what you want to find is one that answers some key questions. They are:

  • Why visit Costa Rica?
  • Where to travel in Costa Rica
  • What to do in Costa Rica
  • How to travel in Costa Rica
  • How do you plan ideal Costa Rica vacations for the whole group or family?

Yes, it is great to begin any Costa Rica travel guide with a long list of the many appealing spots to plan to see and explore, but it is always best if you know why a specific destination is a “must-see” or award-winning locale.

With Costa Rica travel, you get more than a dozen answers to the top question of “why”? For example, even a basic Costa Rica travel guide would have to mention rainforests, river valleys, immense biodiversity, stunning beaches, and the many luxury rentals that draw visitors from all over the world. It is one destination where it is both fair and accurate to say that there is something for everyone on the trip. In fact, there is more than just one “something” for any visitor.

Costa Rica tourism has climbed substantially over the years because of this, and yet the country has managed to preserve its pristine national parks and wilderness areas. That is why anyone who visits can find a long list of activities that include everything from zip lining and tubing along exotic rivers and through mysterious caves, to surfing and diving.

Where to Travel in Costa Rica

Once you know why you should visit Costa Rica and that it is ideal for single travelers, couples, groups, and families, the next question is where to go during your time in Costa Rica.

If you look at a map of Central America, you will see that there are appealing destinations at every point. If you start at the far southernmost area, you’d discover the stunning beaches of Punta Uva along the Caribbean coast. Farther south and along the western coast is San Vito with its famous Wilson Botanical Garden.

Head northward along the western coast and discover Cataratas Nauyaca, in Dominical. This is a famous set of waterfalls that are surrounded by natural pools for swimming and which offer many outdoor adventures. Of course, a great deal farther to the north is Montezuma Waterfalls, another must-see destination.

Naturally, in the northern area of Costa Rica is the Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal, Reserva Santa Elena, the Venado Caves, and in the very heart of the country is the city of San Jose. San Jose itself might be the very reason behind a visit to Costa Rica. With its long list of fascinating sites, museums, and attractions, it is a fantastic spot to spend a day or two (or five) when visiting the country.

You might also pay a visit to the city of Jaco along the pacific coast. It is described as the closest beachside city near San Jose and is a surfing, shopping, and beachgoers’ paradise.

So, that answers the question of where to travel in Costa Rica – essentially, everywhere. The best answers are found by asking yourself the next question on the list – what to do in Costa Rica – or, more appropriately, what do you want to do in Costa Rica?

What Do You Want to Do in Costa Rica?

Many visit Costa Rica because of its natural beauty. There are 27 national parks and five percent of the planet’s biodiversity is contained within the nation’s borders. So, whether you want to set foot in a cloud forest, dive a pristine coral reef, visit dry and the lush green rain forests, or explore a volcano, it is possible. There are six active and more than 60 dormant volcanoes in Costa Rica, and they are a top destination of many Costa Rican holidays.

So too is the wildlife with more than 500k kinds of animals in the country. If you are a big fan of hummingbirds, you will be glad to discover that Costa Rica travel also means visiting the hummingbird capital of the world!

The kinds of activities available to visitors is immense with everything from ATV trips and horseback rides to hiking, surfing, and more. There are beaches to explore along the Caribbean sea (and more than 800 miles of Caribbean coast), with many home to sea turtles as well as great watersports conditions.

Perhaps you want a truly leisurely holiday? If so, Costa Rica is a foodie’s delight and the city of San Jose is developing an authentic reputation for world-class cuisine. There are many “national” or traditional dishes that include a ceviche-like dish known as Vuelve a la vida, a sandwich known as the arregalados, and the unique pejibayes fruits that many visitors adore at first bite. You will also want a sip of the national cocktail – the cacique guaro – which is a sugar cane liqueur best mixed with lime and sugar.

If you are a big fan of coffee, you could probably find a Costa Rica travel guide for that alone! After all, Costa Rican coffee has been known for centuries for its delicious taste and its variety. It is a major crop and part of the country’s fundamental economy. So, if coffee is your “thing”, you can visit Costa Rica for the perfect cup of joe!

That leaves only a few more issues to address, and one of the most important among them is how to get around in Costa Rica?

Traveling in Costa Rica

Travel Pros will say that one of their most important Costa Rican travel tips includes the bus system. The bus system throughout Costa Rica is one of the most interesting ways to travel, as well as being more eco-friendly than a rental. If you do rent, it must be a 4×4 as the roads in the countryside are challenging and less maintained than many are used to driving. A private car and driver or a group tour with a private driver is another way to travel easily, comfortably, and safely.

And with mention of a group tour, we reach that final issue – how to plan Costa Rica travel for a group or a family? If there is one thing this Costa Rican guide has made clear is that there is something for everyone in any part of the country. Hiking in mountain rainforests or surfing on the beaches, relaxing by the pool of a luxury villa or shopping in town…all is possible in Costa Rica.

Common Costa Rica travel tips for those traveling in this part of the world is to consider a visit to another nearby destination, and you may want to go from a luxurious villa in the jungle to an authentically tropical setting, Turks and Caicos villa rentals as well as Barbados villas and apartments may be the perfect way to begin or end your unforgettable holiday.

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Have a question? Need more information?

Send us a message and a villa specialist will contact you as soon as possible!

Toll Free: 1.855.475.3258
International: +1.704.256.8327 (USA)
Fax: 1.866.521.9771
Villa and Reservation Inquires:
[email protected]
Concierge & Guest Relations inquiries:
[email protected]
Isle Blue, LLC
1209 Churchill Downs Drive
Waxhaw, North Carolina 28173
USA