Are you longing for a getaway to Costa Rica? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. This tiny Central American nation is renowned for its gorgeous beaches, rich rainforests, and leisurely lifestyle! Plus, there’s so much to do there! There are beautiful beaches perfect for surfing or swimming, as well as national parks where you can encounter all sorts of wild animals. Or La Fortuna with its Arenal volcano looming in the background and relaxing hot springs ready to be explored. And that’s just scratching the surface – every inch of this country has something special waiting to be discovered. So keep reading to learn everything you need about planning your dream vacation in Costa Rica.
It’s Okay If You Don’t Speak Spanish
Do not be afraid of the language barrier while considering your holidays to Costa Rica. English is widely spoken there since the country’s economy is largely based on tourism. The United States is by far the largest single market for tourists to Costa Rica, totaling around 40 percent of all visitors. Even in off the beaten path areas, many people speak good English.
Health Requirements & Vaccinations
According to the CDC, “All travelers should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination.” This includes recommended childhood vaccines such as DTaP, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), polio, and varicella (chickenpox). If you’re planning on international travel check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor before departure.
It is important to be aware that mosquitoes in Costa Rica can transmit mosquito-borne illnesses. Wear long sleeves and pants to cover more skin, especially during the rainy season when there are more mosquitoes. If your sleeping arrangements are exposed to the outside, stay in air-conditioned or screened rooms and use bed nets.
Healthcare In Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s healthcare system is regarded highly on an international scale, and citizens have the same health and longevity as those in more advanced countries. This is due to the country’s universal health insurance and excellent public and private hospitals. Costa Rica is a popular medical tourism destination due to its low prices of services, multilingual medical staff, and high medical standing.
With minor problems, the best place to start is a local pharmacy. In Costa Rica, pharmacists receive extensive medical training that allows them to prescribe medication for common symptoms and illnesses. However, it is still important to purchase travel insurance before your trip.
Being Safe in Costa Rica
Like in the United States, Costa Rica has a 911 emergency line that tourists should use in case of any trouble. The operator will be English-speaking. For an ambulance dial 128, and to report a fire call 118. Although petty crime is the main issue for visitors here, there have been reports of more violent crimes as well, like armed robbery, homicide, and sexual assault. So please beware and take precautions when necessary – your safety while on vacation is our number one priority!
When Is The Best Time To Visit?
The best time to visit Costa Rica is during the dry season, which runs from late November through April. However, this also happens to be the height of tourism season, so expect inflated prices on lodging and other amenities. If you don’t mind a little rain, plan your trip for September or October – although you can expect at least some rainfall every day during those months.
Flying To Costa Rica
You have plenty of choices to get to Costa Rica when you plan your vacations. The following American airlines fly there: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, and JetBlue. Spirit also has many flights from multiple locations across the USA to San Jose, which is the country’s capital. Additionally, international airways like Copa and Mexicana operate out of Air Canada while Avianca operates more routes than any other airline flying into Costa Rica.
Liberia (Daniel Oduber, LIR) and San José (Juan Santamaría, SJO) are the two main international airfields in Costa Rica. Both are rather new, but they are already running well above their designed capacity. Expect long lines at both airports.
Currency and Using Credit Cards
The colón is the Costa Rican currency. The value of the colón varies between 500 and 550 colones per one US dollar. The US dollar is also widely accepted in Costa Rica. While traveling in Costa Rica, you should use your bank or debit card at ATMs instead of cash
To get the best bang for your buck, use credit cards during your travels to Costa Rica–they are accepted in almost all establishments, including by taxi drivers. Some tours may require cash payment, but that can be easily avoided if you make reservations online or through your hotel ahead of time.
Transportation In Costa Rica
Buses are the main form of transportation in Costa Rica. They are relatively cheap, comfortable, and safe. You can find an abundant amount of them running all hours of the day to get you to your desired destination.
Taxis are also available throughout the country and are a bit more expensive than buses but will get you to your destination faster. Rental cars are available as well, but we only recommend this option for experienced drivers as some roads can be difficult to navigate.
Things To Do In Costa Rica
Costa Rica is teeming with natural beauty and there are plenty of activities to fill your days.Visit Arenal Volcano: One of Costa Rica’s most active volcanoes, Arenal is a popular destination for hiking, hot springs, and zip-lining.Take a dip in the La Fortuna Waterfall: The 70-meter (230-foot) waterfall is located in the rainforest and is a popular spot for swimming and picnicking.Explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve: Home to over 100 species of mammals and 400 species of birds, the reserve is a must-see for nature lovers.Soak in the Hot Springs at Tabacon: The geothermal springs are located at the base of Arenal Volcano and offer a relaxing experience.Observe the Wildlife in Manuel Antonio National Park: The park is home to sloths, monkeys, iguanas, and many other species of animals and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Costa Rica. With so much to see and do, Costa Rica is the perfect destination for your next vacation! Just be sure to follow these tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
In conclusion, remember the following when planning your trip to Costa Rica:
-The rainy season runs from May to November, so plan your trip accordingly.
-Flying into Liberia or San Jose are your best options for international airports.
-Buses are the main form of transportation in Costa Rica.
-Taxis are also available throughout the country and are a bit more expensive than buses but will get you to your destination faster.
-Rental cars are available as well, but we only recommend this option for experienced drivers as some roads can be difficult to navigate.
-Credit cards are widely accepted in Costa Rica.
-There is plenty to see and do in Costa Rica, from exploring volcanoes to soaking in hot springs to observing the wildlife in national parks.
Just be sure to follow these tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.