Costa Rica is known for its exotic wildlife, rainforests, and beaches. It is also famous for its national parks, where tourists can engage in all kinds of fun activities, like cave tubing, zip-lining, river rafting, and canyoning, to name a few. Over the past few decades, the Central American country has become one of the most sought-out tourist attractions in the world.
If you are reading this article, there is a good chance you are planning a trip to Costa Rica. To help you in the process, we’re listing some must-know things you should keep in mind while planning to visit this beautiful country.
1. Costa Rica Demands More Than a Week
Costa Rica is not as small a place as it looks on the map. It doesn’t just have a few tourist attractions; it is filled with them! So you’re gonna need to set aside more than just a single week to explore this rugged, rainforested country the way it deserves to be explored! From its breathtaking misty forests to relaxing sunny beaches, Costa Rica has something for everyone. There are so many amazing places where adventure awaits you that you would need at least two weeks to do justice with your trip.
The best thing about Costa Rica is that whether you visit it during the dry weather (from December through April) or the rainy season, there will always be plenty of places to see and lots of things to do. Most of the tours are available year-round, so whatever season you pick to visit, just make sure to have at least a couple of weeks.
2. Plan Your Itinerary in Advance
Since Costa Rica is filled with tourist attractions, you can’t afford to waste any time while you’re there. It is, therefore, a must for you to do all your planning ahead of the trip. That way, you will have a clear idea of the places you want to visit.
3. Book Your Accommodations
While you are planning your itinerary, also look out for the accommodations available at every destination. You have plenty of options to choose from in every budget range.
For instance, when you’re at Costa Rica’s hottest attraction – the Nosara Beach – you can stay at Selina Nosara Beach Hostel to experience a hub of cultural events and fun social experiences, with a variety of accommodation options to choose from.
If you want to find detailed information and suggestions on where to stay in Costa Rica, check out our detailed guide.
4. Tours are the Best Part
Since you’re already planning the itinerary, it is a good idea to start booking some adventure tours as well. The landscape of the country allows for a bunch of fun experiences, including surfing, fishing, rafting, hiking, scuba diving, and much more.
So while planning your itinerary, also give some thought to the adventures you’d want to experience. Each location brings its own twists to exciting activities. For instance, Nosara is ideal for everything water, Monteverde has a Bat Jungle Museum, and Guanacaste offers breath-taking coffee plantations.
Due to the nature, atmosphere, and environment of the country, you also find abundant activities related to Wildlife too. For instance, you can be a part of bird or whale watching, or you can swim with the dolphins or dive with the sharks. The options are truly endless!
5. Spending Money in Costa Rica
Since you’re planning a visit to Costa Rica, you should know that it is one of the most expensive places to travel to in Central America. For instance, gas prices are almost 50% higher than in the US and about 20% higher than in Canada. The tours don’t run cheap either.
The expenses of the trip mean you need to manage your money well and adjust your budget according to your plans. Here are some tips you can use to save some bucks when you travel to Costa Rica
Don’t Exchange Your Money at the Airports
When traveling to Costa Rica, the best tip is to not exchange your money for Colones at the airport. Airports don’t give the best exchange rates. Truthfully, it is either a hit or a miss. So, just have some essential amount of money initially and try to withdraw the rest as you travel in the country.
Exchange into Colones as You Go
Costa Rica accepts both USD and Colones. Even in ATMs at some places, you will have the option to withdraw either USD or Colones. The best option for you to get a reasonable exchange rate is to withdraw money from ATMs.
If you choose to draw USD, draw small bills. In that case, you can use these bills or any small bills that you may already have in grocery stores. You can get change as Colones and use it while you are there.
Visiting Small Towns
Small towns in Costa Rica won’t have any ATMs or banks. So if you are planning to visit any destination there, withdraw some money in big cities beforehand to use.
To Sum Up
Costa Rica might be a bit expensive to visit, but every penny that you spend here will be worth it. With scenic views, an ecosystem full of wildlife and nature, and a plethora of fun adventures, it lives up to the hype.
If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica, plan everything in advance! You can’t afford to waste even a single minute in any ‘not-so-fun activity while you’re there. So, plan to fit as many adventures into your schedule as you can.