Costa Rica Travel Tips: Planning A Thrilling Vacation
Use these Costa Rica Travel Tips and tricks to book with anticipation, know where to go, and save money. Visit the beach, an active volcano, and
the rainforest, all in one trip!
These easy Costa Rica Travel Tips will allow you to: Save lots of dollars by planning your Costa Rica vacations.
Find reviews and recommendations on how to get there and where to stay in Costa Rica, including flight and hotel deals. Visit Costa Rica with travel agency packages, getting the best hotel rates and lowest prices on car rentals.
They’ll buy airline tickets through Expedia flights, or other travel websites. For information on how much an average trip costs, check out this Costa Rica Traveling Guide for more.
Costa Rica Travel Tips: All About Cash Deals
Here are some Costa Rica Travel Tips to help you spend wisely:
Costa Rica Travel Tips: How Can I Get Costa Rica Cash Deals?
The first of these cash-related Costa Rica Travel Tips is about surviving in the country with around $30 to $50 USD per day as a budget traveler. Head to a local bank, and exchange your dollars for colones.
This way, you avoid overpaying for things in dollars. So, let’s say that you spend around $30 to $32 per day, which is about $1,100 for a nice 34-day Costa Rica Vacation!
This includes doing things like:
- Using local hostel services
- Camping at the beach or the mountain
- Using any public transportation (it’s safe, reliable, and affordable)
- Eating at sodas, and just save as much as possible on eating items
Be selective about what you spend your cash on as Costa Rica Tours are expensive. The great thing is that all beaches here must have public access, and are all FREE!!!! So, options are limitless about how to spend a nice time at a local beach, and on a budget…
Costa Rica Travel Tips: How Do I Tip in Costa Rica?
Just do what the locals do! If no one tips, then don’t. Have some low-denomination bills for taxi drivers. If you’re renting a car in Costa Rica, also have 100 Colones coins for toll booths and for parking guards (they definitely expect some cash).
Plus, don’t forget to check out what’s included when you get the bill! Sometimes this extra is already included with your final price, so no tipping is necessary.
Costa Rica Travel Tips: Keeping Track of Funds
Be realistic about how much you can spend during your vacation. This is one of our best Costa Rica Travel Tips. Travel with a budget! Use apps like TrailWallet, SMS alerts, and online banking to keep track of your expenses.
Travel with pre-loaded cash like, such as FairFX. This way you have no option but to spend what you have on your card. Limit alcohol consumption, because if you’re constantly drinking, you may end up throwing caution to the air.
Costa Rica Travel Tips: How Do I Avoid Overpaying in Costa Rica?
These are Costa Rica Travel Tips to help you avoid overpaying while in the country. If your hotel doesn’t offer free Wi-Fi, go and search for a local coffee shop, and work there. Instead of the minibar options, pick up a drink at the bar around the corner.
Go and do your laundry outside the hotel! Just search for a cheap laundromat.
Don’t spend on expensive landline calls… Instead, use Skype or Whatsapp.
You can even buy a local SIM card for your cellphone… Avoid red taxis! they’re fine if you need an emergency quick ride, but use Uber or Didi instead, because it is half as expensive…
Head to the supermarket to get the Britt Coffee you want to take back home as souvenirs.
Costa Rica Travel Tips: How Can I Ask For Tour Discounts in Costa Rica?
This may not work with the big companies offering Costa Rica Tour Packages.
So, if you can’t skip booking online, consider doing your tours with a small company. That way you will find it easier to ask for a discount, and they will find it easier to say yes to your request.
If they say no, try not to be pushy, as Ticos hate confrontation, and this will make them uncomfortable.
Instead, just accept the price they are offering you, or go with a different company. And, if they reduce the price after you say you’re taking your business to a different place, take it.
Costa Rica Travel Tips: Where To Stay
From Costa Rica Resorts to vacation rentals to hostels, places to stay, and vacation packages for all budgets abound in the country.
Costa Rica All Inclusive family resorts are affordable during the rainy season, but rooms get expensive during summer and the holidays, especially those in beach resorts.
Also, expect to pay a service charge apart from your nightly rate. Reserve your room at All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica online, and get the best Costa Rica Deals for your cash when booking with anticipation.
Costa Rica Travel Tips: Best Hotels in Costa Rica
This is our selection of the best hotels and places to stay in Costa Rica:
Costa Rica Travel Tips: Where To Eat
Now let’s check out some Costa Rica Travel Tips on where to eat while in CR…
Restaurants & Sodas
Always check the restaurant menu before sitting at the table. And also check your receipt for the right service tax. A soda is a cheaper alternative!
Sodas are cheap because they are modest and mostly family-run, but the quality of the food is great. So, if you want to save money with your meals, sodas are the best way to go. Visiting Guanacaste? Here’s our list of the Top 5 Tamarindo Costa Rica Restaurants…
Do Your Own Cooking
When booking your hotel room at travel sites, see if one with its own kitchen is available. That way you can buy things at the local supermarket, and fix your own stuff. Here’s our Gallo Pinto Recipe!
Can I Eat Street Food in Costa Rica?
Here are some Costa Rica Travel Tips on eating street food… When you go for breakfast, if you see a place that’s busy at 5 or 6 in the morning, this is a really good indicator of great quality.
Also, get close to the source! if you’re at the beach, have some ceviche, or eat some fish. This way you’ll be able to taste the freshest product.
And, don’t get fooled around by local advertisements about offering the best fish in town! Everybody basically fishes at the same location, so they basically have access to the same product.
This means that it really doesn’t matter how nice the place looks like, the product may be the same, but the price may vary a lot.
Also, try to avoid eating in the first place you see! This is because these restaurants get the most tourist traffic, so they probably offer the least authentic experience. These restaurants may feel more accessible, but consider the fact that locals probably don’t go there.
So try to visit the places that locals love, and where they eat around often. Another easy tip is to just trust your nose! Sometimes your eyes may fool you into thinking that you’re eating at a great restaurant when in reality the food is not that good.
But you should actually trust your nose instead, and that can lead you to places that may not look very nice, but where you can find amazing food for affordable prices.
This, of course, includes food markets where the emphasis is on the produce, and not on the aesthetics of the product.
Costa Rica Travel Tips: Top 10 Things To Bring
Here are the Costa Rica Travel Tips related to the Top 10 things you should bring on your trip to Costa Rica:
- Insect repellent
- Lightweight clothes and rain gear
- Small, light umbrella
- Rock-solid boots
- 3-prong adapters for electronics
- Photocopies of your passport
- Costa Rica Apps for your mobile device
- Costa Rica Map
Local supermarkets will be your source to shop for bottled water.
Ticos drink tap water, and in most cases that’s fine, but carry your own water bottle, just to be on the safe side. Also, the drinks are not cheap here! And so we advise you to bring your own liquor for your trip.
You can bring as much as five liters per person, so the party guaranteed.
Costa Rica Travel Tips: Planning What To Do
Adventure awaits you in Costa Rica! The best beaches, where the water is safe for a swim, or the waves are perfect for surfing. Visit active volcanoes such as Arenal and Poas, and try the local hot springs.
Walk across a stunning rainforest path, observe the wildlife such as monkeys and toucans, and stop to be amazed by the occasional waterfall.
Costa Rica is a small yet modern country where you can travel from a National Park to a shopping mall in less than two hours. All destinations offer great accommodation, and you’ll find no time to book all the activities offered here on one trip.
For this reason, choose your destination well, and make sure to have time to visit all the key areas. If you wish to travel across the country, book at least two weeks for your vacation.
Best Things to Do in Costa Rica?
This is the list of the best things to do in Costa Rica:
- Scuba Diving
- White water rafting
- Canopy Ziplining
- Bird watching
- Mountain biking
Top Places to Visit in Costa Rica
These are the top places you can visit while in this wonderful, Central American country
- San Jose, The capital
- Alajuela: Arenal Volcano / Lake Arenal / Arenal Hanging bridges
- Guanacaste (Pacific Coast): the Nicoya Peninsula, Tamarindo beach, Samara, Nosara, Liberia
- Puntarenas (Pacific Coast): Monteverde cloud forest, Jaco, Manuel Antonio, Santa Teresa, Osa Peninsula / Drake Bay / Corcovado
- Limon (Caribbean Coast): Tortuguero, Puerto Viejo
Costa Rica Travel Tips: Is Costa Rica A Safe Place To Vacation?
Now it’s time for safety-related Costa Rica Travel Tips. Is Costa Rica Safe? Costa Rica is a relatively safe country!
To avoid theft here is all about common sense.
Although there is enough police around, just be sure to never leave your valuables unattended. And don’t forget to be extra careful when entering and exiting a bank, or when visiting an ATM machine.
Thieves prey on the unsuspecting traveler, so, it’s in your best interest to keep an anti-scam mindset at all times.
First, avoid using your credit card directly in restaurants to avoid getting your info copied by unscrupulous workers. Instead, visit the ATM, get cash, and pay that way.
And, if you really can’t avoid paying with your credit card, make sure you don’t leave it out of sight. Also, try not to catch the attention of thieves! This means to use clothes that allow you to blend with the locals.
Another tip is to avoid walking around with a big camera around your neck! This is nice, but it can lead you to lose that camera to a local thief.
Furthermore, you can get a carry bag with interior pockets, so that you can put your wallet there. Hope you enjoyed this article on Costa Rica Travel Tips, come back for more tips, ideas, and lists to have the best experience in the country!
What Are The Personal Care Recommendations For Costa Rica?
When you travel, mishaps are going to be inevitable.
But there are a few ways that can help you reduce the risk of getting sick or injured while on the road: Avoid mosquito bites! use repellent as much as you can.
Always carry it with you, because you’re going to need it.
Going to the doctor abroad can be expensive!
So carry your own medical kit for the most common ailments, like colds, the flu, headaches, allergies, and indigestion. Always wash your hands!
This is paramount if you want to remain healthy overseas. And a good tip is to always carry your own bottle of hand sanitizer.
Also make sure to get the latest vaccinations to prevent medical problems related to local diseases such as Zika, dengue, and COVID-19. STAY SAFE!
Costa Rica Travel Tips: On Your Own, Couples, Groups
If you’re either traveling alone, with your couple, or in a group, these Costa Rica Travel Tips can come quite handy:
Is Costa Rica Safe To Travel Alone?
Here are the best Costa Rica Travel Tips for taking an amazing solo trip: As a solo traveler, you will definitely get more breaks. You can get a spare seat easily, or even take that last-minute upgrade! As a solo traveler in Costa Rica is easier for you to join local groups.
So, a good tip if you really want to get to know the locals is to avoid using headphones! Although some people may think that traveling alone is a sign of vulnerability, often the contrary is true.
This is because you will be relying on your gut instinct to guide you, instead of falling prey to peer pressure. And you can also decide when to leave town.
Once you’ve seen everything, and you feel like moving on, then you can just do it. Now if you’re a woman, the idea of going it alone on a big trip can be of consideration.
And this is mostly because of security concerns. But don’t let that put you off! Just travel with confidence, and trust your female instinct for keeping you safe.
With that said, also make sure to follow the security recommendations provided by the local authorities, so that you can remain safe at all times.
Can We Travel In Groups To Costa Rica?
Now we have some useful Costa Rica Travel Tips for vising this Central American country in groups:
If you join a tour group, this can be a really fun way to explore the country, and it’s also an easy way to make new friends. There are different tours for different types of people and demographics; so make sure to pick up the right group for you.
Now, if you’re traveling with a group, remember that you’re under a schedule! This is because everybody needs to be at a certain place, all at the same time. So, always have the common courtesy of being there at agreed schedules.
Try to listen to what your local guide is telling you! They are not just there to take you from point A to point B.
They can really help you with a lot of other things. This includes getting you good prices on souvenirs, recommend a great place to hang out, like a bar, or a nice place to eat. And they can even get you tickets for a local soccer match or a current event massive event that’s taking place.
Now, if you want to go on solo adventures, make sure to read the group itinerary in order to make sure that you have enough time!
Last but not least, if you want to have a good time with people that you’re just getting to know, try to steer clear of controversial topics. This includes mainly politics and religion. So just try to be yourself, and also try to be part of the group experience as much as you can. Liking the info so far?
Can I Travel With My Family To Costa Rica?
These are our Costa Rica Travel Tips for traveling with your family: Family trips can be testing, so it’s a really good idea to do your planning in advance.
Choose a destination in Costa Rica that would be appropriate for your kids. It’s really not a good idea to force the little ones to do city tours when all they really want is to have a good time at the pool or check out the beach.
Also, if you don’t want to spend that much, and you want to increase the adventure spirit in your kids, you can take them camping.
You can even encourage your kids to create a holiday diary. For some kids that enjoy writing, this can be a fun adventure, and for others that don’t enjoy writing that much, they can fill these diaries with tickets, postcards, drawings, and basically anything that remind them of their Costa Rica adventure.
Can I Spend My Honeymoon in Costa Rica?
If you want to spend the perfect honeymoon in Costa Rica, there are a few things you need to consider. Make sure you plan your honeymoon with your couple. This way everything you’ll be doing in Costa Rica will be agreeable for both, and by being on the same page, you’re going to have the best time of your life.
Now, when you arrive in Costa Rica it may be hard to switch off and disconnect right away. And this is because you still have the stress of organizing the wedding in your mind.
So it’s a good idea to spend a few days in San Jose, to acclimatize to the urban areas, and then you can take a trip to the beach, and spend a wonderful time there too…
And of course, our best tip for honeymooners is to travel using the services of an agency! This is because they can organize everything for you.
They will help you experience everything that Costa Rica has to offer; and they will include the hotels, transportation, and all the taxes on their final rates.
Costa Rica Travel Tips: Adventure, Laid Back Experience
These are some Costa Rica Travel Tips on how to make your trip more adventurous, and on what to do when the sun isn’t out.
Make Your Trip Adventurous
Here are some Costa Rica TravelTips on making your time in the country more adventurous…
If you’re in a town with active nightlife, take your time to explore the different bars and clubs. And to make it even more interesting, try to visit these locations at dawn, so you can watch an amazing sunrise with your cocktails.
Also, if you have a physical map with you, make it very interesting by drawing a circle around your home base using a glass, and then just explore the area inside that circle.
Plus, if you want to have a subject of conversation with Costa Ricans, just read the local newspapers.
By doing this, you will definitely have a more immersive, and adventurous experience. And also, if you’re renting a car, check out the local Waze, and find routes that are not very common, and explore them.
And here’s the ultimate adventure tip: just flip a coin at different intersections, and follow your instinct!
When the Weather Doesn’t Smile At You
Now, these are some Costa Rica Travel Tips on what to do when the weather is not that sunny:
If you happen to be at the beach in Costa Rica, and you don’t find the sun that you wanted; you can use that bad weather as an excuse to take an excursion to San Jose or other nearby urban areas.
That way you can take advantage of galleries and museums, and check how Costa Rica looks and feels like away from the coast. Another nice short trip to the look is down is to watch a movie at the local theater.
You can go to a mall and watch a Hollywood film, or you can go beyond that, and visit an indie theater in town.
There you can watch a local production, and that way you will have a more immersive experience. Hiking and bad weather sound like a good formula for adventure. And of course, you can get the help of a local guide, so you take on this activity easily, and harm-free
Now, you can actually book your vacation for the rainy season in Costa Rica, and you will get a lot of advantages by doing this.
For example, the rates for hotels and Airbnb properties are cheaper. Vegetation is also greener all around. And waterfalls are at their most dramatic. Everything really comes to life during the season in Costa Rica.
Devices And Books
Here are some great Costa Rica Travel Tips for having the best experience with devices and books in the country…
Paper guidebooks are not limited by battery life, so you can spend as much time as you can research the info you need without having to look for a Wi-Fi spot.
You can also borrow guides from other travelers, and swap books when you get the chance. But, books are not friends with rain, and if you lose a guidebook with annotations, you won’t be able to get that info back
Books are bulky and will take up a lot of space, while a tablet can keep all of your data in one place.
Tablets also allow you to keep downloaded data, which means that they can be as useful as books in terms of not needing to be online all the time.
But, if you lose your tablet, it can be expensive to replace it, although you will be able to get your data back if you previously store it in the cloud.
Switch Off Your Devices for A Real Experience
Now, here are some Costa Rica Travel Tips on how to have a great experience with your devices turned off… Are you always looking at the world through a small phone screen, or always looking for a Wi-Fi spot?
Are you always texting or Facebooking?
If that’s the case, you may be missing out, especially when traveling in Costa Rica. The first tip is to leave your devices in your hotel room. Make a conscious effort to do this!
Also, when you don’t have your smartphone with you, you are more reliant on what locals tell you, and that can lead to better and nicer adventures and a more satisfying overall Costa Rica experience.
Plus, if you don’t have your devices with you, you can wander more freely. You can go to any area without worrying about getting robbed or anything like that. Really capture the experience of your trip You can go beyond the usual setup pictures…
Here are a few things you can collect during your trip that will make it more memorable long-term:
- Tickets from anywhere and everywhere
- Some fallen leaves
- Music by a popular local band
- Local handcrafted beer bottle
- Postcards that you send to your own address at home from the road
- A local soccer team shirt from La Liga, Saprissa, or la sele
Keep Your Devices Powered
Here are some Costa Rica Travel Tips that can help you avoid battery drainage while traveling in the country: Try to run as few applications as possible, and make sure there are no unnecessary apps running in the back.
Staying offline: In Costa Rica, sometimes you won’t be able to be online so you can use offline maps and similar downloadable maps. This will not only allow you to stay functional all the time but also avoid being online non-stop, a big drainer of power.
Digital Photography Tips
Now it’s time for some Costa Rica Travel Tips on taking the best photo shots: Take different routes, don’t stick to the most visited or popular locations. If you can, get the help of a local, and go take pictures somewhere else.
This will help you return home with original shots to impress your friends and family back home.
Also, make sure to go take pictures in the morning! This is because this is the time of the day when the light is better for photoshoots. A good tip is to keep your camera on, with the lens cap off at all times, and hanging around your neck.
Also, always keep the lens that you use the most, or you may miss some great shots. Lastly, keep on checking the ISO setting constantly, particularly when you’re entering and leaving low-light interiors.
Social Media Tips
Here are some Costa Rica Travel Tips on how to take advantage of social media while in CR:
- Flickr: You can use it to store all of your pictures. And you can keep them private, or make them public to share them with the world.
- Twitter: When you want to complain about something, this is the perfect tool to contact service teams from hotels, restaurants, etc.
- Foursquare: This tool can help you find out popular local places, and get deals and promotions from different local businesses.
- Instagram: With this tool, you can keep a visual record of your trip to Costa Rica by geotagging your photos.
- OpenTable: Check out the local dishes you’ll be able to try at our next Costa Rica destination.
For more Costa Rica Travel Tips, read our article on the top local experiences…