Costa Rica is a Central American country which is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the east by the Caribbean Sea. While truly a stunning example of natural beauty, it was actually sparsely populated before being conquered by the Spanish. Now, Costa Rica is one of the most well-known tourist destinations on the planet. Thanks to a balmy climate and a rich culture, countless thousands will visit this location each and every year. Let us take a closer look at this truly diverse land.
The Best Times to Visit Costa Rica
We should remember that Costa Rica is located quite close to the equator and is therefore known for monsoonal weather during certain parts of the year. This will generally occur between May and October. As these are also the hottest months, it is best to avoid such steamy conditions. Many will instead opt to visit during the pronounced dry season from the latter portion of December until April. Water temperatures will remain quite mild and it is actually not uncommon for weeks to go by without spotting a single cloud in the sky.
Costa Rica’s principal gateway is the Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaría (SJO) which is situated close to San José, the capital of Costa Rica. On average, it takes around 7 hours and 30 minutes to fly to Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaría from New York. As this airport is the center of the country, it is convenient for those visiting Central Valley and Central Pacific destinations.
Costa Rica’s other major international gateway is the Aeropuerto Internacional Daniel Oduber Quirós (LIR) which is situated in the west of the country in Liberia.
In San José there is a fantastic selection of accommodation to choose from. From extravagant luxury hotels to small, family-run hotels, there is something to suit every taste and budget. Accommodation in Costa Rica’s coastal regions varies from luxury hotels to small hostels aimed at surfers.
Costa Rica is particularly well-known for its wilderness lodges. These can be found throughout the country in remote locations and national parks and give holidaymakers the chance to really immerse themselves into Costa Rica’s beautiful landscapes. These types of accommodation tend to fall into the mid-range to high-end section of the accommodation spectrum.
Top Things to Do in Costa Rica
Although the beaches here are absolutely phenomenal, they can be cramped with tourists and (sometimes annoying) vendors. So, a great location to visit is known as Playa Samara. This stretch of pale pink sand is located next to a town of the same name. Nestled between two rocky outcroppings, the waters are noticeably calmer and those who enjoy a bit of privacy will not be let down. There are a number of local restaurants and hidden strips of sand such as Playa Barrigona will add an extra sense of adventure for anyone with a four-wheel drive vehicle.
As mentioned before, there are many natural sights to behold within the endless miles of canals and jungles that Costa Rica has to offer. While some will wish to take this journey alone, there are also a number of guided tours available. Exotic wildlife, amazing flora and isolated native communities can all be experienced here. Be certain to bring along a trusty camera, for whitewater rafting and cloud forests are but a few of the sights to experience. However, it is wise to mention that this trip literally traverses the entire length of the country. In other words, it is not for the faint of heart.
One particular location that is ideal for families is known as Jaco. It is found on the Pacific coast and many Americans feel that it is a literal “home away from home”. Boasting modern nightlife, a massive property boom, luxury hotels and high-end restaurants, Jaco is quite a popular destination for anyone who is a bit homesick. While not necessarily offering the peace and tranquility of smaller towns, amenities such as air conditioning and wireless Internet access may very well make up for such a change. Like many other coastal locations, Jaco is famous for its panoramic beaches as well.