The Costa Rica Travel Guide gives an overview of a Costa Rican vacation; in addition to a highlight of my recommendations.

Costa Rica Trip Overview

Ranking Details /Comments
Things to Do Mainly ‘nature’ driven activities; however, more activities than you can possibly think of. However, note the beaches aren’t the typical “cabana-filled” beaches. Most beaches are bare and the cabana/chairs are around the pool of the hotels/beach club (at least in the Guanacaste area).
Lodging There are various hotel and vacation rental options throughout the country. Most of the options I looked at were beautiful with great reviews.
Getting Around A car or car service will most likely be necessary, especially if you want to visit multiple locations on your trip. Each trip took us two to hours between destinations. Similarly, most of the Airbnbs I looked at needed a car or golf cart to get restaurants and grocery stores.
Getting There There are three airports in Costa Rica. The early AM flights from the United States will get you there about mid- afternoon. I put a neutral face because it depends on the airport you’re flying into and the city you’re going to:
SJO- San Jose, CR (Central/Capital)
90 min to Jaco
2 hrs to Monteverde
2.5 hrs to Arenal/La Fortuna and Manuel Antonio
LIR- Liberia, CR (West Coast)
45 min to Rincon de la Vieja
90 min to Tamarindo
2 hrs to Monteverde
LIO- Limon, CR (East Coast)
1 hr to Puerto Viejo de la Talamanca
Affordability   Costa Rica isn’t necessarily the cheapest country to visit in Central America. Thus, most items were priced the same as what I’m used to paying here in the United States (the average city), maybe slightly less, but nothing significant

Check out my Costa Rica blog post, here, to get more details on our Costa Rican vacation with our toddlers and parents.

Things to do/Areas to Visit

Guanacaste- West Coast

Costa Rica Sunset
Costa Rican Sunset
  • Tamarindo- beach town with great restaurants & beaches to surf
  • Rincon de la Vieja National Park- Volcano, waterfall, hot springs, and mud baths

Manuel Antonio- The Most Popular National Park in Costa Rica

  • Discover unique animals & plants only known to Costa Rica
  • Adventurous activities including zip lining, snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing, and ATV
  • More information can be found here

La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano Area

  • Hiking in the rain-forest- including hanging bridges, volcanoes, and waterfalls
  • Adventurous activities- horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and zip lines
  • La Fortuna is a cute city with several restaurants and shops near all the outdoor and adventurous activities

Puerto Viejo de la Talamanca- East Coast

  • Known as the Caribbean of Costa Rica
  • Fun city filled with Reggae music
  • Rainforest, Playa Negra, and Black Sand
  • Biggest most powerful waves in Costa Rica
  • Offers closest accommodations, restaurants, and services to Panama border

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