Planning Your Trip to Costa Rica

It has to be said, as a travel destination the Republic of Costa Rica is one of the worst kept secrets of the Americas. There are many reasons why it is one of Latin America’s top holiday spots while retaining its own unique character.

When to go

Many travellers believe that the best time to visit Costa Rica is the so-called ‘dry season’, which lasts from December through to April. This is period is what the Ricos call ‘verano’ (summer), and it does still rain, however rather less than at other times.
You should be aware that as the school holidays run from December to February which means that the coastal resorts in particular will be busier than normal. Easter week is always very busy indeed, so make sure to book accommodations well in advance if you are visiting at this time.
One of the fascinating things about Costa Rica is the variety of microclimates that it has, despite being a small country. That means it is possible to experience very different conditions with just a little travel, which can be pleasant when the heat and humidity rise.
What to do

Both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Costa Rica have brilliant beaches and beautiful coastline. There is a lot more to do beside the seaside than just working on your tan and reading a paperback though!
Costa Rica is one of the top three surfing destinations globally. With the coasts being situated just a few hours drive apart surfers are able to find the kind of conditions they like. Being an established surf spot means that equipment rental and tuition is easy to come by, though the beaches are much less crowded than those that you would find in Australia.
With most of the waves being the result of tropical storms, the Caribbean coast has a fairly short surfing season. There are some great surf beaches however, with Peurto Viejo being probably the best known. Getting off the beaten track a little will appeal to others however with out of the way rustic locales such as Dominical balancing great surf with relaxed environs. The world’s longest left hand surf break at Pavones is a famed among surfers around the world.
As well as surfing, Costa Rica has excellent facilities and an amazing environment for sailing, windsurfing and diving. Deep sea fishing trips are available, complete with equipment hire – though it is not a cheap day out and is certainly not the cheapest way to get something to barbeque on the beach!
One of the few countries without a military, Costa Rica made it instead a priority to conserve their natural resources and environment. As a result sprawling national parks and nature reserves cover huge swathes of the country. The biodiversity in these parks is huge and seeing the vast array of plants and animals living in them is truly awe inspiring.
The array of terrain encompassed by Costa Rica’s national parks is incredible. There are active volcanoes, rolling meadows and tropical jungle, all within one country. An excursion into the rainforest is a highlight of any trip!

Things to remember

Costa Rica has fairly relaxed entry requirements, which helps to make it a low stress travel destination. British nationals for instance do not require a visa to visit Costa Rica and are able to stay for up to three months. It is normal however to be asked for evidence of onwards travel such as a return ticket or a ticket to another country. There is also a airport ‘departure tax’ (currently $29) that has to be paid when leaving by plane.

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