First-time visitors to Costa Rica, here are some travel tips that you will find useful.
Plan for the high season
Because of the rush of southbound travelers during in winter, especially during the Christmas and New Year period, it is important to book your trip well in advance. Both hotels and buses sell out pretty quickly, so look for other options.
The week before Easter is also rush hour for travelers. But the parades and processions during this time are well worth the effort.
Consider an organized tour
For those who have little experience in independent traveling, planning an organized tour is an easy option. You can easily pack a ton of experiences into a group tour of as short as 10 days.
If you do not like the idea of escorted tours, you can hire a car to travel around. Hostels and hotels are abundant in the country and English is widely spoken, so logistics would not be a major issue.
Be prepared to spend
Costa Rica is one of the most expensive countries in Latin America. Certain essential items can rival even the USA or UK in terms of price.
To save some bucks, avoid the supermarkets and go to small, family-run establishments for everyday items. Use the local currency, colónes instead of dollars. For reduced room rents, opt for traveling during the low seasons, i.e., the rainy season.
Choose between the adventure gateways
Monteverde and La Fortuna are two favorite spots for outdoor activity enthusiasts. Choose anyone if you are running low on time since it’s quite a long way between the two and most of the adventure offerings are similar.
Heed the caution when it comes to the weather
Even in the dry season, make sure to carry waterproof clothing and dry bags for your valuables for outdoor trips, especially into the rainforest. We are all for healthy travel.
The central highlands and the Atlantic coast are also known to have frequent downpours all year round. If you want to visit the sunny side, head west to the Pacific slope.
Learn the language
English is a common language among the locals. However, learning a little Spanish will make you feel more welcome. It will also up your bargaining game.
If you have more time, you may also enroll in a local language school and pick up their Tico accent. Knowing the basics of the language of your travel destinations will let you come closer to the locals.
Respect the country’s sustainability credentials
In order to become the world’s first carbon-neutral country by 2021, Costa Rica Tourism encourages the practice of sustainable tourism. Support their green goals by checking into local ecolodges with high CST (Certificate of Sustainable Tourism) ratings, whenever possible.
Swap the Pacific coast for the Caribbean
If you wish to avoid the crowd, head east to the Caribbean coast, instead of the Pacific slopes in the west. Although the Caribbean sands are harder to reach and less developed, the tranquillity will be rewarding. This is also a good location for a leisure cum business travel.