Costa Rica Travel Guide

In Costa Rica, rainforest dominates the landscape, the wildlife is abundant, and extraordinary jungle adventures are essential. Thick tangles of trees pause only to give room for volcanoes, lakes and cascading waterfalls. Here, you can hike to the top of a volcano, cruise down a river, surf the many waves then top off your day with a dip in a hot spring. Welcome to beautiful Costa Rica!

The Highlights

The Basics

When to Visit

when to visit
  1. Peak Season

    November to May

    The best time to visit Costa Rica is from late November through early May when the country boasts dry, cooler weather, with December through April seeing the most traffic. If you’re looking for fewer crowds, January might be your best bet, right after the holiday peak ends and family vacationers have gone back to their regular routine. Chances to see the humpback whales from the north in January are high, so be sure to schedule a whale watching tour. Fiestas of Santa Cruz and Fiesta of the Diablitos are the two must-see events during this time.

  2. Low Season

    June to October

    From June through October, Costa Rica is at its warmest. On the other hand, the country is at its wettest in June, September and October. If you’re on a budget and you don’t mind a little precipitation, come for a visit during the Green Season from May through August when there are less rain and the country is incredibly lush. This season is best for wildlife viewing while July and August are great months to see the southern humpback whales, so don a raincoat and brave the weather. If you don’t mind the rain, September and October offer the cheapest rates.

Costa Rica Tours

FAQs about Costa Rica

  • Do you tip in Costa Rica?

    Tipping is not mandatory in Costa Rica, and restaurants add a 10% service fee to every bill anyway. It’s not unusual for tour operators to have a tip jar. A USD$5 per person tip is suggested for tour guides, while USD$2 per day for housekeepers is acceptable.
  • What is the internet access like?

    WiFi shouldn’t be a problem in most of Costa Rica. There are internet cafes throughout the country as well as free hotspots. It’s also available in most hotels alongside many cafes and restaurants.
  • Is the tap water safe to drink?

    Absolutely! Costa Rica has some of the safest and highest quality tap water around.
  • Can I use my credit cards?

    Yes. Visa, Mastercard and American Express are widely accepted throughout Costa Rica. However, it’s still best to carry a bit of cash around. ATMs are available in most areas.
  • What are the public holidays?

    Besides New Year’s Day and Christmas Day, Costa Ricans also celebrate Good Thursday and Good Friday, Labour Day on May 1st, Guanacaste Day on July 25th, Independence Day on September 15 and National Cultures Day on October 12th.
  • What are the toilets like?

    Though plumbing is not the best, toilet facilities in Costa Rica are generally modern. Just remember to dispose of your toilet paper and hygiene products in the rubbish bin.
  • Is Costa Rica safe for travellers?

    Costa Rica is well-versed in keeping its streets safe for travellers. The occasional pickpocket or thief might attempt to steal your valuables, but as long as you keep them safe and secure, you shouldn’t have any problems.
  • Is it safe to eat the street food in Costa Rica?

    Costa Rica offers amazing street food and it is generally safe for tourists to consume.