Costa Rica, located in Central America, offers a diverse landscape and stable political environment. It has coastlines along both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Its geography consists of tropical coastal plains that ascend to mountains, including active volcanoes. The central plateau, where the majority of the population resides, enjoys temperate conditions. San José, the capital city, is located in this region.
Costa Rica is the only country in Central America without a standing army. It has a history of political stability and has maintained a nearly uninterrupted democratic government for over a century.
Costa Rica's geographical diversity, from its beautiful coastlines to its lush mountains and volcanoes, attracts visitors from around the world who come to explore its natural wonders and enjoy its peaceful atmosphere.
Arenal National Park: Home to the third most active volcano in the world, Arenal National Park is surrounded by stunning scenery and lush agricultural landscapes. The perfectly conical-shaped volcano has been continuously erupting for over 50 years, providing a dramatic backdrop for outdoor adventures.
Corcovado National Park: Often hailed as the most biologically intense place on Earth, Corcovado National Park is teeming with wildlife. Visitors can spot scarlet macaws, tapirs, jaguars, and squirrel monkeys while exploring this biodiverse wonderland.
Monteverde Cloud Forest: This cloud forest offers a range of activities, including ziplining, night walks, canopy tours, and visits to family-run plantations. Guests can learn about crops like sugar cane, coffee, bananas, arracache, avocados, and macadamia nuts.
Tortuguero National Park: Explore the jungle-fringed canals of Tortuguero National Park, where vibrant flora and fauna abound. Visitors can also interact with local communities to learn about their lifestyle and culture. A highlight is witnessing sea turtles nesting between July and September.
Manuel Antonio National Park: This park features walking trails, lush rainforests, beautiful beaches, and vibrant coral reefs. Known for its incredible biodiversity, Manuel Antonio is home to creatures like three-toed sloths, white-faced capuchin monkeys, and hundreds of bird species.
When to go / useful information
When to go
Costa Rica's climate offers two distinct seasons for travelers:
Dry Season (late November to late April): This period is perfect for those seeking sunny days on tropical beaches and less rainfall during rainforest adventures. It's an ideal time to explore Costa Rica's diverse landscapes and enjoy outdoor activities.
Rainy Season (May through mid-November): Known locally as the "green season," this time of year brings increased rainfall, especially in the afternoons. Despite the rain, many regions, including the typically brown and barren Guanacaste province, become lush and verdant. This season offers a unique opportunity to witness the transformation of landscapes and enjoy Costa Rica's natural beauty in its full green glory.
Each season has its own charm and provides distinct experiences for travelers, so the best time to visit depends on your preferences and what you hope to explore in Costa Rica.
Currency Costa Rican Colon (CRC)
Language Spanish is the official language. English is commonly spoken in tourist areas.
What makes it special: Costa Rica stands as the ultimate adventure-travel haven in Latin America, a place brimming with natural marvels and remarkable biodiversity. Here, you'll discover pristine beaches that stretch for miles, unspoiled lodgings that have yet to draw in hordes of tourists, jungle rivers perfect for rafting and kayaking, and breathtaking cloud forests and rainforests offering boundless opportunities for bird-watching and hiking.
Weather: Costa Rica's dry season unfolds from late November to late April. If you seek sun-kissed days on a tropical beach and wish to minimize rainfall during your rainforest explorations, this is the ideal time to plan your trip. Locals often refer to the tropical rainy season (May through mid-November) as the "green season." During this period, even the typically brown and arid Guanacaste province transforms into a lush and verdant landscape.
Social Customs: Costa Rica operates in a distinctive manner, where street names and ample signage are often scarce. Instead, landmarks serve as crucial reference points for giving directions. Costa Rican culture has blended with fast food chains like Burger King and McDonald's, which have incorporated Tico cuisine into their menus. Here, you can relish traditional dishes like gallo pinto (rice and beans) for breakfast or opt for a cheese pie instead of the conventional apple pie at McDonald's. Costa Rican women take pride in their appearances, regardless of their size or shape, and you'll frequently spot them clad in form-fitting, alluring attire, often complemented by stilettos. Lastly, the essence of family strongly dominates Costa Rican life, with multi-generational households being a common sight in the country.