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Costa Rica Travel Guide

Anything is possible in Costa Rica. With tropical rainforests, laid back surfer beaches, moody volcanoes and bustling cities, it's hard to beat a Costa Rican adventure. Ride rapids in La Fortuna, hike through lush cloud forests in Monteverde or laze on jungle-fringed beaches - Costa Rica is the perfect destination for adventure seekers.
2 speech bubbles Languages
The official language spoken in Costa Rica is Spanish, however on its Caribbean coast the main language is English.
tower of coins icon Currency
Costa Rican Colón (CRC)
Symbol: ₡
₡1000 is approx £1.30
Clock Time Zone
Central Time Zone (GMT-06:00)

Top places to visit in Costa Rica

Get down with nature and take on the jungles and adrenaline filled atmosphere of Costa Rica! From ziplining through the rainforest and white water rafting to plunging into hot volcano springs and relaxing on idyllic beaches - Costa Rica will get you enjoying the very best of the great outdoors and allow you to embark on your very own tropical adventure! From boho beach hangouts and invigorating surf to Caribbean cuisine and colourful local wildlife, Costa Rica is the perfect destination to kick back and relax in.
Misty bridge in the Cloud Forest Costa Rica

Monteverde Cloud Forest

Nestled literally in the clouds, the beautifully mysterious Cloud Forests of Costa Rica are home to hundreds of species of plants and wildlife. Take your walking boots to Monteverde three hours from San Jose and explore the quiet scenic routes through rivers, waterfalls and over suspension bridges, or zip line through the mist.
Arenal Volcano and surroundings

Arenal for Arenal Volcano & Hot Springs

Highly active until 2010, Arenal Volcano is picture perfect with its conical shape and lush surrounding greenery and wildlife. Its many trails are popular with visitors, and rightly so with their richly exotic feel. Nearby are volcanic hot springs, perfect for taking a dip into after a long trek and winding down amidst an idyllic rainforest setting.
Two surfers on the beach in Costa Rica

Playa Grande

From the rugged Pacific to the balmy Carribean, Costa Rica bridges two seas and is home to incredible jungle lined beaches. From catching waves and chilling under palm trees to turtle conservation projects, Costa Rica's coast pleases all. Hit Pavones and Playa Grande for renowned surf, Dominical and Montezuma for laidback beach towns, and Cahuita and Puerto Viejo for vibrant Afro-Carribean vibes.

Tours & experiences in Costa Rica

Group kayaking in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Adventure

Get to grips with Costa Rica on this action-packed adventure. Explore its volcanoes, wildlife, rainforest plus beaches on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts!
16 days
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Woman on a zip line going through the forest

Coastlines & Cloud Forests

This is all the essential bits of Costa Rica rolled into one epic two-week tour. Volcanoes, hot springs, wildlife, cloud forest trekking, and both sides of the beautiful Central American coast? So basic!
14 days
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Rain-forest in Costa Rica

Tortuguero National Park Adventure

Discover the 'Amazon of Costa Rica' on this 3 day tour of the pristine rainforests of Tortuguero NP. Float down freshwater creeks and spot river turtles, otters and caimans, and on your hikes keep your eyes peeled for the cutest monkeys around!
3 days
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Tropical beach in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Active Adventure

Stay on one of Costa Rica's most beautiful beaches, which also happens to be a foodie haven and a surfing marvel!n Why not try out the hiking, horseback riding, scuba diving, sailing or just relaxing on the sand.A paradise of rugged landscapes and lost jungle rivers, Costa Rica is an adventure playground. Raft the rapids of the Pacuare River, traverse hanging bridges and zipline through the tree tops in Arenal and finish up with half a day canyoning.
4 days
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Plan your trip to Costa Rica

A woman looking down into a waterfall from a cliff edge

Cheap flights to Costa Rica

You can fly to the capital San Jose from a number of US airports, and from there you can explore Costa Rica and the rest of Central America with ease. Whatever fare you're looking for, returns, multi-stops or student tickets, we've got it. Search to find the cheapest flights to Costa Rica with exclusive fares for students and those under 31.
A group of people helping to release baby turtles into the wild

Volunteering in Costa Rica

Volunteering is the perfect way to travel around Costa Rica while doing your bit along the way. Volunteer at a sea turtle conservation project to help with night time beach patrols to protect eggs from poachers, as well as help with general area maintenance.

What we love about Costa Rica

Person zipling Outdoor activities
Do the superman sky-high on a canopy zipline excursion, go white water rafting and limber up for challenging hiking trails.
Sloth hanging on to a branch Manuel Antonio
A Costa Rican jewel, the national park is full of biodiversity. It's one of the best places in Costa Rica to see a sloth! Keep an eye out for monkeys and macaws too.
3 trees Monteverde cloud forest
The natural beauty of Monteverde's cloud forest is expansive, brimming with ferns, orchids and butterfly gardens. Shrouded in mist, you'll feel like you're on a movie set.

Frequently asked questions about travelling to Costa Rica

When's the best time to visit Costa Rica?

Costa Rica has a tropical climate, so it has rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season starts from mid-May to the end of November, with the highest amount of rainfall between August and November. It's still good to visit the coastal and touristy areas during the early part of the low season but off the beaten track travel becomes harder. The best surfing can also be found on the Pacific coast during this time. Dry season between December and April still sees some tropical showers but this is peak time to travel. Book your accommodation well in advance if travelling during this time.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out the STA Travel blog

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