The Ultimate Travel Guide to Costa Rica
Are you dreaming of pristine coastlines backed by lush rainforest, exotic wildlife and high-octane adventures? Then Costa Rica is the place for you! Home to some of the best beaches in the world and vast expanses of protected rainforest, Costa Rica is the perfect destination for nature lovers and beachgoers alike.¹
Costa Rica is a rugged Central American country with coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific. Though its capital, San Jose, is home to cultural institutions like the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, Costa Rica is known for its beaches, volcanoes, and biodiversity. Roughly a quarter of its area is made up of protected jungle, teeming with wildlife including spider monkeys and quetzal birds.²
Costa Rica is a natural playground for adventure seekers and outdoor lovers everywhere! It’s one of those places that truly makes you feel alive! After my massage therapist got back from her 2 week trip she told me she was going to move there. She said that her trip was so incredible and eye opening that she didn’t want to be anywhere else! I think that’s reason enough to visit!
Embrace la Pura Vida with a beach vacation in Costa Rica
Where To Say
There are a ton of Costa Rica beach rentals to choose from in Costa Rica. Luxury Retreats has handpicked 16 villas and vacation rentals that will make you feel right at home!
If you’re looking to combine tropical tranquility with beachside living, you’ll find your perfect beachfront villa getaway along Costa Rica’s stunning Pacific coast. Boasting near perfect weather year round, gorgeous strips of white sand and some of the best surfing spots in Central America, the Nicoya Peninsula is something of a beach lover’s paradise. From the peaceful car free community of Las Catalinas to the tranquil fishing village of Tambor on the southern tip of the peninsula, Luxury Retreats’ beachfront vacation rentals invite you to disconnect from your daily routine and relax amid idyllic views of unspoiled nature (you might even catch sight of migrating whales from your villa). The only thing standing between you and the ocean will be your terrace and your private infinity pool.¹
When To Visit
The best time to visit Costa Rica is from mid-December to April (the dry season). This peak tourist season boasts plenty of sunshine making it an ideal time for exploring rainforests and lounging on beaches. That said, the dry season is the most popular (and most expensive) time to visit.¹¹
With nearly half a million species on record, Costa Rica plays host to approximately 5% of the Earth’s biodiversity! Plan your trip during the “green season” (or rainy season) when rivers swell up and the rainforest comes alive to fully experience the thrills and beauty of Costa Rica. From May to mid-December, you can expect the mornings to be bright and sunny, followed by an hour or two of rain in the afternoon, if it rains at all. So reserve your mornings and early afternoons for outdoor adventures, and take advantage of the afternoon showers to relax in a hammock and enjoy a delicious cup of Costa Rican coffee.
What To Do
Costa Rica is a nature lovers paradise! I highly recommend jumping into the culture of Costa Rica and living like the locals do. Take it easy, relax, and just soak up the sun on any of the amazing beaches. We had the most fun just talking to the locals and learning about the culture while riding the bus. We even paid a local we just met to take us exploring instead of a tour guide company. It only costs us several dollars and we had the most amazing experience!
Head to the beach + Explore Nicoya Peninsula
Go off the beaten path and explore the Nicoya Peninsula. Whether it is riding the waves, sailing the ocean, snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, catching big fish off the coast, horseback riding or hiking the forested trails, the Nicoya Peninsula has a ton of exhilarating experiences.
If you’re looking for some quality beach time, check out the tiny beach villages of Montezuma and Mal País that have blossomed into amazing resort towns. Our favorite is Mal País, as there is little to do here but surf or lounge on the beach. North from Mal País and Santa Teresa, one can find many beautiful beaches such as Playa Manzanillo, Playa Samara, Playa Caletas and Playa Guiones.³
If you like the buzz of a busy beach town, head to the lively town of Tamarindo on Costa Rica’s Gold Coast! Known as an international surf mecca, this is the perfect destination for anyone seeking a picturesque beach getaway with exciting nightlife options and a bustling food scene. Take a quick boat ride to the unspoiled shores of Playa Grande in the protected area of Las Baulas National Marine Park, a major nesting site for leatherback turtles.
Papagayo Peninsula Adventures
Canopied by lush rainforest vegetation, the exclusive Papagayo Peninsula in northwestern Costa Rica is the ideal destination for those looking for a lush jungle setting with pristine beaches nearby. When you’re ready to explore, take a day trip to surrounding national parks and attractions, such as Rincon de la Vieja National Park. You’ll be able to zipline through the trees, rappel down waterfalls, go whitewater rafting, ride on horseback along forest trails or laze the day away in volcano-fueled hot springs.
For the golfers, the Papagayo Peninsula is also home to a private 18-hole signature designed Arnold Palmer golf course if you or your husband wants to keep their game on point in between beach time and jungle adventures!
Enjoy the magic of the rainforest in Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio National Park—the smallest national park in Costa Rica—is also one of the most popular for wildlife watching. Follow the park’s many hiking trails to spot white-faced capuchin monkeys, tiny squirrel monkeys, sloths and colourful frogs, soar above the treetops on an exhilarating canopy tour, or snorkel straight off the beach to explore beautiful coral reefs. You can also take a night jungle tour to experience the wonders of the rainforest after dark!
So are you ready for the vacation of a lifetime?
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