Costa Rica Travel
Costa Rica's fifty three thousand plus square kilometers is about the size of West Virginia, or one third of the size of Florida.
Nicaragua is situated to the north of Costa Rica, Panama to the south and one tropical body of water on each side, the Caribbean to the east and the Pacific to the west.
This land is tropical yet offers the cooler less humid microclimates which can reach freezing temperatures throughout the year. These independent pockets are well above areas visited by most tours.
Travel Information & Tips
Costa Rica is only two hours and forty minutes from Miami (non stop flights). Daily scheduled service from most mayor US gateways: New York, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orlando and Miami; additional connecting service from Washington, D.C., Chicago, Boston and many other cities in the US.
European carriers also service Costa Rica with direct flights from Madrid, Amsterdam and Frankfurt, with connections from other European cities.
Daily service is provided by all Central American carriers to/from all Central American capital cities.
South America is also connected to Costa Rica by some South American carriers with daily or various weekly flights from most mayor capital cities of South America.
With a valid passport and round trip for continuing ticket, citizens of The United States of America, Canada, Germany, Spain and Italy can travel to Costa Rica for a 90-day stay without a consular visa. With the same requirements, citizens of France can travel to Costa Rica for a 30-day stay without a consular visa.
Visitors who would like to extend the visit to Costa Rica, beyond these limits should go to the Immigration Office upon arriving in Costa Rica. Tourist Cards can be purchase from the different airlines that service Costa Rica.
Three ranges form Costa Rica's backbone. They are the Tilaran, Central and Talamanca formations which run down the country.
All three are of volcanic origin. Numerous active and dormant craters can be found and have become important part of most tours and tourist attractions.
The mountain ranges play an important role in the climate patterns. These different patterns cool the humid Caribbean pressure systems, form cloud forests in various locations and nurture one of the few remaining paramos in the region.
Both coasts have interesting shorelines and beaches. On the Pacific, beaches are darker, tides are approximately six times higher. On the Caribbean, the color of the sand ranges from medium gray to pristine white, this due to the fact that coral reefs are only found on this side of the country, producing a lighter color sand. Contrary to the darker volcanic sand on the Pacific both coasts are also sources of marine adventures as well as warmth and places for relaxation.
Reefs also play a very important part in developing different environments on both coasts. Pacific reefs are formed by rocks and shoreline ridges that jut into the sea, these steep drop-offs make the Pacific a play ground for the large game fish which attract sportsmen from all over the world. Caribbean reefs harbor a greater variety of marine species and coral formations which set the stage for a different type of underwater experiences.
One of Costa Rica's biggest attractions is not the mountains or the parks or even the coastal resorts, but its people. Costa Rica has managed to develop into a successful community and maintain a steady upward trend towards educational achievements and political stability. This has proven to be its key to the successful development of tourism, especially catering to the travelers who are looking for environmental experiences and leisure activities that incorporate natural settings.
Perhaps its culture or the confidence of the people that make them regionally unique. Both have been bi-products of a literacy rate which exceeds that of the US. Not being enough, Costa Rica has formed an even greater cultural pride through non-violence and four centuries of peace.
Through farming Costa Ricans have led the country to successful export quotas and diversification into other commercial sectors. Foreign investment has encouraged local entrepreneurs to build small resorts that fit into tiny environmental niches and maintain the serenity of the surrounding nature. Costa Ricans have proven to be one of the most powerful attractions for the growth of tourism. Costa Ricans' attitude towards foreigners makes the visitors feel welcome. Many Costa Ricans speak English adding to the warmth of the every day cultural exchange with visitors.
No matter how beautiful a destination may be, it needs easy access and be reachable within the limitations of an average vacation period. Costa Rica is only two and a half hours away from Miami.
Knowing and understanding the geographical layout of Costa Rica will certainly help visitors to work around a specific tour or schedule.
January, February and March are superb months for Pacific beaches. On the other hand, the Caribbean coast near Limon receives the heaviest rainfall during the same time period.
Seasonal rains can create a problem when taking road trips through the mountains. Nevertheless, most mountain lodges remain open during peak rain fall and roads are kept operable all year.
Weather doesn't have to be a limiting factor in you vacation planning, tropical rainy seasons are limited to specific regions in Costa Rica. Temperature is basically warm all year round (75-80 F) with exception of higher altitudes.
Costa Rica as a tropical destination is available year-round.
The Caribbean coast is synonymous of carnival and joy. It’s main city, Limón, is rich in history and tradition. Home to large banana plantations, Limón was established as the main port for the exportation of the fruit in 1870. It hosts historical buildings like the Black Star Line, the Central Market and the remains of a vital railway. Limón has a
A picturesque province, Heredia is usually called “the flower’s city” and it’s home to some of Costa Rica’s unique colonial architecture and older houses. The province’s lands are agriculturally rich and coffee is the main crop. The city’s Central Park, a gorgeous cathedral dating from 1797, the municipal building and the Casa de la Cultura are important locations among visitors.
Cartago was founded in 1563 by Juan Vásquez de Coronado, who was the first to establish its limits, and colonial architecture can still be spotted in Costa Rica ‘s first capital city. The climate is cool year-round and the soil is perfect for growing fruits and vegetables, mainly potatoes and onions. Cartago’s main cathedral is at the center of the
The city of Alajuela is home to the Juan Santamaría International Airport, which was Costa Rica’s sole airport until the opening of the Liberia Airport to international flights. The airport is named after a Costa Rican national hero, who as a young boy who set a house in fire where foreign invaders were hidden during the Battle of Rivas in
The city’s Central Avenue features a convenient boulevard full of stores and restaurants. San José does offer the amenities of a big city, yet the proximity of places makes it seem small … The Gold Museum is located at Plaza de la Cultura, a large open area in the middle of downtown. The museum contains the largest collection of pre-Columbian
Mist covers the town and the forest while tiny droplets of water merge with the sun’s rays to form magnificent rainbows set in the backdrop of the sky … The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the best natural reserves in the world, with thousands of species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects and plants. Monteverde was founded by
Visitors will be fortunate to find themselves in one of the most amazing regions in the country, with cloud forests, active and dormant volcanoes, hot springs, waterways, wildlife refuges, caves, extreme sports, birdwatching and pastoral landscapes. Hence, La Fortuna is a perfect base for arranging trips to nearby locations. A cozy village, La Fortuna is located near Arenal Volcano, one
At 12,533 feet above sea level, sunshine breaks through the clouds to reveal the Central Valley and Pacific Ocean lying in the distance below … Changing directions, mountains and the Atlantic lowlands come into view, with the ocean stretching just beyond the horizon. This dreamy world seems like paradise. It is one of the few places where one can stand
It easy to be seduced by Costa Rica’s enchanting southern region, from the rocky mountains of Chirripó to the lonely shells scattered on the Pacific’s fine sand beaches, this is the place where the jungle meets the ocean. Marino Ballena (Sea Whale) National Park Created in 1990, the Marino Ballena National Park is Central America’s first marine park, and remains
On the edge of the Central Pacific coast, Manuel Antonio features astounding beaches, mangrove swamps, clear water lagoons and littoral woodlands. The gateway to Manuel Antonio is the town of Quepos. In 1934, a prominent banana company moved from the Atlantic coast to the Parrita River near the Pacific because a plague had infected the crops. For nearly 20 years, Quepos,
The Central Pacific is the centre of entertainment, where dynamic beaches, forests and sparkling towns await. Puntarenas is the most important city in the province of the same name. The complete province embraces the territory comprised between the slopes of the mountains in the Guanacaste Mountain range and Playa Uvita in the south part of the coast. Downtown Puntarenas is
Getting around the Rincón de la Vieja National Park is almost a surrealistic experience. Incredibly, nature has combined its best elements in a single place. The park offers waterfalls of all sizes, deposits of volcanic rocks, freshwater springs, sulphuric lagoons, small volcanoes, cavities of boiling mud, spirals of steam escaping from the ground, vapor geysers, clear-water rivers winding through the
The North Pacific region of Costa Rica consists entirely of the Guanacaste Province . Among other marvels, the region offers volcanoes, caves, rivers, cattle ranches and beaches, making it one of the most popular areas for vacationers from all over the world. The sun is the prominent feature of this area, which is full of beauty everywhere the eyes roam.