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That time of the year has come! The moment you are preparing for the holidays and planning your Costa Rica vacation.  So today we have for you a list of insider tips from our experienced concierge, based in the most common questions from our guests, to help you plan the perfect time off.  Enjoy!

A Costa Rica vacation

Costa Rica is the perfect place to visit during the festivities. If you are still deciding where to go, here are some facts about Costa Rica that will help you make your mind:

  • Costa Rica has a second-to-none location in the tropics. It is positioned between Nicaragua in the North and Panama in the South. Its coasts are bathed by both the Pacific and the Caribbean Sea. Costa Rica is part of Central America.
  • The political division of Costa Rica is in provinces, not states. It has 7 provinces: San José (capital), Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago, Puntarenas, Limón and Guanacaste. The first four mentioned here form the Great Metropolitan Area, or GAM.  Puntarenas is located in the South Pacific Coast, Guanacaste in the North Pacific and Limón at the Caribbean Coast.
  • Our small country measure only 19,691 square miles, which is smaller than the size of Lake Michigan.
  • In such little territory, Costa Rica possess 4% of all the biodiversity in the world
  • Costa Rica boasts more than 760 miles of beautiful beaches and more than 300 volcanic structures.
  • You can enjoy an adventurous Costa Rica vacation visiting all its National Parks that comprises more than 20% of the country´s territory
  • Zip lining as a recreational activity was invented in Costa Rica
  • Costa Rica is one of the few countries in the world that does not have military forces, becoming a land of peace since 1948.
  • The country has been repeatedly ranked as one of the happiest places in the world.
  • One of the 5 Blue Zones in the world is located in the North Pacific Coast of our Country, in the Nicoya Peninsula.
  • The country´s mojo is Pura Vida, which is not only a way of saying hi, but also a lifestyle meaning enjoying the little things in life.

Now that we know that you are anxious to get to know better our country and have the perfect Costa Rica vacation, here some helpful tips from our concierge team.

 

Tips for a hassle-free Costa Rica vacation

Zip line escape winter

  1. Where to fly?

Costa Rica have to International Airports:

  • SJO: Juan Santamaría International Airport, located in Alajuela.
  • LIR: Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport, located in Guanacaste.

Decide which airport to fly depend on the places you are going to visit.  Although we understand that budget can also be an important factor, our advice would be to take in consideration the travel time.  So, if you want to enjoy the paradisiac beaches of the North Pacific Coast, and stay there as a base to move around, LIR Airport is definitely your best option.

 

  1. Where to go?

Planning your perfect Costa Rica vacation can be confusing, so many places to go!! No worries, we are here for you.

The first thing to do is ask yourself… what am I looking for to experience?  Some adventure? Relaxing? (You can always have both too) Mountain? Beach? Volcano? Waterfall? Wildlife? Or just working on your tan 😉

If you still feel confused our advice is to keep it simple.  Try to find a base first and from there see what you can experience around. Here an example:

Stay in one of our luxurious vacation rentals in the Pacific Coast, from there you can visit one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica: Playa Conchal.  You can also unwind at the Beach Club, Spa and practice your golf.  Beach hopping from here is easy too.  To spice up your Costa Rica vacation a zip line tour is a must. So, on one tour you can visit a volcano, a waterfall, fly through the tree canopies in a zip line tour and relax at the spring water pools.  Sounds good right?

Our next advice is to always rely on the advice of your concierge, you will get really good deals and stretch your time in Costa Rica.

Image courtesy of Diamante Eco Paek

  1. Should I drive or hire a tour?

Driving in Costa Rica can be tricky, so if it’s your first time in our country, our advice is to use other transportation services and tours.

The word tour can sometimes create a negative mental image, however it doesn´t have to be like that.  If you are picturing huge crowds, long lines, impersonalized service and always in a hurry, we can guarantee that our tour recommendations would not be like that at all.

Costa Rica´s main economic activity is tourism, so the great offer of services has a positive impact in the quality of service you will receive. Private and personalized tours will allow you to experience an authentic Costa Rica at your own pace.

 

  1. Currency

Colones is the currency of Costa Rica, but US Dollars are also widely accepted. Our recommendation is to bring small bills with you.  $100 bills are not always accepted, and even if they do accept the bill, you will get the change in Colones and the exchange rate in the streets will not be as good as if you go to the bank.

 

  1. Health

To travel to Costa Rica some shots are required: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza. So be sure to plan accordingly.

We also recommend taking general precautions about mosquitos. Even though Dengue and Chikungunya diseases are commonly under control, being located in the Tropics will always mean some level of risk. But, nothing to worry about, just use your insect repellent during your visit and you will be more than fine.

Heavenly Spa at Reserva Conchal. Image courtesy of Reserva Conchal.

  1. Water

Costa Rica has an enviable aqueduct system, with strict control of the quality of its waters.  Most Ticos and even expats drink tap water without any problems. However, to avoid any issues we always recommend drinking filtered water.  Our recommendation would be to bring your reusable water bottle or buy one as a souvenir here and refill to avoid plastic waste.

 

  1. Packing

Your Costa Rica vacation means light packing.  As the country offers a warm weather year-round, packing is easy.  Shorts, some long pants in case you are visiting the rain forest or some adventure tour, bathing suit, flip flops, hiking shoes, hat, sunglasses and that is it!

 

  1. Electronics

The standard voltage in Costa Rica is 120V, same as in the US, so you won’t need an adapter.

If you want to keep connected during your Costa Rica vacation, and if you are not using roaming in your phone, we recommend you to go to your local provider and ask if buying a SIM card in Costa Rica will work for you. Sometimes the phones need to be unblocked in order to work with foreign SIM cards

Ocean View Costa Rica vacation rental

  1. Safety

Costa Rica is a safe place to visit and is ranked level 1 by the US Department of State.  In a convulse planet, this is an important thing to consider.  However, our tip here is not to be overconfident and keep the normal safety rules you follow at home.  For example, a common mistake made by visitors is to leave valuables at the car while enjoying the beach, including passports.  Please be as careful as you would be in your local town.

 

  1. Where to stay

Last but not least, the perfect Costa Rica vacation should include the perfect place to stay.  A luxurious Vacation Rental in one of the most exclusive Gated Communities of the country is all you need.  Fully-equipped homes with breathtaking views of the ocean and tropical gardens will allow you to feel at home while you enjoy your vacations. Contact us now to ask for availability and our concierge will be happy to help you plan your perfect Costa Rica vacation.