Are you nervous about travelling to Costa Rica for the first time? Do not worry, as we are here to guide you on some of the basics of travelling to this world-class destination.
Costa Rica is a beautiful country, from the green jungles, pristine beaches, and powerful waterfalls. Though it is full of tourists, people still maintain the core aspects of their culture. The residents are warm and welcoming, not to forget the endless activities you can participate in.
What You Should Take For The Trip
Costa Rica rests at a 100 altitude, meaning the sun shines brighter and the rain falls harder. Whether you plan on spending all your time on the beach or traversing through the villages and forests, there are a few essential items you should not leave behind;-
- Sunscreen, sunglasses, and sunhat
- Waterproof jacket
- Sturdy shoes
- Insect protection
- Multipurpose super glue
- Spanish phrasebook
Do not forget to packet other essentials such as adequate clothing, tampons, and makeup for ladies, plus towels.
As you probably guessed, Spanish is the primary language spoken in Costa Rica. If you wish to polish your Spanish skills when travelling, you can take classes or volunteer with a local family. Though English is relatively standard in the touristy areas, try as much as possible to use the local language to respect their culture.
Colones is the country’s currency. Notably, $1 is equivalent to about 570.75 Colones. Though you can use credit cards in hotels and restaurants in touristy areas, you should walk around with cash as well. Lucky for you, ATMs are pretty common in Costa Rica.
Kindly note that Costa Rica is one of the most expensive states in Central America, thanks to countless tourists that keep streaming in all year round. Therefore, expect to be charged high taxes at hotels.
Though the Costa Rican culture does not expect you to tip at restaurants, you can be courteous enough and tip up to 100 Colones. Plus, you can tip taxi drivers and tour guides if you wish.
US citizens do not need a visa to travel to Costa Rica. However, they must own a valid passport and a return ticket to exit the country within 90 days. A stay longer than that demands that you have a residence permit.
While most nationalities do not require a visa to visit Costa Rica, you must visit the country’s travel website to be sure.
Best Time To Visit
Costa Rica is typically a tropical climate with a rainy and dry season. However, the temperatures are relatively warm throughout the year, except at higher altitudes, where it tends to get a bit cool.
Between May and November marks the wet season, when it rains almost every day. Sometimes it rains for a short while, and at other times, it pours for hours on end. If you plan on vising during the rainy season, be sure to pack appropriate waterproof clothing. Besides, decide on backup activities in case your day out on the beach gets disrupted.
However, the rainy season is not all bad. During this time, there are fewer people and hence lower prices, including flights. Avoid travelling in October as it is the wettest month.
Costa Rica experiences bright sun shines and reduced humidity from December through April. During this time, the weather is perfect for outdoor activities, including going to the beach. However, expect light showers here and there.
The dry season marks the peak tourist season, resulting in crowded places and high prices. It is up to you to decide when to travel. That said, the transition period between the rainy and dry seasons is perfect, thanks to its decent weather and fewer crowds.
Travelling Around Costa Rica
Getting around Costa Rica should be relatively easy, thanks to the multiple affordable and reliable transport options available.
If you plan to set out on adventures, it may be best to rent out a car. This way, travel on your schedule and the flexibility of going wherever you want. Renting a car requires that you have a valid driver’s license.
Plus, if you plan on driving into remote areas, rent a 4×4. Be careful while on the road, as some locals can drive crazily, and some roads may be terrible, especially during the rainy season.
Taking a bus is one of the most popular and affordable ways to get around Costa Rica. Though the prices are lower than flying, travelling long distances take quite some time.
There are two international airports in Costa Rica and a few domestic airports all over the country. Flying, though expensive, is shorter and less tiring. Generally, flights cost between $50 and $100, though you may have to part with more if you have lots of luggage.
Now that you know what to expect as you travel to Costa Rica, we wish you the best stay. Be sure to visit as many sites as possible and make new friends. Enjoy!
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