Caldera, Costa Rica
Drawing on interviews with key players in the conservation movement, as well as archival research, ...
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This essential introduction to Costa Rica includes more than fifty local texts - newspaper accounts...
Climb a volcano, go bird watching, or just sit back and relax at beaches along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.
Costa Rica enjoys a staggering diversity of ecosystems, some of the world’s best beaches, and good weather year-round. It has coastlines on two major oceans, active volcanoes and five different types of forest. It has been a hot spot for eco- and adventure tourism for decades.
Costa Rica is in Central America, sandwiched between Nicaragua and Panama, but has managed to escape much of the political turmoil of the region. It has a strong environmental track record with nearly 25 percent of the country set aside as national parks or conservation areas.
Hike up an active volcano, find pristine lagoons, and see all kinds of exotic flora and fauna. Adventurers can go mountain bike riding, zip-lining, and white water rafting. Nature lovers will feel right at home in Costa Rica, with several distinct topographical regions and highly varied weather patterns yielding a biodiversity found in few other places on the planet.
Visit many different types of forest, including cloud forests, which have frequent low-level cloud cover, and rain forests, known for high rainfall and moist vegetation. Spot monkeys, sloths and any of the several hundred species of birds and reptiles that live in the area.
Hit the beach to relax in the sun or go for a surf. You’ll find a laid-back atmosphere at Montezuma, fine-dining restaurants at Tamarindo, and oceanfront night clubs, bars and restaurants in Jaco and Dominical. San José, the capital city, is more developed and urban. Surfers should paddle out into the waters of the Central Pacific Coast and Guanacaste. Take a trip over to the country’s Caribbean side to find secluded and seemingly untouched beaches. You’ll see where the forest meets the sand and get the chance to see all kinds of animals.
The name Costa Rica translates as Rich Coast. As one of the greenest, safest and most-relaxed destinations in Central America, it lives up to its name.
Nature lovers gravitate to Central Costa Rica, where travelers can explore volcanoes, go whitewater rafting or take a surf lesson on one of the Costa Rica's famed beaches. With tropical rainforests, hot springs, and exotic wildlife up close, a vacation in Central Costa Rica is perfect for romance or adventure.
The best way to visit Central Costa Rica is to fly into Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). For travelers staying under the shadow of the Arenal Volcano, expect the drive from the airport to take approximately three hours to the Arenal region. The Central Pacific region and its beaches is a two hour drive. November to April is considered the high season, when travelers can expect dry heat and very little rainfall while the rainier, greener season is between May and October.
There are non-stop flight options into San Jose from New York (JFK), Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Miami and Phoenix.
Flight times to SJO
- 5.0 hours from New York (non-stop)
- 4.0 hours from Dallas (non-stop)
- 5.0 hours from Phoenix (non-stop)
- 8.0 hours from Los Angeles (with connection)
When staying in Costa Rica, travelers can see numerous species of wildlife, including monkeys, exotic birds, reptiles and flowers. The Central Costa Rica area draws visitors year-round thanks to its proximity to the Arenal Volcano National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, the Monteverde Cloud Forest and numerous surfing beaches.
- Arenal Volcano National Park
- Manuel Antonio National Park
- Monteverde Cloud Forest
Things to do
- Hike across hanging bridges through the Arenal Volcano National Park.
- Catch a beautiful view from high above the tropical rainforest in a canopy tour.
- Take a dip in a relaxing natural hot spring or under a secluded waterfall.
- Visit Playa Jaco, one of the most popular beaches in Costa Rica.
We can arrange convenient and comfortable transfers at the time of booking. You will be met at the airport and taken to your hotel via private taxi or shared transfer.
While traveling in Costa Rica we recommend:
- Private transfers at time of booking - Most private transfers include a meet-and-greet by English-speaking drivers, luggage assistance, and bottled water in modern vehicles.
- Costa Rican currency is called the colon, however U.S. currency is accepted nearly everywhere you go in Costa Rica.
- Most major American and European credit cards are accepted throughout Costa Rica, however it is advisable to bring cash as well.
- ATMs are available in resort areas, but are scarce in less populated regions.
- Costa Rica is in the Central Time Zone.
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- A passport is required when traveling outside of your country. If any passenger carries anything other than a Passport supplied by your home country, please contact the Consulate of the country(s) you are visiting to verify document requirements. If you do not have appropriate documentation, you will be denied entry. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your return trip for international travel.