21 Best Things to Do in Costa Rica [2023]: My Top Picks!

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 21 Best Things to Do in Costa Rica [2023]: My Top Picks!
As one of the most popular Caribbean destinations, there's so much to see and do—which is why I understand if you're stuck on what you should prioritize! I'm here to make your trip planning a bit easier by sharing some of my favorite things to do that are definitely worth adding to Costa Rican itinerary!
Camila Wanderley
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Camila is a food and travel writer exploring the wonders of the world and the hospitality industry! She loves hotel and restaurant design, as well as discovering the best unique experiences one can have as a traveler!

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Costa Rica is one of the most breathtaking countries in Central America... I'm personally a sucker for its mix of stunning beaches and lush green rainforests. With so many things to do and see, it's easy to be confused about top attractions and even where you should stay in Costa Rica.

You'll never have enough time to see everything, unless you're moving permanently! Assuming you're only going on a visit, I know it gets overwhelming trying to pick between all the unique possibilities. That's why I'm here to help!

I've compiled a list of the top things to do in Costa Rica to make sure you make the most out of your vacation. In my guide, you'll find a wide range of possible activities fit for any type of traveler and budget.

Browse through these activities and attractions before you finish planning... I promise there'll be something that'll catch your eye! 👀

Learn more from the rest of our Costa Rica series…

Top 21 Unique Things to Do in Costa Rica

21. Try Out a Stay at an Ecolodge

Eco-conscious traveling is gaining more and more popularity these days, and I'm all for it! If this is right up your alley, immerse yourself in the beauty of Costa Rica's lush rainforests and pristine beaches by staying at an ecolodge.

These sustainable accommodations are designed to blend seamlessly with the surrounding environment, offering you an authentic and eco-friendly experience like no other.

Ecolodges in Costa Rica come in all shapes and sizes, from luxurious retreats to rustic hideaways. Many of these lodges focus on minimizing their ecological footprint by using renewable energy sources, implementing water conservation practices, and sourcing locally grown organic produce for their meals.

Many ecolodges offer guided hikes, wildlife spotting excursions, and even on-site yoga or meditation classes. It's the perfect opportunity to slow down, unwind, and fully appreciate the natural beauty of Costa Rica.

So, why not try out a stay at an ecolodge on your next Costa Rican adventure? Here are a few of the top ones I found in my research:

Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort

This eco-resort is known for its relatively affordable rates, especially considering its boutique accommodations and unique coffee-themed experience. It's located close to San José, making it an accessible option for travelers.

Tortuga Lodge & Gardens

With a focus on sustainable tourism practices and wildlife conservation, this eco-lodge in the remote Tortuguero region offers comfortable accommodations and a range of activities at a more moderate price point.

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge

Tucked away on the shores of the Golfo Dulce in the Southern Pacific region, this ecolodge provides sustainable accommodations and a variety of outdoor activities at a more budget-friendly rate compared to some other luxury eco-lodges.

20. Hop to Tortuga Island

Beach lovers, pack your sunscreen and get ready for a tropical paradise! Set sail for Tortuga Island, a stunning gem located off the coast of the Nicoya Peninsula.

With its white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and swaying palm trees, this island getaway is the perfect spot for a blissful day trip. You can relax on the beach or explore with a number of water activities, like kayaking or snorkeling.

19. Explore the Ruins of Guayabo National Monument

You can travel back in time on your Costa Rica trip!

Adventure to Guayabo National Monument, the country's most significant archaeological site. Located on the slopes of the Turrialba Volcano, Guayabo offers a unique glimpse into the ancient civilizations that once thrived in the region.

Dating back to around 1000 BC, the Guayabo site boasts impressive stone structures, mysterious petroglyphs, and an intricate aqueduct system.

As you wander through the well-preserved ruins, you can't help but feel a sense of awe and wonder, pondering the lives of the people who once called this place home.

Remember to book a guided tour if you want to gain a deeper understanding of the site's history and cultural significance.

huts at the ruins in costa rica
Courtesy of Axxis10 on Wikimedia

18. See Costa Rica From the Back of a Horse

Experience Costa Rica's stunning landscapes from a unique perspective... on horseback!

Whether you're an experienced rider or a first-timer, exploring the country's beautiful scenery from the back of a gentle horse is an experience not to be missed.

Horseback riding tours can be found all over Costa Rica, taking you through lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and even near active volcanoes. Imagine riding along the coastline at sunset or venturing deep into the jungle, all while bonding with your trusty steed.

Many tour operators cater to all skill levels and have guides to teach you about the local flora and fauna as you trot along. Kick your horseback riding adventure into a trot!

17. Visit the Jaguar Rescue Center in Puerto Viejo

This one's for you animal lovers...

I'll mention some other ways to experience the best of Costa Rica's widlife, but one of the best rescue centers is the Jaguar Resue Center. This heartwarming sanctuary is the perfect place to see some amazing creatures up close and personal, all while supporting a fantastic cause.

The Jaguar Rescue Center is dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing injured and orphaned wildlife.

While the name might suggest it's all about jaguars, you'll actually have the chance to meet a whole array of adorable animals. From playful monkeys and sleepy sloths to slithering snakes and colorful birds, there's no shortage of fascinating residents.

During a guided tour, you'll learn about the center's mission and the individual stories of the animals in their care.

The passionate guides will teach you about Costa Rica's native species, their habitats, and the importance of conservation. Who knows, you might even get the chance to have a close encounter with one of their friendly residents!

The Jaguar Rescue Center is not only an amazing experience for all ages but also an excellent way to support wildlife conservation. By visiting, you're helping the center continue their vital work in protecting and preserving Costa Rica's incredible biodiversity.

rescued jaguar on a wood platform in a sanctuary
Courtesy of Adaivorukamuthan on Unsplash

16. Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving

Ready to explore an underwater paradise? Costa Rica, with its rich marine biodiversity and stunning coastlines, offers fantastic opportunities for both snorkeling and scuba diving.

Whether you're a seasoned diver or a first-time snorkeler, the crystal-clear waters and diverse marine life of Costa Rica will leave you in awe.

Snorkeling in Costa Rica is an accessible way to get up close and personal with the vibrant marine life. Some of the best snorkeling spots include Cahuita National Park, Cano Island, and the Gulf of Papagayo.

These locations boast colorful coral reefs teeming with fish, turtles, and other marine creatures. Remember to pack your snorkeling gear or rent it from a local operator, and always follow safety guidelines.

For a more immersive experience, consider scuba diving to explore the underwater world in greater depth. Costa Rica has numerous dive sites suited for different experience levels.

Cano Island Biological Reserve and Cocos Island National Park are two of the most renowned dive sites in the country. Here, you can expect to encounter manta rays, sharks, dolphins, and schools of vibrant fish, all while exploring the captivating underwater topography.

15. Observe Costa Rican Wildlife

The ecosystem and biodiversity of Costa Rica are vibrant and beautiful, and known as one of the most diverse in the world. With Costa Rica being such a small island, you'll be surprised to know that the country accounts for up to 6% of our world's biodiversity!

While exploring Costa Rica, you'll find a tropical rainforest filled with things to do and see, located right in the country's central region. This is the perfect opportunity for nature lovers to explore and see animals and plants you will probably not find back at home.

Some of the most interesting wildlife you can find in Costa Rica includes:

  • Resplendent Quetzals
  • Monkeys
  • Sloths
  • Sea Turtles
  • Humpback Whales

Where to Spot Resplendent Quetzals

First of all, if you haven't heard of the Resplendent Quetzal, you're not alone. I needed to look it up!

The Resplendent Quetzal is a unique bird found in tropical forests in southern Mexico and Central America. It's quite a rare bird, so you may want to get your camera ready!

To find this elusive bird, make your way to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve or the Los Quetzales National Park. The best time to spot this striking bird is during its breeding season, which lasts from March to May.

Join a guided tour to increase your chances of catching a glimpse of this magical creature, known for its iridescent green plumage and long, flowing tail feathers.

Rare bird in costa rica on a branch
Courtesy of Aleksandar Popovski on Unsplash

Where to Encounter Monkeys

4 species of monkeys inhabit Costa Rica: the white-faced capuchin, the mantled howler, the endangered Geoffroy's spider monkey, and the Central American squirrel monkey.

You can see them in several national parks, such as the Corcovado National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, and the Santa Rosa National Park. Keep an eye out for these mischievous animals as they swing through the treetops and forage for food.

Where to Observe Sloths

The adorable, slow-moving sloths are one of Costa Rica's most beloved animals—I'm definitely a sucker for them!

You can find these endearing creatures in the Manuel Antonio National Park, the Tortuguero National Park, or the Osa Peninsula.

For a closer encounter, visit a sloth sanctuary, where you can learn about sloth conservation and see rescued sloths up close.

Where to Watch Sea Turtles

Costa Rica is home to several species of sea turtles as well, including the green, leatherback, hawksbill, and olive ridley turtles.

To witness their nesting and hatching, head to Tortuguero National Park, Ostional Wildlife Refuge, or Playa Grande. Depending on the species, nesting seasons vary, but there are some that come ashore year round!

Where to Go Whale Watching

The country's Pacific coast is a prime location to spot humpback whales during their annual migration. These majestic creatures travel thousands of miles between their feeding and breeding grounds, providing a spectacular sight for those lucky enough to witness it.

The best time to see humpback whales in Costa Rica is during 2 distinct seasons. From mid-July to November, whales from the Southern Hemisphere make their way to the warmer waters off the Costa Rican coast. Then, from December to April, their Northern Hemisphere counterparts follow suit.

Some of the top locations for whale watching in Costa Rica include:

  • Marino Ballena National Park
  • Golfo Dulce
  • Drake Bay
  • Papagayo Peninsula

Best Animal Sanctuaries to Visit

Yes, you can go to the reserves and find lots of wildlife. But if you also want to learn about Costa Rica's animals up close, I would recommend making time to visit one of the many animal sanctuaries.

I mentioned Jaguar Rescue Center already, but here's a list of some of the other top Costa Rican sanctuaries for animals:

  • Toucan Rescue Ranch (Features: Toucans, sloths, and owls)
  • La Paz Waterfall Gardens (Features Monkeys, jaguars, pumas, ocelots, toucans, and hummingbirds)
  • Macaw Recovery Network (Features: Endangered scarlet and great green macaws)
  • Osa Wildlife Sanctuary (Features: Spider monkeys, white-faced capuchin monkeys, scarlet macaws, and coatis)

Visiting these sanctuaries is not only a great way to learn about the animals we love, but it also is a great way to support rescue efforts. Remember to follow all of their rules and guidelines!

Costa Rica Treetop adventures tour.
Courtesy of Isabella Juskova from Unsplash

14. Go On Reserve Tours in Costa Rica

Diving into the wildlife of Costa Rica is one of the best things you can do while vacationing in the country, including birdwatching! If you're an avid outdoor person, go beyond seeing the wildlife alone. Instead, I recommend spending some extra money on a guided tour!

There are plenty of tours in Costa Rica that take you to the country's most famous and preserved national parks. You'll find lots of curious and endangered species of animals, birds, and plants.

Visiting at least one national park is a must-do when you're in Costa Rica, and doing it as part of a group tour will allow you to learn the most from an experienced guide.

Manuel Antonio, Tortuguero, and Arenal are the most famous Costa Rican national parks. In some of the national parks scattered you'll also find dormant volcanos.

Hike some of the most famous volcanoes in Costa Rica, including Arenal, Turrialba, Irazu, and Poas volcanoes.

If this activity interests you, I've included more details of some of the top reserves below. Keep in mind that Costa Rica's national parks do require an entrance, so be sure to check pricing before you go!

Manuel Antonio National Park

Known for its pristine beaches and lush rainforests, Manuel Antonio National Park is home to diverse wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, and colorful birds. The park offers guided tours and well-maintained trails, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers.

Key Features: Wildlife, well-maintained trails, and mix of beaches/rainforests

Arenal Volcano National Park

Featuring the iconic Arenal Volcano, this national park offers breathtaking views of the volcano, lush forests, and abundant wildlife. Some of the most popular things to do in Arenal are to hike various trails, visit hot springs, or explore the area on horseback.

Key Features: Volcano, horseback riding, and hot springs

Tortuguero National Park

Famous for its sea turtle nesting sites, Tortuguero National Park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. The park is accessible only by boat or plane, and visitors can explore its intricate network of canals and lagoons. This park is also home to various species of monkeys, birds, and reptiles.

Key Features: Sea turtle nesting sites and network of canals and lagoons

Corcovado National Park

Located on the remote Osa Peninsula, Corcovado National Park is known for its diverse and abundant wildlife, including jaguars, tapirs, and scarlet macaws. The park offers various hiking trails and guided tours. Due to its remote location, it is best suited for adventurous travelers.

Key Features: Wildlife, remote (so best for adventurous people) well-maintained trails, and hiking trails

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

This biodiverse cloud forest reserve is home to the elusive Resplendent Quetzal and hundreds of other bird species. Monteverde offers canopy tours, suspension bridges, and guided hikes through the unique ecosystem.

Key Features: Rare birds, canopy tours, and suspension bridges

Irazú Volcano National Park

Home to the highest volcano in Costa Rica, Irazú Volcano National Park offers visitors the chance to see its impressive crater and enjoy panoramic views of the Central Valley. The park features several hiking trails and picnic areas.

Key Features: Volcano, hiking trails, and picnic areas

13. Chase Waterfalls on a Day Trip

While in the middle of the jungle, why not refresh yourself in a waterfall? The Catarata del Toro waterfall can be found in the crater of an extinct volcano and is the tallest in Costa Rica.

The Llanos de Cortes waterfall is also famous. The different water streams falling into the still lake are picture-perfect. Hiking waterfalls and swimming in them is a cheap and fun activity that every nature lover will enjoy.

  • La Fortuna Waterfall: Located near Arenal Volcano, this impressive 230-foot waterfall cascades into a turquoise pool, perfect for swimming and enjoying the surrounding lush rainforest.
  • Rio Celeste Waterfall: Situated in Tenorio VolcanoNational Park, this enchanting waterfall features vivid blue waters, thanks to a unique combination of minerals. It's accessible via a moderate hike through the park.
  • Montezuma Waterfall: Located in the Nicoya Peninsula, this waterfall is accessible through a short hike and features a series of three cascades, with the largest one dropping over 80 feet into a swimming hole.
  • Llanos de Cortez Waterfall: Near the town of Bagaces, this wide, multi-cascade waterfall is surrounded by a sandy beach and shallow pool, making it an ideal spot for families and picnics.
  • Bajos del Toro Waterfall: Tucked away in the Bajos del Toro cloud forest, this striking 295-foot waterfall is accessible through a challenging hike, rewarding visitors with its beauty and solitude.
Costa Rican waterfalls
Courtesy of Marcelo Villalobos from Unsplash

12. Relax at the Tabacon Hot Springs

After a waterfall and volcano adventure, relaxing in a hot spring sounds like an ideal plan. Some hotels even have their own little spring!

In Arenal, the Tabacon river supplies natural hot water to these springs, making them one of the favorite tourist activities in the area. Aside from Tabacan, Arenal is also home to other popular hot springs like Baldi, the Springs, and Ecotermales.

11. Sun Tan on the Beaches of Costa Rica

Leaving the central region of Costa Rica and heading towards the coast, you'll find unique and mesmerizing white sand beaches with plenty of activities to do. Both the east and west coast of Costa Rica are packed with white-sanded beaches and crystal clear water.

Although some of the local cultures might be a bit different in the Pacific and Caribbean, Costa Rican beaches can provide you with relaxation, tan lines, and fun memories.

But, which are the best beaches in Costa Rica you ask?

It's hard to choose the best beach in Costa Rica. The most popular ones are on the west coast, like Conchal Beach and Flamingo Beach. The sand at these west coast spots sometimes turns pink. Talk about a great photo opporunity!

Other sandy beaches to visit are the San Juanillo Beach and Santa Teresa Beach. Both have fantastic coast views. My final special mention is Herradura Beach, which is shaped like a horseshoe, and is surrounded by beautiful turquoise water.

aerial view of a beach in costa rica
Courtesy of Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash

10. Sign Up for Costa Rica Sailing Cruises

A sunset sailing cruise is also a great way to enjoy the beach part of your vacation. There are plenty of sailing tours you can pick from, and it's one of the most romantic things to do in Costa Rica.

Sail in the sunset with your family or partner as you watch the colors change in the sky. Swim, eat good food, drink some wine or champagne, and enjoy the fresh air coming from the ocean.

You could even get the chance to do some whale-watching, depending on the season and location of your cruise!

9. Taste the Local Food

Costa Rica has some fantastic local food. The environment in the country is perfect for growing sweet tropical fruits and juicy vegetables, and its proximity to the ocean makes the seafood delicious and fresh.

There are plenty of national dishes you need to try while visiting the country!

You should try gallo pinto for breakfast. This local dish is a mix of rice and beans served with eggs, tortillas, plantains, and cheese. Go to a local bar and taste test chifrijo, a blend of rice and beans with pico de gallo and fried pork.

If you want to learn how to prepare some of these dishes, consider taking a cooking class and become familiarized with traditional Costa Rican ingredients and cooking methods.

Local tropical fruits in Costa rica
Courtesy of Ralph Ravikayden from Unsplash

8. Visit Costa Rica's Coffee Plantations

For those of you that are coffee lovers, one of the best places to go is a Costa Rican coffee plantation. Costa Rica grows the best coffee beans in the world, exporting them to many European countries that worship the beverage.

Visiting a coffee plantation is definitely one of the most famous Costa Rica tourist attractions!

In a guided tour of a coffee plantation, you can learn about the plantation and harvesting of coffee beans, preparation techniques, and the overall history of the beverage.

At the end of your tour, you'll probably get to taste some high-quality coffee as well! Remember to take an extra sip for me—I'll be dreaming of fresh Costa Rican coffee...

Costa Rican coffee.
Courtesy of David Regueira from Unsplash

7. Experience Chocolate Production Tours in Costa Rica

The same goes for chocolate lovers. Aside from coffee, Costa Rica is also one of the biggest cacao producers globally, selling the fruit to chocolate-loving nations like Belgium and Switzerland.

Go on a chocolate tour, which is often combined with a coffee plantation tour. On a tour, you'll learn about the different processes of chocolate production and how the cacao plant plays an essential role in the indigenous communities that grow and sell it.

I personally think this is a Costa Rica must-do, even more so than the coffee plantation visit!

6. Try Out Surfing in Costa Rica!

Costa Rica is perfect for those who love to adventure in the middle of nature. At the beach, rent a surfboard and surf in some of the best waves of Central America.

You can start with the small waves at Playa Tamarindo, moving to more advanced beaches like Playa Lagosta and Playa Grande. At Playa Grande or Lagosta, the waves become more prominent but are still friendly to those looking to level up their surfing skills.

As you go down the coast in the Pacific Ocean, the waves become bigger and perfect for advanced surfers. Dominical Beach, Playa Hermosa, and Esterillos Beach are some of the best spots to find these waves.

These beaches are always packed with surfers who spend the afternoon riding the ocean, so you know Costa Rica is a great option of surf lovers!

Before hopping on a board or attending your first few surfing lessons, get even more info with this in-depth surfing guide for Costa Rica.

Surfing in costa rica.
Courtesy of Justin Sanchez from Unsplash

5. Go Hiking

Hiking is the perfect option for adventure seekers in the country's center in the middle of the jungle. You will find plenty of hiking trails in the national parks, climbing volcanoes, and leading to waterfalls.

Maybe even try zip lining down Cloud Forests, Arenal and Monteverde, some of the best rainforest spots to see the wildlife and flora around you.

4. Take a Chance Water-Rafting

To get out of your comfort zone, try whitewater rafting down the rivers in Costa Rica. Due to the tropical climate and rainforest structures in Costa Rica, you can find dozens of unique spots to water raft.

It's actually one of the most popular things to do in Costa Rica!

Two of the most famous destinations are Rio Naranjo on the Pacific coast and the Pacuare River on the Caribbean coast. Inland, there are a lot of rivers close to Arenal Volcano that are perfect for water rafting as well.

Water rafting in costa rica.
Courtesy of Chandan Chaurasia from Unsplash

3. Meet the Local People and Culture

Like they always say: Live like a Costa Rican when you're in Costa Rica!

Get to know the people, culture, and history of Costa Rica. While in the big cities like San Jose, take some time to visit museums and art expositions and try to hold a conversation with locals.

2. Go Out for Costa Rica's Nightlife

When the sun goes down, Costa Rican nightlife lights up! Costa Ricans love to party, and here you can find some fantastic nightlife opportunities to dance, drink refreshing cocktails, and mingle with locals and other tourists alike.

To truly engage with the local culture, go to a fiesta Civica!

A fiesta Civica is a regional party where you can eat, drink, dance, play games, listen to live music and try bull riding. Puntarenas Carnaval and Zapote Fiestas are two popular ones. Still, there are plenty of them all over the country, happening year-round.

1. Try Out Cave Spelunking

Calling all of those super extra adventure-seekers! If you haven't found anything thrilling enough on my list yet, look no further!

Costa Rica offers an incredible opportunity to try cave spelunking, also known as caving. Delve into the hidden depths of the Earth and uncover fascinating geological formations and unique ecosystems in the country's subterranean world.

One of the most popular spots for cave spelunking in Costa Rica is the Venado Caves, located near the Arenal Volcano. These limestone caves date back millions of years and boast stunning stalactites, stalagmites, and other awe-inspiring formations.

You might even spot some of the cave-dwelling critters, like bats and insects, as you explore the depths.

If you're new to caving, don't worry! Take a guided spelunking tour—they cater to all experience levels, and ensure your safety and enjoyment throughout the adventure.

Just remember to wear comfortable clothing that you don't mind getting a bit dirty, as well as sturdy shoes with good grip. The caves can be wet and slippery, so come prepared for an authentic caving experience.

light coming into the cave from holes
Courtesy of Joshua Sortino on Unsplash

Which Costa Rica Cities Should You Visit?

My colleagues have written a full guide on which areas to visit in Costa Rica, but I also wanted to include a short little section in case you're short on time!

San José: The Vibrant Capital

San José is Costa Rica's bustling capital, boasting a mix of historical charm and modern city life.

As the country's cultural hub, San José offers a variety of museums, art galleries, and theaters to explore. Don't miss the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, the National Theatre, and the Jade Museum.

But if that's not your style, there are lots of other things to do in San José, Costa Rica. The lively Central Market is also a must-visit, where you can find local produce, crafts, and traditional Costa Rican cuisine.

La Fortuna: Gateway to Arenal Volcano

La Fortuna is a small town located near the base of the stunning Arenal Volcano.

As one of the most visited places to go in Costa Rica, it's got lots of activities you can do such as hiking, zip-lining, and hot springs. All great for adventure-seekers!

I mentioned above how great a visit the Arenal Volcano National Park is, as well as the nearby La Fortuna Waterfall.

Monteverde: Cloud Forest Paradise

One of the many national reserves I mentioned, Monteverde is renowned for its biodiverse cloud forests and breathtaking landscapes.

The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is home to an array of unique flora and fauna, including the elusive resplendent quetzal.

Adventurous visitors can explore the forest canopy on hanging bridges or zip lines, while those seeking a more leisurely experience can enjoy guided nature walks and hummingbird gardens.

suspension bridge in monteverde, costa rica
Courtesy of Leslie Cross on Unsplash

Manuel Antonio: Beaches and Wildlife

Manuel Antonio is a popular beach destination that also boasts a remarkable national park.

With its white sand beaches, lush rainforest, and diverse wildlife, Manuel Antonio National Park offers visitors the perfect blend of relaxation and exploration.

Tamarindo: Surf and Sand

Tamarindo is a lively beach town located on the Pacific coast, known for its excellent surf breaks and laid-back atmosphere.

Visitors can take surf lessons, embark on a sunset catamaran tour, or explore the nearby Las Baulas National Marine Park, which is a nesting ground for leatherback turtles.

With a lots of diverse restaurants, shops, and nightlife options, Tamarindo is perfect for those seeking both adventure and leisure. Talk about the best of both worlds!

Puerto Viejo: Caribbean Charm

Situated on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast, Puerto Viejo offers a unique blend of Afro-Caribbean and indigenous cultures. If you're a foodie like me, this is definitely somewhere to put on your list!

This laid-back town is known for its vibrant music scene, colorful architecture, and delicious cuisine. The nearby attractions I've suggested you add to your itinerary include the Cahuita National Park and the Jaguar Rescue Center.

Local street in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Courtesy of Jsfouche on Wikimedia

When's the Best Time to Visit?

The answer to this question depends a bit on your travel style.

I have to point out that Costa Rica has a pleasant climate year-round. But the country has 2 main seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. Each season offers unique experiences and advantages.

Dry Season (December to April)

The dry season, also known as the high season, is the most popular time to visit Costa Rica. With sunny skies and little rainfall, this period is perfect for exploring the beaches, hiking through national parks, and enjoying outdoor activities.

The dry season also coincides with North American and European winter months, making it a popular escape for travelers seeking warmth and sunshine.

But it's far from perfect for everyone! Downsides of the dry season include larger crowds and higher prices for accommodations and tours.

If you're planning to visit during this time, it's wise to book well in advance to secure the best deals and availability.

Rainy Season (May to November)

The rainy season, or green season, is characterized by daily afternoon showers and a more lush, vibrant landscape.

Rainfall is typically heavier on the Pacific coast, while the Caribbean coast experiences more sporadic showers throughout the year.

This season is perfect for travelers who don't mind a bit of rain and want to experience the beauty of Costa Rica's lush rainforests and vibrant flora. Plus you'll have some advantages...

Visiting in rainy season means you'll find fewer crowds, lower prices, and more availability at hotels and resorts. Wildlife enthusiasts might appreciate this time of year as well, as certain species are more active during the rainy season, and it's an ideal time for birdwatching.

Fall in Love With Costa Rica With Pilot!

Now you know! Costa Rica is a natural and cultural gem with so many things to do it's overwhelming. I've covered the most fun and unique things to do during your trip in Costa Rica, so I hope you've almost finished planning your itinerary!

Are you excited to visit Costa Rica now? Use Pilot to plan your trip!

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Camila Wanderley Blogs
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Camila Wanderley
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Camila is a food and travel writer exploring the wonders of the world and the hospitality industry! She loves hotel and restaurant design, as well as discovering the best unique experiences one can have as a traveler!

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