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April 24, 2020
If you read my blog or follow me on Instagram, you know I recently got back from Costa Rica. After posting all over, I’ve had countless emails asking me all the details of my trip, so I decided to share all of my tips/what I did here. I had the best time of my life and I can’t recommend my itinerary enough! Here are my Costa Rica travel tips:
While I was in Costa Rica, I was fortunate enough to spend time in both the north part of the country and the south. I stayed on the Pacific Coast the whole time, but I can say that I would definitely recommend the southern part of Costa Rica over the northern part. I spent two nights at Arenas Del Mar near Quepos, two nights in Uvita at Kurà Design Villas and then two nights at El Mangroove in the Gulf of Papagayo (the one in the north part of CR). While I did enjoy all of Costa Rica, my experience in the south part felt more relaxed and pure, yet also more luxurious. Next time I hope to visit the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica!
When I first booked my trip to Costa Rica, I was worried that it happened to be the “green season” aka the rainy season/their version of winter. I read a bunch of scary things online about constant rain and mudslides. Oh no! But when I got there, I was so glad it was the rainy season. First of all, that means less tourists. It felt like we had every hotel completely to ourselves. Secondly, it didn’t even rain that much! It could be that I’m from Florida and used to afternoon showers, but on the days that it did rain, it started at like 5 and ended after a few hours. It was the perfect time because after a long day in the sun all you want to do is relax before dinner. It only rained during that in between time. I loved it!
There are so many options for getting around in Costa Rica. You can take shuttles to hotels, hire drivers, take domestic flights, or you can do what we did and rent a car. I’ll be honest: renting a car in a third world country is daunting. Especially after what you can read after a quick google search. But we did it and we were totally fine. It was so easy. And best of all we were able to explore the country on our own schedule and at our own pace. We saw an amazing view on our first journey from the airport to hotel #1 and decided to pull over to check it out. There happened to be a sign advertising sunset cocktails so we followed it. We ended up at the most gorgeous restaurant with the most amazing view. It was the perfect welcome to Costa Rica and something we would have never been able to experience had we not rented a car.
I will warn you that there are no traffic rules there. The speed limit is a joke and the drivers pass on double lines with inches to spare before a head on collision. But I have to say that we did get used to “tico” driving pretty quickly.
What to Do
When in Costa Rica, the most exciting thing for me was walking through the rainforest and seeing all the amazing animals that live there. We saw three different types of monkeys, two sloths and countless birds and bugs. I definitely recommend checking out Manuel Antonio National Park if you are staying in a hotel that doesn’t offer rainforest activities (Arenas Del Mar had all of the animals we saw at Manuel Antonio on their grounds – so awesome!). You have to get a guided tour though. They can spot animals from sooooo far away plus they have a telescope that allows you to see the animals up close.
How to Pay
The official currency of Costa Rica is the colón, but every place we went takes credit cards and US dollars, so there’s really no need to convert your cash. A lot of places do give their change in colóns, so if you really want some Costa Rican money, you can just buy something and get the change back. Also, everything is pretty cheap there.
What to Eat
Every place you go to eat will have gallo pinto, which is rice and beans. It is so delicious!!!! The best place we ate by far was at the restaurant and Arenas Del Mar. Every single meal was simply phenomenal. The breakfast was the best I’ve ever had in my life. SO GOOD! I met the owner of the hotel while I was there and he told me that he is a foodie and has very high standards for food. It is definitely so clear. In fact, every night tons of people came in from the town just to eat at the restaurant. It is seriously probably the best food I’ve ever had.
I can’t wait to go back to Costa Rica. It was the best trip of my life! So did I miss anything in my tips?
What do you want to know about visiting CR?
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