Costa Rica es la Pura Vida: Travel Guide

Lessons Learned

While traveling around Costa Rica, there are a few things I learned about the country in which I want to share with you all. This will help you learn how to care for things in the country, help you plan, or it is just a plan fact!

  1. Blue Macaws are native to Brazil but have appeared in Costa Rica due to “bird trafficking”. This practice is not safe for the birds as they usually break one of their wings to prevent them from flying away. People usually by them for up to $1,000+ as they are soooo cute at a young age. But when they get older, they are extremely loud and annoying and can eat your fingers off! So of course people no longer want them at that point. Due to this poor treatment, they aren’t able to return their original home.

  2. As of August 2017, gasoline for vehicles was about double of what it is in the United States. So you are looking at around $5.00 per gallon (obviously you will need to convert this to liters). Consider this if you plan on renting a car to navigate the country.

  3. I visited a conservation to help animals who have been hurt preventing them from thriving in their natural habitat. One of the animals I saw in the conservation was a toucan in which a human poured acid on its beak! INSANITY! Without a fully functioning beak, it makes it hard for the toucan to get its food. There were plenty of animals in the conservation they are working to rehabilitate to return to their homes or provide luxury services to those who cannot be rehabilitated. Some animals in the conservation includes spider monkeys, javelinas, blue macaws, parrots, raccoons, etc. The lesson here is let nature do its thing and do not interfere!

  4. Costa Rica’s currency is the Colon. As of August 2017, 1 USD = 571.52 CRC. Inflation wasn’t that bad at this time and the USD got me a long way!

  5. Most people live outside the city of San Jose and drive in for work causing for very bad traffic!!

  6. Remember the country of Costa Rica is a rainforest! The driest times of the year is from November to April.

  7. Country exit fees should be included in the price of your plane ticket.

  8. The language there is Spanish but English is widely spoken.

Travel Costs

Per the average cost per day per person is as follows (prices are listed in USD):

  • Hotel / Stay Accommodations: $43 (this average price includes accommodations from one star to five star)

  • Meals: $17

  • Bottled Water: $2

  • Local Transportation: $9

  • Alcoholic Drinks: $4

The cost of your flight can vary based on where you are coming from and what time of the year you are visiting. According to, the average flight cost for cheap cities (Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Newark, Los Angeles) are as follows:

  • Average during high season: $550

  • Average during low season: $500

I stayed from Sunday to Wednesday (3 nights, 4 days). The average estimated cost for a trip from a cheaper city in the US to Costa Rica during low season is $721 (this doesn’t include transportation to other cities, souvenirs, tours, and entry fees).

I spent a total of $612 for my trip prior to buying a flight to get out of Costa Rica due to Hurricane Harvey. My original return flight was going through Houston, Texas which ended up being devastated by the hurricane that week. So always be prepared for the unexpected during travel!

The $612 includes the following:

  • Travel (flights, taxis, Ubers, etc.): $236

  • Tours & Entry Fees: $202

  • Hotels: $50

  • Food: $40

  • Souvenirs: $86

How to spend under the average budget for a trip to Costa Rica:

  • Use travel points

  • Go with others, so you aren’t always paying for meals

  • Buy groceries that will last for all of your breakfast meals

  • Look at tours that includes lunch

  • Use ride sharing services

  • Traveling between cities try finding reasonably priced yet safe options

  • Use time shares, Airbnbs, or hostels

If you would like help planning your next trip and helping you stay under budget, sign up for my services here:

Suggestions for Your Visit to Costa Rica

All of the recommendations below are based on my personal experiences. I wouldn’t recommend them if they didn’t provide me the best of service, unless otherwise noted.

  • Museo Nacional de Costa Rica (National Museum of Costa Rica): Learn the in depth history of the country here and see amazing butterflies! See more here:

  • Villas Palmas Condos: The shabby chic condos I stayed in during my visit.

  • Mercado Nacional de Artesanias (National Craft Market): Spend some time picking up souvenirs here. It is located right outside of the Museo Nacional de Costa Rica.

  • Restaurante Nuestra Tierra: Typical Costa Rican food and maybe some live entertainment while you eat.

  • La Bodeguita del Medio: Get a touch of Cuba and the infamous original mojito at this restaurant. Sometimes there is live music while you eat.

  • Proyecto Asis: Help and volunteer at a conservation near La Fortuna. Check out the different tour and volunteer options here:

  • Eco Drivers: If you need a driver to help you get around Costa Rica for a reasonable price, check them out here:

  • 6 in 1 Rainforest Tour: This was an amazing and adventure filled tour of the rainforest! From a canopy tram ride to a typical Costa Rican lunch to zip lining through the rainforest, it was well worth the visit! You can book the tour here:

Check out my Costa Rican adventure here:

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