Things to Know When You Travel to Costa Rica
Updated: Mar 25
When planning for any trip, we are always curious as to what will happen once we arrive! Well, inside this article I'm sharing with you the things to know when you travel to Costa Rica! Keep reading to get your FREE Costa Rica travel guide around lessons learned, travel costs, and suggestions!
While traveling around Costa Rica, there are a few things I learned about the country in which I want to share with you all. These are important facts and tips I discovered while in the country.
I visited Proyecto Asis, 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 for rehabilitation or luxury services for those who cannot be rehabilitated. The lesson here is let nature do its thing and do not interfere!
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 buy them for $1,000+ as they are cute while they are young. But when they get older, they are extremely loud, annoying and can eat your fingers off! At that point, people no longer want them and due to this poor treatment, they aren’t able to return their original home. I learned this while volunteering at Proyecto Asis.
As of August 2017, gasoline for vehicles was about double the cost of gas in the United States. So you are looking at around $5.00 per gallon (this will need to be converted to liters). You must consider this if you plan on renting a car to navigate the country.
Costa Rica’s currency is the Colon. As of October 2020, 1 USD = 603.99 CRC. Please keep up to date on the latest currency conversions prior to your trip.
The country of Costa Rica is a rainforest and the driest times of the year is from November to April.
The language there is Spanish but English is widely spoken.
Per Budget Your Trip, the average cost per day per person is as follows (prices are listed in USD):
Hotel / Stay Accommodations: $38 (this average price includes accommodations from one star to five star)
Bottled Water: $2
Local Transportation: $9
Alcoholic Drinks: $7
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 Costa Rica Guide, 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
Now, how did this work out for me???
I was in Costa Rica for 3 nights (4 days) and spent a total of $612 for my trip prior to buying a flight to get out of Costa Rica due to a hurricane (my original return flight was going through a city which was going to be devastated by 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
Here are some ways 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
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!
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: Try 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 and 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!
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.** **PS This is an affiliate partner, which means if purchase this tour through this link, Kita the Explorer may get something in return at no additional cost to you. Read more of my disclosure policy here. Thank you!
Starting November 1, 2020, all countries are now allowed to visit Costa Rica by air! Here are some things to know about travel to the country:
A negative COVID test is NOT needed (as of October 26, 2020)
You will need to complete an epidemiological health form online BEFORE flying to Costa Rica. You may access the form here.
You will need to provide proof of health insurance (be sure it will cover your time and costs spent in Costa Rica, if necessary)
You will not have to quarantine for 14 days
Please be sure to keep up to date on current protocols in Costa Rica as well as your home country prior to visiting.