I loved the diversity of Costa Rica when I traveled there. In just two weeks I got to have so many different kinds of experiences and see so many different types of things. I got to relax on a deserted beach that was located on the edge of a rainforest. Truly there was nothing like lying on the beach and having scarlet macaws fly over and monkeys playing in the trees behind me. My hike through the rainforest was breathtaking. Huge blue butterflies were flying by. I also saw poison dart frogs, bats, anteaters, sloths, and the unusual coati, which was an animal I didn’t even know existed before my Costa Rican trip. The Caribbean side was a completely different feeling with a very slow vibe. Helping a sloth cross the road was one of the highlights here along with long bicycle trips to explore the different beaches. Arenal with its volcano was also a great place to visit. The hot springs in the area were a perfect way to unwind from the long hiking trips. I also enjoyed the city of San Jose with its many different styles of architecture. It was also a great people watching city with its many outdoor parks and activities going on.
Costa Rica has great options for places to stay. There are many all inclusive resorts in Costa Rica, bed and breakfasts, and hotels. Prices are lower than you would find in the US for accommodations, but higher than most other countries in South America. The busiest season is from the end of November until the end of April, so make sure to make a reservation ahead of time if you are traveling during this time period.
The main thing to realize when planning your trip is that even though Costa Rica looks like a small country, it does take longer than you will think to get from place to place. The roads are very bad. On my trip, I decided I didn’t want to deal with driving, so I took either the public bus or Interbus, the shared transfer system, and was very glad not to have to deal with the other drivers on the road.
The food of Costa Rica wasn’t my favorite, as I found much of it bland and unexciting. There were a few good restaurants to recommend though, and you can find these on the Food section of this site. Pura Vida!
To learn more about the Osa Peninsula, see my destination guide on the Osa Peninsula and Corcovado National Park. To find out all of my advice about the Arenal volcano and the surrounding area see my Arenal guide. For more about the Caribbean side and Puerto Viejo, go here.