Beautiful sand beaches, amazing waterfalls, sick surf spots, and fun activities – Costa Rica has it all! Home to many volcanoes, kind people, and wild animals such as sloths, monkeys, crocodiles, jaguars, and many exotic bird species. Here's a some inspiration for the to-doe's on this beautiful island.
Beautiful sand beaches, amazing waterfalls, sick surf spots, and fun activities - this is Costa Rica!
Costa Rica is also home to many volcanoes, kind people, and wild animals such as sloths, monkeys, crocodiles, jaguars, and many exotic bird species.
If you're keen to spot any of these wild animals, you'll get a good chance, as Costa Rica is made up of 51% rainforest. If you're not a big animal lover, there's also a lot of fun activities to do in the jungle, or many beaches to work on your tan on! Or you can try out surfing!
The official language in Costa Rica is Spanish, and you will be able to get by with a phrasebook if you want to work on your Spanish. But fear not, most Costa Rican people in the tourist areas are also good at English!
The best time to visit Costa Rica is from December to April. The worst rainy season is September-November, but honestly, it wasn't that bad when I went in October, and prices are lower if you go off-peak.
This inspirational itinerary will take you through 2 weeks of all the best things Costa Rica has to offer.
San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica and a major hub for travelers. The airport is located just on the outskirts of the city, and a 30 min short taxi ride to the Centro. San Jose is mostly known as “get in and get out”, and most people tend to leave as quickly as they get in - but why not stay for a day and check out some of the cool things San Jose actually has to offer?
Head to the Centró and look for the fantastic and architectural building of Teatro Nacional. In the evening, go to Costa Rica Beer Factory, and grab a meal - and of course a homemade beer! You can also join the Beer Factory for a guided tour around their brewery.
Visit Alma de Cafe in the morning, and try one of their many coffees or pastries. Go for a stroll up Avenida Central, and if you really want to try the authentic Costa Rican shopping experience, then go to the Central Market.
Head to the bus station in the early afternoon of day 2. The bus ride to your next destination will take about 4 hours, so you'll be able to get dinner at your destination.
Puerto Viejo is a laidback surfer-town. It is super small, and you can easily get around on your own two feet. An excellent spot for surfing, chilling on the beach or relaxing in a hammock. It feels like time stands still in this place, and that everyone is having a siesta all the time.
If you leave San Jose around the early afternoon, then you will arrive in Puerto Viejo about dinner time. Perfect, right?! If you want a cheap, local meal then visit Soda Riquismo. They offer big portions for a small amount.
Spend time in Puerto Viejo by the beach. Read a book or go for a stroll up the beach. If you are up to try out surfing, then this is the perfect spot, as there are plenty of surf schools. Other water activities include sea kayaking, SUP boards, and snorkeling.
Just outside of Puerto Viejo is the Jaguar Rescue Center. You can encounter wild animals such as monkeys, sloths, and on occasion ocelots! It definitely a cool place to visit.
A bit further away is Tortuguero, a must-do if you really want to see sea turtles. It's a bit tricky to get there as transportation is limited, so it might be worth it to book a tour or a shuttle bus. A lot of tours/shuttles offer the opportunity to depart from Puerto Viejo and arrive at La Fortuna.
La Fortuna is at the base of Arenal Volcano and is a major hub for adventure activities! You will be surrounded by rainforest, volcanoes, waterfalls and hot springs, and of course, loads of fun activities like volcano hiking, canopy, hanging bridges, horseback riding, and river rafting. I can recommend joining a tour where you combine some of the activities and making it a full day.
Take a day of relaxing by the pool in between your days, as your body can get sore from all of those activities! You can also spend the days at your next destinations relaxing if you find too many exciting adventures in La Fortuna.
It's easily forgotten when you've got a full day of fun, but don't remember to eat. Soda la Hormiga is a cheap but good place to try out local dishes. If you want something else than Costa Rican food, then head up to Pizza Ranch for a delicious pizza.
Tamarindo - or tamagringo as the locals might call it - is a popular tourist destination in Costa Rica. Even though it's a hotspot for tourists, Tamarindo has long stretches of beach, so there is room enough for everyone. Just take a look at the beautiful beach - isn't that amazing?!
Spend the time in Tamarindo on the beach watching people surf, or grab a board and go join them. Tamarindo is a popular surf destination and offers good spots for both beginners and advanced. If you've had enough of surfing in Puerto Viejo, you can take a boat tour and enjoy your day out on the water on a Catamaran, or go for a fishing trip!
You can also enjoy land-based activities such as ATV-riding on the beach - It's fun and thrilling - or learn how to make authentic Costa Rican food. Talking about food, head to Breaking Bread for some delicious bread, pastries, and coffee!
Tamarindo also has a good party vibe, so be sure to check out the party scene.
Last day! Depending on what time you flight/bus leaves to your next destination, you will be able to enjoy the last bits that San Jose has to offer.
Visit La Sabana and enjoy the last hours of your day by the lake or if you've got a little bit more time then check out Jade Museum.