Category Archives: Travel

Adventure Travel Through Costa Rica

We had waited and planned for this trip for months, and as August came to an end, (rainy season in Costa Rica) myself and 4 other fellow adventurers packed up our bags on a Friday after work and headed south for three hours to the Detroit airport.

After hours of driving, a connecting flight in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and a flight amidst a hurricane, we landed in San Jose late in the afternoon. Our first order of business was to head to the car rental place where we rented a good SUV to last us through the trip (little did we know… it wouldn’t). We got a quick bite to eat, got soaked in the torrential rains, and then started our drive.

Our first destination was Cerro Chirripo. However, looking back on it, the drive was just as much of an adrenaline rush as the upcoming climb. Driving in the late evening across the curvy and dangerous mountain roads gave us some great views of the valley below. We were crossing a mountain called “Cerro de la Muerte”, which in Spanish means “The Mountain of Death”. Soon our road came to an end in a small town called San Isidro. But this was not our destination. We had to make it to a place called “San Gerardo de Rivas”. We pulled over to ask for directions and the first man we talked to seemed uninterested in helping us. Probably because he had a live duck quacking away in a sack that he had thrown over his shoulder. I bet he was in a rush to get home and make dinner. Finally we found two women who laughed at us but eventually helped us (through the little Spanish we know, we managed to make out the directions that they gave us). The single lane, gravel road eventually led us to our hostel.

We woke up at 5am to see the foreign country that we had just spent the night in. We were staying in a glorious hostel build right into the rocks, owned by an American from North Carolina that moved into the bush just to climb Cerro Chirripo as often as he wanted. We had the entire place to ourselves, kitchen and everything. We left some of our baggage in his hostel and our car in his parking lot and started our hike.

We began at the base of the park, and by the time we got to the first kilometre marker we were all seriously realizing what it meant to climb the tallest mountain in Costa Rica (second tallest in central America). At over 3,800 meters above sea level, this 14 kilometre hike was about to get the best of us. We hiked through humidity, rain, and two levels of clouds before we got to the half way point. Already tired, we ate some good healthy food and loaded up on water. The rain eventually subsided as we went on further. It began to get cold and the terrain started to get barren like a desert. Our fatigue was getting worse and worse, and the rest breaks started to happen more frequently. As the sun started to settle,, we knew that we had to make it to the base camp, as Cerro Chirripo is home to all 6 of Costa Rica’s cats. After 9 hours of trekking, we putting on some warm clothing (it started to snow at this point) and went to sleep at the base camp. Early the next morning, we arose to see the sunrise over breakfast and then took a peak at the summit, before starting our trek back down. 4 hours later, our legs were shaky but we hopped in the car and drove on.

While driving through mostly farmland, and some closed roads, we took a break in Domincal for some seafood at an ocean side restaurant. The sun set as we watched the tide recede. Back into the car we drove to Manuel Antonio. Once again, arriving at night we reached our hostel. This hostel was a dump. It was in someone’s garage and had stray dogs roaming around. We kept going until we found a great place on the main strip for a few dollars more. The next morning our adventure began. We went for a hike to Manuel Antonio Park where we hung out with some monkeys and went for a dip in the ocean. The waves were unreal. We checked out the town and then went to a pub. It was quite interesting hanging out with the Ticos, but nevertheless, it was fun. A few of the guys got cheated into some fake cigars, but we got over that fast and enjoyed the evening. In the morning we met up with a tour guide named Alex who took us into the mangroves. Interacting with the monkeys and the ‘Jesus Christ Lizards’ was something that doesn’t happen in Canada so we enjoyed every minute of it. We saw some cool birds and other animals. But the cool part was the little caiman heads that we started to see popping up around our boat. On the way back, we stopped for some fresh Costa Rican fruit before making it back to our hostel. We got dressed up and went out on the town again. Dinner in an old airplane followed by dancing at a local club finished off the evening.

The next morning we all woke up late and sick. We had to book it over to Quepos for some scuba diving that we were doing. Although we got there almost an hour late, it was okay because we were the only bunch of tourists that were crazy enough to dive during this season. The boat took us out to some really cool reefs that we swam around. We got some good glimpses of the fish and lobster that inhabited the area. All in all the scuba diving was a blast but it was time to move on! We got back into the car and head to Jaco.

Arriving that evening in Jaco we enjoyed some dinner and hung around watching some surfing videos at the local pub. In case you didn’t know, Jaco is the surfers Mecca of Costa Rica. While watching these videos we got approached by another American also from the Carolina’s who invited us to check out a real UFC style fight at a local club. Naturally we accepted. Arriving at the club, security was tight, so we had to mention the surfers name to get in. While enjoying some Costa Rican beers we had the rare opportunity to watch an underground cage fight. Fighters from all over, but predominantly Brazil, were there. It was great to watch and experience, but as soon as the evening ended we headed back to our hostel for some REAL cigars before crashing for the night.

Early the next morning we took a cab to Herradura, a small beach north of Jaco were a power boat picked us up and taxied us across the bay to Montezuma. This is the first time where the rain impeded our plans. We had booked a boat ride over to Tortuga Island for some snorkelling, but the hurricane made this impossible. However our visit wasn’t in vain. We had the opportunity to explore the town. Montezuma is a colourful but quaint town. It is absolutely amazing and probably my most favourite part of Costa Rica. We enjoyed an excellent meal and then headed to our cabins in the mountains were we reminisced on what we’ve been through and what is still to come. The next morning, while being accompanied by tuna and sea turtles for most of the way, we took the taxi boat back to Jaco where we picked up our car and went on our way.

Our next stop was Monteverde. The trip there was quite interesting. The roads became very bumpy and rocky and dangerous. And then it happened… we got a flat tire (later we’d find out that the roads also messed up the suspension and the alignment). This flat happened right on a gravel hill in the middle of a massive bend in the road. Two of us had to watch traffic from both sides down the road and ask them to slow down and not hit us, while the rest worked on replacing the tire in the rain and mud. Finally we made it to Monteverde. For the sake of interest we took a tour on the hanging bridges they had and got to see some amazing reptiles hanging around in their normal habitat. But once this was over we got geared up to zipline the tallest, longest, and fastest set of 11 ziplines that Costa Rica had to offer. Because we were in a cloud forest, once you left the platform and started your zipping, you could see everything for a bit and then you disappeared into the clouds. This was a very surreal and exhilarating feeling! Totally cool! This detour was well worth it, but we had to keep on going, for our final destination was La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano. We stopped for food in a restaurant INSIDE of a tree and then went on our way!

We got to La Fortuna late at night, booked out an entire room fitted for 11 backpackers (so we had room to hang our wet stuff in hopes of it drying) and went immediately to bed (after calling the car company to replace our vehicle). In the morning we ate an awesome Tico breakfast and were amazed at the hostel we scored. We had a diner, pub, internet café, swimming pool, and view of the Volcano right at our finger tips. We quickly headed into town and met up with our tour guides. They seated us up into the back of their pickup truck and took us deep into the jungle. This is where we started our canyoneering in the Lost Canyon. This was cool. This pristine hike through crystal clear and refreshing cool, waters would be interrupted frequently by HUGE waterfalls that we, of course, rappelled through. This was one of my favourite parts of the trip. The waterfalls were huge and so desolate that even fallen trees from the hurricanes were left where they lay.

We eventually made it back to our hostel where we met some cool people and spent the evening hanging out with them at the pub. In the morning the group split up. Three of us rented some motorbikes and headed to the famous “La Fortuna Waterfall” for some swimming and photo opportunities. Myself and another one of the travellers ventured off with a guide to the Venado Caves. This wasn’t a very physically demanding caving experience. In fact it consisted mainly of hiking, crawling, squeezing and ducking. But it was still amazing. The caves were hot and humid volcano crevasses deep in the volcano territory. But there was a really cool, knee deep, stream of water we walked through the entire time. As expected, the caves were littered with enormous insects and spiders. The coolest part of this expedition was when the cave started to get smaller and tighter but the knee deep water remained. We ended up crawling through the water with only enough room for our heads to stay above. Then a noise disturbed a bunch of bats and they flew straight for our heads. After getting hit in the face a few times I just submerged until they passed.

Once we got back to the hostel, we met up with the other guys and found some guides to take us on a hike of the volcano. This lasted well into the night when we could see the hot lava flow from the cone! We lucked out, again, when the volcano exploded a little more than normal. The guides said that this doesn’t happen often as they rushed for the cameras. It was definitely an experience of a life time.

We eventually made it back to our hostel were we did some more socializing with some people we met and then hit the sack. We knew in the morning that we were back in the car (which had now been replaced via flatbed truck) on our way to Limon.

We arrived in Limon mid afternoon and just briefly checked out the city. We didn’t find anything to interesting so we headed off to Puerto Viejo on the south eastern coast of the country, right next to the Panama boarder. This place was Hot! And I mean really Hot! The Caribbean air was so dense and humid that we were all sweating all the time. We took a walk around the town and enjoyed some of the cultural music and food (the lobster there was so inexpensive! Yum!). At this point we headed back to our hostel. We stayed in a really cool, hippie style hostel. There were hammocks and tents all over the place. We hung out on the beach with some more travellers and then went to the sleep.

As a side story, while in Puerto Viejo, I found myself waking up in the middle of the night to see a bat fall from the ceiling onto my bed. As it hit the bed, instantly a house cat jumped through the window and slaughtered this bat right on my sheets! With the bat in its mouth, the cat jumped out another window and went on with its business. Interesting eh!?

The next morning, we went for breakfast and met up with a guy named Carl. Carl took us on a tour of the Costa Rican backcountry. We visited a banana plantation, a cocoa plantation, and even his own home where we ate fruit from the trees in his backyard. Carl took us to a wildlife refuge to take a look around. This is where we had some delicious fried plantains. Next came the boat ride. This boat floated on the Tortuguero River into Tortuguero National Park. This park is unreal. First of all it is huge. It is also completely untouched by humans. The park consists mainly of swamps and mangroves that we floated down. We encountered really cool monkeys and crocodiles just hanging out. It was very pleasant to say the least. However, once again, as soon as the trip ended we had to get on the road and head to our next destination; Siquirres!

In Siquirres we met up with a larger group of travellers and begun on white-water rafting trip down the Pacuare River. This was a good trip filled with funny and very skilled guides as well as great food for lunch. The river was gorgeous. It was very cool and refreshing in the Costa Rican heat, so we spent a lot of time jumping into the river. Given this, the white-water was relatively tame compared to what we had all previously experienced. There were some great photo opportunities of lush rainforest and amazing waterfalls. We had mentioned to the guides that the next day we were going to raft the Pascua section of the Reventazon River. There were amazed and actually quite worried for us. It was going to be quite vicious and packed with adrenaline. We were excited… naturally. Once this trip was over we were put up in a beautiful villa on a mountain overlooking the river. It was owned by a Belgian couple that prepared breakfast for us in the morning. As amazing and revitalizing as this was, bad news came during breakfast. The hurricane had raised water levels on the Reventazon River to a point where it was a little to dangerous to raft. This was quite disappointing, but we really had no option. So instead we went back into town and enjoyed some more roadside fruit and sat around downtown, once again looking back over out trip.

Traveling in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has been one of the top honeymoon locations in the world for several decades now. It is not just a small country but it is a paradise to every locals and tourists who visits the country. It has been famous for its eco-tourist destinations and biodiversity. It is not only the beautiful nature that you’ll like, but also the locals living in the country. They have been the most happiest on the surface of the earth.

Costa Rica travel tips will be of great help if you have decided to have a vacation in this amazing and exciting country. Though it is such a wonderful country to visit, you’ll definitely need a guideline to help you explore different destinations accordingly.

It would be great to know the regions in Costa Rica to help you plan your destinations and maximize your stay in the country. The Central valley is the population center of the country and the upper part of the Central Valley is the plains of the north. It is a beautiful yet mountainous region surrounded by hot springs and volcanic lakes; Arenal is one of the famous active volcanoes in the region. On the eastern part is the Caribbean region. It is the least visited part of the country because of its isolation yet it is such a great place for whitewater rafting and sea turtle spotting.

Central pacific is on the western part of the country where most of the gorgeous beaches cam be seen. On the northwestern part is Guanacaste, the dry region of the country with little rains any time of the year. It has also several magnificent beaches with great surf and some huge volcanic and dry forest parks.

There are several means of transportation to get into your destination in Costa Rica. You can ride a bus if you’re in a good condition and riding on buses can be a good way to travel and explore the place and also it is much cheaper than riding a taxi. Taxis can cost you much but it is much faster and much comfortable than buses; be reminded that there are pirate taxis hovering around the streets, they are a lot cheaper but they operate without permits from the government. You can also rent a car if you want to explore the country on your own; just be aware that some car rental companies will charge your credit card a deductible $1000 just in case you’ve damaged the car.

As part of your wedding planning, make sure that you are aware of the season wherein your honeymoon in Costa Rica will fall. The dry season in Costa Rica will be from December 15 to April 15 where you can have the most of the sunshine. And if you’re willing to experience a little rain mostly during afternoons, and then plan your honeymoon during the green season which is from April 15 to December 15. You’ll get also a lot of savings during this time of the year because it’s an off-peak season and there are fewer tourists in the country.

What to Pack When Travelling

Costa Rica is one of the jewels of Central America. Combining a number of environments – jungle canopy, rain forest, cloud forest, beach — the country’s climate can change from one coast to another. And this is most likely the route a tourist will travel when purchasing Costa Rica vacation packages. This means packing a variety of clothes, including some which may stay in the country. Here are some recommendations on what to pack for a trip to Costa Rica.

1. Clothes to Throw Away
Portions of Costa Rica are humid and rainy for a good portion of the year. Certain garments, particularly those made of cotton, may get soggy and never dry. Throw these back into a suitcase and they start to turn ripe, making the clean clothes smelly as well. Consider bringing clothes which can be disposed of in country. These should be inexpensive items from the local thrift or charity store.

2. Mixed Fibers
Polyester clothes are normally frowned upon when packing for tropical vacations. However, they’re of utmost importance in Costa Rica because they are quick-drying items. Think of a mix of fibers in clothes, particularly those which wick off water.

3. Rain Gear
Forego ponchos when packing for Costa Rica — they’re hard to dry and very warm when in humid regions. Consider an mixed fabric rain jacket with a breathable webbing insert. This can keep the wearer both dry and cool in the jungles and rain forests. In addition, pack closed-toed shoes and non-cotton socks to absorb moisture.

4. Long-Sleeved Garments
Long pants, light long-sleeved shirts and sweatshirts are important to pack on a trip to Costa Rica. The sweatshirt is needed should a visitor tour the cloud forests of Monteverde since it’s much cooler than sea level. The long pants and long-sleeved shirts are needed for tours of the jungles and rain forests to shield bare skin mosquitoes and other creepy-crawlies which love to attach themselves to anything.

5. Swimwear
Bathing suits are not only for the beaches of both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. In fact, they’re required attire for the hot springs around Arenal Volcano. Tourists may also want to wear them as they tour the many rivers that wind through the country. Swim shoes should also be packed instead of sandals, as they tend to dry quicker, and dry clothes are a must.

Adventure Travel in Costa Rica

She pops up for the first time, shouts whooohooo, turns around to the instructor, and falls off the surf board. Your daughter is stoked! She is starting to get the hang of this surfing thing after thirty minutes of falling down a lot.

Mom, dad, and the two brothers are gradually getting up, and getting their balance too. Your professional instructor is encouraging and genuinely excited for you all. By the end of the morning, you will all be able to pop up capably and feel a great sense of accomplishment.

Every morning can be like this while on vacation in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. Opportunities for adventure abound for the active family. This can truly be a healthy, invigorating, family bonding vacation.

For a family that loves the outdoors, and is open to foreign travel, Costa Rica makes for the perfect destination. It is close to the U.S. and Canada, and there are direct flights to San Jose from several big city airports in North America. Costa Rica’s tourism infrastructure is well-developed, making it easy to get around, and safe to travel.

Costa Rica is a small country with various micro-climates, mountain zones, beautiful beach areas, tropical rain forests, deserts, volcanoes, and remarkable national parks, all within six hours of the capital. Santa Teresa, at the southern tip of Nicoya Peninsula, is a wonderful place where you can do it all.

Santa Teresa, on the Pacific coast, boasts award-winning beaches, with jungle that comes straight down from the hills all the way to the beach. There are a ton of exciting activities in Santa Teresa Costa Rica that await the adventurous family. Canopy tours, snorkeling, fishing, horseback riding, yoga, kayaking, boogie boarding, and surfing will keep the family busy for a week or more.

Surfing is the big attraction for most visitors to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. There are several renowned surf schools, as well as independent instructors, and dozens of surf shops that provide board rentals and lessons. Learning to surf together is a fantastic family bonding exercise!

For families in which one person is already an expert and wants to surf a lot, and others want to enjoy a variety of activities, the Santa Teresa area is perfect. Kayak tours to the Rio Bongo to see myriad wildlife, or fishing from Mal Pais, snorkeling tours to Isla Tortuga, a thrilling canopy tour above the jungle, hiking in Cabo Blanco Nature Preserve, horseback riding on the beach, and ATV excursions are all in the realm of possibilities and make for a memorable family vacation.

There are scores of neat places to stay in Santa Teresa too. For families, a vacation rental by the beach is the best way to go. Picture yourselves surrounded by banana trees, shaded by palms and big trees, with hammocks around for lounging in the afternoons. A vacation rental villa gives you ample space and privacy, a central location near all the activities, and you can enjoy family meals, and playing games at night.

Why Travel to Costa Rica

Of all the places one could think about, why do we have to go on a Costa Rica vacation? What’s really so important that of all the places, one would go all the way to this tiny country in Central America?

Checking out Costa Rica vacation reviews may not be a bad idea to start with. At least you’ll find out about first hand information from travelers or people who already went on this route. This may or may not build the confidence you need to make a final decision but I know this will surely help you a lot. Learning through other people’s experience is another way of making the right decision.

Anyways, going back to why this article even exists, Costa Rica simply means Paradise that’s why many tourists or travelers prefer to visit this country instead of someplace else. This country is definitely a dream come true to those who just love to go on an exciting nature or wildlife excursion or for those who seek adrenaline rushing adventures like bungee jumping and zip lining.

If you’re interested in spending just a quiet and subtle vacation with your loved ones then you can experience a hot sultry vacation laying down on its spectacular beaches and resorts. This is simply a good place to strengthen your bond while you enjoy its laid back lifestyle and friendly people. Some of the best beaches and resorts in the world are found in this paradise, so there’s no reason why anyone wouldn’t want to travel to this place.

There are gazillions of beaches so it’s up to you which one suits your fancy. Most of its famous and magnificent beaches are located in the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. There are even various sand colors to choose from. From white sand beaches to golden and even black sand beaches which are amazingly breathtaking.

Many travel agencies in Costa Rica offer all sorts of packages so you’ll have more options to choose from. Most of the developed beaches are found along the Guanacaste coast. However, for those who want to experience the night lights in this country then you can visit the beaches along the Caribbean coast because of its “Rasta” or Jamaican influence and lush vegetation. Widely known beaches in Costa Rica are Manuel Antonio, Playa Dominica, Montezuma, Playa Tamarindo, Corcovado, Tambor, Jaco among others.

Visiting this country also means going on an overseas adventure travel since there are many fun things to do in Costa Rica. For those sports enthusiasts you can select between water sports activities or nature sports activities. Popular water activities include swimming, surfing, deep sea fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, yachting and many more.

Famous Costa Rica tours allow you to visit famous tourist destinations other than the country’s beaches. This country also gained worldwide popularity because of its magnificent rain forests and national parks where outdoor activities like hiking, horseback riding, butterfly watching, bird watching and other wildlife tours, canyoning or waterfalls rappelling, canopy tours and volcano watching are mostly done. Really famous parks include the Arenal National Park where the popular perfectly shaped cone volcano, the Arenal volcano can also be viewed. Others include the Corcovado National Park, Guanacaste National Park, Irazu Volcano National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, Poas Volcano National Park and Tortuguero National Park. Famous rainforests reserves including the Monteverde Costa Rica Cloud Forest, Arenal Rainforest Reserve, Cabo Blanco Absolute National Reserve, Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge and are another tourist favorite.

Adventure Travel in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a small country yet best for vacations and overseas adventure travel due its rich wildlife reserves and forest as well as Pacific and Caribbean beaches. If you can’t decide where to spend a really great and memorable vacation then traveling to this exotic country is your best destination yet and I’ll tell you why.

There are several travel agencies in Costa Rica that offer the best deals and packages. Most people think that these Costa Rica tours are quite expensive to spend during summer and especially holidays; however, there are still plenty of travel agencies who offer promotions or more affordable packages and deals online. Some packages even include guided tours during your visit. It’ll never hurt to check and it’s always best to read their Costa Rica vacation reviews to gauge whether these travel agencies comply with your expectations and won’t create issues once you travel to your destination.

I can think of a million fun things to do in Costa Rica so you certainly won’t feel out of place or bored once you’ve reached its fabulous tourist attractions. Famous for its beautiful resorts and beaches, you will experience a really cool and exciting surfing experience with several of their unparalleled beaches that’s visited mostly by surfers like the Playa Dominical and the Playa Manzanillo. Costa Rica beaches are notably good places for other water activities like windsurfing, snorkeling, swimming, scuba diving, white water rafting, kayaking and etc. These beaches that lay on the Pacific and Caribbean vary from black to white sands and from isolated to crowded beaches. It’s up to you which of these beaches will suit your mood and style.

Costa Rica is also famous for bird watching. Most tourists visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve to get a glimpse of the Quetzal which is a native bird that symbolizes freedom for Costa Ricans. The Quetzal fancies damp places and heavily deforested areas and is prevalent in other parks such as the Volcan Poas National Park, Chirripo National Park and Braulio Carrillo National Park.

Visiting its National Parks in also gives an interesting twist for tourists. The Irazu Volcano National Park, a definite tourist attraction, is the highest volcano in Costa Rica and remains to be active even until present. Watching its crater boil water and shoot steam geysers may catch your interest. Another volcano called the Poas Volcano is considered to have the second largest active crater in the World.

Lastly, there are several museums that tourists wouldn’t want to miss during their Costa Rica vacations that are located in, San Jose which is its largest and capital city. One is the National Theater which has 1000 stone seats and is where famous artists who visit the country usually perform. The Jade Museum houses the country’s century-old artifacts and perhaps the World’s largest collection of pre-Columbian Jade while the Gold Museum encompasses 2000 pre-Columbian gold artifacts. The Butterfly Farm in Alajuela is another tourist attraction considering that its Latin America’s first and largest exporter of farm-raised butterflies.

The Five Most Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Into Costa Rica

As the host to a popular podcast about Costa Rica, I receive a lot of questions about getting to Costa Rica.  The following are the five most frequently asked questions about getting into Costa Rica.

1. What are the entry requirements?

If you’re visiting Costa Rica as a tourist you do not need to apply for a visa.  You will need a valid passport that will not expire for at least 30 days after arrival in Costa Rica and a round trip airline ticket.  Please note your passport should be in good condition.  Costa Rican immigration services will deny entry if your passport is damaged (torn, faded, etc.).  As a tourist you are allowed to stay in the country up to 90 days without a visa.  Staying beyond 90 days requires submitting an application for an extension with the office of Costa Rican immigration.  As a tourist it is unlikely your request for an extension beyond the 90 days would be granted.  However, each application is reviewed and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

2. Which Airlines fly to Costa Rica?

Most major airlines fly into Costa Rica’s San José International Airport (called Aeropuerto Juan Santamaria).  Here is a list of some of the major airlines (this list is not all inclusive):

  • American Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Continental Airlines
  • Lacsa (Costa Rica’s official airline)
  • Delta Airlines
  • Mexicana de Aviación
  • Copa Airlines
  • Iberia
  • Martinair
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Taca
  • American West
  • US Airways

3. What is the average airfare to San José, Costa Rica?

It’s very difficult to provide an average airfare since there are so many external factors outside of our control.  For example airfare from Miami, Florida to Costa Rica will be cheaper versus flying out of Omaha, Nebraska.  Plus just cracking the mysterious airline pricing code is a difficult task to tackle.  Even in domestic flights the person next to you could have paid a lot more or less than you did for the same ticket.

But to give you an idea I’ll share my personal experience flying form the Midwest of the United States (Minneapolis, Minnesota) to Costa Rica.  The average airfare is about $500.  Anything under $500 is a great deal.  The most I have ever paid is around $650.

Airfare varies greatly depending on the dates you travel.  It will cost you a lot more to fly during the tourist high season which lasts from November through April.

Follow the same guidelines for buying airline tickets to any destination domestic or international to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal:

  • Flexibility in your travel dates equals better prices.
  • The rule of thumb is to book your flight at least two weeks before your trip.  For Costa Rica make that 3-4 weeks.
  • Fly mid-week if you can. There are many studies reporting that the best prices can be found by flying on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
  • Go online.  Check out Orbitz, Travelocity, Sidestep, PriceLine, and the local airline’s websites for the best prices.

4. What are the customs regulations?

Custom duties are not charged for personal luggage.  Costa Rican law required that baggage be examined and the travelers submit customs declaration forms.  The same process required by U.S. customs.  The custom lines in Costa Rica can be very long so be prepared to wait and be patient.

5. Departure tax

After having a great time visiting Costa Rica you will need to pay a Costa Rican departure tax at the airport.  So make sure you have cash or your credit card handy.  The cost is $26 (as of this writing-March 2008).  Make sure you pay the departure tax before you get in line to check in to your flight.  If you don’t have the necessary receipts you will be kicked out of the checking line to go pay your departure tax and then you will need to get in line again (at the end of the line) to check in for your flight.  When you walk into the San José International Airport, look to your left and right and you will see the booths to pay your departure tax.  They are located across from the flight check in counters.

Things to know when traveling

Before traveling outside your native country to another country you should prepare yourself. Learning about the country before you go can prevent common problems or confusion. Cultures vary throughout the world and sometimes a simple misunderstanding can become a big deal. Learning about the basic life, culture and laws of a country you are traveling to can help you to be prepared and have an enjoyable vacation.

The basic things you need to know include how to get around, business hours and various other points. Once you get to Costa Rica you need to know how to get around from place to place, especially if you are not within walking distance of your destination. Buses are the main form of transportation. It is the most cost efficient and easiest way to get around. Do be aware that the buses in Costa Rica are small and sometimes cramped. You will not be able to take along luggage and if you need a lot of legroom you will be in trouble. Another form of transportation is a rental car. They are quite more expensive and you need to have insurance that will cover the rental car in case of an accident. Also know that most rental cars are standards, so if you do not know how to drive one you may be out of luck. Business hours in Costa Rica are much like that in the United States. Typically they run from 8 or 9 AM to 3 or 5 PM. Everyday a lunch break takes place between noon and 2PM. Also on Sundays most places will be closed. Costa Rica runs on Central Standard time, which means some of those traveling from the US may get to avoid jet lag all together. The healthcare system in Costa Rica is very advanced. They have an excellent system that offers up-to-date medical care in modern hospitals. You can most often find doctors that speak English as well. These basic facts will help you to get used to life in Costa Rica, but there are some more things you should get to know.

In Costa Rica there are some legal things you need to know. If you are renting a car be aware that Costa Rica is a good place to have an accident. Drivers here rank low for auto accident rates. The speed limits are posted either on signs or painted on the pavement and you should always be aware of them. The speed limits range from 45 to 55 MPH in general. Costa Rica laws require that all luggage is screened through customs and declarations must be filled out for certain items like food and anything valuable. Alcohol is legal for those over the age of eighteen. Also be aware that prostitution is legal in Costa Rica for those over eighteen. When you are ready to leave Costa Rica you should know you will be required to pay an exit fee approx. 27.00. These helpful hints about legal do’s and don’ts will help you avoid problems while in Costa Rica.

It is always nice to know about little things that are often overlooked on travel websites or in brochures. The water heaters in hotels in Costa Rica are not like those in the United States. You will find they are mostly plastic tubes with an electrical gadget in the nozzle. This means hot water may not always be hot. The busiest time in Costa Rica is during what is called the high season. The high season is between December and May. You may find that getting reservations can be difficult during this time. You usually do not have to tip while out in Costa Rica. A 10% tip is added to your bill. Another good thing to know is that the sewer systems can handle toilet paper unlike those in other countries. The water system in Costa Rica is treated and safe to drink. The electricity in Costa Rica is the same as in the United States. They do not use the grounding prong in some locations, so be aware of the need for adapters for this reason. Dancing is big in Costa Rica and you can find dance clubs all over. Laundry mats are not common in Costa Rica. Most people send their laundry out to be washed. Some vacation rentals offer a washer/dryer as an amenity. These helpful little hints can help you get through your vacation without a mishap.

Travel To Costa Rica With Discount

Rainforest trips, scuba diving, snorkeling, and a grand adventure await you when you think of Costa Rica. Many places survive off tourism not only in Costa Rica, but also around the world so websites offer discount airfare to whoever happens across it or goes looking. If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica for business or a family vacation, you need to go online to a search engine as start looking for discount airfare to Costa Rica.

When you do go searching for discount airfare to Costa Rica there are a few things you should consider. First, you do not want to fly too cheap. In other words, you want to make sure the airline you are flying on will get you there in one piece as well as your luggage. Often times when flying out of the country you are faced with losing your baggage do to poor service by cheap flights. So keep that in mind.

Choosing A Airport

Also, keep in mind the airport you will fly into. There are only four airports with international flights. You need to be aware of these four airports, which one will get you closest to your ultimate destination. You cannot fly to another airport in Costa Rica until you have passed customs and the best way to attain discount airfare to Costa Rica is to fly into one of the four major airports rather than continue in flight to your final destination.

Where Are You Staying

Other things you will need to consider is what hotel you will stay at and if you will need transportation. Car rental in Costa Rica may not be easy unless you have taken a package deal including discount airfare to Costa Rica. Your destination may not offer car rentals and you might find the need to research things a bit more in depth.

Hotels that are part of a package need to be considered. They may not be the best hotels out there. I would spend a little time talking with a travel agent or friends who may have been to Costa Rica in order to find where you want to stay.

There are other tours to consider as well aside from the travel package. You can take a camping trip through the rainforest on their river system or you can take day trips into the rainforest. You might find you will spend the entire vacation at the beach with water sports. Make sure your accommodations can help you get the fun you want.

Traveling to Costa Rica may be an easy experience or you might find that your discount airfare to Costa Rica was just one to many hassles for the price you paid. Keep in mind that the research is up to you or a travel agent to create the most enjoyable trip for you.

Travel To Costa Rica

If you mention gay travel to Costa Rica, you will hear many good reports from gay communities all over the world. Anyone who has visited this beautiful part of the world will tell you that it truly is a piece of paradise. Costa Rica is a Central American country which is bordered by Nicaragua, the Pacific Ocean, and the Caribbean Sea.

The sea water is pristine, the surrounding beauty is breath-taking and the laid-back pace is seductive. This little nation plays host to no less than 1.5 million visitors every year. The weather is greatly varied for such a small country. In the highlands, it is cold while in the Central Valley and San Jose, conditions are spring-like all year-round. The Pacific and Caribbean coasts are hot throughout the year.

The best time to visit Costa Rica is in the dry season which starts in December and ends in April. The locals call this ‘verano’ which means summer. There are tropical jungles with wildlife and exotic vegetation, volcanoes, and waterfalls. This is one of the most gay-friendly, peaceful countries in the world.

There are lots accommodation options. These range from hotels and motels, to inns, spa resorts, and Bed and Breakfasts. Most of these are owned and run by gays. Gay people are especially welcomed in the areas of Arenal, Quepos, Manuel Antonio, Jaco, and San Jose.

If you want to really splash out and spoil yourself at a high-end resort, the Tabacon Grand Spa will not disappoint. Although this is a mainstream establishment that caters for people of all sexual orientations, there are many reviews from gay patrons who have great things to say. It has the most amazing spa facilities and is located right near the area’s famous natural hot springs.

When first arriving in Costa Rica, many gay travelers stay the first night at Colours Gay Resort, San Jose. There are two reasons for this – the first being that it is close to the airport. Reason number 2 is that the staff is very friendly and helpful and can give you lots of tips about other regions of Costa Rica worth visiting. They will tell you where all the best bars, nightclubs and other entertainment facilities are.

Having said this, don’t see Colours as just a stop-over. This is a fine boutique hotel that offers a full service and is sought-after by guests from all over the world. In a gorgeous tropical atmosphere, facilities include a solar-heated pool, a secluded spa, and a private sundeck. It is centrally located on the Boulevard Rohrmoser which is just 15 minutes away from the cultural precinct.

Accommodation options for gay travel to Costa Rica also include a variety of excellent backpackers’ facilities. Most have their own pools, internet and wi-fi, coffee and tea makers, 24 hour security, and licensed bars. Enjoy discounted shots, cocktails and draft beer during Happy Hour between 5 and 7pm. There is no shortage of excellent international restaurants in Costa Rica which have regularly have live music, or a DJ, and fun theme nights.