Costa Rica holidays : what do I have to know
What is a travel to Costa Rica ? It’s a getaway in the heart of Central America. A holiday between the Caribbean Sea in the east and the Pacific Ocean in the west. From the discovery of the happiest and most peaceful country in the world. Of practising environmentally friendly activities in protected areas. Covering 6% of the world's biodiversity. And much more! So, there are certainly many questions surrounding a trip in Costa Rica. Here are the answers to the most important of them for a real holiday.
Costa Rica when to go according to the climate?
The climate in Costa Rica is divided into two seasons: a dry season and a wet season. The dry season runs from December to April and its main characteristic is the presence of high temperatures. Temperatures often exceed 35 degrees Celsius. The wet season runs from April to November. It is characterised by heavy rains in the afternoon. It should be noted, however, that the country's tropical climate varies according to the region concerned. Thus, the dry and wet seasons are not identical everywhere. Three zones can be distinguished: the Caribbean coast, the Central Valley and the Pacific coast. Here are their main characteristics, which vary only slightly over the year:
- The Caribbean Coast is wet throughout the year and temperatures are fairly stable. They are usually around 30 degrees Celsius. The dry season is shorter than inland. The weather is also more stable.
- On the Pacific coast, the dry season is particularly remarkable because the rains are really very sparse. As on the Caribbean coast, the dry season is shorter. Temperatures vary between 30 and 35 degrees.
- In Costa Rica's valley and San José the capital, temperatures are cooler than elsewhere throughout the year. They average around 20 degrees.
As you may have understood, it is possible to say that the climate in Costa Rica is quite pleasant all year round. Furthermore, the fact that the climate in each region is not very variable means that you can plan your holiday fairly well. Finally, you should know that the most popular period for holidaymakers is the dry season. The high season is therefore between December and April, so remember to book your accommodation as early as possible if you are considering this period.
What are the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica?
Now that you know which côte to choose depending on when you travel to Costa Rica, you are probably wondering which are the beautiful beaches not to be missed.
Cover our selection of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica and let us guide you:
- The beach Manuel Antonio is very popular in the country. You can relax on its white sand, swim in the waters of the Pacific Ocean, before heading out for a hike in the tropical forest of the national park it borders.
- The Mexico Beach is a popular spot in the country.
- After the white sand, make way for the brown sand of the Corcovado beach. The latter also borders a national park and allows you to learn about a saved nature. It is located on the Osa Peninsula, south of the Pacific coast.
- The Conchal Beach is located in the Guanacaste region, in the northwest of the country. Its clear waters offer superb underwater cover, so remember to pack your diving gear. The coral reef is full of surprises!
- The playa Dominical is particularly popular with experienced surfers. It has the promise of the best waves on the Pacific coast. And if you're in the area or just want to swim, nearby Dominicalito Beach is also the place to be.
- Finally, we end our selection in style with not one but two beaches: the Uvita Beach and the Hermosa Beach. They both form the famous whale tail Punta Uvita. Here you can swim, rest, surf and admire… Whales of course!
What are the protected areas not to be missed?
Nature in Costa Rica is so precious that much of it is protected. Here is our selection of protected areas not to be missed.
The Corcovado National Park
The Corcovado National Park is located on the pé of Osa, in the southwest of Costa Rica. It is certainly the most beautiful national park in the country, but also has its place among the most beautiful in the world ! It contains an incredible biodiversity and 13 major ecosystems. It obtained its status in 1975, which today allows it to regroup numerous protected species. These include the Baird's Tapir, Jaguars, Macao Macaws and the Giant Antbird. Here you will certainly experience the hike of your life. Between the hundreds of species of trees, birds and mammals, everything will come together to make you come out of this experience a marvel.
The Manuel Antonio National Park
The Manuel Antonio National Park may be one of the smallest parks in Costa Rica, but it is also one of the most famous. And this is due to the wealth of coverings on its 1,625 hectares. First of all, there is a tropical forest with a surprising amount of wildlife. There are many species of birds, lizards, snakes and much more. Then there are the beautiful beaches, surrounded by forest and crystal clear water, as well as stunning cliffs. All of which offer breathtaking scenery and underwater exploration.
The Monteverde Biological Reserve
The Biological Reserve of Monteverde offers a spectacle that seems to have come straight from another dimension. This cloud forest is located at an altitude of 1,400 metres and is one of the symbols of the country. It is also thanks to its stagnant clouds that a superb ecosystem has been able to develop. It is home to over 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, tens of thousands of insect species and 2,500 plant species. You can also visit a butterfly garden, a Serpentarium and a Ranarium. Finally, after surveying the reserve, you can head to the nearby Santa Elena Rainforest.
What volcanoes are covered?
Costa Rica is also a volcanic land. Here are three of them not to be missed.
The Irazu volcano
The Volcano Irazu is the most active volcano in Costa Rica. The national park surrounding it, which was established in 1955, therefore has the primary purpose of protecting the areas around it. During your visit, you will discover lunar landscapes and a peak of 3,432 metres. And that's not all. You will also see craters (some of which have even become lakes), including the famous Diego de la Haya Crater. The latter measures more than 1,000 metres in diameter and is likely to leave you speechless.
The Arenal volcano
The Arenal Volcano National Park lies between the Cordillera de Tilarán and the San Carlos plains, at the foot of the small town of Fortuna. It was created in 1995 to preserve the rare beauty of the natural site. The park is home to a rich biodiversity and contains more than half of the mammal, reptile and bird species found in Costa Rica. In addition to the majestic, perfectly shaped volcano, which rises to over 1,600 meters, you can enjoy the breathtaking view of Lake Arenal. You can also take one of the trails to meet the fauna and flora that the park is home to.
The Poas Volcano
Closed to the public for a time, theVolcano Poas National Park has finally reopened its doors and allows you to see an incredible site. A protected area of over 6,000 hectares surrounds the 2,704 metre high volcano. Within this large area is one of the largest craters in the world. The crater is about 1.3 kilometres in diameter and 300 metres deep. The volcano is still active but is not a threat at the moment. Finally, during your visit, don't miss the small museum on vulcanology located at the entrance.
What are the towns and villages in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica certainly has some stunningly beautiful wilderness, but its towns and villages are no less interesting. Here is our selection of those not to be missed.
The village of Tortuguero may be small, but it is very pleasant to visit. You will be immediately impressed by its relaxed atmosphere and friendly people. They will immediately make you feel that philosophy of Pura Vida that prevails in the country. You can stock up on souvenirs in the shops created for this purpose, enjoy a meal in one of the restaurants, or buy local products in one of the grocery stores. Finally, take the opportunity to visit the national park of the same name and explore the many canals in the region.
Montezumain Costa Rica is a former fishing village. Known for its sublime beaches, it has a peaceful yet festive atmosphere. This is probably why there is a large community of hippies, artists and back packers. Here you can soak up the local atmosphere, stock up on traditional creations and buy local produce. Finally, take advantage of the proximity to many natural reserves to discover the fauna and flora that surrounds it.
San José is the capital of Costa Rica. It is situated between volcanoes and mountains, 1,200 metres above sea level and is very remote. Don't be travellers who overlook it. San Josco has a lot to surprise you! In addition to its two emblematic monuments, the Central Post Office and the Teatro Nacional, other activities await you. You can stroll through the alleys of its central market, visit its museums, and admire its beautiful 19th century buildings. So what are you waiting for?
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, more commonly known as Puerto Viejo, is a serene little fishing village located on the Caraibean coast. It is mainly known for its beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters. The beaches are popular with surfers from all over the world, mainly between December and March. On your way here, you can also discover the Bribri and Cabecar cultures. Come and enjoy its liveliness, its relaxed atmosphere, and typical restaurants.
What offer to choose for your stay in Costa Rica?
Now that you know when to go and what activities to do there, it remains to be decided which of our holiday offers in Costa Rica best matches your desires. Here's an overview that should appeal to you:
- A tour that allows you to cover the country's must-sees. As well as starting each day with a complimentary breakfast, you'll end it in an establishment carefully selected for its comfort. And in between, you'll experience breathtaking natural scenery.
- A All Inclusive Trip to Costa Rica. Imagine not having to worry about anything except enjoying the wonders that surround you… Magical, isn't it ?
- A tour with balneotherapy extension. This is the best way to combine sightseeing and tenting in the country. After walking through the most beautiful landscapes through various activities, you can relax on beautiful beaches or continue your activity programme in the surrounding landscapes.
- A luxury trip to Costa Rica. Thanks to our selection of prestigious addresses, you will have the choice of our most beautiful offers and you can be sure to enjoy exemplary services.