Holidays in Costa Rica

Essential information for Costa Rica

Local time

Language

Costa Rica flag
Spanish

Currency

Costa Rican colón
Official currency of Costa Rica

Do I need a VISA?

British nationals don’t need a visa to enter Costa Rica. You can stay as a visitor for up to 3 months.

Find out more about Travel Visas here »

Flight information

San Jose (SJO)
16 hours+
Indirect flight

Flight schedule

  • Fly with Delta Air Lines to San Jose via Atlanta

When to go

In Central America the dry season is from December to April with a wetter season from May to November, peaking in September. During the wetter months mornings are generally bright and sunny, with rain in the afternoon and evening.

Pura Vida! - Adventures, Beaches, Culture and Wildlife Wonders in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is literally exploding with life. It has simmering volcanoes, rampant rainforests, an exuberant spirit and more wildlife per inch that almost anywhere else on the planet. This means your Costa Rica holidays will be similarly adventure-packed. One minute you’re meeting monkeys, the next you’re rafting through the jungle, the next you’re sampling ‘chocolate’ straight from the tree.

Our Costa Rica package holidays will help you get more from this staggeringly rich, lusciously green destination. A guide can show you hidden hot-springs and secret trails; they can also introduce you to the local Ticos who – according to the Happy Planet Index – are some of the cheeriest people in the world!

Brilliant Costa Rica Beaches

  • Snorkel off the cool Caribbean beaches of Puerto Viejo. These are some of the country’s most idyllic sands, and just offshore the reef is heaving with colourful fish. There’s also a chance you might spot a magnificent manatee – these gentle giants are drawn to the sea grass beds along the Talamanca Coast.
  • Feel swell at Langosta Beach, a surfer’s paradise with sugary white sand, big waves and a laid-back vibe. The Barcelo Langosta Hotel, one of the hotel stops on our Costa Rica tour, makes an ideal base for easy access to the water and sublime sunset views.
  • Follow the sea turtles to their favoured sands. Costa Rica is a haven for many species of sea turtles, which nest on beaches around the country. Tortuguero (‘land of the turtles’) attract greens and hawksbills while leatherbacks like to haul up near Tamarindo.
  • Lounge on the shores of Lake Arenal, in the shadow of mighty Arenal volcano. The lake is ideal for windsurfing, kayaking, fishing trips or cooling paddles.
  • Seek out secret sands on holidays to Costa Rica – with two long coastlines, the country has plenty of hidden beaches where it might just be you and the monkeys. Cliff-hugged Playa Arco, within little-visited Marino Ballena National Park, is a real find. You might even spy dolphins and humpbacks passing offshore.

Amazing Costa Rica Adventures

  • Swoop through the treetops on a zip-line – the exhilarating canopy-skimming concept was invented right here. Give it a go on your Costa Rica holiday: try the original tour in Monterverde Cloudforest to soar with a bounty of birds.
  • Choose relaxing rivers or raging rapids. Costa Rica has white-knuckle white water if you like – the Pacuare River is a real thrill. Or opt for a gentler drift on calmer waters – try the Penas Blancas River, where monkeys, sloths and crocodiles may be seen en route.
  • Get up-close to Arenal, Costa Rica’s legendarily feisty volcano. At its peak, this angry mountain was erupting three times a day; thankfully it’s calmed down now, enabling safe explorations of the wilderness at its base.
  • Splash about with Mother Nature – Costa Rica is overflowing with waterfalls and hot-springs. Try soothing your muscles in Eco Termales’ geothermal springs then cool off at the nearby La Fortuna waterfall, which tumbles 65m into an emerald pool.
  • Ride some of the world’s best waves. Surfers are spoiled for choice on a Costa Rica holiday – with both Pacific and Caribbean coasts that encompass reefs, river-mouths, bays and breaks there’s always a good wave somewhere, whether you’re pro or beginner. Lovely Langosta Beach, on the Pacific, is a good bet.

Costa Rica Wildlife Wonders

  • Come face to flipper with sea turtles in Tortuguero National Park. This protected Caribbean coast wilderness of beaches, channels and lagoons is a haven for the endangered sea creatures, which nest along here from July to October. Boat trips and trails in the park may also reveal sloths, monkeys, caiman and more.
  • Marvel at Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. This wildlife wonderland, home to 400 species of birds and 100 species of mammal, is a must-see on your Costa Rica holidays. Look out for the resplendent quetzal, perhaps the world’s most flamboyant bird.
  • Explore the rainforest-backed sands of Manuel Antonio National Park, a magnificent mix of lush jungle, glorious beaches, short trails, canopy walks and 400 species of birds.
  • Take a river safari – travelling by boat along one of Costa Rica’s jungle-fringed waterways is a great way to see wildlife, which is undisturbed by you floating past. A trip along the Penas Blancas, near Arenal, should encounter an array of colourful species.
  • Be bewitched by birds. You might not think you’re that interested before your Costa Rica tour, but the country’s 800-plus species – from dazzling hummingbirds to charismatic toucans – will turn you into a twitcher for sure. And they’re everywhere! Enjoy waking up to a symphonic dawn chorus in the jungle at Monteverde’s Heliconia Hotel on our Costa Rica tour.

Cool Culture Hits

  • Follow the world’s favourite treat from bean to bar – chocolate hails from Central America, and you can learn all about it on a plantation tour. At Tirimbina Biological Reserve you’ll walk across a suspension bridge and amid the cacao trees to taste chocolate prepared the ancient Mayan way.
  • Amble around the time-warp village of Tortuguero. There are virtually no cars here, and locals still farm, hunt and fish in traditional ways. Find a rustic coffee shop, order a hot brew (made from Costa Rican beans, of course) and watch the world go by.
  • Eat típico style – try traditional Costa Rican food such as tortillas from a roadside shack and gallo pinto (rice and black beans) from a family-run restaurant. Order fresh seafood by the coast or succulent beef in Guancaste’s cowboy country.
  • Be dazzled at the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum in capital San José, the ideal starting point for Costa Rica package holidays. Look out for the little gold frogs and insects, lucky charms supposed to prevent the bearer getting sick.
  • Feel fruity – and have a super-healthy Costa Rica holiday! A weird, wonderful and rainbow-colourful array of fruits are grown here – from mangoes and melons to the more juicily obscure: carambola (star fruit), guanabana (soursop) and marañón, the orange-yellow fruit of the cashew tree.

To be swept up by the beauty of this incredible country, check out our Costa Rica Tour packages.