One of the best places to escape in Central America is Costa Rica, which has amazing beaches, lush rainforests, and a vibrant culture. This small country, which is tucked away between Panama and Nicaragua, has a ton to offer in terms of breathtaking scenery and wonderful weather.
The dry season, which runs from mid-December to April, is the ideal time of year to visit Costa Rica. Of course, though, ideal weather is accompanied by high demand and higher price tags. Fortunately, no matter when you visit, you get a lot for your investment in Costa Rica. Just be sure to book your tours and accommodations at least 6 months in advance with us, as most of our favorite spots are boutique properties with limited rooms. If you don’t mind a little rain, visit between May and November, when costs are low and the tourists are few and far between. Of course, the best time to visit depends on what you intend to do.
I explored several regions of Costa Rica, and one of my favorite parts was the domestic flights.
This was a quick 25-minute flight from San Joe on a turboprop plane seating 8. The flight was an experience in itself. Sitting behind the pilot and watching the sea emerge and landing on a small airstrip we walked right off onto the tarmac.
Highly recommend skipping the drive and arriving in this special way!
We travel for all kinds of reasons right? Sometimes depending on what we need in that season of life. Maybe you’re craving adventure, rest, or a reset. When you are looking to travel with the goal of connection – Tortuguero will steal your heart
This small village within Tortuguero National Park is filled with incredible people, food, and wildlife. Its name means “the place where the turtles are coming” as it’s one of the most important places for turtles to nest worldwide. We visited the protected beaches and did a night walk with a trained local guide in the hopes of seeing turtles laying their eggs.
We saw one mama turtle laying her eggs – all 50-100 of them!! Another returning to sea, cheering her on from a distance. No pictures allowed since turtles are sensitive to light and we don’t want to disrupt the process. Some things you just have to visit and see for yourself.
Tortuga Lodge is situated on the river so all transportation (arrival, to our hike, to town) was by boat. The food is what a Costa Rican grandmother would cook, but sophisticated enough to have an entirely separate vegan menu. Spend the day exploring the river and return each evening for a Caribbean cocktail. The staff is 100% local and everything they do is based on conservation, including starting an English school so your stay is giving back to the local community.
Perfect for: quiet, laid-back nature lovers
A must during your stay is the boat tour through the canal of Tortugeuro National Park with over 400 types of trees. We spotted:
But while you’re searching for wildlife, there is so much stillness and that in itself is a gift.
A quick flight and we were in the rainforest and on our way to Doña Mara’s home for to learn to make tortillas and “chilera” (hot sauce). Her kitchen in the middle of the rainforest had us cooking tortillas over a wood stove and enjoying a delicious home-cooked “gallada de picadillos.”
She shared her hot sauce recipe with us, although I don’t know if I’ll ever make it that good again – but I’ll try. This was such a special culinary experience. I highly recommend you meet this passionate, kind women for some tips on Costa Rican cuisine when visiting. When planning with Melted&Moved, we add local flavor to your trips by integrating experiences like this all over the world!
Amor Arenal, Nayara Resorts, and Tabacon Thermal Resorts are just a few of the wonderful resorts in this area. Schedule a Dicover Call with us to plan your trip so we can find the perfect fit for you!
Costa Rica is ideal for individuals seeking an active trip. With so many waterfall hikes, hanging bridges, and chocolate excursions to choose from, most people use the day to get out and explore, perhaps with a spa day thrown in for a little pampering.
Spend your days white water rafting, horseback riding, or arguably the most popular attraction, zip-lining. This zip line circuit stretches across several mountains, crossing canyons, and goes into the forest.
It’s the fastest zip line is Costa Rica going 50 mph!! I’m not a huge fan of heights so the first was the hardest but once the adrenaline kicks in you can soak in the views for the rest of the circuit (7 zip lines total). Would you do it?
You get up close and personal with wildlife. We did several nature walks. Spotting monkeys, snakes, crocodiles, frogs, iguanas, and sloths.
You won’t find tigers, elephants, and giraffes as you would on an African safari, but you can expect lunch interruptions to spot toucans or wake up calls when the howler monkeys start chatting at 5am. We spotted a sloth just outside one of our rooms! Our driver guide pulled over and got his telescope out when we happened upon any unique bird sightings. The only thing on our list we didn’t see was a tarantula but I can live with that.
Head to the beach to end your trip with a few days relaxing poolside. This area is known for golden beaches, wellness centers, and is lined by a tropical forest. I highly recommend chartering a boat if you’d like to enjoy a snorkel or sunset cruise.
They say you come for scenery but return for the people. Costa Rica now has a special place in my heart. I can’t wait to advise new client trips here!!