ABOUT COSTA RICA
In short, Costa Rica doesn’t disappoint. It offers something for nearly every type of traveler, from luxurious spa-seekers to adrenaline junkies. Known far and wide for its stunning scenery and tropical wildlife, Costa Rica is also a nature photographer’s paradise. With over 615 wildlife species and 25% of its land protected, you are essentially guaranteed to witness a visit from a monkey or see the nesting habitat of sea turtles.
If you find yourself asking, “What can I do in Costa Rica?”, consider about the following opportunities: observing hundreds of exotic species of wildlife in Monteverde (home to Costa Rica's lush Cloud Forest Reserve), witnessing Arenal Volcano erupt (and if you missed it today, you can catch it tomorrow! Arenal erupts daily), soaking in the Tabacon Hot Springs, embarking on white water rafting adventures in the Central Valley or practicing yoga among avid surfers in the Osa Peninsula for remote beaches and diverse wildlife. Ready to slow things down? Head to Uvita to lounge on an exclusive hilltop lodge perched overlooking Marino Ballena National Park, one of the best places to see the migrating Humpback whales, visit a coffee plantation...the list goes on and on. Imagine doing all of this at exclusive boutique properties either nestled in the mountains amongst the wildlife and rainforest or overlooking the ocean.
Costa Rica is eminent for its outstanding service and hospitality, the locals or "ticos" make you feel right at home, so it only makes sense to take a trip of a lifetime in this beautiful country. Craft Travel will make sure you witness the best of the countries natural beauty, with eco-friendly adventures and peaceful nights at our carefully selected portfolio of authentic lodges, ranging from rustic chic to ultra deluxe. These lodges are leading the way in blending luxury with sustainable environmental practices: we want you - our clients - to enjoy your stay in the least impacting way on our planet Earth, and we know you do too! If you don’t see your ideal package offered here, we will tailor-make the perfect trip for you; just contact us so we can start planning your trip to see lush forests, beautiful beaches and endless wildlife. We will help you explore the highlights as well as Costa Rica’s best kept secrets.
PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO COSTA RICA
WHEN IS the Best Time to Visit COSTA RICA?
There are two well-defined seasons in Costa Rica: the “dry” season, which occurs from December to April and the “green” season, which runs from May to November. Choosing the best month of the year to visit Costa Rica is difficult to answer, as each season is advantageous in its own way. The dry season is peak tourist season, but it is a great time to plan your beach vacation as you are guaranteed sunshine every day. On average, temperatures during this time is pleasant and hover between 70 - 80F (21 - 27C), with highs reaching 90F’s during May.
The green season brings rainier months, but this should not deter you from visiting Costa Rica, as rain typically occurs intermittently throughout the afternoon and early evening. Although September and October do experience the most rain, there are less crowds and wildlife tends to be very active around this time! It may be the best time to experience a true rainforest as many trees flower and fruit during this time. Also, if you are a wildlife lover, the best months to witness sea turtles emerge from the Atlantic to lay their eggs, as well as heading to the Pacific side for some whale watching, would be between July and October.
What To eat & drink in pura vida land!
While Latin American fare has its well known staples (think rice & beans), and boasts flavorful coffee, there is more to it than that. When traveling through each country, its worthwhile checking out the traditional dishes. When in Costa Rica, it won’t be hard to hunt down a casado, a hearty dish of rice, beans, plantains, salad, tortilla, and the meat of your choice. Top it off with a side of chopped vegetables, or picadillo. Wash it all down with one of these typical drinks: Agua de Sapo, lemonade with brown sugar; a ‘fresco’, aka delicious smoothie made of fresh, tropical fruit and your choice of water or milk; or, if you’re desiring the harder stuff, try a shot of liquor made from sugar cane juice known as Guaro.
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WHAT OTHER COUNTRIES CAN I COMBINE WITH COSTA RICA?
Costa Rica can be easily paired with its Central American neighbors and countries like Nicaragua and Panama, which both offer complementary experiences to a “pura vida” getaway. These destinations have long been favorites of the international surfing community, and are now topping the list of travelers worldwide. The geography is seemingly boundless; one can uncover Caribbean-style beaches, ocean waves that rival that of Hawaii, verdant rainforests thick with exotic flora and fauna, volcanic backdrops, and near-isolated islands. The cultures are varied and unique, with many indigenous cultures still present. There are simply so many activities to enjoy and quirks to uncover, Central America is a hard place to leave but easy to come back to!
Nicaragua is up and coming on the tourism scene, and for a good reason. Its scenery and beaches rival those of its better known counterpart Costa Rica, but is a little less crowded, and a bit more rustic. It’s so easy to veer off the tourist trail and immerse yourself in an authentic, rugged, undiscovered ‘road less traveled’. Explore the historical, colorful, and beautifully in-tact cities of Granada and Leon. Experience the truly unforgettable evening light show on the beach, also known as sea turtle nesting. Take your appreciation for volcanos one step further with sand-surfing down the side of one in Cerro Negro. Stroll amongst more than 200 species of orchids in Miraflor National Park. Interact with monkeys as you sail through the 365 islands that make up Granada Islets. Slow it down Caribbean style with a trip to Corn Island. Swim in the clear, freshwater pools at the base of the two volcanoes that make up Ometepe Island. The only downside of Nicaragua? Leaving!
More and more, Panama is proving itself a must-see in Central America. Aside from its fascinating political history surrounding the infamous Panama Canal, it offers incredible islands, a vast and beautiful rainforest, a pulsing capital and a thriving food scene.
Its history is presented in the form of fortress ruins dating back to the colonial period, known as Panama Viejo. Sail through the locks of the highly expensive, highly controversial Panama Canal. Sight-see and taste test your way through Casco Viejo, the old town that offers as many churches as it does quality dining. The archipelago of 365 islands called San Blas float along the northwest of Panama in the Caribbean Sea. Of those 365 islands, only 49 are inhabited, and can cater to backpackers, partiers, honeymooners, and indigenous population-seekers alike. The seven main islands of Bocas del Toro offer everything to travelers from scuba diving to salsa dancing in some of the country’s hottest nightclubs. Explore the undiscovered land of Isla Palenque, your own private island resort set amongst 400 acres of jungle heave in the Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama.
HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD I SPEND IN CENTRAL AMERICA
Whether you’re looking for an exquisite, long weekend or a week or longer to get a taste of everything the region has to offer, Central America is the perfect getaway. A glitzy and cultural weekend in Panama City can easily be combined with a trip to Isla Palenque, a private island resort in the Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama, which makes you feel there are still undiscovered and unspoiled land in this world. The adventure can continue by exploring the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica, topped off with a few days sipping ‘frescos’ on the beach; meander through the charming city of Granada, Nicaragua for a few days before immersing yourself in Ometepe Island and all of its activities. Depending on your vision, an itinerary can be customized to fit your needs.