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How to Plan a Trip to Costa Rica: Frequently Asked Questions

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Sunset at Jaco Beach in Costa Rica

Sunset at Jaco Beach in Costa Rica

Costa Rica can feel limitless in its promise of adventure and charm. Whether looking for wildlife excursions in the jungle or surfing expeditions in the Pacific, ziplining over the forest canopy to lounging on pristine beaches, Costa Rica offers a peaceful collaboration between culture and nature.

The following information can help guide you in choosing the right trip for you, while offering insight into the most frequently asked questions about a vacation in Costa Rica.

Can I travel to Costa Rica?

Last reviewed:  September 15, 2021

Fully vaccinated travelers with Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines received at least 14 days before arrival, and children under 18 years of age can enter Costa Rica without travel insurance. Unvaccinated travelers must provide proof of medical insurance to cover any Covid related medical treatment or lodging while in Costa Rica. Covid-19 tests are readily available for those returning to the United States.

Zicasso travel specialists can plan a last-minute trip or help you to plan ahead for 2022 so you can relax, explore and discover the popular and hidden corners of Costa Rica the way you always imagined.

Related:  Why You Should Go to Costa Rica in 2021 | Countries Open to American Travelers

How far in advance should I plan a Costa Rica vacation?

Costa Rica is open and ready to safely welcome travelers who wish to lounge on the beaches of Guanacaste or explore the biodiversity of the Osa Peninsula. By making your reservations sooner rather than later, you will have your choice of preferred accommodations and the experiences you want to have.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic we advised travelers to Costa Rica to reserve their trip approximately 12 months in advance when traveling during peak season, especially those who want top accommodations that can book out quickly. The more time you give yourself for planning and reserving your trip, the better chance you have of securing your preferred accommodations, tours, and guides.

Last-minute planning is possible and your Zicasso travel specialist can ensure you have an exceptional experience.

Related: Best Time to Visit - Costa Rica

How can a travel specialist help me?

Costa Rica recently reopened to travelers from the United States and many other countries, which makes it easy to book your next trip through Zicasso for travel in 2021 or 2022. Every trip to a new country can inspire plenty of questions or perceived challenges, but traveling after Covid-19 may have changed what was once considered common knowledge.

“Do I have to wear a mask on domestic flights?” “Do I have to wear a mask on the beach?” “Will I be able to walk the rainforest trails?” “How will I travel from Arenal to the Cloud Forest?” “Are the beaches open?” “Do I need a negative Covid-19 test before returning home and how can I get one?” You will work with a travel specialist who can answer these questions and more before you book your trip. A travel expert can also help handle emergencies that may arise during your trip — from a transportation adjustment to changing an activity due to weather.

Related: How to Plan Your Trip in 3 Easy Steps | How to Plan Your Trip Budget

What should I do on my trip to Costa Rica?

Our Costa Rica travel specialists can provide suggestions on the best Costa Rica trip, no matter the length. Explore a few of our recommendations on Costa Rica's must-visit locations and some of the things you can do on your vacation.

Arenal | Manuel Antonio | Monteverde | Tortuguero | Osa Peninsula | San Jose | Cahuita

  • Zipline in Arenal through Costa Rica's fantastic rainforest
  • Uncover Arenal National Park's 29,692 acres of protected rainforest along the slopes of the active volcano
  • Discover the glassy water of Lake Arenal with a kayaking excursion
  • Sample the delicious traditions of chocolate in Costa Rica and learn about chocolate’s historical timeline
  • Taste the distinctive flavors of Costa Rican cuisine during a private cooking class and learn about regional delicacies and typical dishes
  • Kayak or cruise down the canals of the mangrove forest for exceptional views of wildlife, such as iguanas, spider monkeys, and spectacled caimans
  • Search for vibrant monkeys, anteaters, and ocelots when following the rainforest trails of Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Delight in white sand and the relaxing ambiance of the celebrated beaches within the borders of Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Bask in the bountiful birdlife of the cloud forest and search for the colorful plumage of the resplendent quetzal
  • Embrace the stunning views of the Cloud Forest canopy when following the hanging bridges at approximately 2,400 feet above sea level
  • Discover the diverse vegetation and fairytale ambiance when hiking the trails around the Cloud Forest that are nearly 5,000 feet above sea level

Related: Top 7 Must-See Places in Costa Rica | To Things to Do in Costa Rica | 7 Things to Do with Kids in Costa Rica

When is the best time to visit Costa Rica?

The best time to visit Costa Rica is in the second half of April and second half of November. During these times Costa Rica experiences its least amount of rain and small crowds. These times act as transition periods between the dry and rainy seasons to provide visitors with greenery and no clouds.

The dry season generally starts in mid-November and lasts until mid-April. February and March are popular months to visit Costa Rica because they fall within the borders of the dry season. September and October are also great months to visit because of hotel deals and diminished crowds.

These months fall in the rainy season. Most often during this time the mornings are sunny and dry, rain falls for a couple of hours in the afternoon and then the skies are clear again. You should note that September and October are not great for whitewater rafting on the Pacuare River or for visiting Corcovado National Park. Heavy rain makes the rapids unsafe and floods the trails of the rainforest national park.

Related: Best Time to Visit - Costa Rica

Is Costa Rica safe for travel?

Costa Rica is incredibly safe for travelers. Costa Ricans are renowned for their friendliness and are eager to welcome visitors to their country. As when traveling to any foreign country it is essential to consider the local culture and pay attention to your belongings when in highly populated areas like San Jose. Your overall safety is never in jeopardy. Your travel specialist only works with experienced and vetted tour companies that provide you with the best service.

When traveling in Costa Rica there are other considerations to ensure your safety. For instance, when visiting the Atlantic coastline, certain beach areas are known for crocodiles and are, therefore, not swimming destinations. If traveling during the rainy season the rapids of particular rivers may be too dangerous to raft, especially during the months of September and October.

Which airports should I be looking at?

For most travelers, the most convenient airport is San Jose, followed by Liberia. The busiest international airports in Costa Rica are:

  • San Jose (SJO)
  • Liberia (LIR)
  • Limon (LIO)

Can Zicasso help me with flights?

Zicasso Flights is an international air ticketing service that eliminates the stress of finding and booking the right flights for your upcoming vacation. By employing the same personalized service you can expect from planning a trip with Zicasso, our competitive flight pricing, 24x7 service and support, and complimentary consultation of routing versus pricing with an expert flight specialist make finding the perfect flight for your trip effortless.

Does Zicasso assist with travel insurance?

You’ve booked your dream vacation, now protect it with travel insurance. A wide range of factors can leave your vacation in limbo. Medical emergencies, inclement weather and unexpected cancellations can cause turmoil for your trip, so in the unlikely event of a disaster, get the travel insurance coverage that provides peace of mind. To get a quote, visit our travel insurance page.

Start Planning your Costa Rica Trip Now

Costa Rica provides an opportunity to adventure into the wild and endless wonders of pura vida (pure or simple life).  A balance between misty volcanic peaks and rolling ocean waves, fascinating wildlife, and modern comforts, our Costa Rica Tours & Vacations has sample itineraries to inspire the perfect trip for any traveler. Visit Zicasso’s Costa Rica Travel Guide for more information on how to plan the right trip for you. Speak with a Costa Rica travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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