Male Resplendent Quetzal in Flight spotted in Costa Rica.

From luscious rainforests and towering volcanoes to captivating wildlife and exhilarating adventure, Costa Rica offers a perfect getaway. From the Pacific to the Caribbean, lounge on pristine beaches, zipline through cloud forests, and enjoy La Pura Vida as a personalized Zicasso itinerary to Costa Rica opens a world of discovery and relaxation. Design yours today.

Sample Itineraries

You can have any trip tailor made for your private travel.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica Travel Post Covid-19

Alex, one of our top Zicasso travel specialists to Costa Rica, is cautiously optimistic that travelers can begin looking at travel for 2021. Overflowing with incredible landscapes, outstanding beaches, and a wide array of activities, Costa Rica is a fantastic destination for travelers seeking relaxation and adventure.

If you are ready to start planning, now is a great time to talk with a Costa Rica travel specialist to determine which regions you would like to visit. Organizing your trip design now will save time later. With so many incredible options for accommodations, exploring the many ways you can experience Costa Rica is inspiring and a great way to look ahead. Our local specialists can advise any traveler on what is possible so that your ideal trip itinerary can be realized.

Planning a trip can happen anytime. It costs nothing to fill out a Trip Request with Zicasso and learn more.  Booking your trip can happen when you are comfortable to do so, as our Zicasso team can offer flexibility based on real-time global events. A customized trip with Zicasso has many advantages, and your local specialist is positioned to ensure your health and safety.  At the same time, you enjoy an itinerary designed specifically for you. Local knowledge and connections matter, as does the agility of a travel specialist to shift your plans for any reason.

Zicasso is here to help you.  Please contact us at 1-888-441-2418, and we are ready to connect you to a local Costa Rica travel specialist today.

How to Book a Costa Rica Tour

Costa Rica is biologically diverse, tranquil, and adventurous. The country acts as a bridge between North and South America with its spectacular rainforest, dynamic cloud forest, and enchanting beaches. Whether birdwatching, lounging by the pool, trekking to volcanic peaks, or searching for endangered Hawksbill turtles, Costa Rica reveals natural treasures and a friendly ambiance that embraces Pura Vida. A Zicasso travel specialist will help arrange your perfect combination of adventure and relaxation so that you can experience the best of Costa Rica.

There are three ways to plan and book a trip:

1. Get a customized tour planned and booked by a travel professional. Travel independently on your own schedule.

2. Book a group tour. Join an escorted group tour with a fixed departure date.

3. Plan and book a trip yourself.

Zicasso offers the best solution for a customized tour by matching you with top travel specialists who plan and book the trip for you. Our travel agency division, Marageti, specializes in helping you book an escorted group tour. There is no extra cost to you for either service.

Custom Tours

A customized tour is one that is planned by a travel specialist according to your specific interests, preferences, and schedule. Whether you desire a family-friendly adventure or a romantic getaway, each of the accommodations, activities, and destinations is tailored to your preferences. The knowledge and experience of your travel specialist make a big difference. Zicasso has spent thousands of hours vetting the best travel partners. We act as a referral service, matching you with specialists that best meet your goals and priorities.

Escorted Group Tours

A group tour offers the advantage of convenience at a great value. The schedule is fixed, the itinerary is pre-planned, and a dedicated tour director travels with the group throughout the trip. A group tour can be 30 - 50% less expensive than an equivalent customized tour. Out of the many hundreds of group tours, how do you select the right one for you? Our travel agency division, Marageti, has sales agents who specialize in helping travelers weigh the pros and cons of each group tour. We give you personalized recommendations to find the best tour for you.

Goals and Priorities

What are your goals and priorities for the trip? These should drive your decision for either a customized tour or a fixed departure group tour. We are here to help you make the right decisions to make your dream trip a reality.

Must-See Destinations in Costa Rica

We have worked with our Costa Rica travel specialists to provide you with suggestions on the best Costa Rica trip, no matter the length of your trip. A custom Zicasso tour designs your trip around your goals and needs, but the following recommendations give great guidelines for the first-time traveler to Costa Rica.

Most travelers from the United States spend eight days in Costa Rica. Eight days is a great introduction to Costa Rica and is enough time to experience the three most popular elements of the country: the rainforest, cloud forest, and beach. The following examples are suggestions on how to organize your time based on the length of your trip.

7 to 9 Day Trips

If you have between seven and nine days in Costa Rica, we recommend that you visit Arenal, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio. By organizing your days based on your time and Costa Rica’s geography, you will maximize your time to relax, explore, and experience the essential highlights. Your Zicasso travel specialists can ensure that your trip is organized in the best way possible so that you can enjoy your preferred activities and destinations.

7 Days

Days 1-3: Arenal

Days 4-7: Manuel Antonio

8 Days

Days 1-4: Arenal

Days 5-8: Manuel Antonio

9 Days

Days 1-4: Arenal

Days 5-6: Monteverde

Days 7-9: Manuel Antonio

If you have more time (10-16 Days), We Recommend:

If you have approximately two weeks in Costa Rica, we recommend that you divide your time among the biodiversity that changes between the north and south. If you have 14 days, you can add to the original destinations of Arenal, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio by visiting destinations such as Tortuguero, Corcovado National Park, and the Osa Peninsula.

All Zicasso tours are customized to your preferences, but below is how we recommend spending your time:

10 Days

Days 1-3: Arenal

Days 4-5: Monteverde

Days 6-8: Manuel Antonio

Days 9-10: Tortuguero

12 Days

Days 1-4: Arenal

Days 5-6: Monteverde

Days 7-9: Manuel Antonio

Days 10-12: Tortuguero

14 Days

Days 1-4: Arenal

Days 5-6: Monteverde

Days 7-9: Manuel Antonio

Days 10-12: Tortuguero

Days 13-14: Osa Peninsula

15 Days

Days 1-4: Arenal

Days 5-6: Monteverde

Days 7-9: Manuel Antonio

Days 10-12: Tortuguero

Days 13-15: Osa Peninsula

16 days

Days 1-4: Arenal

Days 5-6: Monteverde

Days 7-9: Manuel Antonio

Days 10-12: Tortuguero

Days 13-16: Osa Peninsula

How many days is enough to see Costa Rica?

21 days is the perfect amount of time to see the entirety of Costa Rica. Seven to nine days is a great amount of time for an introduction to Costa Rica’s highlights, but 21 days will immerse you in Costa Rica’s natural treasures and vibrant culture. You can sample coffee, whitewater raft on the Pacuare River, or venture off the beaten path to discover a secluded reserve.

Essential Experiences for the Best Costa Rica Vacation

During your Costa Rica tour, you can trek the lush hillsides to find waterfalls or ride horseback on a remote beach at sunset. You can also search for rare macaws in the jungle or bask in the sunlight along a white-sand beach that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Moreover, Costa Rica is home to marvelous museums, enticing waves, and isolated islands that are perfect for snorkeling.

Best Way to Experience Arenal

Arenal is the adventure capital of Costa Rica but is also known for its soothing hot springs and spectacular views of the peak of Arenal Volcano. The serene rainforest terrain opens to views of the glassy lake, and the treetops host a variety of wildlife, such as sloths, jaguars, and white-faced capuchin monkeys. During your Costa Rica trip, you can participate in the following essential experiences.

What to See & Do

The Main Must-Do Tours in Arenal (2-3 days depending on pace)

Active Exploration

  • Ziplining in Arenal has become synonymous with Costa Rica and is a fantastic way to discover the rainforest’s flora and fauna.
  • Arenal National Park covers over 29,692 acres of protected rainforest along the slopes of the active volcano and provides access to lava flows, the wilderness, and wildlife.
  • Discover the glassy water of Lake Arenal with a kayaking excursion or a fishing expedition that provides views of the famous volcanic peak.


  • 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.

Best Way to Experience Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio National Park brings the treasures of Costa Rica’s biodiversity and wealth of activities to the forefront. The premier destination in the Central Pacific features rainforested hills and white-sand beaches. During your Costa Rica tour, you can enjoy the following experiences.

What to See & Do

The Main Must-Do Tours in Manuel Antonio (2-3 days depending on pace)

Discover Biodiversity

  • 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.

Coastal Scenery

  • Delight in white sand and the relaxing ambiance of the celebrated beaches within the borders of Manuel Antonio National Park.

Best Way to Experience the Monteverde

Monteverde possesses one of the rarest ecosystems in the world, and it supports a unique array of flora and fauna that spans eight biological areas. With more than 500 bird species, golden toads, endangered jaguars, pumas, and 420 species of orchids, the reserve focuses on the marvels of nature. You could take part in the following essential experiences during your Costa Rica tour.

What to See & Do

The Main Must-Do Tours in Monteverde (2 days depending on pace)

Wildlife Viewing

  • Bask in the bountiful birdlife of the cloud forest and search for the colorful plumage of the resplendent quetzal.

Trek the Trails

  • 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 when hiking the trails around the cloud forest that are nearly 5,000 feet above sea level to experience a fairytale ambiance.

Special Interests & Activities in Costa Rica

Traveling with Zicasso provides you with exclusive access to many activities, excursions, and tours for a distinctive experience. The following information offers insight into our recommended experiences and can be tailored to focus on your unique interests.

Best Food & Coffee Destinations

Its incredible combination of lush rainforest, pristine shores, and diverse climate make the flavors of Costa Rica vibrant. The cuisine is influenced by the region's biodiversity, which has attracted nature lovers for decades. Modern gastronomy highlights traditional recipes while celebrating the microclimates for which the nation is known. The coffee has a rich quality, dynamic versatility, and support from a law that prohibits bad coffee production, which has resulted in 8 regions that grow beans with unique characteristics.


Terrazu represents the ideal location for growing arabica coffee beans due to its altitude between 3,973 and 6,233 feet above sea level and its fertile soil. The mixture of foreign and native trees shade the coffee plants, and the terrain brings an acidic quality to produce one of the most popular, high-quality coffee beans in the country. Tarrazu coffee has an excellent aroma of aged wood and a subtle chocolate flavor.


The Poas Volcano hosts the popular coffee growing region. Here, the plants thrive from the rich minerals and high nutrient content of the volcanic soil. The frequent rains and high altitude promotes oxygenated roots, which bring the quality beans to life. The typical flavor profile of Poas coffee beans includes a brown sugar aroma, hints of lemon, a floral aftertaste, and dark chocolate notes.

Zicasso’s Exclusive Access to Costa Rica Best Coffee

Zicasso travel specialists can design private tours and organize exclusive visits for food and coffee enthusiasts. You can experience a private cooking class inside the home of a local family or sample award-winning coffee cocktails at a popular cafe. You can also learn more about Costa Rica’s coffee history, production, and particular flavor profiles of the different microclimates from a master taster.

Art & History

The art of Costa Rica represents the cultural heart and history of the nation. Each artifact, painting, or sculpture allows you to see an aspect of the country’s heritage through the eyes of a local and the ancestors who helped shape modern Costa Rica. Museums showcase the diverse history of Costa Rica, from Pre-Columbian civilizations to post-Independence art. Art and history derive from the rainforest, Pacific fishing villages, the wildlife, and secluded Atlantic towns, which each shine a light on Costa Rica as a crossroads of North and South America.

Must-See Art Museums & Attractions:

  • Discover the vibrant artwork and colorful oxcarts that embody the culture of Costa Rica when visiting the picturesque town of Sarchi.
  • Explore the artistic perspective of historical Costa Rican civilizations on display in San Jose’s Pre-Columbian Gold Museum with artifacts that date back to the 6th century AD.


History in Costa Rica feels ancient in reference to its natural beauty but new to the world as a young country that gained independence from Spain in the 19th century. From less than 20 indigenous tribes to Spanish colonization in the 16th century and from the rise of the coffee trade to the social reforms of the mid-20th century, New World discovery and Old World heritage blend in the museums and shine in the country’s scenery. The natural landscape represents a living history, where wildlife continues to thrive and live the stories of the rainforests, cloud forests, and coastlines. On a customized Zicasso trip, we can design custom tours with specialized guides, such as a seasoned ornithologist or a botanist with an emphasis in orchids. We can also organize natural history-focused small-group tours with a certified guide to focus on the tremendous wildlife.

Active Tours

Costa Rica’s biodiversity provides breathtaking adventures through lush rainforests and pristine beaches. Wildlife abounds, and ranges from sea turtles to white-faced capuchin monkeys. We recommend the following activities when visiting Costa Rica.


  • Cerro Chato - Traverse the trails that wind through Arenal National Park and to the summit of the extinct Cerro Chato volcano, which is 3,740 feet above sea level.
  • Corcovado - Wander the trails of Corcovado National Park to experience its intense density of flora and fauna.

Whitewater Rafting

  • Pacuare River - The rapids of the Pacuare River are often rated as some of the best in the world. The river hosts class III and IV rapids that cut through the dense jungle.
  • Penas Blancas River - The tranquility of the Penas Blancas River is great for small children and families who enjoy wildlife viewing instead of the thrill of whitewater.


  • Playa Tamarindo - As one of the top surf destinations in the country, amateur and seasoned surfers can catch their perfect swell in the protected bay.
  • Witch’s Rock - The surf break in Santa Rosa National Park is world-renowned for its sharp waves and perfect barrels but is best enjoyed by experienced surfers.

Private Excursions and Special Access

Zicasso’s travel specialist partners have inside access based on their unique experiences. Each activity or excursion is tailored to your specific interests to create the trip of a lifetime. The following list offers some examples, but the possibilities are endless.

  • Explore the tropical rainforest in the secluded north in a protected nature conservancy, where wildlife and viewing thrive, such as the largest aquatic bird in Costa Rica.
  • Indulge in a guided waterfall tour through a private reserve in a cloud forest to enjoy its breathtaking landscape, remote ambiance, and unique biodiversity.

How much is a tour of Costa Rica?

The starting price of a custom-tailored Costa Rica trip is approximately $180 per person, per day.

For an escorted group tour, the starting price can be approximately $150 per person, per day.

The cost of a Costa Rica vacation is dependent on several factors, such as the:

  • Length of your trip
  • Season (month) of travel
  • Class of hotel
  • Number of locations/cities you visit
  • Number of guided day tours and activities (e.g., cooking class, wine tasting, etc.)
  • How much you spend on meals, shopping, etc.

A vacation such as this is often the biggest purchase of the year. It will also likely be one of the most memorable experiences of your lifetime. To get the most out of your trip, we highly recommend using an expert Costa Rica travel specialist to plan a customized tour that is specific to your interests and your budget. You can also join an escorted group tour so that most travel arrangements are pre-planned for you. This way, you can travel hassle-free and relax as a professional tour director takes care of all logistics and any issues that might arise.

The cost of a tailor-made Costa Rica tour typically starts at $1,440 per person for an 8-day trip, i.e., at $180 per person, per day during the low or shoulder season.

This includes:

  • 3-star hotels (shared twin room)
  • Some guided day tours and activities
  • Transportation, such as airport transfers and domestic flights within Costa Rica

A 5-star, tailor-made Costa Rica tour, where most services are upgraded, and extra unique experiences are included, typically starts at $500 per person for an 8-day trip.

Everyone’s priorities, interests, and preferences are different. Submit a trip request on Zicasso, and we will personally match you with an expert trip planner who will help you customize your dream trip or help you select the right group tour while also taking your budget into consideration.

Best Time to Visit Costa Rica

The best time to visit Costa Rica is the second half of April and the second half of November. During this time of year, Costa Rica experiences its least amount of rain and small crowds across the country. These times act as transition periods between the dry and rainy season to provide visitors with green scenery 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 Costa Rica because of hotel deals and the 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 hours in the afternoon, and then the skies are clear again. You should note that September and October are not great months 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.

The climate varies in Costa Rica due to the country’s 32 microclimates. The mixture of mountains, valleys, and coastlines that fall on opposite sides of the Continental Divide shape the nation’s diverse ecosystems. However, Costa Rica only has two seasons: the wet and dry seasons. The dry season takes place from mid-November to mid-April, and the wet season generally occurs between May and October.

How far in advance should I plan a trip to Costa Rica?

To ensure that you can enjoy your trip and focus on your preferred experiences, you should plan your trip to Costa Rica at least 12 months in advance when traveling during the peak season (from December 21st to January 5th and around the first half of April). If you travel to Costa Rica any other time of the year, you can generally book your trip between six weeks and three months in advance.

Modes of Transportation in Costa Rica

The best way to see Costa Rica in 10 days is with a combination of flights and private drivers. Trains are not readily available for passengers outside of San Jose, and public transportation is not a reliable way to discover the countryside, especially with a limited schedule. A private car and driver gives you the freedom to travel at your pace, stop at interesting destinations, and enjoy activities in between destinations. A private driver not only knows the best routes on which to travel but will also know the smaller or hidden roads that only the locals know.

Domestic Flights

Flights do exist between small cities across Costa Rica. The flights are reliable and often offer early services, especially along popular routes, such as between Quepos and San Jose. Domestic flights use smaller planes and often have layovers in San Jose before continuing to their final destination. Flights are an easy and quick way to circumnavigate the mountains and valleys that can increase drive times across the country.

Your Zicasso travel partner ensures that your logistics are as smooth as possible by including private airport transfers, domestic flights when available, and private ground transfers between destinations to create a stress-free and luxurious Costa Rica tour.

What to Consider When Traveling Through Costa Rica

When traveling on a Costa Rica tour, you must always consider travel logistics, accessibility, and safety. The following information covers important travel topics you should consider to ensure that you have a comfortable and stress-free trip.

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 quality of service.

When traveling in Costa Rica, there are other considerations you should take to ensure your safety. For instance, when visiting the Atlantic coastline, certain beach areas are known for their crocodile population, and therefore, are 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.

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.

For Families

Costa Rica has a family-focused culture and travel infrastructure that is perfect for families of all ages and sizes. Depending on the age of your children and the size of the group with which you are traveling, private excursions are worth considering so that you can move at your own pace. Costa Rica is very safe and does not require any vaccinations, but long drives between destinations are common. There are some hotels scattered across the country that do not allow children younger than 16 years old. Your travel specialist will know of these locations and will find suitable substitutes that offer your family the same luxuries, amenities, and access to activities. Your travel specialist also knows of great excursions that will help break up long drives.

For Seniors

Seniors must consider that long drives are common when traveling in Costa Rica. Your private driver will help you with your luggage from door to door while also being aware of the best routes between destinations for the quickest drive. An expert Zicasso specialist will minimize any mobility challenges by ensuring that your driver organizes your route accordingly. Your itinerary can also be organized to avoid long drives with stops incorporated to enjoy the scenery. Traveling in small groups through Marageti will also allow you to hit the highlights with logistics minimized.

For Couples

A travel specialist understands the best destinations and experiences in Costa Rica for couples who want to mix thrilling excursions and remote romance. Luxuriously secluded properties, exciting outdoor activities, and romantic sunsets create intimate memories for the perfect Costa Rica trip. Exclusive tours that are tailored to your desires will shape your unforgettable experience, such as horseback riding on the beach or a couple’s massage while overlooking the Pacific.

For Travelers with Disabilities

Your Costa Rica travel specialist can help any guests with mobility challenges by focusing on alternative arrangements to any of your concerns, such as ensuring accessible resorts or appropriate private vehicles. Our experts’ attention to important details will make sure you can easily enjoy Costa Rica’s essential experiences, such as its natural beauty and luxurious accommodations.

Best Airports to Fly In & Out of Costa Rica

The best airport to fly in and out of when visiting Costa Rica is San Jose’s Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). San Jose’s SJO is the most common airport travelers fly in and out of when visiting Costa Rica. Liberia’s Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) also hosts a large number of international arrivals, especially for those travelers that stay in the Guanacaste region.

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)

Find the Best Flight

When flying in and out of Costa Rica, the best options for arriving and departing are either San Jose or Liberia. San Jose (SJO) remains the main airport in the country. Liberia (LIR) is a great airport when staying in the Guanacaste region, such as at popular destinations like Tamarindo and Santa Rosa National Park. Regardless, flying into San Jose allows you to catch a connecting flight outside of the capital city, such as to Quepos or Tortuguero.

Domestic Flights

Domestic flights in Costa Rica are a fast and easy way to travel around the country. Flights between destinations will often stop in San Jose, but even with the layover, you will spend less time traveling than when driving between destinations.

Flights Via Zicasso

Zicasso Air Desk 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 & Support, and Complimentary Consultation of Routing vs. Pricing with an Expert Flight Specialist make finding the perfect flight for your trip effortless.

Recommendations for the Return Traveler

When returning for another Costa Rica tour, you can travel into the depths of the cities and countryside beyond the essential destinations of Arenal, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio. The following list contains our suggestions for where you should visit during your return Costa Rica trip.

Corcovado National Park

Corcovado National Park represents one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth. Hiking trails wind through the jungle terrain, and boats wind between Bahia Drake and Puerto Jimenez to introduce visitors to the marvelous wildlife inside the forest. You can find rare squirrel monkeys, white-lipped peccaries, and the world’s largest population of scarlet macaws.


Tortuguero National Park covers over 120 square miles and remains one of the country’s most important breeding grounds for green sea turtles. Canals wind around the perimeter of the town and extend into the Caribbean Sea, providing access to the village by boat or by plane.

Related Costa Rica Tours by Zicasso

Here is our list of other Costa Rica Tours we offer:



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