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First-Time Visitor’s Guide to Costa Rica


Are you thinking of visiting Costa Rica for the first time? Read our visitor’s guide below!

Travel Tips for Costa Rica

One of the most important tips for visiting the gorgeous country of Costa Rica for the first time is to plan well in advance. Take a few of hours before traveling to thoroughly organize your trip. You should take into account the geography and allow time for changes. If you are planning to stay at the beach for only two days, you may find it hard to leave. You could explore the nation’s capital San José, a volcano, rainforest and a couple of beaches in one trip. But the farther you go, the more time you will need. The treasures in Costa Rica are hidden everywhere.

While locals can speak English, learning a few basic words in Spanish is very helpful. Costa Ricans have their own Spanish dialect and sometimes they speak in words with different meanings and hilarious puns. Don’t forget to bring some cash when you are moving around, but remember that even when Costa Rica is one of the safest countries in South America, bringing more money than you need is not a very smart move. Same goes for leaving your bags unattended or your phone sitting on the passenger’s seat of a car.

When to Visit Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a great vacation spot all throughout the year. With only a dry and rainy season, this country doesn’t have to worry about summers being too hot or winters being too cold. You will get almost twelve hours of sun every day and twelve hours of night year-round. The rainy season starts in May and finishes in the middle of November. The dry season starts in November and ends in April. But the rainy season doesn’t mean less sun. Rain starts early each afternoon daily.

Costa Rica is known for its unusual weather changes and microclimates, so you should be prepared for hot and humid environments, cold nights and sunburns.

What You Should Wear

It would in your best interest is to bring clothes for all occasions, without packing your luggage to its max. You will need beach essentials such towels, sandals, and swimsuits. For most rainforest and volcano adventures in Jaco, we recommend bringing the opposite. This includes jeans, waterproof shoes, scarves, winter hats and gloves. And don’t forget that Costa Rica also has an interesting urban life. You may need nicer clothes for some restaurants in the city, as well as short casual clothing for salsa dancing and clubbing nights.

Getting Around Costa Rica

The country has a really complicated geography. This is why you have all these breathtaking panoramas and natural beautiful landscapes. Moving about is not terrible, but it could be. People traveling on a budget, need to rely on local buses for both long and short distances, while taxis are a great option only for shorter trips or for night adventures. Buses are a common mode of transport to the provinces of Costa Rica. Some buses are available every day for trips to the beaches and the rainforests depending on the specific destination.

Is this your first time planning a trip to Costa Rica? Click here to contact Ocean Ranch Park!