Best Central America Destinations
Despite its relatively small size, Costa Rica overflows with life. In fact, the country contains 5% of the world’s entire biodiversity!
This includes sweeping, verdant rainforests and 500,000 species of wildlife. Of the latter, 900 are birds alone.
Of equal importance, Costa Rica consistently ranks as one of the world’s happiest countries, regularly outperforming far wealthier nations.
With warm people, inherent charm, and a remarkable variety of natural wonders, it’s no wonder why people flock from around the world to this part of Central America.
At Martsam Travel, we have carefully curated a range of tours in Costa Rica that showcase everything the country has to offer.
For the ultimate in luxury, freedom, and flexibility, consider our tailor-made custom tours of Costa Rica.
Our expert trip planners love going above and beyond to deliver bespoke itineraries that turn dream vacations into reality!
Of course, if you have any questions for us about any aspect of our tours in Costa Rica or anywhere else in Central America, please feel free to get in touch.
If you’re unfamiliar with the geography of Central America, let’s start by getting our bearings.
Costa Rica shares a border with Panama to the south and Nicaragua to the north. This also means that Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Belize are all further north on the subcontinent too.
The azure waters of the Caribbean Sea wash over the eastern shores while the Pacific Ocean does the same to the west.
And best of all — it only takes a couple of hours to fly to Costa Rica from many US cities!
Are you planning a trip through multiple Central American countries?
When to go to Costa Rica is a subjective decision influenced by your own personal circumstances, such as interests, preferences, budget, and freedom to travel.
However, you can use the information below to help in your decision-making process.
Costa Rica’s topography includes everything from volcanoes and mountains to valleys and beaches.
As such, it has multiple climate zones, all of which create varying weather patterns across the country.
Due to its proximity to the equator, Costa Rica is a tropical country. This means it has no true winter season and is warm year-round.
Coastal areas have an annual average temperature between 80°F (26.7°C) and 90°F (32.2°C).
The average for the countryside and mountainsides varies between 75°F (23.9°C) and 80°F (26.7°C).
Generally speaking, Costa Rica is divided into two seasons — a dry season (December to April) and a rainy season (May to November).
Personal safety is another highly subjective matter. Anything from gender to previous travel experiences can influence this. As such, we will avoid sweeping generalizations here.
It’s important to note that Costa Rica places significant importance on international tourism. As such, practically all locations on the tourist trail are safe and welcoming.
To underline the safety in Costa Rica, the country holds a “Level 1” travel advisory (at the time of writing) from the US Department of State.
In comparison, that’s lower than both France and the UK!
Ultimately, you only need to take the same precautions you would when traveling to any new destination.
We recommend planning your trip to Costa Rica with plenty of time in hand. This means you can research the locations and attractions you want to visit without rushing.
What’s more, you can use this pre-travel period to assess the most highly rated tour companies, like Martsam Travel.
Yes, the vast majority of overseas visitors find driving in Costa Rica no more challenging than in their country.
Of course, it’s important to familiarize yourself with Costa Rica’s rules of the road before arriving.
And take it easy when you first get out on the road. Driving defensively is advisable, just to be overly safe.
Needless to say, you must always stick to the stated speed limit.
There has been plenty of investment in Costa Rica’s roads over the years, so many are now paved to a high standard.
However, you should always remain aware of potholes during and after heavy rain.
And finally, you should be extra vigilant when driving at night. Pedestrians may have to walk on the road, and bikes often fly by with lights, so they aren’t always easy to spot in the dark.
Generally speaking, once you leave the main hubs behind, Costa Rica’s roads are fairly quiet.
While driving a rental vehicle offers unrivaled freedom and independence, it’s not for everyone.
Despite the investment in the roads, some are still tricky to navigate, especially those spotted with potholes.
Some intersections are confusingly marked too, which can result in heading in the wrong direction, or even getting lost.
Many travelers (and locals) get around on Costa Rica’s excellent public bus system.
Buses run frequently and reliably. They’re also inexpensive. And best of all, you can rely on them even in remote areas, not just the major towns and cities.
Spanish is the official and most widely used language of Costa Rica. But English is just as common in all areas catering to tourists too.
Every country has its cultural nuances, and being aware of Costa Rica’s can help to avoid awkward faux pas.
Holders of valid US, EU, and UK passports do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica.
Upon arrival, you must be able to show proof of your intention to leave the country (an outbound flight ticket) before the expiration of your visa or entry stamp. These typically last for 90 days.
We advise travelers to stay up to date with the latest entry requirements for Costa Rica.
With such a wide range of activities on offer in Costa Rica, it’s impossible to list everything that every visitor may need to bring on a trip here. After all, what works for a relaxing beach vacation won’t apply to adventures in rainforests and national parks!
Broadly speaking, it’s worth packing the following items:
If you plan to spend time in San Jose or you want to attend a nice restaurant, bring slightly more refined options. Think a polo shirt and pants for men and a simple dress and flats for women.
Don’t forget other essentials like sunscreen, insect repellent, and medication. If you’re heading to more remote areas, we also advise bringing a flashlight.
Needless to say, you should always travel with copies of your necessary documents.
Costa Rica’s currency is the colón, but US dollars are widely accepted, as are credit cards.
There aren’t many destinations in the world that can compete with the sheer range of spectacular scenery, natural wonders, and wildlife on offer over a single week in Costa Rica.
To see the extent of what’s possible, read through the itinerary for our incredible Highlights of Costa Rica Tour.
How you decide to spend your time here will depend on your personal interests and travel preferences. But there really is something for everyone!
Just some of the adventures and activities you can enjoy include:
You can find all the above and much more in this tropical paradise.
Around 20% of Costa Rica’s land falls within national parks and reserves, so there’s ample opportunity to join activities focused on nature and wildlife. We even have a dedicated Costa Rica National Parks Tour.
Some of the most well-known national parks and reserves you can explore include:
There also are many protected wetlands plus the renowned Monteverde Private Reserve.
Costa Rica truly is one of the most unique vacation spots on Earth, and it’s ready for you to explore!
Given the sheer variety of Costa Rica’s natural wonders, it’s no surprise that its beaches are equally varied.
There’s everything here from soft, white sand Caribbean beaches to rugged spots renowned for surfing.
Some of Costa Rica’s most popular beaches include:
Some of the best travel hacks for traveling in Costa Rica are:
At Martsam Travel, we take pride in our reputation as leaders in first-class Central American vacations. No matter where you want to go or what you want to do, we can arrange it on your behalf.
Our pre-planned Costa Rica tours cover everything this amazing country has to offer.
And remember, you can always build a tailor-made itinerary with one of our custom tours of Costa Rica.
For more information about any of our tours, please feel free to contact us. We’re here to answer all of your questions.