Costa Rica Holidays & Accommodation

Central America

american accommodation guide

Costa Rica, situated between Nicaragua and Panama in Central America, is a nation of multiple personalities and dazzling natural beauty. Half the country faces the Pacific Ocean, while just 119km away the other half faces the Caribbean Sea, and bubbling volcanoes and tumbling rivers lie in between. Costa Rica is known for its natural beauty, friendly inhabitants, relaxed lifestyle,and peaceful democracy. But use a map to navigate – the residents (Tica) may give you directions to some random spot rather than let you down by not knowing the way to your destination.

Costa Rica Holidays Planner

For adrenaline junkies, Costa Rica offers extreme surfing (at fierceSalsa Brava on the Caribbean side andat Witch's Rock on the Pacific side), white-water rafting on one of the many aggressive jungle rivers, and sport-fishing on both coasts (more than sixty-four world records have been caught off the shores of Costa Rica). For you nature lovers and eco-tourists, we suggest the Eden-like cloud forests of Monteverde, supporting numerous rare species of both flora and fauna along with the coffee plantations; the picture-perfect conical shape of the Arenal volcano (Costa Rica is one of the most seismologically active countries in the western hemisphere); Corcovada, considered the last great original tract of tropical rainforest in Pacific Central America; and unparalleled bird watching throughout the nation.

Due to the diversity of climates, temperatures, and forestshere there are more than 800 species of birds. In fact, Costa Rica boasts a higher biodiversity (all fauna) than Europe and the United States combined.

If you brave the terrain and drive across the country (a 3-5 hour trip, depending on weather), you'll hear Spanish slowly give way to English, and Latin beats melt into Caribbean rhythms; and you can swim in both the Pacific and Caribbean in one day! Nowhere else in the world will you find so much ecological variety squeezed into onesmallland mass.

The exotic Caribbean coast — where capuchin monkeys andiguanas wander across tropical beaches and howlers, sloths, tree frogs, and squirrel monkeys laze about in the canopies — is the least visited region of the countrybecause of its relative isolation. It's a world away from the hotels and resorts on the Pacific Coast, wherethe majority of beach tourism can be found.

The country's mountainous interior is a land of chilly peaks wrapped in impenetrable cloud forests, but in the midst of the highlands lays the Central Valley, a fertile plain and densely populatedarea containing four of the country's five largest cities. Further south isthe pristine and ruggedly wild rainforest: one of the most bio-diverse environments on the planet, full of exotic plants and animals, and some of the most beautiful and remote tropical beaches anywhere.

While the cost of living is not terribly high here, extreme sports do come at a price; many visitors who come for the rush opt to stay at one of the lower-priced hotels or condos and save their cash for high adventure.

Costa Rica Accommodation Guide
Throughout Costa Rica you will find everything from 5-star luxurious accommodations in San Jose to quaint Caribbean cabinas on isolated beaches. Generally, the best time to visit Costa Rica is the "dry season" (a bit of a misnomer) from December to April, what the Tico refer to as verano(summer).

Costa Rica Travel Info
International flights fly in daily toAeropuertoInternacional Juan Santamaría, just northwest of San José in Alajuela. AeropuertoInternacional Daniel OduberQuirós, in Liberia, hosts flights from America and Canada. You can rent a vehicle in most of the popular destination cities, and taxis and public busses are plentiful. If you do rent, consider a 4WD with high clearance, especially in the rainy season when driving through rivers is a regular occurrence and potholes are numerous. Always ask about road conditions before setting out, as a number of roads become obstructed in the rainy season.
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