Facts & FiguresLocation: Central America, north to Nicaragua and south to Panama
Area: 51,100 km²
Capital: San José
Population: 4.95 million (as of January 2018)
Religion: predominantly Christian
Language: Spanish (official language), mainly English is spoken
Time zone: UTC - 06:00
Currency: Colón (current exchange rate from the internet)
Arrival and departureThe largest airports are San Jose, Liberia, Quepos, Tambor and Tamarindo.
On site: Public transport is well developed. The primary means of transport for short or long distance travel is the bus. For about 10€ you can reach almost any area from the capital San José.
Climate and best time to travel
The climate in Costa Rica is tropical. The temperatures do not vary much from month to month.
There are only two seasons: the rainy season, from May to November, and the dry season, from December to April. The rainy season does not mean continuous rain, but rather a tropical shower in the afternoon. The Cordilleras mountain range creates a notable difference between the humid Caribbean and the drier Pacific coasts. The annual average temperature is between 23.6°C (San José) and 25.2°C (Puerto Limón).
Also, keep in mind that Christmas and Easter vacations are the most popular travel and vacation times for the locals themselves, and touristic regions can be heavily frequented.
Public holidays and celebrationsNew Year's Day (January 01), St Joseph's Day of Remembrance (March 19), Maundy Thursday (March / April - always Thursday), Good Friday (March / April - always Friday), Battle of Rivas Memorial Day (April 11), Labor Day ( May 1), Guanacaste (July 25), Mother's Day (August 15), Independence Day (September 15), Christmas (December 25)
In addition, there may be further holidays in the individual regions.
DOs and DON'TsDO
• Try to use your Spanish, no matter what level you are at. The Costa Ricans appreciate your effort and will face you much more openly. "Pura Vida" (English: pure life) is a popular welcome and farewell in this country.
• Use public transport instead of renting a car. Bus drivers are usually very knowledgeable, and tourists may have trouble with poorly marked routes.
• Plan ahead and carry enough sunscreen and bug spray, which is best brought from home.
• Do not bring home souvenirs from nature. As beautiful as the plant and animal life of Costa Rica may be, its protection is a top priority and has been consistently implemented.
• Don't wear inappropriate clothing. Choose the right clothing: In general, comfortable and casual clothing is preferred in Costa Rica. Outside the bathing areas, the wearing of swimwear is not welcomed. When visiting Church it is reccomended to wear long, airy clothing that covers the arms and legs.
Holiday tipsCan you drink the tap water? The tap water in Costa Rica comes mostly from the national parks and thus has a suitable drinking water quality in most regions.
Do I need an adapter? In Costa Rica there are different sockets. Mostly the socket types A and B are used. The main voltage is usually 120V at a frequency of 60Hz.
Top tips and discoveriesTortuguero National Park
For nature lovers, the enchanting Tortuguero is a must. This national park is located on the stunning Caribbean coast and home to roaring capuchins, numerous sociable sloths and sea turtles. Here the journey is an adventure, because this tropical jungle oasis can only be reached by water or by plane.
If you are looking for pure relaxation, you will quickly find it here: In Puerto Viejo, a small village with a dreamy white sand beach, the clock ticks a bit differently. While soft reggae beats play in the background, step out and meet friendly locals, enjoy local food and drinks in one of the many trendy bars and restaurants, and sample the best nachos in the world.
The settlement of Manuel Antonio and the associated smallest National Park of Costa Rica are located on the graceful Pacific coast. The popular area is known for its cute and rare animal inhabitants. The region is very popular also because of its unique bathing beaches. Not least of all, diving-lovers' will fall in love with the ocean all over again here.
The Arenal Lake
This lake is the largest and most impressive reservoir within this diverse country. Here you have a magnificent view of one of the largest volcanoes in Costa Rica. La Fortuna is a bustling village at the foot of the volcano - worth seeing is the well-known waterfall, which seems to flow in the middle of the green jungle. During a visit to the Ecotermales, you can relax and unwind - in the midst of warm, natural volcano-heated hot springs. Another tip is the Monteverde National Park, where you can have a go at a unique night hike in the cloud forest. Both places also have an incredibly diverse leisure offer.
(Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, SpaDreams cannot be held responsible for any outdated, incorrect or incomplete information.)