As AMAZING as my travel to Costa Rica was, planning for it was pretty frustrating because I didn’t really know where to start. I had asked friends for their itinerary and things to know before going, but it didn’t really help since my sister and I didn’t want to drive around ourselves and we didn’t know if it would make sense to go to different regions. That’s where we discovered Anywhere.com (thanks Google Ads!) which saved us the headache of a lot of the planning. I simply messaged them on the chat and Yahaira answered– it was on a Saturday too! She was really nice and we got to talking how it works. The service is free and they get commission off whatever trip we book. They will propose an itinerary based on what we tell them we want and then take as long as we need to customize.
I talked to Yahaira and said I wanted a mix of hot springs and adventure and gave her a budget. Shortly after I ate lunch, the first proposed agenda was already in my email! It was pretty much near what we wanted but we searched up the website to see if we wanted to add/change. Over the next couple weeks, she was pretty available as I emailed and called her for changes (there’s also a texting option too). After a ton of back and forth, we paid and felt totally at ease that everything was planned for us and all we had to do was show up!
Shout out to my travel agent Yahaira for helping plan such a fun trip! Literally one of the most best trips I’ve had! Read more about my travels in the links below.
Hopefully your Costa Rica Trip is planned or being planned. Before you go, here are some things I wish I knew before going:
- They don’t have seasons like we do in the US
- Dec-Mar or April = Dry Season (days that are rain free)
- May-Early Dec = Rainy Season
- There are 12 hours of sunlight each day. The sun typically rises around 5:45 am and sets around 5:45 pm.
- The average temperature in Costa Rica is 76 °F
- Pretty much comprises of either hostels downtown or resorts about 2-3 miles from town
- Most hotels have a free breakfast
- Some do not include wifi in the room, only common areas
- Take advantage of a resort if you have kids or you know you’ll have a lot of downtime
Pack (aside for the basics while travelling):
- Water shoes, sandals and/or flip flops, comfortable walking shoes– you’ll need them for various activities
- Sunscreen and insect repellent
- 2+ bathing suits to alternate between pool and water activities
- Lightweight, breathable and quick dry shorts and tanks for all the adventures
- A light, waterproof jacket in case you do activities in the rain
- Waterproof camera or phone in a pouch. A gopro is the best since they oftentimes have helmets you can clip it to
- Water bottle– sometimes it can be provided or not on excursions
- A backpack to put everything in for the day
- Extra set of clothes since you’ll be changing out of your outfit if you do something active or with water
- You can rent a car, but the roads are extremely windy, hilly and narrow- often only 1 lane
- Taxi is easiest to call from hotel or restaurant– staff can call for you
- If possible, book tours so you can get picked up at your hotel/hostel if they service your area
Food and Tipping
- A typical Costa Rica meal is called a casado, a dish consisting of rice, beans, salad, plantains and some kind of meat
- Other popular dishes are ceviche, chicken with rice, shrimp with rice and tilapia
- Dishes range from $3-7 at a soda and can be $8-15 for a higher end restaurant
- Tap water is safe to drink. Don’t fall for it when they ask you if you want bottled water
- For the most part, tax and tip is already included in the bill so you don’t have to tip additionally
- You can use credit cards in most major stores and restaurants but no so much for the mom and pop shops. Bonus if you don’t incur an international fee
- Depending on what you’re doing, bring at least $25-$50 per person with you when you go out. I typically use this money for food, tipping tour guides, taxi, buying pictures from excursions, drinks, and souvenirs
Top things to do
- Adventure: Ziplining, white water rafting, kayaking, ATV, hiking
- Low Key: Chill at the beach and resort, beach, coffee farm tour
- Each excursion will range from $45-$99 per person
- The guides are extremely prompt and efficient. Do not try to take your time- they will not wait. Everything is fast paced.
HAPPY ADVENTURING & PURA VIDA!