Costa Rica is well known for its lush rainforests, cool wildlife, some of the finest beaches in the world and of course coffee!
Costa Rica had not been on my destinations bucket list until I was invited to travel there for a week in the off season which also happened to be during the rainy season. I quickly checked my calendar and the timing was perfect since I had some days off and I was ready for a new adventure. During the entire weeklong stay it only rained twice and both times as night. My thoughts on Costa Rica have now changed my view of the country and if you haven't already gone you should add this to your must-see places to visit.
Costa Rica is a short non-stop flight from Miami and many cities across the United States depending on where you live. I arrived in Liberia, Guanacaste because of the proximity of both the rainforest and the beaches and divided my trip between the two diverse eco cultures. San Jose is another popular flight option.
Costa Rica is an affordable destination spot and you will realize that food, transportation and accommodations vary but there is something for everyone's budget.
Prior to visiting I was concerned about the road conditions and driving since I had read it was best to hire a driver. While many main roads are paved, the farther you get out of the city the roads become unpaved and especially bumpy in the rainy season. If you are not familiar with the area then it's probably best to arrange for a driver. Costa Rica locations are known to be found by pinpointing your destination such as hotel, restaurant and do not follow directions by way of street signs.
Amazing beaches! You can visit just about anywhere along the coast and enjoy the soft, sandy beaches and unbelievable sunsets.
National Parks and Hikes
If you are a hiker and nature fanatic then you are in for a real treat. You could hike a volcanic trail, swim under the waterfalls in the natural hot springs, zipline, go horseback riding or rent an ATV. The list is endless!
I stayed several days at the Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin, Liberia, Costa Rica, which is about a 45 minute drive north of the Liberia airport. If you like spending time in nature, then this is for you! The accommodations are authentic, the staff was very polite, both English and Spanish-speaking, lots of adventure tours and safety for guests was some of the best I've seen anywhere.
My second stay was at the JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa, a one-hour's drive southwest of the Liberia airport. Here you will find a tropical oasis hacienda-style hotel with all the luxury amenities and beautiful views of the ocean and botanical gardens. The property features a private beach within Hacienda Pinilla, an infinity pool and a Kids Club. There are diverse culinary restaurant options from the pool bar and grill to upscale dining. The resort is only 15 minutes from the famous Tamarindo beach town. Should you require a COVID 19 test before you return home, check with the staff in advance to help you coordinate the requirements ahead of time. I needed a PCR test 72 hours in advance of departing and the cost was $60.00 and the testing was done onsite.
Costa Rica's Vaccine Requirements
Updated: December 17, 2021
All international tourists are permitted to enter Costa Rica by land and air.
Tourists must meet the visa requirements, when applicable, as well as the requirements established in the framework of the pandemic.
Individuals vaccinated abroad (Costa Rican citizens or foreigners) who do not have a QR code will be able to verify their vaccination status using the physical card provided when they were vaccinated. This will allow these individuals to enter commercial establishments which require proof of vaccination.
The last dose of vaccine must have been applied at least 14 days prior to arrival in Costa Rica.
Tourists can verify if they require entry with or without a visa at the following link:
The Health Pass can only be completed within 72 hours prior to arrival in the country. It must be assessed via updated browsers with the exception of Internet Explorer.
One form must be completed per person, including minors.
ALL tourists must complete the Health Pass.