Travel Planning
Costa Rica
Travel Planning
Costa Rica

Costa Rica at a Glance

Costa Rica's Caribbean and Pacific seashores and its jungle interior make it a tourist Mecca. 

Costa Rica is an explorer's launch pad. Bring your surfboard and catch the rough waves on the Pacific Coast. On the other side of the narrow country, bask in warm Caribbean waters and take out a little sailboat for a gentle ride along the azure coast. Enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling through shallow reefs. Marvel at the variety and colors of the coral  and feel the gentle brush of neon tropical fish as they swim by your legs. 

In the interior, visit a cloud forest and wildlife spot and bird watch. Look at the giant insects and listen to the constant screech and squawks of birds. Alternatively, hike the dry slopes of a volcano and avoid the areas where still-hot lava bubbles just below the surface. Take a zip line over the forest, or across a crater and the whole of Costa Rica is at your feet. 

Traveler photos
Top Forum Questions about Costa Rica
Popular Places
  • San Jose (CR) San Jose (CR)
  • Puerto Viejo Puerto Viejo
  • Samara Samara
Getting There
Major Airports
  • Major Airport Tobías Bolaños International Airport
  • Major Airport Juan Santamaria International Airport

Passport / Visa Requirements

Costa Rica requires that tourists have proof of return ticket to their home country. Tourists must also be able to prove their financial solvency. If you are traveling to Costa Rica from regions with Yellow Fever, you must present an international certification of vaccination. Tourists need to present a valid passport for entry. American tourists do not need a visa for visits of under 90 days. For more information, contact the Costa Rican Consulate, or visit the U.S State Department website. 

Need to Know

Severe Weather and Seismic Activity: Earthquakes and tremors occur frequently in Costa Rica. Tropical storms between June and November could also affect coastal regions.

Safety Concerns Petty crime and theft are the biggest threats to travelers' security. Watch for pickpockets and leave your valuables in the hotel safe, or keep them out of sight on your person. Never leave belongings unattended on the beach and only carry what you need.

Health Concerns Costa Rica has good water in all but the most rural areas. If you are unsure about the water, boil it vigorously for 1-2 minutes. Get good insect repellent and sleep with a net and insecticide if you sleep outside or in sub-standard housing. The poisonous fer-de-lance snake hides in grass and is something to avoid when hiking. If bitten by this potentially fatal snake, immediate medical attention is required. Swimmers need to be aware of rip-tides and the drownings they cause each year. Examine the signs on beaches before hopping in and talk with locals to find out safe areas. 

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Language: Spanish
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