Costa Rica, Latin America
Stunning beaches, an abundance of incredible and diverse wildlife, dramatic landscapes, lush rainforest, eerie cloud forests, volcanoes, plantations, fast-paced adventure, boutique hotels - for a country the size of Wales, Costa Rica has it all.
The friendly locals are renowned for their hospitality and justifiably proud of their beautiful country so take every opportunity to ensure visitors have the full Costa Rican experience. Like many Latin American countries, children are given a warm welcome and encouraged to join in and try new things, whether that be horse-riding through the surf on a palm-clad wild beach, hunting for mini-beasts in the rainforest, bird-spotting in the cloud forest or trying out and maybe helping to cook, the tasty local food.
In terms of travel, this is one of the safest and easiest countries to explore in Latin America, making it a perfect introduction to this fascinating continent. With many remote and lesser known corners, there is still plenty to discover in this lush green paradise and who could resist the appeal of sitting behind the pilot of a light aircraft as it lands on a tiny jungle airstrip.
When to go
December marks the start of the dry season with blue skies and sunshine the norm until April-May, especially in the Central/ Northern areas so it's a great time to travel. It is also the season for whale watching and a particularly good time to visit the Osa Peninsula, which, for us, is one of Costa Rica's highlights. The Christmas period is the busiest time in terms of tourism and availability can be an issue, some lodges/ hotels have minimum stay requirements and of course prices are generally higher so it’s a good idea to book early.
July and August are also popular months to visit due to holidays in N America and Europe and also because of what the locals call a ‘little Summer’ in some regions, but do bear in mind the weather is much more unpredictable in these months.
Flights: BA operates direct flights from May with a flight duration of around 10 hours. Otherwise, there are connecting flights via Europe, with Iberia (journey time via Madrid is approx.16 hours). You can also travel via the US, but need to be aware that you will need a transit visa in the form of an ESTA.
Time Zone: GMT- 6
FCO travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/costa-rica
San Jose & Central Costa Rica
Southern Caribbean Coast
The Osa Peninsula