Costa Rica Travel Guide

  • sunset at the hotel beach
    sunset at the hotel beach
    by emilyallen
  • howler monkey seen from hotel beach
    howler monkey seen from hotel beach
    by emilyallen
  • hanging bridge at monteverde cloud forest
    hanging bridge at monteverde cloud...
    by emilyallen
Map of Costa Rica

San José








Puerto Viejo






















Puerto Jiménez


Isla del Caño


Mal País




Corcovado National Park




Manuel Antonio National Park










Manuel Antonio Village












Playa Hermosa






Puerto Manzanillo




Santa Lucía


San José




Gulf of Papagayo


San José

See all 573 San José Tips
  • National Theater

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    San José Things to Do

    On Monday, one of the things we did was a tour of the National Theatre (which was being renovated, so it wasn’t really a tour, and we didn’t pay for it because the guard at the entrance wasn’t there) and had lunch there ($12.91 for 2 including tip). I didn't take many photos because everything was shrouded with dust cloths. A photo of the front of...

  • Adventure Inn

    San José Hotels

    We stayed at the Adventure Inn for one night in early September. It was the last day of our visit to...

  • Nuestra Tierra

    4 out of 5 stars

    San José Restaurants

    A nice, huge restaurant on a busy street corner on the east side of the city. Kind of touristy, with traditional dancers dancing during the busy dinnertime. Good enough though. Grilled pollo w/rice & beans and a potato salad I think.



See all 181 Jacó Tips
  • Beaches

    Jacó Things to Do

    There are a number of Playa Hermosa's in Costa Rica. This one is the most famous because of the incredible surfing and black sand beaches. It is a great place to watch some excellent surfing where there are a number of surfing competitions all year. It is not terribly rocky like nearby Playa Jaco and definitely far less people. The beach is about...

  • Hotel Villa Caletas

    Jacó Hotels

    Most satisfying stay I have ever had. Breathtaking views and luxurious rooms. If you want your own...

  • Marisqueria

    3 out of 5 stars

    Jacó Restaurants

    The decoration is fantastic. The colors and the woods are amazing. I would say a great place for nachos and drinks. Very open and you will your private floor fan. I loved the nachos. Different from the way americans make. But I was very disappointed with my main dish. I ordered a fillet of bass with rice and vegetables. I almost chock when I saw...



See all 149 Tamarindo Tips
  • Surf

    Tamarindo Things to Do

    There is a great little island just a kayak ride away from Playa Tamarindo. You can easily see it from the beach and it is a great little workout and you get some sun. Once you get to the island you can snorkel or explore...or even lay out. There are loads of conch shells and what looked like volcanic rock. It is typically vacant and we had the...

  • Hotel Capitan Suizo

    Tamarindo Hotels

    Having stayed at the Peace Lodge at La Paz Waterfall Gardens, I considered Capitan Suizo in...

  • La Vita Bella & Bruno’s

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    Tamarindo Restaurants

    We went to this restaurant our first night in Tamarindo. Although many people love this place, it is apparently for its pizza only. We asked the owner if we could share a shrimp appetizer and he said no problem. Well, two arrived. My wife did not like hers so we asked for a box. We never say it again. Our meal was so so, the fish was fresh but...



See all 184 Quepos Tips
  • Manuel Antonio National Park

    Quepos Things to Do

    One of our "must do"s when we visited the area, Manuel Antonio National Park is a beautiful rain forest with an abundance of wildlife. We took a guided tour, and we saw loads of monkeys, 3-toed and 2-toes sloths, iguanas, crocodiles (in a signed area), colorful crabs, and lots of birds. The park abuts a gorgeous beach (is there any other kind in...

  • La Mariposa Hotel

    Quepos Hotels

    We didn't stay at La Mariposa Hotel, but we did visit for a sunset cocktail and it was fantastic....

  • The Wave Restaurant

    Quepos Restaurants

    After leaving Manuel Antonio National Park, we wanted to get a bite to eat. We saw this place not too far from Manuel Antonio. Located right at the beach. Selection was limited but tasted good. I had the fish ceviche and my boyfriend had the chicken strips with fries.


Puerto Viejo

See all 158 Puerto Viejo Tips
  • Punta Uva

    Puerto Viejo Things to Do

    The walk from PV to Punta Uva is pleasant and a great way to take in the sites. However, the first few kilometres south of town can be very dusty and heavy with traffic. Take the alternative which is the path along the beach. It starts just south of town,and goes all the way to Cocles. Its very well shaded and is cool even on a hot day. The path...

  • Hotel Banana Azul

    Puerto Viejo Hotels

    We stayed 4 at this hotel, front beach in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. Very nice place with everything...

  • Mostly veg restaurant

    Puerto Viejo Restaurants

    Veggie restaurant upstairs. Big menu, mostly vegetarian, good juices. I ordered a coconut water, but they were out of coconuts. No problem, the guy stepped over the railing, walked across the corrugated roof to a coconut tree and cut 1 off the tree.



See all 175 Monteverde Tips
  • Monteverde Cloud Forest

    Monteverde Things to Do

    I got a day tour for the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve which is at 4,660 feet (1,440 meters) above sea level, "where a blanket of clouds and mist provides a unique, wet habitat that’s home to six distinct ecosystems and amazing biodiversity." We were picked up early from our hotel in Playa Flamingo, and we began our 2 hour drive to the...

  • A Bumpy Trip

    Monteverde Warnings and Dangers

    The Monteverde at this location is not the one that most people who come to Costa Rica come to visit. It is not where the famous Cloud Forest is located. If you look at the map, this Monteverde (one of six listed in Costa Rica) is actually close to the Caribbean coast. The more famous Monteverde is in Puntarenas province and is in the mountains...

  • Breakfast at Hotel El Establo

    Monteverde Restaurants

    Breakfast buffet was included with our hotel stay and it was really good! Everything from eggs, meats, fruit, yogurt, cereal, etc. A large dining area at the bottom of the property near the registration desk.



See all 50 Liberia Tips
  • Boat Trips

    Liberia Things to Do

    We took a sunset boat cruise with Cesar. This included a going into a mangrove forest, stopping at a secluded beach with a cool cave and lookout, swimming at the beach where the Four Seasons is located, playing with a pod of dolphins and watching the sunset over the Pacific. It was an awesome tour and we paid only about $15 per person. We saw other...

  • Four Seasons Costa Rica

    Liberia Hotels

    Beautiful, isolated relaxation coupled with cookie-cutter "safe" ecotourism. Visited this resort for...

  • Car Rental

    Liberia Transportation

    We flew into Liberia and rented a car to drive to our rental in Tamarindo. I reserved a car with Thrifty online before we left and was quoted a price with taxes and fees included. I got to the rental counter at about 8pm and was informed that the Collision damage waiver and Liability insurance were mandatory. My credit card provides coverage for...



See all 95 Montezuma Tips
  • Check out the Town of Cobano for...

    Montezuma Shopping

    Cobano is in the hills above Montezuma. It contains a number of markets, bakeries, fruit/vegetable market, and Banco Nacionales. I think the dusty 20-minute drive up from Montezuma is worth it. The vegetable market has a wide selection of vegetables and fruits. Cash only. The women who run it are lovely, and if you can cook in your lodging, this is...

  • Ylang Ylang Beach Resort

    Montezuma Hotels

    Montezuma Beach, formerly El Sano Banano Beach Hotel, Montezuma, 00001, Costa Rica

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 3 out of 5 stars

  • Excellent Photography Tour

    Montezuma Things to Do

    I've wanted to learn how to take photos for a long time and finally, I found out the best way to do it while on vacation. John Ussenko is a professional photographer offering photography tips and techniques. He helped me understand the basic principles of aperture, shutter, and composition. The best part, we did this all in the rainforest. I have...



See all 84 Sámara Tips
  • Samara Information Center

    Sámara Things to Do

    The information center is a good place to stop in for ideas on what to do in the area. I stopped in the other day to ask questions about a drive south along the coast. Christopher was very helpful with directions. He also helped our group make arrangements for horseback riding. He is very knowledgeable about the area. The center is owned by Brenda...

  • The Hideaway Hotel Playa Samara

    Sámara Hotels

    on the road from Samara to Carrillo, 150 meters from the ICE Tower, Playa Samara, 50205, Costa Rica

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Families

  • Colochos Restaurant

    Sámara Restaurants

    This is the go to place in Samara for seafood. Colochos came highly recommended, specifically for the Paella for four people. This is an outdoor restaurant with a covered patio. There doesn't appear to be any indoor seating. I'm not much of a seafood eater so I was worried what I would order. Fortunately they have a great steak with pepper sauce...



See all 217 Fortuna Tips
  • Arenal Volcano

    Fortuna Things to Do

    There are more volcano tours tha you can shake a stick at here. This is why you come here though. I chose one that did a hike to near the base of the volcano, then took us after to a thermal bath. $25. Very nice for the most part. First they pick you up at your hotel, then drive to the beginning of the Toucan trail. You hike for about 45 minutes...

  • Hotel Los Lagos

    Fortuna Hotels

    This is a very nice facility with a lot to do. It is so large and spread out that they have a...

  • Rain Forest Cafe and Restaurant

    Fortuna Restaurants

    This is my new favorite place to eat in La Fortuna. It is a small place with less than 10 tables. It is best to make a reservation. It is a very casual place. We almost did not eat here as the focus on some reviews seem to be geared towards a coffee and dessert shop. It is much more with a full menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner items. For...



See all 92 Cahuita Tips
  • Cahuita National Park

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Cahuita Things to Do

    This is an easy walk for just about anyone....young or old. The sandy path is flat & there are only a few small roots crossing the path here & there. There is wildlife everywhere! We saw dozens of monkeys...Capuchin (Mono cariblanco) & Howlers (Mono congo) as well as Racoons (Mapache norteno) & Aguotis (Guatusas) that look like giant Guinea pigs....

  • Miss Edith's

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    Cahuita Restaurants

    While the food can indeed be excellent, the service never has been. We had a relative of Miss Edith's that we know well, recommend we eat there. We did & we sure weren't impressed. We've tried it a couple of times more but honestly I'm not sure I would recommend it, not just beacuse the prices are higher but the crappy service. Miss Edith no longer...

  • Cocos Bar

    Cahuita Nightlife

    Good drinks....lots to choose from. Great place to watch the goings on in the park across the street. Lots of locals hang out at the park at night, it seems to be "the" place to be. Some nights they have live music & you can dance near the back of the bar but then you are away from most of the action. The best place to sit is out on the front porch...



See all 44 Puntarenas Tips


See all 141 Arenal Tips
  • Hot Springs

    Arenal Things to Do

    I cant say enough wonderful things about the hot springs at Tabacon. Their are at least 20 pools and waterfalls each a different temperature. All are totally surrounded by rain forest. There is steam billowing upwards off black rock pools up towards gorgeous tropical plants. All pools are connected by pebble walkways. You should know: - go to the...

  • Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens

    Arenal Hotels

    600 Metros Noreste, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 4.5 out of 5 stars

  • Café Y Macadamia

    Arenal Restaurants

    We left the Springs Resort & Spa to get on our way to Monteverde and stopped for some lunch. This looked like an inviting place with parking. What a great surprise! There was a little outdoor area with picnic tables to eat with AMAZING views! Lunch selection looked great! And, the sandwiches were very delicious! Everything in this place had to do...



See all 119 Tortuguero Tips
  • Turtles

    Tortuguero Things to Do

    As with all exciting destinations, there are few things you DON'T WANT TO MISS if you come to Tortuguero; Here is a list of the most popular attractions: Turtle Tour Canal Tour Walk through the National Park Hike Tortuguero Hill Turtle Museum at the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC) Walk or tour through the village Take a dip in the...

  • Tortuga Lodge

    Tortuguero Hotels

    I knew the rooms would be screened rooms and expected a jungle stay, but I did not expect the beds...

  • Mawamba Lodge

    Tortuguero Restaurants

    All of the food at Mawamba Lodge was buffet style. This was a problem for me on the scooter as I needed to use one hand to drive the scooter. So if I wanted a salad and a dinner, I would have to make two trips. Bob usually had to bring me something to drink. Also I preferred to park the scooter and sit at the table - there was little space to park...



See all 64 Alajuela Tips
  • Good, healthy food on the go

    Alajuela Restaurants

    I love this place. It is intimate, and the food comes fast, priced well, and doesn't disappoint. Great lunch spot for a fast sit down meal while on the go back to the airport. Owner is very friendly, speaking both English and Spanish very well. Large collection of US license plates on the wall. I think he had all the states, including my home,...

  • Hotel Buena Vista

    Alajuela Hotels

    Stayed here as a treat, and it sure was! The view from the garden of the hotel is second to none,...

  • A five colones banknote

    Alajuela General

    While we stayed at the 1915 Hotel in Alajuela we brought our laundry to a little shop a few blocks from the hotel. The shopkeeper, being a collector, had a small display of banknotes on his counter. As we admired these, we started talking and gave him some notes from Indonesia, Suriname and Trinidad Tobago, that we happened still to have with us....


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Comments (1)

  • Jul 12, 2013 at 3:24 AM

    Best place by far that I have ever visited ! have been here twice and would love to visit again one day soon as there is so much to do , see and explore . People and beaches are great and the Costa Rica Rental Villas are out of this world ! Anyone who has not yet visited really should do soon !

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