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Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a vibrant Central American country known for its lush biodiversity, encompassing rainforests, beaches, and volcanoes, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. It is distinguished by its commitment to environmental preservation and sustainability, generating a significant portion of its energy from renewable sources.

The nation also boasts a peaceful ethos, having abolished its army in 1949, and it consistently ranks high in measures of happiness and well-being among its citizens.

Places to visit

Day plans

Spend a day exploring around

day 1

Exploring the Rainforest

morning:Start your day with a guided walk through the lush rainforest, listening to the singing of colorful birds and the rustle of troops of monkeys playing in the treetops. Before noon, take a break and relish the flavors of traditional Costa Rican cuisine at a local soda.

afternoon:In the afternoon, embark on an exhilarating zip-lining adventure, soaring through the canopy and getting a bird's-eye view of the breathtaking landscape. Afterwards, take a refreshing dip in a crystal-clear waterfall lagoon.

evening:For a captivating evening, head to a nearby cultural center to experience a traditional folk dance performance accompanied by live music. Enjoy a night-out at a cozy bar in the heart of the rainforest.

day 2

Beach Paradise

morning:Wake up early and venture to the beach to catch the sunrise and take a tranquil walk along the shore, feeling the warm sand between your toes. Treat yourself to a hearty breakfast at a beachfront café.

afternoon:Indulge in a surfing lesson with experienced instructors, or simply relax and sunbathe while admiring the sparkling ocean. In the afternoon, sample seafood delicacies at a seaside restaurant.

evening:As the sun sets, join a leisurely beach walk with a local guide to observe nesting sea turtles. Unwind at a beachside lounge with a refreshing cocktail and live music.

day 3

Adventure in the Mountains

morning:Embark on a thrilling whitewater rafting tour through scenic mountain valleys, navigating the rushing rapids surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. Savor a satisfying brunch with mountain views at a hilltop café.

afternoon:Set off on an exciting hiking expedition to explore hidden waterfalls and encounter diverse wildlife. Later, rejuvenate your body with a relaxing massage at a serene mountain spa.

evening:Experience the charm of a local mountain village by enjoying a delightful dinner at a cozy family-owned restaurant. Wrap up the day by stargazing under the clear mountain sky.

day 4

Cultural Immersion

morning:Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture by visiting a local artisan market where you can discover beautifully crafted traditional souvenirs. Energize yourself with a delicious breakfast at a bustling street food stall.

afternoon:Enrich your understanding of Costa Rican history and art by exploring a renowned museum showcasing indigenous artifacts and contemporary masterpieces. Quench your thirst with a cold tropical fruit smoothie.

evening:Delight in an evening of authentic Costa Rican cuisine at a lively folkloric restaurant, complemented by live music and dance performances. Experience the bustling nightlife in a lively town square or visit a renowned salsa club.

Costa Rica Famous Food

Must-Try local dishes

Gallo Pinto

A traditional breakfast dish made with rice and black beans, often served with eggs, tortillas, and sour cream. Available at most local eateries and food stalls.

Must-Try!

Casado

A typical lunch plate featuring rice, beans, plantains, salad, and a choice of meat or fish. Best enjoyed at local sodas (small family-run eateries) and restaurants across the country.

Ceviche

A popular seafood dish prepared with raw fish marinated in lime juice, mixed with onions, cilantro, and sweet peppers. Found at beachside cafes and seafood restaurants along the coast.

Food Markets & Street Food

A food market and street food guide

Central Market in San Jose

An ideal spot to explore a wide variety of local produce, snacks, and traditional dishes like empanadas, tamales, and arroz con leche.

Puerto Viejo Street Food Stalls

Discover an array of Caribbean-inspired street food including spicy jerk chicken, coconut-infused rice, and flavorful seafood dishes from roadside vendors.

Dietary Restrictions

Navigating dietary restrictions locally

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

Most restaurants and cafes in Costa Rica offer vegetarian options such as plant-based casados, hearty salads, and vegetable-filled empanadas. Popular tourist areas and larger cities also have dedicated vegan eateries.

Vegetarian, Vegan

Gluten-Free Choices

Visitors with gluten restrictions can indulge in dishes like fresh ceviche, grilled meats, and rice-based meals. Many modern cafes and restaurants are conscious of dietary needs and provide gluten-free substitutes for traditional staples.

Gluten-Free

Restaurants & Cafés

Best places to eat and drink in Costa Rica

Al Mercat

Located in Heredia, this restaurant offers an exquisite farm-to-table dining experience with a menu featuring organic and locally sourced ingredients, perfect for those seeking sustainable and authentic Costa Rican cuisine.

Soda Viquez

A well-known soda in Monteverde renowned for its hearty casado and other traditional Costa Rican dishes, providing an authentic culinary experience at affordable prices.

Britt Cafe and Bakery

A great spot to enjoy gourmet coffee and delicious pastries, also offering a range of vegetarian and gluten-free options for visitors with dietary restrictions.

Things to do in Costa Rica

Unique local experiences...

Popular cities in Costa Rica

Explore local food, attractions and more!

San JoséSan MarcosPuerto LimónAlajuelaLiberiaDesamparadosPuntarenasSan VicentePurralSan Rafael AbajoCurridabatSan JuanSan PabloGuadalupeSan PedroCartagoDesamparadosSan FranciscoSan Juan de DiosHerediaZapoteAlajuelitaSan JosecitoSan Rafael ArribaSan IsidroSanta AnaSan JosecitoEscazúTres RíosSan AntonioSan RamónMoraSarapiquíSanta CruzNicoyaSan RafaelSan IsidroNaranjoQuesadaSanto DomingoGuácimoCoto BrusMatinaGuápilesPalmaresCariariLa UrucaSiquirresPoásBuenos AiresEsparzaTurrialbaCañasHorquetasRitaParaísoSan IsidroGuácimaSartalilloAguas ZarcasPuerto ViejoQueposBagacesAbangaritosColónPitalRoxanaGreciaPozosBatánUpalaParritaFortunaFlorenciaSan VitoSardinalCopalchíLos ChilesMatinillaSantiagoPuerto JiménezRío SegundoPatarráSixaolaJacóGolfitoNandayureRío CuartoSabalitoPuente de PiedraJiménezLa VirgenSan MarcosCarrillosOrotinaSan IgnacioDulce Nombre de JesúsVeneciaCanoasLa CruzRío JiménezPacuaritoTilaránCiudad Cortés