The small country of Costa Rica, which is approximately the size of West Virginia, is located in Central America with Panama to its south and Nicaragua to its north. Costa Rica’s 131 mile Caribbean coast to the east is mostly lowland areas abundantly filled with sandy beaches lined with palm trees and mangroves. To the west, the 630 mile Pacific coast has fabulous world class beaches, renowned for its diving, surfing, fishing and much more. The interior of the country is filled with tropical forest & rainforest, volcanoes and even dry plains.
There are direct flights from JFK that are about 5 hours and it’s only about a 2 to 3 hour flight from Atlanta, Dallas or Miami, as many flights from northern cities connect in these cities. International flights arrive at San Jose’s modern Juan Santa Maria or Liberia’s Daniel Oduber Airports.
Today, Costa Rica is a country of close to 5 million people, who are predominantly of European descent. These amazingly friendly people call themselves Ticos. They enjoy listening and dancing to Latin music like salsa and meringue, and sounds of reggae and afro-beats fill the Caribbean coast. These carefree people voted to abolish their army in 1949. Instead, for more than 60 years, the democratically elected government has been concentrating on creating and maintaining National Parks and Reserves, which now comprise 27% of the country’s land. A national expression is often boasted to tourists, “Costa Rica has more teachers than policemen,” as they have invested in education dearly as well. There is a 96% literacy rate among Ticos.
Costa Rica has seven distinct climate zones. All year around, average temperatures range from 70-90 degrees, depending on altitude. There is a climate for everyone´s comfort anytime of the year.
Absolute Experts’ favorite part of Costa Rica is the Caribbean side of the country that includes the Southern Caribbean Coast, Tortuguero Canals and the Lowland Tropical Rainforest in Sararpiqui. In this region of the country, you can enjoy a real off the beaten path experience. You’ll also have the best opportunity to observe rainforest animals in their natural habitat in this region of the country.
The Central Valley boasts its best weather from January until May. In San Jose, enjoy Costa Rican history, architecture and genuine Costa Rican culture. You’ll also enjoy great restaurants, shopping, entertainment and a convenient location, right in the center of the county. The Central Valley is also a very prosperous coffee production region and offers enjoyable coffee tours.
The Arenal Volcano is the hub for tourism in Costa Rica. It is located in the Northern Mountain zone of the country and has a combination climate, with lots of sun and rain. You’ll have a good opportunity to spot some wildlife and Costa Rica’s best adventure activities are located in this area. La Fortuna has a fabulous tourism infrastructure with a huge variety of accommodation options, lots of activities, including fabulous thermal hot springs, restaurants and bars, shopping and excitement for any visitor.
Thanksgiving through August is the best time to visit Manuel Antonio. This is a popular Central Pacific beach community. Manuel Antonio is one of our favorite destinations for monkeys galore, beautiful beaches, one of the best national parks, lots of fun adventure activities, many boutique-style accommodations, as well as great restaurants and nightlife.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest is an immense forest which is the rainforest, just at a higher altitude. It is home to the famous Resplended Quetzal and an amazing variety of aviaries that attract birders from around the world. The village of Monteverde is a unique community started by Quakers who rely on dairy farming to make their living but has now attracted Costa Ricans to join this mountain community, who farm as well as work in tourism.
Mal Pais/Santa Teresa is a dry region for most of the year and is a surfer’s paradise, with miles and miles of world class surfing beaches. This area is great for any level surfer from beginners to experts, as there are many beaches to choose from in the area. The village is an eclectic melting pot of world citizens, making for a sophisticated and chic vibe.
Montezuma is a little hippy community on the point of the Nicoya Peninsula. It is a great spot to get away from it all and just enjoy the beach. Meet interesting people and cool artisans, eat fresh fish and yummy vegetarian specials, do some yoga on the beach and just chill out!