• Luxury Costa Rica Holidays
  • Overview

    The most vibrant country of Central America is also its most visited: Costa Rica. It is also the most biodiverse country in the world. With over 800 miles of coast bordering the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west, there’s a tempting choice of 300 black, pink and white sand beaches. It’s also renowned for its rugged rainforests, cloudforests, protected jungle, volcanoes and wildlife.

    A pioneer of ecotourism, more than twenty five per cent of Costa Rica’s land is protected and there are the best part of 30 national parks. These encompass rainforests, cloudforests of one hundred per cent humidity, wetlands, lagoons, untamed beaches, hot springs, thermal rivers and simmering volcanoes. The country is internationally renowned for its abundance of wildlife including big cats such as jaguars, tapirs, turtles, frogs and all four Costa Rican monkey species: the white-headed capuchin, the mantled howler, the endangered Geoffroy's spider monkey, and the Central American squirrel monkey. The country is home to ten per cent of both the world’s butterfly and bird population, with more than 850 avian species having been spotted. There are spectacular birdwatching opportunities of resplendently colourful quetzals, scarlet macaws, keel-billed toucans, bare-necked umbrella birds, and no fewer than 50 species of hummingbird. Sloths and caiman lizards are common too, while colourful tropical fish, sharks, rays, dolphins and whales thrive offshore.

    There’s a rich vein of activities to explore too, from high-adrenalin, world class, surfing and white-water rafting, to hiking, biking, ziplining and thermal river swimming, to the more gentle pastimes of yoga, paddle-boarding, hot springs, beaches and world famous coffee. And given the countries diminutive size, you can do it all in one trip.

    San José, Costa Rica’s capital in one of the safest cities of central America and has the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum and National Museum of note. Beyond San José, the nearby Central Valley features mountainous and volcanic scenery. The Central Highlands region, Monteverde, is famous for its misty cloud forest and coffee plantations; and the hallmarks of the vast Arenal Volcano National Park area, are striking lava fields, meandering rivers, striking and cascading waterfalls. Away from the stunning national parks, and all that they have to offer, you’ll find unspoilt, powder sand beaches. On the Pacific Coast’s Nicoya peninsula, Papagayo and Tamarind offer luxurious resort retreats, superb marine life, ranging from humpback whales to giant leatherback turtles, and surfing.

    Food in Costa Rica is a mild blend of Native American, Spanish and African cuisine which is full of goodness and flavour. The country’s location means plenty of tropical fruit and fresh vegetables are used, as well as rice and black beans. Pork and beef are common, but chicken and fish are also popular, particularly on the coast. A recent study showed that many Costa Ricans live longer, healthier lives than people on the rest of the planet, and it all comes down to pura vida, pure life, a term you'll hear everywhere. Natives of Costa Rica, or Ticos, use it for just about everything, so much so that it’s seen as an attitude and a way of life.

    When to travel

    The best time to visit Costa Rica is between December and April on its Pacific Coast, when the weather is at its driest and brightest, and between March and August on the Caribbean side. It’s a tropical country, so rain can fall at any time of year, even in the dry season, although sharp showers are always interspersed with warm sunshine. The national parks tend to be quieter between May and June and in November.

    Climate

    Costa Rica experiences a tropical climate all year round. There are two seasons. The summer, or dry season, is from December to April, and winter, or rainy season, runs from May to November. September and October are the two wettest months. As a general rule, temperatures vary between 22 and 32 degrees although it can be considerably cooler and more humid at altitude. Costa Rica’s close proximity to the equator mean 12 hours of sunlight from approximately 6am to 6pm.

    Good to know

    Flying time: From London 11.5 hours

    Time difference: GMT – 6 hours

    Currency: Colon. US dollars are easiest currency to exchange once in Costa Rica and we would recommend changing Sterling or Euros to US Dollars prior to arrival, but avoid taking US$100 bills, as there is a reluctance to accept them for fear of forgeries. Credit cards are widely accepted.

    Language: Spanish. English is widely spoken.

    Connectivity: Costa Rica has a relatively modern telecommunication infrastructure and has the second highest internet coverage in Latin America. Country dialling code for Costa Rica is 506 which is dialled from the UK as 00 506.

    Visa: British passport holders travelling direct to Costa Rica do not require a visa.

  • What to do?
  • Hotels
 

The most vibrant country of Central America is also its most visited: Costa Rica. It is also the most biodiverse country in the world. With over 800 miles of coast bordering the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west, there’s a tempting choice of 300 black, pink and white sand beaches. It’s also renowned for its rugged rainforests, cloudforests, protected jungle, volcanoes and wildlife.

A pioneer of ecotourism, more than twenty five per cent of Costa Rica’s land is protected and there are the best part of 30 national parks. These encompass rainforests, cloudforests of one hundred per cent humidity, wetlands, lagoons, untamed beaches, hot springs, thermal rivers and simmering volcanoes. The country is internationally renowned for its abundance of wildlife including big cats such as jaguars, tapirs, turtles, frogs and all four Costa Rican monkey species: the white-headed capuchin, the mantled howler, the endangered Geoffroy's spider monkey, and the Central American squirrel monkey. The country is home to ten per cent of both the world’s butterfly and bird population, with more than 850 avian species having been spotted. There are spectacular birdwatching opportunities of resplendently colourful quetzals, scarlet macaws, keel-billed toucans, bare-necked umbrella birds, and no fewer than 50 species of hummingbird. Sloths and caiman lizards are common too, while colourful tropical fish, sharks, rays, dolphins and whales thrive offshore.

There’s a rich vein of activities to explore too, from high-adrenalin, world class, surfing and white-water rafting, to hiking, biking, ziplining and thermal river swimming, to the more gentle pastimes of yoga, paddle-boarding, hot springs, beaches and world famous coffee. And given the countries diminutive size, you can do it all in one trip.

San José, Costa Rica’s capital in one of the safest cities of central America and has the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum and National Museum of note. Beyond San José, the nearby Central Valley features mountainous and volcanic scenery. The Central Highlands region, Monteverde, is famous for its misty cloud forest and coffee plantations; and the hallmarks of the vast Arenal Volcano National Park area, are striking lava fields, meandering rivers, striking and cascading waterfalls. Away from the stunning national parks, and all that they have to offer, you’ll find unspoilt, powder sand beaches. On the Pacific Coast’s Nicoya peninsula, Papagayo and Tamarind offer luxurious resort retreats, superb marine life, ranging from humpback whales to giant leatherback turtles, and surfing.

Food in Costa Rica is a mild blend of Native American, Spanish and African cuisine which is full of goodness and flavour. The country’s location means plenty of tropical fruit and fresh vegetables are used, as well as rice and black beans. Pork and beef are common, but chicken and fish are also popular, particularly on the coast. A recent study showed that many Costa Ricans live longer, healthier lives than people on the rest of the planet, and it all comes down to pura vida, pure life, a term you'll hear everywhere. Natives of Costa Rica, or Ticos, use it for just about everything, so much so that it’s seen as an attitude and a way of life.

When to travel

The best time to visit Costa Rica is between December and April on its Pacific Coast, when the weather is at its driest and brightest, and between March and August on the Caribbean side. It’s a tropical country, so rain can fall at any time of year, even in the dry season, although sharp showers are always interspersed with warm sunshine. The national parks tend to be quieter between May and June and in November.

Climate

Costa Rica experiences a tropical climate all year round. There are two seasons. The summer, or dry season, is from December to April, and winter, or rainy season, runs from May to November. September and October are the two wettest months. As a general rule, temperatures vary between 22 and 32 degrees although it can be considerably cooler and more humid at altitude. Costa Rica’s close proximity to the equator mean 12 hours of sunlight from approximately 6am to 6pm.

Good to know

Flying time: From London 11.5 hours

Time difference: GMT – 6 hours

Currency: Colon. US dollars are easiest currency to exchange once in Costa Rica and we would recommend changing Sterling or Euros to US Dollars prior to arrival, but avoid taking US$100 bills, as there is a reluctance to accept them for fear of forgeries. Credit cards are widely accepted.

Language: Spanish. English is widely spoken.

Connectivity: Costa Rica has a relatively modern telecommunication infrastructure and has the second highest internet coverage in Latin America. Country dialling code for Costa Rica is 506 which is dialled from the UK as 00 506.

Visa: British passport holders travelling direct to Costa Rica do not require a visa.

Featured hotels

Highlights of Costa Rica

Explore the Central Valley of Costa Rica with its extraordinary cloud forest, active volcanoes, waterfalls and rainforest landscapes.

Request a quote

Nantipa Hotel

4 Star superior boutique

Set right on the beach in the secluded resort of Santa Teresa, chic Nantipa Hotel offers barefoot luxury and a peaceful setting alongside authentic Costa Rican hospitality.

Request a quote

Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort

5 Star

Nestling in an 11 acre rainforest reserve, Arenas del Mar resort offers eco-friendly luxury, fine food and the chance to snorkel, kayak and enjoy wildlife adventures with in-house naturalist guides.

Request a quote

Hotel Parador Resort & Spa

4 Star

In a tranquil hillside location, the sprawling Hotel Parador Resort & Spa enjoys spectacular views over the Pacific Ocean and Manuel Antonio National Park. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and the surrounding 12 acres of wildlife-rich rainforest is home to a wide variety of birds as well as sloths and monkeys.

Request a quote
See all hotels in Costa Rica

Featured hotels

Highlights of Costa Rica

Explore the Central Valley of Costa Rica with its extraordinary cloud forest, active volcanoes, waterfalls and rainforest landscapes.

Nantipa Hotel

4 Star superior boutique

Set right on the beach in the secluded resort of Santa Teresa, chic Nantipa Hotel offers barefoot luxury and a peaceful setting alongside authentic Costa Rican hospitality.

Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort

5 Star

Nestling in an 11 acre rainforest reserve, Arenas del Mar resort offers eco-friendly luxury, fine food and the chance to snorkel, kayak and enjoy wildlife adventures with in-house naturalist guides.

Hotel Parador Resort & Spa

4 Star

In a tranquil hillside location, the sprawling Hotel Parador Resort & Spa enjoys spectacular views over the Pacific Ocean and Manuel Antonio National Park. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and the surrounding 12 acres of wildlife-rich rainforest is home to a wide variety of birds as well as sloths and monkeys.

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We are 100% financially secure and holidays including flights are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority, while other arrangements which do not include air travel are protected by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).

Travel and Health advice

Before you go, you should seek up to date advice from the UK FCDO www.gov.uk about travel to, and within, your chosen destination, noting the importance of regularly checking for the latest information. Additionally, with regards to vaccinations and health requirements, you should check with your GP surgery or www.travelhealthpro.org.uk for specific advice.

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