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Adventure vacation in Costa Rica

A Costa Rica Vacation: The Best Time to Do What, When, and Where

Glorious surfing and snorkeling, incredible wildlife watching and the best adventure sports makes for an incredible Costa Rica vacation.

A Costa Rica vacationPlanning a fabulous adventure vacation in Costa Rica can seem a bit overwhelming at first. A quick research soon revealing that the sheer variety in micro-climates in the country, as well as superb destinations, serves up a head-spinning array of options.

Yet in reality, the best way to think of it is like this: no matter what time of the year YOU can travel to Costa Rica, it will always be the best time somewhere in the country. This spells great news for the many who don’t have a lot of leeway in when they can take their yearly vacation. Should your trip be restricted to, say, school holidays or your company’s scheduled yearly closing time, then rest assured you can always find an idyllic corner of Costa Rica where the weather is at its best, leaving you excellent options for wildlife spotting and adventure sports.

Yet should you have more freedom to choose ‘the right time to travel’ and wish, instead, to hone in on your favorite activity or destination, then read on and find out the very best time of year to travel to Costa Rica and what you can see and do when you get there.

Best time for beach vacations

Crystal clear skies, calm seas and manageable temperatures: that’s the usual criteria one considers when planning a beach vacation, anywhere. In Costa Rica, the best months to bag all three are between December and April on the Pacific Coast and September and October on the Caribbean coast. The northwest Guanacaste province, in particular, just about guarantees dry days in January, February and March so if it’s ‘postcard perfect’ beach days you’re after, you’d be well advised to plan your trip for the beginning of the year. And when it comes to the eastern Caribbean side, do note that this is, generally speaking, the much rainier side of the country, so you should expect some rain even during the driest months.

Best time for wildlife spotting

There isn’t a single month in the year when you won’t be able to admire Costa Rica’s exceptional wildlife, the only differences depending on specific species and locations. Turtle nesting starts in earnest in many spots throughout the country in June and will continue until mass arribadas, phenomenal and mesmerizing affairs, occur between October and November. July and August sees pods of humpback whales take up residence in the Golfo Dulce, as they migrate from the freezing waters of Antarctica during the southern hemisphere winter although northern humpback whales can be spotted in January, a month when the Pacific coast showcases its four turtles species too: hawksbill, Olive Ridley, green and leatherback. By and large, rain season (July-August) is the best time to explore the luscious rainforests of Costa Rica in search of wildlife. As the rains bring the wilderness to life, the animals come out in astronomical numbers.

Best time for adventure sports

Rivers start flowing rapidly from June and the subsequent months are considered the best for rafting, continuing towards the end of the green season, all the way to December. The second half of the year really is ideal for adrenaline-pumping river action and, considering wildlife spotting is also prime at this time, it is perfect for comprehensive active vacations, in general. Scuba diving and snorkeling are best done during the driest months, for maximum visibility, whilst canyoning, rappelling and kayaking are also sought-after between June and December, when rivers are flowing just right. Too much rain, or not enough, can affect river based sports here although there are spectacular areas, especially the river system on the Pacuare in the Limon Province (considered the best rafting river in the country) that facilitate active vacations all year long.

Best for smaller crowds

Whilst the Caribbean dries up in September and October, the Pacific side – the most visited in Costa Rica – enjoys its wettest and quietest season. If you wish to have the most popular attractions seemingly all to yourself, this is definitely the time to go. Yes, you’ll have to contend with some heavy (yet short lived) rainfall and you may have restricted access to some of the more remote regions (like Corcovado, for example but if you’re willing to wait out the rains for a couple of hours a day, you will enjoy an unrivalled tranquil vacation in some of the luscious wilderness of all, both on the Pacific coastline and the central mountain range. The other upside of travel in rain season (also called green season) is that the wildlife is out in force so you’ll see plenty more monkeys and birds than you would in dry season.

Best time for less expensive vacations

Rain season is considered off-tourist time in Costa Rica, however, this is still a very rewarding time to travel here and this is now reflected in the prices. Price differences nowadays between peak dry season and rain season (in July and August) are not nearly as dramatic as they used to be, although you will still find better last-minute deals and smaller crowds if traveling here mid-year. What does make a huge difference, instead, is traveling to Costa Rica outside local holiday times, which are at Christmas and Easter week. The best value for money months tend to be in the shoulder season (May-June, and again Sept-November) a time when the climate can still be more than perfect yet crowds, and prices, are still quite low.

Summary: One of the most amazing aspects of Costa Rica is that, despite its relatively small size, it boasts such a variety of landscapes and ecosystems that creates a very complex countrywide climate. The upside is that, generally speaking, you can travel here at any time of year, remembering that the Pacific side is dry and busy during the winter and that the Caribbean is, also generally speaking, the much wetter side at any time. This idyllic tropical country enjoys dreamy temps all year long and offers so much for the curious and active explorer that makes traveling here simply magic no matter when!

Check out our award-winning array of professional, guided and unforgettable Costa Rica vacation in Costa Rica and come discover just how priceless, and memorable, this country can be.

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Make 2018 the Year You Experience a Costa Rica Adventure

Have you been dreaming of a Costa Rica adventure for years? Make 2018 the year it happens!

Every year, Costa Rica leads international lists as one of the world’s most rewarding and exceptionally unique active travel destinations. Just recently, Forbes Magazine waxed lyrical about our most beloved corner of the world, citing the friendly and welcoming culture, safety, ease of life, affordability and high-quality of healthcare as prime reasons to vote Costa Rica the #1 country everyone dreams of retiring to, even outranking long-held favorites like Panama and Mexico. We couldn’t agree more: make 2018 the year you finally experience a Costa Rica adventure and we guarantee you’ll also dream of spending the rest of your life here.

You’ve no doubt heard about all the magnificent rewards Costa Rica offers and they all hold true whether you sell up and move here for an idyllic retirement or simply visit on a heart-pumping adventure vacation.

Because everyone has to start somewhere, right?

If you love immersive, active vacations, you’ll LOVE Costa Rica adventures

Costa Rica adventureSome destinations are wonderful to look at, to admire from a quiet corner, to enjoy as a mere observer. Costa Rica, however, has the sneaky habit of sucking you into being an active part of her immense wilderness. Here, you don’t just picnic by a river, you dive headfirst into her crystalline raging torrents on a kayak or white water raft and have the absolute time of your life barreling down rapids BEFORE you stop to catch your breath and, yes, have the riverside picnic after all.

Forests in Costa Rica are to be explore on foot and by swinging on zip lines, beaches are for surfing, snorkeling and SCUBA diving, mangroves are to be explored by kayak and the entire country is one nearly endless stretch of hiking trails to be discovered on foot. If you dream of a place that’ll captivate your heart and soul, shake you to the core and plunge you into an adrenaline-filled adventure then Costa Rica is YOUR place to be in 2018.

Costa Rica is a top family-vacation destination, where the fun suits young and old alike

Parents searching for an ideal destination for a family vacation are used to simply choosing an oversized resort, in a beautiful country, that offers a kids’ club. This way, they surmise, both parents and children are bound to have a good time. Yet Costa Rica offers a very different kind of family fun, one that the whole family enjoys together, making it a very distinctive destination indeed.

If quality fun time with your kids is at the top of your list, then look no further than Costa Rica in 2018. You, and your kids, will have a ball rafting, kayaking, horse riding, surfing, snorkeling, mountain biking and hiking in pristine wilderness, all the while encountering exotic wildlife. Finally, you no longer have to compromise between what’s fun for you and what’s fun for them! Costa Rica is simply fun for the whole family, making it one of the most rewarding family vacation destinations on the planet. And don’t worry…no matter which Costa Rica adventure tour you choose, there will always be options for the more/less active companions.

Costa Rica offers some of the most affordable tailor-made tours in the world

If you’re a fan of adventure group tours you’ve no doubt fantasized about having the opportunity to enjoy a private, bespoke tour where the itinerary and all the activities are tailored with only the desires of you and your loved ones in mind. Well, in Costa Rica, you can. Why? Because this is one of the most affordable and best value-for-money travel destinations on the planet, a place where luxury is not just sensational but also costa a fraction of what you’d pay elsewhere. You’d be surprised at just how affordable a custom tour of Costa Rica can be. Here at Costa Rica Rios, all we need to know is everything you love, and your budget: we’ll make sure we stick to it and endeavor to offer the most unforgettable travel experience of your life. Contact us here and share your dream. Together, we can make 2018 your most unforgettable travel year of your life.

For private, group, family and honeymoon adventure vacations in Costa Rica, a land where the sun is always shining, the sea is always warm and the rivers are always flowing, contact us today.

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Time-saving Tips for Rewarding Costa Rica Adventure Vacations

It may seem like a corny cliché to say that ‘time’ is life’s most precious luxury…but it is. We’re forever craving more time with our loved ones, more time for fun, more time for relaxation and, when it comes to Costa Rica adventure vacations, more time to see and do it all. Yet unlimited time is a luxury afforded to no-one, so the next best thing is to make sure whatever time you do have, to visit this splendid country, is time spent well.

To this end, we’ve compiled a few of our best time-saving tips for rewarding Costa Rica adventure vacations. A collection of tried and tested habits we’ve learnt over the years, which ensure any trip be a memorable, rewarding and unforgettable one. Because it shouldn’t matter how much time you have to spend in this magnificent country: whether you’re visiting for 3 days or 3 weeks, a Costa Rica adventure vacation can always be the best-spent time of your life.

  1. Don’t cram too much into your vacation

Usually, our first tip to anyone heading to Costa Rica is to not endeavor to cram too much into a single visit. If you do, you’ll risk ending your vacation exhausted and spent rather than invigorated and amazed. Between travel time, acclimatization, activities and sheer enjoyment of the place, you should aim to visit only two destinations a week. FOMO (fear of missing out!) has no place in a country which offers innumerable highlights and is easy and affordable to reach. You will always be back, trust us! So fight the urge to fit in everything on your first trip and hone in on a specific region of Costa Rica for each and every visit.

  1. Choose great base points

Costa Rica AdventureA great base point is the holy grail of all those who wish to save precious time on their Costa Rica adventure vacation. A town, hotel or resort that’s strategically located and offers multiple options for activities should be your priority. Spend a few days in one spot and take advantage of the surrounding highlights and all the sports on offer, before moving on to the next, making sure to squeeze every moment from your full-day outings without having to pack, move, unpack etc.

  1. Pre-book as much as you can

The most important titbit of advice is to pre-plan and pre-book everything you wish to do, most especially if you only have a short time at your disposal. In fact, pre-booking becomes more important the shorter your vacation time. Tours – whether they be white water rafting, hiking, kayaking, horseback riding or wildlife watching – can sell out fast in this very popular destination, as do the best accommodation choices. The only time in Costa Rica when it actually makes sense to ‘wing it’ is when you have a lot of time at your disposal. Wasting a day here or there is fine if you’re here for a month, but not so fine if you can only stay one week. The last thing you need is to arrive with only a few days up your sleeve and find everything booked out! Avoid this disappointment and book ahead, especially if traveling during high tourist season, Christmas and Easter week.

  1. Choose your destinations wisely

There are very valid reasons most travelers to Costa Rica make it to the Manuel Antonio National Park but not to Corcovado. The former is infinitely easier and faster to reach and perfect for a few days’ explorations. Corcovado on the other hand, whilst immensely breathtaking, necessitates a full day of travel to and from, and at least 3-4 days to fully appreciate. Make sure you know your destination and understand the logistics of reaching certain parts of Costa Rica. Consider travel times when mapping up your route and don’t rely on Google maps for drive times. Google may not be aware of the country’s driving conditions, so make sure you do!

  1. Combine an adventure Costa Rica trip with your honeymoon

In case you haven’t heard, Costa Rica is one of the world’s most coveted honeymoon destinations and with this much beauty, relaxation, romance and adventure on offer, it’s not difficult to see why that would be. Honeymoons would have to be some of the most unique getaways of all and for this reason even our own honeymoon adventure vacations range in time frames, from 6 days to grand 18-day adventures. Time your Costa Rica vacation with your honeymoon and you’ll bag the most priceless adventure of all!

  1. Bespoke, make-your-own adventure vacations rock

All-inclusive Costa Rica adventure vacation itineraries are immensely popular, especially with first-time visitors. It’s hard to imagine what travel here is like, how difficult it sometimes is to get from A to B and all the logistics that go along with a smooth and hassle-free trip. Sometimes, it’s just lovely to have someone do all the hard work. Save yourself precious time (both before and during your trip) and enlist the help of Costa Rica experts.

Here at Costa Rica Rios, we offer an array of Costa Rica adventure vacations, from weeklong family, solo and couple adventure trips to romantic honeymoons and bespoke tours that are ‘made to order’. Because no two travelers are ever the same and their vacations shouldn’t be either.

For more advice, planning help, itinerary ideas and bookings, simply contact us today.

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Hot Surfing Spots in Costa Rica

try surfing on your costa rica honeymoonIf you dream of surfing in Costa Rica, you’ve probably heard that there are at least 1,000 surf-able breaks and beautiful beaches here. The culture is very accepting of surfers, and you’ll find a number of shops near our busiest beaches. The best surfing spots in Costa Rica are legendary, but there’s a great mix of lesser known beach breaks that can give you an unforgettably great ride. While it was hard to pick out just a handful of favorite surfing destinations, we’ve highlighted a few hot spots located around Tamarindo, Puerto Viejo and Pavones that are well worth mentioning.

Tamarindo

One of the most appreciated surfing spots in Costa Rica is Tamarindo. Located on the northern end of the Pacific Coast, there are several breaks to surf in the area. If you want to experience as many surfing spots as you can find close together, Tamarindo could be the place to start your quest. Witch’s Rock and Ollie’s Point are among the favorites, and both are accessible only by boat. If you saw the movie “The Endless Summer II,” you already know about Ollie’s Point.

  • Witch’s Rock is a two-mile stretch that’s best at high tide. Be prepared for some steep waves. It’s considered one of Costa Rica’s best places to surf, so it gets crowded on occasion.
  • Ollie’s Point is a year-round surfing destination that is loaded with hollow waves. If you’re looking for a place to surf when the tide is going out and the swells are southwest, try this one.

Puerto Viejo

Puerto Viejo is located on the southern Caribbean Coast. It’s not as busy as Tamarindo. There are a few surfing spots close to each other that give you a great experience, but it can be inconsistent, depending on the time of year you visit.costa rica honeymoons and family vacations are a great time to try surfing

  • The waves at Puerto Viejo, sometimes called Salsa Brava for its powerful big tubes, build from deep water and break on a shallow reef. Bring your A-game. An easterly swell produces the best surfing conditions.
  • Black Beach is a year-round surfing destination with best results from a southern or easterly swell. If you’re looking for something less crowded, put this one on your list – especially if you’re an early riser who likes good waves before breakfast.

Pavones

Pavones is among the legendary surfing destinations in Costa Rica. Located on the South Pacific Coast, this small town enjoys a big reputation. Pavones is a popular destination for the avid surfer. If it’s too crowded or not a great day for swells, consider nearby Punta Banco.

  • Pavones offers about three-quarters of a mile of left, and it’s considered one of the longest in the world. It has fast waves with good shape. It can be inconsistent and small at times, but when it’s on, it’s on.
  • Located about two-and-a-half miles south of Pavones, Punta Banco has a reef break and generally a smaller crowd. It’s a good choice at middle to high tide when there’s a western or southern swell. It can be a little hard to paddle into at times, which is why it’s less crowded than Pavones.

family surf lessons in costa rica If you love to surf, Costa Rica holds an adventure for you. There are many surfing hot spots with different types of breaks, from big waves to short and strong ones. When you’re ready to book a scenic surfing vacation in Costa Rica, contact Costa Rica Rios. We’ll help you build your own vacation, finding the best breaks for your skill level and plan some great accommodations for your stay.