Tag Archives: Costa Rica wedding

How Much Does a Destination Wedding Cost in Costa Rica?

Wondering how much a dream destination wedding costs in Costa Rica?

Psssst: much less than you think!

Costa Rica weddingDestination weddings in Costa Rica are a dream indulgence for many couples the world over. Yet what many don’t realize is that this is also an exceptional way to enjoy a value-for-money celebration and unforgettable vacation all rolled into one. As far as buck-for-buck luxuries are concerned, Costa Rica offers incredible value.

Even if you were to spend exactly the same amount for a Costa Rica wedding as you would for a wedding back home, the result will certainly not be equal. Why?

Because you’ll be having your dream wedding in paradise!

Plan your 2021 destination wedding today!

What drives the cost of a Costa Rica destination wedding?

As you might expect, the cost of a wedding in Costa Rica will highly depend on your personal desires. The four key aspects that determine price are:

  • WHEN you plan your adventure vacation

High tourist season (Dec – April) will naturally incur a higher price tag all-around for accommodation, venue, reception and all the little things you need like photographer/florist etc

  • WHERE you wish to hold your wedding

5* eco-lodge in an exceptionally remote corner of Costa Rica? Yes, this will cost more

  • HOW MANY guests you plan to invite

Self-explanatory, given you will also undoubtedly want to include a few extras outside of the actually wedding day for your guests

  • HOW luxurious you’d like the event to be

Once again, this point needs little explanation. The more extras you include in your wedding, the higher the price tag.

Costa Rica weddingCosta Rica is a safe, glorious, warm, welcoming and drop-dead-gorgeous country, one where stunning wilderness and beautiful wildlife takes center stage. The beauty of a Costa Rica destination wedding, therefore, is that you don’t NEED to impress your wedding guests with unnecessary extras.

The sheer beauty of Costa Rica is something they will NEVER forget.

And neither will you…

Plan your 2021 destination wedding today!

What’s the average cost of a Costa Rica destination wedding?

Although no two weddings could ever be the same, there is an ‘average’ plan that helps you determine how much you should budget.

Most couples who head down our shores to tie the know will:

  • Come with a group of about 20 friends and family members
  • Stay either in one resort OR book a self-catering villa
  • Allow guests to pay for their own flights and share of accommodation costs
  • Hold the ceremony at their accommodation place and pay for all guest expenses on the actual wedding day (meals, open bar at the restaurant, activities etc)
  • Include at least one iconic Costa Rica excursion for their guests after the wedding day, like zip lining, rafting or a day of wildlife watching in a national park
  • NOT include things like flights and accommodation expenses for themselves into their wedding budget

Why the latter, you ask?

Costa Rica weddingBecause although you are getting married IN Costa Rica, you are essentially planning 1) a wedding and 2) a Costa Rica adventure vacation.

If you were to get married at home, you’d consider the honeymoon a separate expense, right? So, do the same with a destination wedding. This is really the only way to compare genuine wedding costs.

Plan your 2021 destination wedding today!

Given all the above, the ‘average’ Costa Rica wedding DAY costs between $300 and $600 per person for your entire wedding crew

From experience, we can tell you that aiming for the higher end of the wedding-day-budget is ideal. After all, you are asking your loved ones to (probably) forego their yearly vacation for adventures in Costa Rica – yes, they will LOVE you for it but yes, they will also expect a stunning affair. A budget of $600 per person will certainly deliver on that expectation.

If you are looking for truly amazing indulgences and unique experiences, Costa Rica also has you covered. Double that average budget and we’re talking about aerial ballet performances, fire dancing and even private fireworks!

But do you REALLY need all that extra fancy bling-bling? Most couples don’t think so.

The stunning aspect of a Costa Rica wedding, they say, is being able to walk down the sandy aisle with no shoes, enjoy the amazed looks on their loved ones as they exchange precious vows with the backdrop of a rain forest or the sapphire sea, and simply enjoy sharing a jaw-dropping experience in a beautiful land with those closest to them.

You can have a super luxurious wedding here, but a rustic, nature-infused wedding is actually a more authentic Costa Rica experience and something which also costs much less.

A win-win!

Plan your 2021 destination wedding today!

A Costa Rica destination wedding in 2021? That’s PERFECT timing!

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc all over the world, and although Costa Rica has been fully open to international tourism since last November, the country and its tourism industry are still obviously recovering.

This makes 2021 a fantastic year for a Costa Rica wedding!

Luxury resorts, holiday villas and wedding planners are eager to get back to business and offering some truly amazing discounts right now. We don’t expect this to last for very long so if excellent value experiences are what you seek, this is an amazing year to get hitched in Costa Rica.

Plan your 2021 destination wedding today!

How to save even further on Costa Rica wedding costs

All-inclusive wedding packages might seem expensive at first glance, but they are a lifesaver when you’re attempting to plan everything from abroad. There are a million little things that are a nightmare to organize from afar, like hair and makeup on the day, flowers, candles, photographer, menu and so much more. Most of the time, it is simply worthwhile choosing a resort, hotel or lodge with proven experience at holding small-group weddings for foreign visitors.

Select the right accommodation first – Resorts and hotels advertising ‘wedding packages’ offer amazing value and most weddings actually end up costing less than $10,000 for larger groups of 40 guests when taken outside the high season

Want a DIY wedding? A wonderful way to save money BUT you really should hire a local wedding planner at the very least. This should cost only about $500, and it’s really not something you can or should do without.

Plan your 2021 destination wedding today!

Costa Rica Adventure Vacations – the best way to get married life off to a (zip)flying start

At Costa Rica Rios, we happily host countless newlywed couples AND their wedding party on adventure tours every year – be it on a week-long journey or single-day excursion wherever they are. Our aim is to provide safe and unforgettable adventures for thrill-seekers and their loved ones, tailoring every itinerary to meet the needs and desires of everyone.

Want to gift the single most cherished Costa Rica memory to your better half and/or your family and friends? Then why not chat to us about private, tailor-made experiences in the spectacular Costa Rican wilderness?!

As always, contact us to know more.


Four Dreamy Wedding Venues for Your Costa Rica Event

One of the first priorities when planning a Costa Rica destination wedding and adventure honeymoon is finding the perfect dreamy venue to share your ‘I dos’.

Considering our beloved balmy paradise is one of the world’s most popular wedding destinations, you’ll find an exciting array of gorgeous resorts, lodges and hotels in just about every province, all offering unique wedding packages and distinct experiences, be they in the heart of a luscious jungle, cloud forest or, perhaps the most popular choice, along a pristine stretch of stunning beach.

Choosing the right venue for your Costa Rica wedding will ultimately come down to your personal preferences yet considering every couple does share a few things in common (doesn’t everyone dream of a unique and unforgettable wedding?) we think our choice of 4 dreamy venues will tickle anyone’s fancy.

Read our guide to planning your perfect 2018 Costa Rica wedding and then check out the following 4 sensational venues that are sure to make for a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime adventure for a couple looking to get their wedded bliss off to a fabulous start.

1.   Nayara Springs, La Fortuna – for the ultimate in luxury and exclusivity

The Nayara group of luxury hotels barely needs any introduction: this is one of Costa Rica’s most exquisite boutique hotels group, revered for its attention to details, impeccable service and magnificent properties. If you’re a couple looking for a unique, upscale and totally private experience, then the Nayara Springs is the one you ought to check out. This adults-only hotel is set within the luscious landscapes of the Arenal Volcano tropical rain forests.

It boasts stunning private villas, plunge pools, indoor and outdoor showers, an in-house spa that’s won a ton of awards and, best of all, some of the most outstanding views in the whole region. Private gardens adorned with hammocks, gorgeous terraces that are ideal for some R&R, yoga classes to help you relax, sensational food at the in-house restaurant and plenty of pampering services for you, your dearly beloved and all your wedding guests.

The accommodation is drop-dead gorgeous as is every detail of this incredible hotel. Over the last five years alone, Nayara Springs has been awarded top honors from some of the most prominent travel institutions around, including Conde Nast Traveler and TripAdvisor. Ideally located in the heart of the Arenal region, Nayara Springs is an excellent choice if you want to inject some serious luxury and exclusivity into your wedding celebrations and have the best of Costa Rica right at your doorstep.

2.   Cala Luna Luxury Boutique Hotel

Cala Luna may not be as grand as Nayara Springs but it is by no means any less enchanting. This glorious property is set along a beautiful stretch of beach in Tamarindo and its understated elegance and luxury offer couples just as much comfort and beauty but in a much more intimate setting.  The laid-back vibe perfectly suits its seaside location and if it’s an intimate beach side ceremony you dream, with all the bells and whistles of a world-class boutique resort, then you won’t be left disappointed.

The service and amenities are top-notch and the staff friendly, accommodating and professional. Private villas offer you and your guests the utmost privacy with a host of outdoor spaces where you can enjoy some togetherness and joint relaxation. Have a dip in the pool, enjoy a yoga class, a revitalizing massage and an array of exhilarating activities either before or after your wedding day. Cala Luna caters to couples with varying tastes and budgets and can literally take care of every aspect of your wedding day. Visit their Wedding Page to know more.

3.   La Paloma Lodge, Osa Peninsula

Remote, secluded and incredibly good value for money, the luxurious Paloma Lodge offers an all-inclusive adventure wedding experience you won’t find anywhere else. This is the kind of place you head to when you have more time up your sleeve, a bit of extra funds in your pocket and a fervent desire to get away from it all and enjoy a truly special vacation in your life with the most beloved people in your life.

Sitting atop a steep cliff and overlooking one of the country’s most inspiring bays on the Pacific Ocean, just a few steps away from the Corcovado National Park, La Paloma Lodge is an absolute dream venue for a Costa Rica wedding. The property seems infused with the natural surroundings, with every material sourced to perfectly blend with the wilderness. The sanctuary that is your private villa comes with the comfort of air-conditioning and the kind of rustic chic décor that befits the lodge’s image.

A brand-new 3-bedroom beach house has just been completed and if you’re planning a very small family affair, for your Cota Rica wedding, this could just be the kind of exclusive and private venue you’ll love. Every aspect of this amazing lodge is designed to enhance the beauty of the Costa Rican wilderness whilst offering 5* service and amenities to its very, very lucky guests. Rates for La Paloma Lodge may seem steep but do note that they include a host of amenities and excursions so actually make for fantastic value.

4.   Hotel Belmar, Monteverde

Nestled in the heart of the wonderful cloud forests of Monteverde, the Hotel Belmar oozes romance and decadence at every turn, making it an ideal Costa Rica wedding venue for couples who seek a unique experience immersed in pristine mountainous nature. A selection of stunning and spacious chalet rooms, all beautifully decorated and infinitely cozy, can cater for large wedding parties and the added treats of hot tub, wellness spa and a terrace affording breath-taking forest views will surely captivate you all.

What sets these guys apart, however, is their incredible desire to please, seamlessly catering to every couple’s whim and creating the kind of dream wedding they desire. Nothing is too much trouble, no hurdle too difficult to overcome, no last-minute change of plans too bothersome. This kind of exceptional service is the peace of mind many seek and if you’d love that, coupled with a sensational stay in a superlative lodge, then the Belmar will certainly hit all the spots.

At Costa Rica Rios, we offer incomparable adventure vacations, be it for your honeymoon, your family vacation…or just some ‘me’ time!

Visit our Activities page and contact us for more details.

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Best Places for a Honeymoon Nightcap in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s western coastline is arguably its most revered destination and that’s certainly no incidental, for it is here that you can soak up some truly mesmerizing sunsets. Heading to Costa Rica on honeymoon? Then hold a cocktail glass in one hand and your dearly beloved in the other, and check out the best places for a honeymoon nightcap in Costa Rica.

Hotel La Mariposa, Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio, the most visited area in the country, is awash with spectacular hotels and resorts set amidst dense jungle cover, and facing the pristine Pacific coast. Yet very few can boast the honeymoon sundowner effect of La Mariposa.

With an infinity pool and gorgeous bar looking out over blissfully unobstructed views of stellar sunsets, this one is an unparalleled couple favorite.

Kura Design Villas, Uvita

honeymoon nightcap in Costa RicaThe sky over Uvita seems to take on a life of its own at sunset, and infinite shades of red drench the entire landscape. It’s simply magical. And you know what else is magical?

Enjoying the spectacle from a private balcony of this luxurious honeymoon boutique hotel, set high in a remote area of Uvita overlooking the ocean. There’s even a hammock for two in the terrace, so there you have it. Pure honeymoon sundowner perfection.

Observatory Lodge & Spa, Arenal

honeymoon nightcap in Costa RicaJust to prove a point, we’ve found a stunning location that’s not on the coast but still rewards you with an incredibly spectacular sunset. The place? The stunning Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, a remote and gorgeous resort set on the foothills of Costa Rica’s most revered peak.

The sunset view? Over Lake Arenal! Soak up the spectacular volcano views by day and head to the restaurant’s terrace for breathtaking sunset views by night. The perfect combination for a honeymoon nightcap in Costa Rica.

Nogui’s Restaurant, Tamarindo

To highlight the fact that Costa Rica dishes up sensational sunsets no matter where you go, here we have a local low-key favorite that’s all about the views. Nogui’s is set right on the beach in the vibrant seaside town of Tamarindo and serves local specialties right by the seaside.

An inexpensive local dinner with a fab happy hour deal and priceless honeymoon sunset views? Yep…we’re into that too.

Hotel Villas Alturas, Puntarenas

But let’s be honest, honeymoon sundowners should probably be a bit special, right? Then head down to Dominical, in the lesser-visited southern Pacific Coast and you can soak up startling sunset views in one of only a few select hotels which boast spectacularly elevated settings.

Hotel Villas Alturas is set on levels with prime position given to the terrace pool, although magnificent views are afforded from every corner.

All of the above-mentioned resorts are open to the public, which means you need not spend the night to enjoy a honeymoon nightcap in Costa Rica with killer views. That just goes to show how incredibly proud and generous locals are in this picture-perfect honeymoon destination. And when you’re all done with the romance and sunset indulging, why not join us on a once-in-a-lifetime Costa Rica honeymoon adventure? Because in this part of the world, glorious sunsets are just the beginning.


How to Find the Best Planner for Your Costa Rica Wedding

Costa Rica weddingAnyone who’s ever planned a wedding will attest to it being a tad stressful. There are 101 things to think about, all simultaneously, and 101 more that’ll slip one’s mind until the time it becomes obvious that they have been all but forgotten. When you plan a wedding abroad, however, you can just about quintuple the stress! Not only do you have countless things to think about and organize, but you and your wedding venue manager, cake maker, florist, make-up artist and string quarter are in different countries. How on earth does one organize a seamlessly beautiful and breathtaking Costa Rica wedding?! With a fantastic wedding planner, that’s how.

Costa Rica wedding planners are renowned for being exceptional at what they do. They live in a country that has become the epitome backdrop for a destination wedding, and they have the know-how to make your special day something extraordinary.

Need some help scoring that one-in-a-million-planner that’ll make your day an unforgettable experience?

We’re here to help.

To Plan or Not to Plan

Many couples will indeed be wondering if they can actually organize their Costa Rica wedding without a local planner. The short answer is ‘Yes, you can!’ yet the more comprehensive response would be ‘Of course you can, yet you may find it too time-consuming and stressful to make going it alone worthwhile’. Whilst many resorts in Costa Rica offer wedding packages which include reception dinner, flowers, wedding cake and the likes, you will be left to organize quite a few things on your own. Moreover, if you wish to do anything out of the norm, like have a beach wedding or organize a full weeklong event held in a private villa, a little external help will be not just helpful, but rather essential.

Dedicated Costa Rica wedding planners are adept at bringing all the pieces of the puzzle together effortlessly, leaving you and your beloved to simply show up, make your vows, and celebrate. The best part? Hiring a wedding planner in Costa Rica costs just a fraction of what it does at home, making their services even more enticing.

Locate Your Perfect Costa Rica Wedding Planner

Wedding coupleTrusting the most important day of your life to a complete stranger may be daunting, we know. Yet there are plenty of things you can do to ensure you catch yourself a priceless ally. Someone who understands you, knows your likes and dislikes and totally gets where you’re coming from. Someone on your wavelength. To this end, here’s our list of tips and hints to help you find that perfect Costa Rica wedding planner match made in heaven:

  1. Trust personal recommendations – with a tiny grain of salt. Professionalism, great communication skills and competency are the main attributes you ought to look for in a wedding planner. Everything else, becomes very objective. Just because your friend just luuuurved her wedding planner in Costa Rica, it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to build the same rapport with him/her. You can’t expect the same result just because you choose the same wedding planner. Costa Rica destination weddings are always unique, as is every couple, and your aim is to find a planner that’s just right for the two of you. Recommendations are wonderful and should be graciously accepted, but don’t rely on them completely. Contact as many planners as you can and make your decision based on your heart and gut feeling, primarily.
  2. Make sure you and your planner can communicate well The great majority of the time, you’ll be communicating with your planner via email. It is imperative that you understand each other and can communicate well. Perhaps you speak Spanish fluently, but if you don’t, you really ought to ensure your planner can express her/himself clearly in English. A slight misunderstanding via email can translate into a huge disappointment on your big day.
  3. Know what you’re getting Be very clear and knowledgeable about what you planner can and can’t organize. Ask your planner to make a precise list of what they can do for you, and to outline what is needed for a Costa Rica wedding (they will know this) and the details with which they cannot help.
  4. Only choose a planner who’ll be there on your wedding day Make sure your wedding planner and the whole planning team will be on hand to take care of your special day on the actual day. They must be there, from beginning, to end. If they can’t – because they are booking 4 weddings on the same day – look for someone else. You will only have a stress-free day if you know your planner will be by your side and available to fix any problems should they arise.
  5. Experience and accreditation are a must Choose a wedding planner who’s been at it for a while, a few years at least, and who is certified and a member of the Costa Rica Tourism Board.
  6. Short of ideas? Ask your planner! They are a boundless source of info and creative ideas, and can incorporate a myriad of crazy beautiful wishes into your event. Never mistake your wedding planner for a simple logistical facilitator: these guys are artists. They have visions, experiences and know what works best where and when.
  7. Trust is key Once you find a planner you absolutely adore….trust them. When it comes to planning unique and amazing wedding in Costa Rica, they really do know best.

Before heading out into the virtual yonder to seek your one-of-a-kind wedding planner, you may appreciate a little more info:

*Want to know when you should plan to get married? Read our Guide on How to Time Your Costa Rica Wedding Right

*Want to know the legalities involved in getting married here? Read our Everything You Need to Know About Costa Rica Destination Wedding Guide

*Want to know what the best part of a Costa Rica weeding is? Then do read our guide to Planning the Perfect Bespoke Honeymoon in Costa Rica


Guide to Costa Rica Destination Wedding Etiquette

Costa Rica catamaran weddingPlanning a destination wedding to Costa Rica is one of the most enjoyable things to look forward it. Considering the country is brimming with exceptional wedding venues and experienced planners, you’d be surprised how seamlessly easy the whole process can be. Yet no ‘wedding planner magician’ can possibly solve all the conundrums you’ll inevitably face. Who will you invite? Who should you invite? What are you expected to pay for…and what should you leave up to your guests?

These are just a few etiquette puzzles you may be faced with when planning your Costa Rica destination wedding. But never fear…we’re here to help!

Follow our Guide to Costa Rica Destinations Wedding Etiquette and sort out the do’s and dont’s before you go. You’ll be mighty glad you did, we assure you.

Get Your Dates Right

Save-the-date invitation should go out no later than 6 months before the wedding and, ideally, closer to 10. Naturally, you’re not inviting people to just a ‘wedding day’ but you’re asking them to plan their (probably) only yearly holiday to come share the big day with you in Costa Rica. Although we’re quite sure they’ll be just as excited as you to head to this powerhouse of nature, adventure, culture and history, you still need to give them plenty of time to organize work/school timetables – as well as budget. Make sure you include the location on your initial invite, so people can start booking early bird flights if they wish.

Once you have the date set, you can send formal invites about 3 months before your wedding date. Include as much info as possible, such venue, country info, transport options and accommodation choices too. The latter will help burst illusions anyone may have that a ‘destination wedding’ means the bride and groom are paying for their entire holiday abroad. Including a few links to the also gives guests a chance to research the region of Costa Rica where you’ll be married, and work out ways to enjoy day trips or extended vacation after the vows are exchanged. Don’t forget to add a website of your chosen wedding venue and, if you really want to get their excitement to build, our Costa Rica Rios collection of outstanding getaways which make ideal pre or post-wedding vacations.

Who Should You Invite?

Costa Rica destination weddings tend to be small and intimate affairs, with many couples choosing to invite only their closest friends and family members. Although you may be tempted to invite a close(ish) friend or work colleague whom you think wouldn’t come anyway, do be careful. You’ll be surprised what kind of magnetic pull Costa Rica has on people! Our advice is to only invite those people you’d be ecstatic to see on your wedding day. No matter how ‘distant’ you think a friend or colleague may be, they may see it as an brilliant way to strengthen the friendship and enjoy a superlative holiday.

Moreover, even though traditionally whomever you invite to your engagement party should be invited to your wedding, the waters are a little murkier when it comes to destination weddings. Nowadays, it is very common to have a large engagement party with many guests, and a very intimate wedding in Costa Rica for only your closest circle of love. A little post-wedding do at home, for those who didn’t attend the weddng, is also a terrific idea.

Who Pays for What?

It goes without saying that the couple who’s getting married is responsible for the ceremony, reception, entertainment and pre-wedding rehearsal dinner. Having said that, destination weddings are not usually one-day affairs so including a couple more group activities during the course of 2-3 days would be ideal, and rather classy. Luckily, no matter where you choose to marry in Costa Rica, you’ll have a bundle of choices! Take your wedding party whitewater rafting for a day! Or perhaps kayaking, horse-riding, or on a memorable sunset cruise. A farewell brunch will also be appreciated, so pick and choose what you prefer (two is more than sufficient) and do make separate invite cards for each event. Guests are expected to pay for their own flights, transport, accommodation and any extra expenses that isn’t expressly paid for by the bride and groom.

Except, Perhaps, for the Bridal Party Members…

Technically speaking, you are not required to cover the costs of the wedding party members attending your big day. However, being asked to be a bridesmaid or better still, a witness, is a whole different ballgame than just being asked to attend. The latter they could politely decline, the former not so much.

The etiquette for this is somewhat simple. If you can afford to pick up the accommodation (and even flight) tabs for your wedding party, then you’ll certainly win huge brownie points with all involved. After all, for a small intimate Costa Rica wedding these are bound to be your bestest friends. If not, don’t feel bad, but be very active in researching special group discounts. Renting a villa (or two) for your wedding party and perhaps contributing a token amount to the overall cost, will surely also be very appreciated.

Can You Help Pay for a Friend in Dire Financial Need?

This scenario is more common than you imagine and as far as we’re concerned, we say ‘go for gold’ and help them attend by covering their expenses, if you really couldn’t imagine your wedding without them. You may just want to keep it a little on the secretive side so no one else feels unfairly treated. No need for loudspeaker announcements here: love for a special friend to be there? Keep it between you two and you’re sweet to go.

Skip the Registry

Gift registries are nowadays as common as multiple-toaster-giving was a mere generation ago. Yet a little word of caution. A destination wedding can be financially straining for some guests, so showing appreciation for their efforts (to fly abroad for your wedding) by omitting a gift registry, will take a lot of pressure off. Even your closest friend will possibly spend more on attending your wedding in Costa Rica than they would if you got married at home. To avoid any doubt, do state your intention on the invitations by telling guests that your most treasured wedding gift would be their company. It’s a win-win.

Gifts and Keepsakes

Turn the traditional tables around. Instead of receiving gifts from your guests, why not organize a gorgeous welcome gift for them? Popular choices are hampers with traditional Costa Rica products like coffee, vanilla beans, wine, and a totally fun and kitsch souvenir.

What if You Want an Adult-Only Affair?

Ouch. Tact can go a long way if you wish for an adult-only destination wedding. Being brutally honest, in this case, is a no-go. “Sorry but I don’t want your spoilt brat at my idyllic Costa Rica destination wedding” is the ultimate friendship-executioner. Instead, make sure only the names of your adult friends are included on the wedding invitation (an old school etiquette which is actually lost on many people today) and then let your closest friends know that they can be honest should they be asked about your ‘children or no children’ intentions.

And on a last note: do know that Costa Rica is an exceptionally child-friendly country to visit and many resorts offer childminding services for any of your guests who will fly with kids in tow. Just like people shouldn’t expect that their entire brood be invited to an overseas wedding, you should also not expect parents (especially of very young children) to fly to Costa Rica minus their little ones.

It’s possible that we’ve answered some questions you probably hadn’t even thought about. You’re welcome! A Guide to Costa Rica Destination Wedding Etiquette ought to help relieve some of the anxiety you may be feeling about the logistics of organizing a wedding abroad.

And when you’re ready for some post-wedding fun…join us on a romantic, relaxing or totally adventurous Costa Rica honeymoon vacation that you’ll never forget.


3 of the Most Unique Wedding Venues in Costa Rica

All-inclusive wedding resorts are unsurprisingly popular with couples who head to Costa Rica to exchange their vows. Tailor-made to provide full services – from accommodation for all guests, scrumptious feasting, wedding cakes and spectacular views – the country’s most beautiful resorts certainly offer unforgettable options for your Costa Rica wedding.

Are you looking for something a little different? You got it! In Central America’s most spectacular country, your big day venue can be as distinctive as you are.

Here are 3 of the Most Unique Wedding Venues in Costa Rica.

Tie the Knot in a Private Villa

Booking a private villa for your Costa Rica destination is a wonderful option if you still want luxury and comfort, but with the added bonus of privacy and intimacy. Not only do you and your guests get to experience a truly authentic vacation but some of the options are even more affordable than many resorts, most especially if you have quite a few guests attending your big day. Costa Rica boasts some magnificent villas for hire, which can cater for groups of anywhere from 5 to 50 guests. What’s more, although with a private villa you will have to organize all the added extras on your own, most come with in-house planners, so you’ll be getting the convenience of a resort wedding anyway.

Check out the three options on BarefootVacationVillas to get a taste of what you can expect of a luxury villa set amongst stellar landscapes, or the exceptional Villa Punto de Vista (a magnificent 10-bedroom villa designed specifically for destination weddings) as well as Casa Fantastica, one of the sought-after private estates in the country.


Costa Rica villa


(Photo courtesy of CostaRicaWeddingDestinations.com)

Say ‘I do’ Next to Breathtaking Waterfalls

The La Paz Waterfalls Gardens offer one of the most spectacular photo backdrop of all: five cascading waterfalls framed by luscious tropical wilderness brimming with a myriad of exotic birds. This eco-lodge is only an hour out of San Jose (perfect for long-weekend weddings) and is ideal for nature-loving romantics. Beautifully set among a pristine natural landscape, this incredible resort also boasts a butterfly observatory, as well as a wedding coordinator who’ll organize your perfect day from beginning to end.

Costa Rica waterfall

(Photo courtesy La Paz Waterfall Gardens & Peace Lodge)


Get Married Aboard a Catamaran

For a totally out-there Costa Rica wedding, nothing beats getting married aboard a luxury catamaran. The King Catamaran is a popular choice for young and energetic couples who want to kick off their married life with a big splash (sometimes literally) and what’s an incredible plus about them, is that they are experienced wedding planners and can actually take care of all your wedding plans, both on and off the catamaran. From the rehearsal dinner to the accommodation, photos and video on the day and, of course, a spectacular catamaran cruise for the ceremony.

Costa Rica catamaran wedding

(Photo courtesy of TheKingCatamaran)

Exchange your vows on a glistening Costa Rica beach

The most iconic of all tropical wedding venues would have to be a stretch of pristine beach. Luckily, Costa Rica, has tonnes of them! The Pacifico Beach Club is unlike any other resort and plans some of the most outrageously beautiful beach weddings you could ever dream. Located right on the shores of Playas del Coco on the northwest coast, PBC is perfect if you’re looking for a one-stop paradise that you and your wedding guests will absolutely love. The in-house wedding coordinator will make your life ridiculously easy, and you can rest easy knowing that the restaurant for your wedding reception is one of the best rated in the country. Walk down the sandy isle to exchange vows under a tropical flower covered arch, enjoy your cocktails and appetizers as the sun descends over the crimson horizon, and have a fantastic wedding party that we’re sure you’ll never forget.

Costa Rica beach wedding






(Photo courtesy of PacificoBeachClub)

And when vows are exchanged and photos taken…let us whisk you away to a dream Costa Rica honeymoon vacation that’ll be the ideal cherry atop your extraordinary wedding cake.


Part IV: Costa Rica Vacation – Wedding and Honeymoon

Costa Rica honeymoonWhether you wish to enjoy a superb adventure-filled honeymoon or simply dreaming of a romantic vacation, Costa Rica is your incomparable destination choice. But don’t just take (admittedly subjective) word for it!

PerfectHoneymoons.com rates this tropical Caribbean gem as the 3rd most-popular destination in the world, after Italy and Hawaii, for love-filled getaways. And what’s not to love? With its magnificent nature, array of luxury resorts, eco-lodges and indulgent retreats, not to mention the idyllic year-round climate and utterly unique ‘exotic’ charm, Costa Rica is the obvious choice if you want to steer clear of run-of-the-mill love-do’s and get more value for your hard-earned holiday funds.

Truth be told, the whole country is chock-full of incredibly beautiful places that are ideal for a romantic getaway, yet some are just a little more ideal due to their proximity to the capital (for that dreamy long weekend), smattering of high-end eco-lodges (for that one-a-kind splurge), stunning beaches (because if you don’t go home with a tan then you’re doing something wrong) and variety of fun and exhilarating activities.

Here are just of the amazing options for your romantic Costa Rica vacation:

Manuel Antonio National Park honeymoonManuel Antonio National Park is arguably the most popular destination for active romantic vacations and honeymoons, as it’s only a 2-hour drive out of San Jose and is, above all else, a superlative natural haven. Brimming with wildlife and offering a multitude of options for adventure-filled days, Manuel Antonio is the kind of place where you can enjoy a thrilling white water rafting trip in the morning, enjoy a delectable gourmet lunch in an exclusive lodge, delight in a romantic afternoon horse ride on a pristine beach, and end the day with a swoon-worthy candle-lit dinner under a canopy of stars.

Costa Rica romanceNot to be outdone, dormant Arenal Volcano offers an equally outstanding backdrop for soaks in therapeutic hot springs and indulgences in superb 5* spa resorts. This is Costa Rica’s tropical lusciousness at its very best. Waterfalls galore and plenty of fun pursuits are the cornerstones of the Arenal region, yet it’s all the spectacular thermal springs which hold the ultimate appeal for romantic holidays and Costa Rica honeymoons.

Lovers of the sun and surf will do well to check out the stellar options along the Guanacaste coastline. Here is where you can spend endless days playing in the waves, snorkeling, diving, surfing and lazing around on some of the world’s most coveted sandy stretches. The sand glistens, the sunsets WOW and the romance spills at every turn. The Gulf of Papagayo, along the north-western shores of Costa Rica, is where you’ll find the largest collection of exclusive and all-inclusive 5* resorts. Just a short drive from the Liberia Airport, the Gulf of Papagayo is arguably the favorite among honeymooners and makes for a brilliant base from which to explore Costa Rica.

Nicoya Peninsula honeymoonWant to feel like there are just the two of you in the world? Then the Nicoya Peninsula is your honeymoon destination of choice. You’ll find fewer people here, fewer tourists in general, and a much more remote and exclusive experience awaits you. Remote and spellbinding, the Nicoya is idyllic for couples who want to get away from the rest of the world, for just a little while. Outstanding resorts are set amidst verdant hills, overlooking sapphire and emerald waters. Quiet coves, endless stretches of pristine beaches and oodles of isolated dream spots is what makes the Nicoya Peninsula a top choice for those seeking romance and intimacy.

Costa Rica Weddings

Costa Rica weddingIn case you didn’t already know, Costa Rica is one of the most popular wedding locations on the planet, attracting couples and their delighted loved ones from every corner of the globe. The affordability and sheer uniqueness of Costa Rica weddings is a huge incentive for many couples, who can enjoy an unforgettable wedding and honeymoon in one of the world’s most coveted destinations, for only a fraction of the cost of a wedding at home. Exceptional luxury, an incredibly well-planned wedding day and a mesmerizing holiday to boot? I do!

Getting married in Costa Rica isn’t nearly as complicated as you may think, most especially when you consider most resorts will put you in contact with a wedding planner who will look after you from beginning to end. Here are a few guides to help you get started:

Costa Rica Destination Weddings: Everything You Need to Know

Costa Rica Wedding: How to Time it Right

How to Find the Best Planner for Your Costa Rica Wedding

All-inclusive Costa Rica honeymoon packages are undoubtedly the best value-for-money deals you’ll find anywhere, and it is something in which Costa Rica Rios specialize. After the vows have been exchanged, cake has been cut and teary hugs have been shared, let us propel you into an adventurous week of ‘love + adrenalin’ to get your married life off to a heart-pumping start.

Part I: Costa Rica Vacation – Getting Here is Now Faster…and Cheaper!
Part II: Costa Rica Vacation Accommodation to Suit All Tastes and Budgets
Part III: Costa Rica Vacation – Family Adventure Vacation


Costa Rica Destination Weddings – Everything You Need to Know!

Costa Rica weddingYou’re taking the plunge. It’s all set. You and your beloved have decided to get married at one of the many destination weddings locations in Costa Rica… Wooo hoooo! Kudos to you both! This is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting times in your life.

Yet, if you listen to all those who have come before you and they’ll tell you that it also has the potential of being one of the most stressful.

How on earth does one plan a wedding…in another country?!

With ease, that’s how!

Here are all the ins and outs of planning a Costa Rica wedding:

The Legalities of a Costa Rica Marriage

Marriage licenseWell, logistics may not be all that romantic, we know, but we still need to get them out of the way! There are several reasons Costa Rica is such a popular wedding venue, and much of this has to do with just how easy the whole process is for foreigners. You need not apply for a marriage license in Costa Rica, need not have your documents translated into Spanish and there are no waiting periods either. Plan it well and, if you wanted to, you could get married on the same day you arrive.

What you do need to do is send your planner a copy of your passports, civil status and personal details about a month before you arrive. If you’re not planning on getting married in a Catholic Church, you’ll need to have a lawyer present (your planner will organize this for you, of course) who will submit your marriage certificate and mail it to you back home once it’s all processed. Once you receive the certificate, your marriage will be recognized in your own home country. Costa Rican law also states that your witnesses cannot be related to you, so count on your best friends for this important job!

What Budget is Necessary?

Wedding budgetForget those astronomically expensive weddings many people have at home! In Costa Rica, your ‘average’ wedding, with about 50 guests, can set you back only about $5,000! This will include celebrant, venue, celebration lunch/dinner, flowers, photographer, entertainment and a delicious cake! Of course, you can certainly splash out on a super luxurious venue and uber-gourmet food, but a Costa Rican wedding need not cost an arm and a leg. The landscape, atmosphere and culture will be the highlights here…not the bling.

Best Time to Exchange Nuptials in Costa Rica?

Generally speaking, April and May are ideal months in which to get married in Costa Rica. This is the start of the low season (great deals to be found!) and the weather is just peachy. Having said that, make sure you time your wedding right and follow our seasonal guide to getting married in this small, but very varied country.

Is a Wedding Planner Required… or Can I Go it Alone?

Although it would be impossible to plan a destination wedding in Costa Rica all on your lonesome, we dare say the time consuming factor ought to not be taken too lightly. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of wedding hotels and resorts have their own in-house coordinators and their services are included in your ‘wedding package’, making their help totally priceless.

However, dedicated wedding planners in Costa Rica are something quite special, and can help with every detail of your wedding, including your (and your guests’) travel and accommodation plans. They’ll liaise with your chosen venues, organize the exact flower arrangements you desire and get all the paperwork out of the way too. For what it’s worth, we say that if you can stretch your budget a little more, and employ a wedding planner, then it will be money well spent. Most especially if you wish for your wedding ceremony to be held in a private beach house or villa in Costa Rica.

How Do You Choose the Right Venue?

Costa Rica resortWell, this depends on what you like! Destination wedding are big business here in Costa Rica, and you’ll be surprised how many inclusions many of the fantastic resorts will offer, to lure you in. Just to give you an idea, the stellar Alma del Pacifico, a small but luxurious beach side resort right next to the Manuel Antonio National Park (and only a couple of hours’ drive from San Jose Airport) will literally put the whole resort at your and your guests’ disposal when you book your wedding there. That’s the pool, spa, restaurant, breath-taking terrace and absolute waterfront location…all yours…for your wedding.

That’s the stuff dreams are made of! What’s more? It’s only one of many dedicated wedding resorts in Costa Rica. Speak to your wedding coordinator in Costa Rica or – working backwards – contact your dream resort/hotel and ask what kind of wedding packages they have on offer.

What About the Honeymoon?

The number one reason couples give, for choosing to get married in Costa Rica, is that they have the priceless chance of enjoying their honeymoon in one of the world’s most enticing countries. Without moving an inch. So take the stress out of planning your honeymoon and let us organize an all-inclusive adventurous honeymoon in Costa Rica, and discover how amazing, romantic and unique this corner of the world can be.