¡Pura Vida! These words greet you
as you get off the plane in Costa Rica. Meaning, “Pure Life!” it won’t take you
long to understand why this country is so special. Here are a few things you
should know before visiting Costa Rica for the first time.
The one thing that sets Costa Rica
apart from many other destinations is their fierce dedication to eco-friendly
hotels and sustainable tourism. When looking up your hotel of choice, make sure
to check what their “Leaf” rating is to ensure the most educated decision about
While planning your possible
flights, keep in mind that Costa Rica contains two major airports. While San
Jose is the main international airport, many people prefer to fly into Liberia
due to the proximity to the Guanacaste region. Which airport will be closest to
The currency in Costa Rica does not
tend to fluctuate much so you can generally count on 500 colones to the dollar.
Keep this in mind when looking at prices for things you are buying.
Pack for multiple weather climates!
Cold, damp weather can be found in the Cloud Forest but warm, dry heat can be
found in Tamarindo. Boots, sweaters, and beanies are just as important as your
bathing suit and sunscreen.
Costa Rica has two distinct seasons
- dry and wet. While one part of the country can be dry, another microclimate
can be experiencing torrential downpours. Research the locations you wish to visit so you can be aware of what you
are getting into.
The official language of Costa Rica
is Spanish, but due to the tourism boom nearly everyone speaks English.
Familiarize yourself with some basic Spanish, though, to make your time there
Costa Rica was voted the “Happiest
Country on Earth” by the Happy Planet Index. With a high life expectancy, an
overall feeling of well-being, no standing army, and high literacy rate, it is
no wonder that people love to live here.
This list is just the tip of the
iceberg when it comes to understanding Costa Rica. What are you most looking
forward to on your first visit?