Costa Rica Advice

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Costa Rica Advice

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11. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

It really depends on whether you want to do organized tours or not (I remember paying 50 US $ for a guided day-trip to Tortugero National Park). Decent accomodation shouldn't be more than 15 $ per night and buses from San José are usually cheap too. Check for prices. Apart from that I spent no more than 20 $ on food, drinks, etc. a day.
Hope this helps!


12. Posted by BlimpE (Budding Member 9 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

It's the rain season right now. How should i plan around that? Does it rain 24-7

13. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I went in dec. when it is not the rainy season, but I was told that during the rainy season it does not rain all the time, but there are a couple major downpours a day.

14. Posted by dbloom (Respected Member 586 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

One can now fly into Liberia direct from US, Europe via US and Canada now direct, on the NW Pacific Coast near the Papagayo Bay and the Playas del Coco. Local Bus service is generally cheap but only every 2-3 hours or so from Liberia terminal to Beach points (not recommended with luggages)Taxis from Airport to Beaches about 25 km. or so are about $25 or so, so bring a friend(s)to share expenses especially if traveling alone, if coming in late july and august and you have no reservations be prepared for the "cheapies" to be full up (if you just show up unannouced, especially at night), so be prepared to stay in a $50-60 up dig a night or two, double or triple up. San Jose is full of budget hotels, especially in the city center, but be aware at night, crime has increased so take taxis in San Jose after dark always! There are some 800,000 "immigrant guest workers" legal and illegal in CR (most from neighboring Nicaragua)and if you wind up in the wrong barrio on the wrong bus in San Jose you could easily be assualted..welcome to paradise! Go onto "Google" or "Yahoo" and search "Costa rica Travel" hundreds of good sites in English, Spanish and other languages to help you get around....The alternative:
Liberia is a small and quiet city of 50,000 or so, the capital of Guanacaste Province, hosting the international airport 12 km. west of town, all local buses to and from beach points such as Playas del Coco, Hermosa Beach, etc. go to the terminal at the edge of town, local bus service is spotty and runs on schedule, unlike Nicaragua and the rest of C.A.. The Centroamerica Buses from and to San José-Managua via Granada $10 USD 1 way (4-5 hours)stop at the Backpacker's Hostel "Hotel Guanacaste" about 150 meters up from the terminal, the national buses (second class) to San José from Peñas Blanca (border with Nicaragua) stop up on the main Pan-Am highway some 300 meters at the intersection into town from the local bus station. You may take a taxi to Nicaragua border if in a group for about $45US then a collective cab to Rivas on the Nica. side for about $4 per person, then Rivas to Pacific Resort town of San Juandel Sur about $5 more p.p. Local Buses from Rivas to Granada and Managua are crowded, so if planning on public transport carry little luggage, the locals are very friendly and helpful but Nica has a lot of "rough edges" not so "sanitized" like CR!!! There are some budget hotels in Playas del Coco, however can often be full during high seasons, Ocotal, a longer bus ride, is quite nice. Remember, in general, Costa Rica outside the center of San José and a few funky areas is generally geared for moderate to upscale travelers with most lodgings in the $25+ per night scale and up way up. Now is rainy season, but crowded with "summer" vacationers to early Sept. low seasons are Sept. 15th or so to early November and April after Holy Week through mid-June, December and Holy Week are impossible.
Try Nicaragua as an alternative..Rivas, where you can connect to San Juan del Sur and the Pacific Beaches is only about 2.5-3 hours or so on teh Centroamericana Bus depending the traffic at the borders (usually an hour there) or Colonial Granada is only an hour further on from Rivas, the Bus a/c with video, full of Nicaraguan "guest workers" going home from CR (be perepared to get an "earful" from the outgoing Nicas regarding their "tico masters" on the bus if you speak Spanish, no love lost!)You will have to pay $8.00US cash border taxes to enter Nicaragua, but well worth it as the prices go way way down from overpriced CR and outside the big gritty capital city of Managua, Nicaragua has been rated the safest country per capita in all of Central America. First Class wc a/c video snacks International Bus Services leave Managua daily for Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Tapachula in México to connect with Mexican Bus Services..CR is a stunningly beautiful country and is sublime for Eco Tourism, however the "culture" is very bland and many areas are "Americanized", petty theft is endemic and stay away from the friendly english speaking "tico"* "Beachwalkers" who deal in you know what..they also are known to deal with corrupt local cops and you pay the fines to get out! Never invite strangers to your room or accept offers of rides at night or "help" at ATM machines. Watch your luggage if arriving at the San Jose Airport..some "handlers" will abscond with it..never leave passport and cash or credit cards in your bags either.
Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala offer far more to the independent traveler for far less money, including undiscovered and free of "tourist hordes" awesome national parks, rainforests and nature preserves, plus living indingenous culture (CR, like the US, decimated it's indingenous population in years gone by and put the survivors on reservations, where the residents now make crafts for tour groups)especially in Guatemala where nearly 65% of the population is pure blooded Maya Quiche and the "Living Maya" wear their native traje (dress) and carry on their traditions in the Highlands west and north of Guatemala City, for a complete overview of Traditional Guatemalan Textiles view
As well, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua are hidden gems abounding with Native Arts & Crafts, Colonial and Indingenous villages where time has seemed to stand still, pristine Pacific and Caribbean Beaches, festivals and more festivals, dancing to rythm of salsa, cumbia and reggae, play Baseball in Nicaragua or Soccer in all the the other countries, unique lodging places abound all over the place..message me for more info. The services of our native associates are geared to moderate and upscale budget travelers, however we do invite budget travelers, Spanish students and mission workers/volunteers passing through, on advance notice (please no extreme "dreadlocks", Latinos, even the poorest of the poor, try to look their best at all times) to share in a time honored Central American tradition, a good cup of coffee. Message for more info. Vaya bien.

  • Tico or Tica = Costa Rican *Nica = Nicaraguan
15. Posted by BlimpE (Budding Member 9 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Can anyone suggest a good surf company or a good surf tour group in costa rica?

16. Posted by dbloom (Respected Member 586 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Anyone who requires Costa Rica travel advice from "A" to "pura vida" simply E mail Mychelle Xoxo "Tica Blanca" long term resident of the Playas del Coco, Guanacaste with conex. all over CR in either English or French. tell her the "canard" sent you. Pura Vida! Have a good adventure in "paradise".

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