Sign In | Join now! It's free!Help |

Costa Rica Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your Costa Rica vacation


anja78
National dishes of Costa Rica 4 stars
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
If you are going to Costa Rica there are two main dishes you are unlikely not to sample during your stay. First, there is "Gallo Pinto", which is usually served for breakfast. It's a dish made up of fried rice and beans and it is often served with eggs. The qualitiy varies. Sometimes I found it was prepared in too much (probably old) fat, and on other occasions it was delicious. For lunch or dinner add cabbage and tomato salad, fried plantain, sometimes potato and meat and you get "Casado". Another very common dish is "Arroz con Pollo" (Rice with Chicken), which, though very basic, quickly became one of my favorite.

More

anja78
Food: Going out vs. cooking yourself 5 stars
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Even if you are real budget-minded, in Costa Rica going out for food, if you don't chose the most expensive thing on the menu, does not cost more than preparing your own if you're travelling. We had breakfast and dinner at a small eatery or restaurant every day and the only way to save a little bit extra was to have a sandwich day. Basic meals are cheap and tasty and mostly better than anything you could prepare in a hostel or hotel kitchen and many accomodation facilities don't offer a kitchen anyway. And the fresh fruit shakes they offer everywhere are great!

More

anja78
A bus stop anywhere you like 4 stars
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Travelling by bus in Costa Rica is a bit different than taking a bus in Europe or other western countries. Sometimes the bus might stop every couple of hundred meters because somebody wants to get on board - you can flag the bus down anywhere and that literally means anywhere. If the driver just stopped for somebody else a few steps away they will stop again for you. And many people tend to take the bus to go just one block or less. This can become quite annoying for the passerngers not used to these customs.

More

anja78
Favorite pastime karaoke 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
If you are going to give the nightlife in Costa Rica a try, you are most definitely going to end up at a karaoke bar at some point or have some sort of other karaoke experience to account for. Costa Ricans seem to love their karaoke at all ages. A small guest house we stayed at just got a new karaoke machine while we were staying there and the owners and friends were up all night trying it out; the later it got the louder they were. I even ended up singing a Costa Rican song I had never heard before at some bar one night and I usually hate karaoke. There's no escaping it.

More

anja78
Across the country by bus 5 stars
Getting around Costa Rica by bus is easy and efficient. Buses are cheap and tickets available for sale as you are boarding the bus, they are almost always on time and relatively comfortable and some buses even have air conditioning. On some routes, especially on the west coast, a trip of approximately 50 kilometers may take as long as 6 to 8 hours due to bad road conditions, but all in all that is relatively rare. On the whole the bus is a great way to explore the country, especialy as you don't have to worry about your rental car getting stolen. (Not to mention the money you are saving you can spend on Caipirinhas instead!)

More

annatravel
New Visas for Russian citizens 3 stars
We were planning to go to Costa Rica and found out that from 15th of January 2008 Russian citizens (and I am one of them) have to apply for visa and have an interview with Consul in Moscow. Visa costs 20 dollars. That's kind of a strange decision, because before there was nothing needed to enter the country. I was already imagining that I will have to go to Moscow from Germany where I live at the moment in order to apply for stupid visa, but luckily we found out that holders of European Shengen, USA and Canadian 6months visas or resident permits can go to Costa Rica without any problems.

More

anja78
Delicious Costa Rican Rum 5 stars
At the airport in Costa Rica, waiting for the plane to take us back home, we had some time to kill and some Costa Rican money to spend. I’d already bought the obligatory shell-necklace – so I ended up with a bottle of rum. Cheaper-looking and, coming from the airport, I thought, probably cheaper-tasting than the authentic-looking Flor de Cana Rum I got in Nicaragua, the Centenario turned out to be the best rum I have ever tasted. How I wished that necklace I never wore was another bottle of delicious Costa Rican rum! (The Flor de Cana wasn’t bad either, but nothing in comparison!)

More

anja78
“Imperial”- a beer to impress German taste buds 4 stars
As a German traveler overseas the only two things I have often missed (and sometimes dearly) are dark bread and a good beer. In Costa Rica, the bread was impossible to substitute. Costa Rican beer took some getting used to, as well, but after some time I acquired a taste for the country’s brand “Imperial”. Maybe it was the palm trees in the background and the view of the ocean or the hammock I was usually sitting in while enjoying an ice-cold “Imperial”, but, back home in Germany, I still have fond memories of this beer.

More

Tamarin
La Fortuna - Hotel San Bosco 2 stars
I would recommend avoiding this place if you stay in La Fortuna. It does have a jacuzzi and swimming pool, but the room I was in was possibly one of the most depressing rooms I've ever been in. Breeze block detailed box room, which smelt mouldy. Depending on your budget, I'd recommend either staying out of town in one of the nice-looking lodges, or stick to one of the cheaper hostels in the town itself, which look as good, but for a fraction of the cost of San Bosco.

More

Tamarin
La Fortuna 3 stars
La Fortuna is a small town sat at the bottom of a very active volcano - Mt Arundel. It's said that on a clear day you can see the lava flowing from the top of the volcano, but in the four days I was here it didn't stop raining and the clouds never lifted enough for me to be able to see any further than a third of the way up the mountain! Still, the jungle terrain around he area is worth exploring, as is the huge lake.

More

Tamarin
Santa Elena and Monteverde - canopy tours 3 stars
Or Zip Lines, as they're otherwise known. Basically, these are the ultimate death slide and there are quite a few of them operating in the Monteverde area - you can't miss the signs. You whizz through the rainforest at breakneck speeds and at great heights - it's good fun, but not for those with a weak heart! It's also expensive at about $50 a pop. We also took a walk around one of the trails which includes going across huge valleys on suspension walkways - it's a great way to get in amongst the trees. We saw (and heard!) lots of howler monkeys doing a trek this way.

More

Tamarin
Santa Elena and Monteverde - accommodation 4 stars
There are loads of places to stay in this area. My girlfriend and I stayed at Las Orquideas which is a fairly new place on the entrance road to Santa Elena. The major thing going for this place is the view - it' stunning. The B&B is run by a friendly couple and is perched right on the edge of a valley, where you can see for miles. It's a small, wooden built place, so there's not a lot of soundproofing! There is protection from the elements, though we did have a big, hairy spider sharing the bathroom with us one morning!

More

Tamarin
Santa Elena and Monteverde - rainforest walks 4 stars
We took a rickety bus to Monteverde. Once you leave the road you're on a basic dirt track, which makes for a bumpy ride! Santa Elena and Monteverde are small villages up in the hills of central Costa Rica. I think one word to describe the area is... green. It is a beautiful area - great views and plenty of rainforest walking to be done. We went on a night trek, which is definitely recommended. It's easy to find someone who arranges them. We had a guide who took us around an area of jungle with torches, pointing out various animals and creepy crawlies that you probably wouldn't see in the day. We spoted sloths, tarantulas, wild cats, stick insects and more.

More

Tamarin
San Jose - Barrio Amon 2 stars
Erm, not the nicest capital city in the world. Most people who come to Costa Rica tend to skip San Jose, but my girlfriend and I though we'd check it out for a couple of days. It's very polluted and to be honest, there's not a whole lot to see, but if you do stay here I recommend hanging out in the Barrio Amon. There are some funky houses here and some of the better places to eat and sleep. We stayed at Rincon de San Jose which is right opposite Cafe Mundo - both recommended. Also, general word of advice for Costa Rica - take an umbrella. I think we were particularly unlucky, but it didn't stop raining for two weeks!

More

tbwebber
Welcome to the Rica... 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
So after about two hours on the smallest and loudest planes in the world... we are let off in the middle of BFE (Bum #@! Egypt... well actually Costa Rica!) We take a taxi-bus to our "hotel," if you can call it that. (Let me back up - My best friend and I were dying to learn to surf and we promised each other we would go on a vacation together before I moved to Los Angeles... so, we decided to go to Costa Rica... known to be a surfer's paradise.)So we take this taxi-bus from an area that looks like it is about to explode into a wild fire at any minute... into this lush ocean-side town. The roads... well, weren't roads, they were mud pathways that were bumpy, unlevel and muddy. We were so excited when we rounded the bend to see a mass of surfers catching some awesome breaks. However, our smiles faded as we kept going and going and going away from the beach. (Ok, Jill and I aren't cheap... we're frugal... so we picked a place that looked ok, cost very little and said it wasn't far from the beach) And it wasn't far from the beach... just far from the beach that is inhabitable to humans.
So we roll up to this cute little cluster of huts that is our "hotel." Really laid-back, huge bar next to the puddle of a pool and across the street from the worst sushi restaurant I have ever eaten at... all in all, we loved it. (You know, we are the kind of people that seem to be high-maintenance, but really aren't... we will complain about the small pool or the fact that the beds are practically in with the toilet... but it really makes us laugh and makes the trip more memorable.)
So we pull our luggage into our hut and proceed to unpack. We brought the basics, like ultra high heels, our favorite make-up and perfumes and giant hoop earrings... all of which we never wore. (The roads were impossible to walk on with tennis shoes, let alone heels... it was too darn hot to even bother with make-up because in two seconds it was running down our faces anyway... the perfume would only attract the mosquitos more... which was an amazing display without any assistance in the first place... and the giant hoop earrings? Well those are just best left to cheeky, 80's recall babes.)
I immediately make a break for the bar as my poor, poor poopie pants friend locks herself into the bathroom... the plane's shake'n'bake didn't sit real well with her bowels. I attempt to return to the hut, but she stopped me before entering. "Let's drink at the bar," she chuckled.
More later...


More



About us | Terms and Conditions | Imprint

Copyright © 2006-2017 Paperball GmbH and their respective owners - All Rights Reserved.