"From beaches to jungles to volcanoes, and all the weird and wonderful wildlife in between, I could never choose just one favourite place in Costa Rica. Relax and enjoy the pura vida, mae!"
Visit Tortuguero National Park
A spectacular wilderness of rainforest, beaches and lagoons, Tortuguero National Park is filled with incredible wildlife. We’ll take you through the canals on a river boat to spot caimans, howler monkeys, sloths, iguanas, toucans, crocodiles and scores of bird species, plus endangered ocelots, river otters, manatees and six species of sea turtles.
View Arenal Volcano
One of the most active volcanoes in the world, rising to 1,670 metres over the lush rainforest, Arenal Volcano is a magnificent sight. Our Costa Rica holidays will take you up close to the volcano, from guided treks through old lava rocks, to ziplining on the slopes of the volcano.
Indulge in gourmet chocolate from the best cacao beans
Dive into Culture with Trafalgar, as we journey to San Isidro de Heredia, where you’ll meet master chocolatiers, Julio Fernandez and George Soriana. You’ll learn about the history and production of chocolate in their workshop, and sample some of the sweet delicacies made from the world’s best cacao beans.
Have Costa Rican lunch at a traditional working ranch
When you visit Costa Rica with Trafalgar, we’ll meet the people behind the country. Join Don Alberto and Doña Ana Quintana for a traditional Costa Rican lunch at their eco-friendly Hacienda Pozo Azul, a 2000-acre working ranch. You’ll learn about classic Costa Rican cuisine and life on a working farm.
Spot wildlife at Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Take to the sky in Monteverde Cloud Forest, where you’ll join your Local Specialist for a walk through the rainforest along the treetop Sky Walk bridges. The forest is home to a staggering abundance of wildlife, with around 2.5 percent of the world’s species, including jaguar, puma, tapri, coatis, toucans and hummingbirds.
Our top 5 things to do in Costa Rica
From hiking up volcanoes to walking through treetops, our Costa Rica guided holidays take you to the heart of the country in ways you could never imagine.
Museo de Jade
Founded in 1977 by Fidel Castro, the Museo del Jade is an archaeological museum with a massive collection of pre-Columbian items. Located in San José, you can discover the world’s largest collection of American jade, along with ceramics, stone tables and ceremonial heads.
Museum of Costa Rican Art
With more than six thousand pieces of art, the Museum of Costa Rican Art holds one of the world’s largest collections of Latin American art. You’ll find pieces from artists like José Sancho and Max Jiménez, with paintings, sculptures and pieces dating back to the early 19th century.
Museo Nacional de Costa Rica
The National Museum of Costa Rica is set in the Bellavista Fortress, built in 1917 with bullets still lodged in the exterior walls from the country’s civil war. The building became a museum in 1950, and today has an excellent collection of colonial furniture and pre-Columbian artefacts like ceramics and stone tables.
Best museums in Costa Rica
Our Costa Rica tour packages delve deeper into the history and culture of Costa Rica through their wonderful museums.
The tamale is a quintessential Costa Rican dish, made from dough filled with a mix of meat (like chicken or beef), corn flour and broth. The tamales are then wrapped in banana or plantain leaves, and although they are traditionally enjoyed at Christmas, our Local Specialists will show you where to taste tamales all year round.
A beloved dish of rice and beans, Gallo Pinto is the pride of Costa Rica. The name translates as ‘spotted rooster’ and the local saying ‘mas tico que el gallo pinto’ means ‘more Costa Rican than spotted rooster’. It’s usually eaten at breakfast, but can be enjoyed throughout the day.
A classic staple of Costa Rican cuisine, casado is a dish of rice, black beans, salad, plantains and a tortilla, with an optional serving of meat like beef, pork, chicken or fish. The dish comes in many variations with added flavours like corn, eggs and avocado, and you can mix and match as you please.
Best food in Costa Rica
Full of fruits, vegetables, rice and beans, Costa Rican food is fresh and filling, and we’ll show you all the best places to taste the country’s most-loved dishes.
What to pack for Costa Rica
Learning a few Spanish phrases is highly appreciated and will make it easier to connect with the locals. The first Costa Rican saying to learn is ‘pura vida, mae!’
No matter where you go, it can rain at any time in Costa Rica. Pack a waterproof jacket and keep it in your day bag on your daily adventures.
Costa Rica has plenty of mosquitoes, so to avoid any nasty bites from mosquitoes or other insects, bring a strong repellent with DEET (diethyltoluamide) and apply it regularly.
In Costa Rica, the standard voltage is 120 V and the power plugs and sockets are of type A and B. The standard frequency is 60 Hz.
Protect yourself from the harsh sun with SPF 30 or higher and protect the environment with reef-safe sunscreen. It’s recommended to bring your own, as sunscreen is expensive in Costa Rica.