Overview

Introduction

Located in Central America between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Costa Rica encapsulates dense jungles, rugged beaches, active volcanoes and eerie cloudforests. It is home to 5% of the world’s total biodiversity and more than 800 species of bird. Ideal for self-drive trips, activities and family holidays.

Small and breathtakingly beautiful, Costa Rica has much to offer its visitors, with its dramatic scenery and unsurpassed opportunities to see a wide variety of wildlife in their natural habitat. Costa Ricans (‘Ticos’) enjoy the opportunity to show visitors their wonderful country and wherever you go you will find a warm welcome.

Located in the tropics of Central America, Costa Rica is a small country, (two-thirds of the size of Scotland), with a population of 4.5 million Spanish speaking people. Discovered by Christopher Columbus and named Costa Rica (rich coast) in 1502, it is lush and fertile. Today much of its economy is based around the export of fruit (mainly bananas & pineapple), sugar cane and coffee. Coffee is known locally as the ‘grano de oro’ (grain of gold) as it was this that originally brought wealth to the country.

Called the ‘Switzerland of Central America’ due to its neutrality and the abolition of its army in 1948, Costa Rica is an independent republic and one of the oldest democracies in America. It has enjoyed political stability for many years. 93% of the population can read and write, and it has an excellent National Health Service.

With hundreds of miles of beaches, and imposing mountains and volcanoes, Costa Rica has 3 climate zones: the central highlands, the Pacific coast, and the Caribbean coast. These variations within such a small area encourage a great diversity of wildlife and Costa Rica is home to 5% of the world’s total biodiversity. There are more than 800 species of birds (more than the whole of North America), 1,200 species of orchids, 10% of the world’s butterfly species, 8,000 species of higher plants and over 150 species of edible fruits. In recognition of this approximately 25% of Costa Rica is now protected, given over to national parks and reserves.

A Costa Rica holiday at a glance

  • Beautiful, small, compact country
  • Jungle, beaches, cloudforest, active volcanoes
  • Easy to get around – perfect for fly drive.
  • Dry season December to April, but most areas can be visited all year round
  • Amazing selection of wildlife- including turtles, monkeys, sloths, butterflies, caiman, crocodiles, iguanas, poison dart frogs and armadillo.
  • Excellent bird watching – over 800 species including humming birds, toucans and scarlet macaws
  • Wonderful flora – including 8,000 species of orchid, 150 species of edible fruits and  ‘walking palm trees'.
  • Good quality accommodation available
  • Selection of wonderfully remote, rustic jungle lodges for wildlife viewing
  • Ideal for Costa Rica adventure holidays, activities including; white water rafting and horse riding
  • Perfect for honeymoons and romantic getaways
  • Great for families
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Getting there

There are direct flights with British Airways from London Gatwick to San Jose.  Iberia operate  from London Heathrow to San Jose via Madrid.  Other options from London Heathrow include Air France to San Jose via Paris and Avianca via Bogota.  Also there are flights from London Heathrow to San Jose via the United States (Houston, New York/Newark and Miami) with United or American Airlines.  Any flights via the US require an ESTA application. Regional departures include Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham.

Combinations

Combine the wildlife of Costa Rica with the fascinating indigenous communities of Panama or the rich and colourful cultures and archaeological sites of Guatemala and Mexico,

Useful information

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It is a nature-lover’s paradise. I love the fact that 25% of its land is protected by national parks and reserves. Seeing a puma or a vivid flash of morpho butterflies in Corcovado is a real thrill! Rafting a river is a must!

Lloyd Boutcher
Lloyd Boutcher
Best time to go
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Time Difference

GMT - 6hrs

Currency

Costa Rican Colon or US dollar

Language

Spanish

Average flight times

11 hours. BA direct flight from London Gatwick.

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

Talk to our Costa Rica expert

Lloyd Boutcher
Lloyd Boutcher

It is a nature-lover’s paradise. I love the fact that 25% of its land is protected by national parks and reserves. Seeing a puma or a vivid flash of morpho butterflies in Corcovado is a real thrill! Rafting a river is a must!

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020 8758 4774

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Required Information

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If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

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