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Costa Rica Travel Guide

Explore a microcontinent of travel opportunities.

Discover Costa Rica

Dry deciduous forests, lush wetlands, open savanna, and both Pacific and Atlantic beaches, tiny Costa Rica contains the full potential of the tropics. By simply starting on the coastal plains and walking uphill, travelers can journey from the Amazon to a Swiss alpine forest. For outdoor adventurers, the nation’s 12 distinct ecological zones offer endless opportunity to explore land, sea, and sky–think rugged plains by horseback, crocodile safaris, and zipline adventures–while the party crowd will thrive in urban San José, the Afro-Caribbean cultural beat along the coastline, and Jacó, Costa Rica’s most developed resort.

To relax, unwind, and adventure, Costa Rica truly offers something for everyone. Cover every corner of the country with the best of Costa Rica in two weeks, or if you want to experience its beauty and diversity without breaking the bank, start with these helpful tips for how to travel, dine, and explore Costa Rica on a budget. For those hoping to make the move abroad, spend a whirlwind ten days hitting expat hot spots while getting to know the rhythm of life in Costa Rica.

From the thriving nightlife of San José to hiking in the crisp, cool cloud forests of Monteverde to the white-sand beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula, experience the incredible diversity of Costa Rica.

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Travel Maps of Costa Rica

Download free, printable maps of Costa Rica for your personal use.

Currently available from the pages of our travel guides are over sixty maps of Costa Rica. These free planning maps cover all the major regional destinations of interest to travelers including San José, the Caribbean Coast, and the Nicoya Peninsula.

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Color map of Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Map of Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano National Park

Get Inspired With Our Most Recent Costa Rica Articles

Just getting started planning? Here are our four most recent articles to help you find your way, or dig deeper and browse the latest Moon travel articles for all of Costa Rica or check out our living abroad content if you're considering moving to Costa Rica.

A dish of ceviche rests on a table.

Traditional Food in Costa Rica

Costa Rican cuisine is simple, and spices are shunned. Comida típica, or native cuisine, relies heavily on rice and beans, and “home style” cooking predominates. Learn all about how dishes are prepared, from favored local specialties to popular working-class meals.

A golden figure of a jaguar in the Museo del Oro Precolombino.

Sights in San José’s Plaza de la Cultura

Musicians, jugglers, and marimba bands entertain the crowds in San José’s Plaza de la Cultura. Amidst the lively atmosphere, take the time to explore the stunning architecture of the Teatro Nacional and the world-class Museo del Oro Precolombino.

Playa Grande at dawn. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Costa Rica’s Best Beaches

Police station in Tortuguero. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Staying Safe in Costa Rica

Staying safe while traveling in Costa Rica is one part preparation and two parts common sense. You’ll find most of these tips apply to travel almost anywhere, but there are a handful of specific precautions you can take to ensure both you and your possessions are safe in Costa Rica.