Costa Rica: a spectacular landscape nestled between two continents and two oceans. A world where thick, tropical jungles rub shoulders with white, sandy beaches. Your dream vacation, of course – but how much do you know about planning? The beauty of Costa Rica is dramatic and very special, but any travel to Central America will involve more than just a bit of foresight. This article tells you how to plan the perfect vacation and where you should be headed to in Costa Rica. 

Keep in mind how to keep stress levels to a minimum. This is your escape! Make sure that the company you choose has on the ground experience of life in Costa Rica. It is worth every penny if they have offices here in the country. Check whether guides are able to speak English, as if it is not specified, they will probably only speak Spanish. 

Consider an airport pickup as a truly valuable investment. Arriving for the first time to Central America can be a nerve-wracking experience for the non-Spanish speaker, although rest assured that the San José airport does have English speaking staff. The best travel companies will offer airport transportation as standard. 

Be assured that your company knows their product. Ask the representatives if they have visited the hotels that they select for you, and are truly qualified to be giving you their recommendations. Many Latin American hotels might have top-notch photographic staff on site, meaning that your hotel room might not be quite like the picture. 

It is very important to have representatives available to you when you are here in the country. However well planned a vacation can be, problems do arise and help needs to be just a phone call away. If you are provided with an emergency phone number, check which hours staff are on call and able to assist you. 

All of that taken into account, here are five top back-to-nature experiences in Costa Rica! 

  1. Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve: one of the most diverse wildlife sanctuaries in the world
  2. Arenal Volcano National Park: the most active volcano in Costa Rica
  3. Tortuguero National Park: see turtles nesting and laying eggs!
  4. Manuel Antonio National Park: expansive, white, sandy beaches
  5. Barra Honda National Park: explore volcanic rock caves