Start planning your Costa Rica Holiday Vacation Now
It’s probably been a while since you felt confident about international travel.
Good news! Costa Rica has made it even easier for you to visit, just in time for the high season. Beginning in August of this year, the Costa Rican government has ruled that travel insurance is no longer required for those who have proof of vaccination.
The holiday season is high season and that means lots of sunshine for the entirety of your visit to Costa Rica. With something for everyone, there is never a dull moment when you’re on vacation in Costa Rica.
Romance is in abundance for couples visiting Costa Rica together, and the adventure never stops for groups of friends or families with older kids who are out for some thrills.
For families with young kids, there is plenty of discovery and adventure too. It’s a great opportunity to learn something new together and have an exciting and fun experience at the same time.
The whole gang – no matter who it’s made up of – is sure to enjoy the many ways to experience Costa Rica.
The boutique hotels of Small Distinctive Hotels of Costa Rica are just that—distinctive.
With fewer than 60 rooms, each one offers luxurious comfort in a unique style. We’ve listed a few of our favorites for you below.
Hotel Grano de Oro
Hotel Grano de Oro was originally a tropical Victorian home for the Pozuelo family, built at the turn of the 20th century. Each of the 21 rooms at Grano de Oro is distinctive and luxurious. This boutique hotel is the perfect place to get your bearings at the start of your vacation or wrap up your Costa Rican adventure in style if you’re flying in and out of Juan Santamaria International Airport.
Take an early morning walk to La Sabana Park, the largest in San José. The park features a running track, roller skate rink, and basketball courts. It’s just eight blocks from the hotel.
You can also get your fill of Costa Rican culture at Mercado Central, which is just a 15-minute walk from the hotel. The market, built in 1880, is universally popular with locals and visitors alike. Offerings include hand-crafted gifts and souvenirs, flowers, spices, candles, meat, fish, and produce. The market is a maze of winding passageways with more than a dozen access points, so make a note of where you came in!
In the evenings, there are plenty of dining options (including Grano de Oro’s own 5-Star French Restaurant), el Teatro Nacional, and other entertainment options.
Alma del Pacifico
Alma del Pacifico is set on Playa Esterillos Este about halfway between Jacó and Manuel Antonio National Park. If you’re looking for a seaside escape on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, this is the place.
The rooms reflect the country’s rich and colorful culture and include private terraces overlooking the Pacific or the tropical gardens. The mosaic-tiled showers open onto a private garden that will make you feel one with nature.
If you enjoy beachcombing, the broad stretch of beach is perfect for a leisurely amble or an invigorating run. Playa Esterillos Este is a popular surfing beach in Costa Rica, so you can hang ten or simply enjoy the waves from the shoreline. Board rental and lessons are available from one of many surf shops in the area.
If you head down to Playa Hermosa to surf, keep in mind that surfing there can be challenging, so be sure to ask the pros about the best break for your skill level.
Manuel Antonio National Park is a small gem in Costa Rica’s national park system, just down the road from Alma del Pacifico near Quepos. It’s well known for its outstanding beaches and beautiful hiking trails—the main one is paved. Be sure to start with a tour; it’s worth the money for the guide’s expertise in explaining the park’s ecosystem and helping you spot the critters. However, plan for an early start. This popular park has a daily admission cap due to social distancing protocols. Manuel Antonio’s white sand beaches are for you if a day lounging on the beach is on your agenda.
Chiclets canopy tour, with 13 cables, a suspension bridge, and 15 platforms, is a rush for any adventurous visitor. Starting high above Playa Hermosa, at about 2,000 feet above sea level, you’ll fly through the canopy and experience the rainforest at macaw level. Stop for a breather on the platforms, and you get a canopy-level view of the rainforest’s treetop inhabitants—sloths, macaws, and monkeys—while enjoying the lush green surroundings. Certified and experienced bilingual guides help you with the safety equipment and point out the sights along the way. You’ll be a zipline pro in no time at all!
Hotel Capitán Suizo
Hotel Capitán Suizo, on Playa Tamarindo, is a 4-star beachfront hotel. Condé Nast and TripAdvisor have consistently rated this boutique hotel among the top hotels in Central America and the Caribbean. The beach here is perfect for swimming, surfing, or beachcombing. You’ll love the secluded location on the beach, close to town but still set apart at the end of the bay.
The province of Guanacaste is known for its dry tropical forests. This countryside is where you can enjoy horseback riding through the hills, pastures, and along the rivers. The leisurely pace gives you plenty of opportunities for seeing birds, howler monkeys, and exotic plant species. Of course, if you fancy a romantic ride along either Playa Brasilito or Puerto Viejo, you can do that too.
Las Baulas National Marine Park is just to the north, where, in December and January, you can watch the leatherback sea turtle hatchlings scuttle into the waves.
Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge
Surrounded on three sides by rainforest, with the calm waters of Golfo Dulce completing the setting, Playa Nicuesa is the ultimate unplugged escape. The trip to the resort is a tour in itself: dramatic coastal mountain views, lush rainforest, and the jade-colored waters of the gulf will restore your soul. Accessible only by boat, the eco-lodge resort is a unique experience you’ll savor.
Set out from the lodge’s back door for a hike through the rainforest wilderness of Piedras Blancas National Park. Piedras Blancas wraps around Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge on three sides. Waterfalls and scenic hiking trails allow you to sample the rich biodiversity of the park: scarlet macaws, toucans, wild cats, peccaries, and monkeys.
With Golfo Dulce on the front doorstep, you have a choice of water sports. The resort offers several tours—kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, or whale watching and dolphin spotting. The nutrient-rich waters of the gulf practically guarantee you’ll see whales during calving because humpbacks from the northern hemisphere migrate to the waters around the Osa Peninsula and Golfo Dulce.
COVID-19 Protocols: Things To Know Before Traveling to Costa Rica.
From August 1, 2021, Costa Rica allows fully vaccinated tourists (Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson) to enter the country. The last dose of the vaccine must have been received a minimum of 14 days before arrival. For U.S. travelers, the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccination record card is accepted as proof of vaccination.
Unvaccinated tourists, or those who aren’t fully inoculated with an approved vaccine, will need to buy travel insurance that covers the cost of lodging and medical care should they become ill while in the country.
Everyone traveling to Costa Rica must complete a digital Health Pass form within 72 hours of arrival in Costa Rica. Everyone in your group, including minors, must complete the form, which is available at https://salud.go.cr.
Plan now for your holiday getaway. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff are happy to answer your questions and help you book your perfect vacation.