by Janis / 0 comments - Orginally published:28th June 2016

So this post is our light-hearted view of Costa Rica

It has some of the interesting stuff, a few trivial facts, and our thoughts on the country.
The pin image for our post - 'Costa Rica - Our Truths & Trivia'
Why not Pin it for later?

The Location

The Three C's
America (Central)
Costa Rica
San José
Costa Rica is an intrepid traveller’s paradise. It offers a vast array of activities, and allows you the chance to see a huge amount of flora & fauna, beaches from the Pacific to the Caribbean and it allows you to get a perspective on the human’s place on the planet. Costa Ricans live by the maxim ‘pura vida’, it’s literal meaning is pure life, but it’s just about loving life – say hurrah to that.

Where's Costa Rica in the world?

Costa Rica Up Close

Centre of the journey will be the International airport, just outside the capital San José.

National Flag

The flag of Costa Rica
It’s good to talk
Spanish; English good in the tourist locations
International Dialling Code

Costa Rican colón (CRC)
Also the US Dollar (USD) can be used but the exchange rate can suck.


Central Standard Time (CST)
No daylight saving

Difference from UTC
-6 hrs

Stay informed

Why not subscribe to our monthly newsletter for some travel inspiration, some tips and find out what we've been up to?
Or alternatively, why not follow us on your favourite social media channel?

Did you know?

  • Costa Rica has no military force. Its Police are armed though, and it has a paramilitary force for Border Patrol.
  • By law, coffee producers in Costa Ricia can only grow the Arabica coffee variety. Considered the best by many in the know.
  • About 25% of the country is in protected national parks, or protected areas. The country contains around 5% of the world’s biodiversity.
  • Costa Rica has a tropical climate, with only 2 seasons the dry season, or summer that generally starts in December and runs through to April, when the wet season, or winter kicks in. Plan your trip carefully.

Food and drink

100% Arabica – One of the best places to drink a coffee is on a plantation tour. The real meaning of from bean to cup.
Gallo Pinto
Rice and black beans stir fried together. We loved this at breakfast served with fried plantains & eggs
Imperial & Bavaria beers
Gary’s favourites back in 2007, although the new wave of microbrews would interest him today.

If your heading off on your own Costa Rican adventure, than grab a copy of this DK Eyewitness book.

I love planning trips and these guides are so helpful.

I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.

What to see & do in Costa Rica

Arenal active volcano
A real-life active volcano, which with the right conditions means you can actually see lava flowing from the earth’s core.
Life’s too short. Enjoy the vistas as you zip through the air.
Explore this fabulous region to wonder in it’s wildlife.
Rain & Cloud forests
Truly stunning flora & fauna as you wander through these natural parks.
Visit a coffee plantation
See the bright red berries on the bush, to the dried green beans, before they are roasted for our delight. From berry to cup.
Stroll on a beach
The beaches are to die for. Feel the sand between your toes in this tropical paradise.

Wildlife to See

Iguanas, Blue-jeans frog, crocodiles, caimans & the Jesus Christ lizards to name but a few.
Look out for 2 & 3 toed varieties – amazing to watch. Almost like life in slow motion.
Far too many to mention, but one highlight would be to see humming birds at a feeding station.

Where we stayed in Costa Rica

 Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen
In San José: A Marriot brand hotel in a traditional hacienda on the outskirts of Costa Rica's capital

Parador Nature Resort and Spa
In Manuel Antonio: surrounded by tropical rainforest, and the views across the Pacific Ocean are stunning.

El Establo Mountain Hotel
In Monteverde: Set within some wonderful surroundings with stunning views over Monteverde.

Essence Arenal and Spa
Near Arenal: A spa hotel with views of over the stunning landscape.  Request a room with a volcano view.

Laguna Lodge
In Tortuguero: an Eco-touristic lodge; the rooms are wooden, and reasonably basic, although they are comfortable.

Find your accommodation

Have a peek at the latest offers from, our preferred hotel booking website.


or What are the chances of us revisiting?
(0% - You'll have to drag us over hot coals to go back 100% - Why am I not there now?)


I would love to head back, and Gary would like to meet up with old friends. Still plenty to see & do in this wonderful country.

Value for Money

Our value for money index.
Don't forget we're Londoners, and that means our baseline is quite high.

(0% - How much? I wanted to buy a drink, not the bar 100% - How much? I'll take two.)


Prices generally cheap, but a lot of the tourist activity is priced for the market, rather than actual cost. A few drinks with a friends in a bar won’t break the bank.

Behind the wheel - the driving karma

What's it like driving in the country.
Which side of the road do they drive on? They drive on the right.

(0% - It's mountainous and public transport's a joke 100% - I'm in paradise.)


Standards are pretty good, but the traffic in downtown San José can be a nightmare, especially at peak times. Some of the routes out to the popular destinations involve dirt roads. Generally not to bad but can be affected by heavy rain. Signposting could be better, so we’d advise opting for a GPS (Sat-Nav) if possible.

Costa Rica Tourist information

Do you want to discover the 'Pura Vida'?, would you like to know more about Central America's Hidden Gem? why not check out Visit Costa Rica's website.

Janis's Hi's & Lo's


I loved the wildlife roaming freely in Costa Rica, particularly the Sloths. Tortuguero was equally amazing, meandering through the canals & waterways.


In 2007 you were unable to fly direct from London to San Jose, so that made the trip a bit arduous. But now all that has changed, from 2016 BA currently fly there.

Gary's Hi's & Lo's


From our 2007 tour – so much, but it has to be Tortuguero, despite the rainfall & humidity – I think I’ve finally dried out now.
From the country; lots of good friends after working with a team daily for 7 years. Wonderful people, so friendly


Being stopped by a traffic patrol for ‘speeding’ when I really wasn’t. Taking sensible precautions, and understand the correct options saved the day though.

* This post may contain links to affiliated sites where we earn a small commission at no additional charge to you.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.