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Costa Rica

Costa Rica is held up as the shining example of eco-tourism and justifiedly so; it is even rumoured they invented it! A true paradise of 'pura vida', as the Ticos say. Paradise on earth ? Possibly. There are many beautiful places on the globe how would like to claim that title, so let's just say: Costa Rica comes very close. Tropical forests populated by colorful and fascinating animals, dormant volcanoes and an ultra-friendly local population, it will soon be apparent that travelling Costa Rica is a real pleasure. Have you heard of endless beaches and amazing food? Or maybe you're the active type and you focus on adventure? Costa Rica will gladly surprise you. Its pristine national parks and protected areas and the xperiences they offer will take your breath away.   Add to that the hospitable inhabitants and the relaxed rhythm  and soon you will agree with us: Costa Rica is a paradise on earth where "pura vida" is much more than a concept. Enjoy!

Hotels & Meals

Costa Rican cuisine is a blend of Native American, Spanish, African and many other cuisine origins. Dishes such as the very traditional tamale and many others made of corn are the most representative of its indigenous inhabitants, and similar to other neighboring Meso-American countries. Spaniards brought many new ingredients to the country from other lands, especially spices and domestic animals. And later in the 19th century, the African flavor lent its presence with influence from other Caribbean mixed flavors. This is how Costa Rican cuisine today is very varied, with every new ethnic group who had recently become part of the country's population influencing the country's cuisine.

(Wikipedia)


Insurances

Have a safe and carefree trip: travel fully insured with our Protections travel insurance! Our Protections insurance policies offer various formulas in order to offer you the widest possible cover (with even a fly-on-time, natural catastrophes and epidemics) for both single journeys or for the entire year. We guarantee you the best protection at the best price.

Tailored travel

The tours in our brochures are just a few examples of travel itineraries possible. Our trips can be tailored to suit your specific needs. If you want to book a specific destination or combine it with a mini-tour then we will gladly make you a tailor-made offer. For a personalised day-by-day program please contact our destination experts.

Would you like to travel in a group; with your entire family, friends or colleagues? (min. 10 people required). Put our know-how to the test and send us your details and wishes. We will gladly turn the blueprints of your trip into a detailed quote and a lasting memory for you to cherish. Contact our Connections’ Group Service by e-mail at groups@connections.be or by telephone on +32 (0)2 550 01 65. We would love to hear from you.

Travel Documents

  • All Belgian nationals travelling on a Belgian passport (children and babies included) must be in possession of an international e-passport (electronic) containing min. 2 blank pages and valid for 3 months (for departure from Costa Rica) or 6 months (for departure from Nicaragua) after your return flight date. 
  • Travellers with a non-Belgian nationality and / or travellers travelling on a foreign passport are invited to spontaneously report this matter to the Connections travel consultant and shall contact their respective embassy (s) or Consulate (ate) to obtain the latest updates concerning all current travel requirements and documents.
  • Please note there is a departure tax when you leave the country: 29 USD (01/02/17)

Health

No mandatory vaccinations. To verify the latest updates on health requirements , please surf to www.itg.be.

Time Zones

  • -7h (winter)
  • -8h (summer)

Currency

Currency
  • Costa Rica: Colon (CRC); 100 CRC = 0,146 EUR * 1 EUR = 653,59 CRC (22/11/17).
Payment Methods

The most convenient method of payment is by credit card but cash euros and dollars in small amount come in handy. Inform yourself timely, as from January 15, 2015 your Visa and/or MasterCard credit card (and possibly other types of credit cards) has automatically been set to "not for use in the US, for US car rental agencies and during cruises under the American flag".

Climate

Pleasant subtropical climate with micro climates which imply that weather changes are quick and unforeseen. Along the coastline you may expect warm and tropical weather, the central plateau is cooler, in the mountains it can get chilly. Rain season stretches from May to November. High season: November - April.

Average Temperatures (°C):

Destination J F M A M J J A S O N D
San Jose 25 26 28 30 30 28 28 28 27 26 26 25
Puerto Limon 27 28 28 28 27 27 26 26 27 27 28 28
Tamarindo 32 32 33 33 31 31 30 30 30 30 30 30
Bocas del Toro 30 31 32 33 31 30 30 30 30 30 29 29
Léon 31 31 33 34 33 31 31 31 31 31 31 30

Highlights

  • The Arenal Volcano & Caño Negro

The most impressive and natural landmark in the north of this country is the Arenal Volcano on the western shore of Lake Arenal. It was once part of the most active volcanoes in the world. Today it ranks amongst the "sleeping giants". And yet it remains one of Costa Rica's top attractions. In the area you can explore the Volcano National Park and its hot springs, visit the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge or walk over the hanging bridges of Arenal, go mountain biking, horseback riding, participate in a canopy tour ... Activities abound.

  • Cahuita, Puerto Viejo & Manzanillo

The omnipresent Afro-Caribbean influence clearly sets this region apart from the rest of the country. Expect colourful music, good food and a relaxed lifestyle! Major attractions include Cahuita National Park with its wildlife and coral formations, Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Reserve, Punta Uva, Talamanka and Kokoldi Indian Reserve. Put hiking, horseback riding, snorkeling, swimming and kayaking on your agenda! Puerto Viejo has more recently become a seaside resort and access to the beaches is still free of charge, the waves are great and the tropic bliss complete. Recommended visit in the area are: the Bri-Bri Indian Reserve with its medicinal plant garden, the Crazy-Monkey canopy tour and a horseback ride through Cahuita.

  • La Selva/Sarapiqui

Thanks to an abundant rainfall, this region just half an hour's drive from the capital, is evergreen. Make some time to visit La Selva Biological Station, where scientists from all over the world study the rich local wildlife. Jaguars and cougars enjoy a protected hunting territory here. 450 tree species, 113 different mammals and 81 reptile and 48 amphibian species have been identified. Add to this 400 bird species and more than 50km of hiking trails and the use of the word paradise must be justified. Further recommendations in this area are the Sarapiqui river for rafting, a boat trip or a canopy tour, horseback riding at an hacienda

  • Monteverde

Driving towards Monteverde and Santa Elena you can enjoy breath-taking views over the Gulf of Nicoya and its islands. Monteverde constitutes the most well-preserved and protected rainforest of Costa Rica, a favourite terrain for scientists and their ecological research. Most of the trees here are covered with lush ferns, mosses, bromeliads and orchids. About 320 bird species are at home here including the strikingly beautiful quetzal. In addition, the often misty Monteverde has numerous private reserves boasting an equally great wealth of fauna and flora. Bird watching, a canopy tour, a walking or horse ride, a visit to the butterfly garden, the cheese factory, the Sky Walk and the Sky Trek, but also a visit to the sugar cane factory and coffee plantation (including tasting), the frog or snake farm. You name it.

  • Rincon de la Vieja

This national park is located in the north of the province of Guanacaste. In addition to its tropical forest and beautiful waterfalls, the region is rich in bubbling mud pools, geysers and hot springs with their natural qualities. Be sure to enjoy the rare wild animals that can be spotted here. Other recommendations: the Three Waterfalls for a swim in the clear water and the canopy tour.

  • San José & Central Valley

Costa Rica's “Valle Central” is the country's cultural and geographic base. 2/3 of the population lives here. Enclosed by mountains and volcanoes, this area is very popular. A mere half an hour's drive will take you to a plateau with magnificent views of San José where you breathe in fresh mountain air. The volcanoes Poas and Barva in the North West, Irazu in the South East, and Turrialba in the East are also worth a visit. Other favourite attractions are the National Theatre, the many museums, Sarchi and its leather and wood crafts, the butterfly farm and  ecological parks.

  • Savegre Valley

is a beautiful and spectacular valley surrounded by mountains through which the Savegre River flows. Blessed with an abundant vegetation, the cloud forest is home to not only the national bird, the quetzal, but over 200 other species. Possible activities: hiking, guided bird watching tour at Cerro de la Muerte, horseback riding, trout fishing.

  • Tambor, Montezuma & Mal Pais

These fishing villages along the beautiful coastline of the Nicoya Peninsula have stunning white beaches with tall palm trees, friendly residents, and excellent accommodation. Activities include horseback riding to the jungle waterfall, boat trip to Montezuma village and waterfall, early bird watching, a boat trip to the Curu Wildlife reserve, sport fishing ...

  • Tortuguero

Thanks to its swamp areas and black sand beaches, Tortuguero is one of the most beautiful places on the Caribbean coast. These sandy beaches are the favourite nesting place of the green sea turtle (July – October). With its tropical rainforest, swamps and lagoons, the region is rich in both flora and fauna: 300 species of birds, 50 fish and 160 mammals call this place home! Boat trips are a real must for those who love to spot wildlife.

  • Turrialba valley

is perfect for archeology, nature and rafting buffs. Turrialba is located 65 km from San José, on the eastern foothills of the Cordillera Central. Definitely worth a visit: the Guayabo National Monument, the Turrialba volcano, the research center for tropical agriculture (Catie), the various coffee, macademia nut and sugar cane plantations, the Pacuare river (ideal for rafting) and the Reventazon valley, ideal for birdwatching and mountain bike tours. You can also go horseback riding with spectacular views over the plantations and the Turrialba valley or participate in a canopy adventure in the rainforest of Costa Rica!

  • Uvita, Dominical & Ojochal

This region has only recently been discovered by tourism and is gradually becoming a top destination thanks to its abundance of natural attractions. Dominical and Uvita are the ideal base for exploring the region. Between Dominical and Uvita you will find about 15 waterfalls with beautiful views over the coastline. Uvita provides access to the Ballena Marine National Park with its protected coral reef. This nature reserve is also the breeding ground for humpback whales from July to October. Whale watching is possible from July - September and from the end of December - April. The nearby Corvocado National Park and the Cano Island National Park are also excellent places for day trips or a short vacation. Optional activities: fishing, hiking, kayaking, bird watching, mountain biking, horseback riding, climbing and canopy tours.

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