Best Travel Time
The mountain ranges spanning the country from the northwest to the southeast form a barrier that divides the country into two larger climatic zones, the Pacific and the Caribbean. That’s why weather conditions on the Pacific side are usually the opposite of the Caribbean and vice versa. Independent of the climatic zones, several days of consecutive rainfall are rare. You will usually experience sunny mornings and a refreshing tropical thunderstorm in the afternoon. There is a period of less rain from December to April on the Pacific side and from August to October on the Caribbean side.
From July to November is the perfect time if you want to experience three great natural wonders in Costa Rica: The observation of humpback whales on the Pacific coast, the sea turtle nesting season, and the bird migration from North America on the Caribbean side. Costa Rica’s flora literally explodes and shows its most diverse side from May to November. In our opinion, it is a pity to only lay around on the beach in Costa Rica, but if you are looking for a pure beach holiday, December to April is perfect for the Pacific side and August to October on the Caribbean side.
Costa Rica is a comparatively safe holiday destination. Costa Ricans are very open-minded, helpful and friendly people, making their guests feel at home right away. Nonetheless, it is important to be aware of possible safety risks. Considering some general precautionary measures, you can travel Costa Rica without problems:
Expensive jewellery should be left at home, and - just like anywhere else in the world - openly displayed valuables can be a target of theft. Please use the hotel safe in your room or at reception. Do not leave any valuables on display in your rented car and only park the car in guarded, official parking areas rather than leaving it next to the road. Avoid walking at night in the cities.
Armed robberies have sporadically occurred. Even though it is very rare, this risk cannot be completely excluded. Should you become the victim of such an assault, make no resistance and keep calm. Documents and material loss can be replaced.
Costa Rica is located on the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire and is thus exposed to natural risks like earthquakes and volcano eruptions. The country itself and the touristic infrastructure are well-prepared for such events. Due to climate change, there is also an increasing number of floods. Should any of these occur, please pay attention to the information provided by ARA Tours or the local population. Do not hesitate if evacuation is requested. This also applies in case of a tsunami alert.
Direct flights to Costa Rica
Fortunately, Costa Rica has a wide range of flights from many parts of the world. You can find direct flights from North, Central and South America.
Also, several European airlines offer direct connections in their flight plans, and so a comfortable journey to Costa Rica. Panama City and various U.S. hubs are the most used, but other countries could offer the best flight connection for your travel plans.
Following, please find information on direct flights available from Europe:
- British Airways: LGW-SJO-LGW; During November 2023 to March 2024 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
- KLM: AMS-SJO-LIR-AMS; During November 2023 to March 2024 on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, return flight with stop at Liberia Airport (LIR)*
- Iberia: Direct flights MAD-SJO 1 flight daily.
- Iberojet: MAD-SJO-MAD; Flights on Tuesday and Saturdays. Probably in between June and August 2024 flights on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
- Lufthansa: FRA-SJO-FRA 1 Flight Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.
- Edelweiss: ZRH-SJO-ZRH: 1 Flight Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays. Monday and Wednesday return via Liberia Airport (LIR)*
- Air France: CDG-SJO-CDG1 flight on Monday, Wednesday, Friday Saturday and Sunday. From December 2023 to March 2024 daily flights. From April 2024 onwards again on Monday, Wednesday, Friday Saturday and Sunday.
*Pending confirmation if stop over Liberia (LIR) will operate in high season 2023/2024 due to runway quality issues.
Other airlines flying to Costa Rica are:
- USA: American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Frontier, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Spirit
- Canada: AirCanada, AirTransat
- Mexico: Aeromexico
- Latinamerica: LATAM (from Perú on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) Avianca, Copa, Wingo and Volaris from different North, Central and South American countries to San José.
- Useful App: FlightRadar24
Sustainability in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a country pioneering in a sustainable tourism economy. The foundation for this was laid in the 1970s with the creation of the first national parks. Today, more than 30% of the country’s surface area is subject to nature conservancy protection.
Another equally important step was the sustainable organisation of the tourism industry. This was secured by introducing the Sustainability Certificate CST which is awarded by the Costa Rican Tourism Board.
Today, many hotels, destination area agencies, car rentals and tourist attractions are certified with the CST, and we would like to ask you to consider these providers during your trip to Costa Rica. You can specifically search and filter for CST certificated products on ARA Tours product platform www.latinconnect.com. Each company is checked again every two years, and the goal of all participants is to reach the highest category of CST.
ARA Tours is proud to have the highest certification, Elite category for taking into consideration, within its operations, its impact within the environment in which we operate and all the actions we take to mitigate the social, cultural, environmental and economic impacts in all different tourist regions not only today but in the future, therefore is highly sustainable.
Here learn more about sustainability:
Air travel is one of the actions that most generates greenhouse gases that influence global warming, such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. To mitigate these effects, we invite you to calculate the gas emissions generated by your international air travel, entering data such as: Origin, passenger number and destination in the following link: https://www.fonafifo.go.cr/en/calculadora/
The result is shown in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent and can be offset through the purchase of Carbon Credits, which are administered through the Costa Rican organisation Fondo Nacional de Financiamieto Forestal (FONAFIFO), developed based on recognised international methodologies. This payment made to FONAFIFO is used to finance payments for environmental services to small and medium landowners who protect the forests that are producing oxygen and absorbing these pollutant gases. Help us mitigate and be part of contributing to cleaner air!
Videos of each region
Let yourself be inspired by our short films about Costa Rica’s different regions! You will learn about the enormous variety of this country and decide more easily what priorities to set during your travel planning.