Costa Rica’s borders have been open to American tourists from all states and jurisdictions since the beginning of November, serving as a welcome change of pace for U.S. citizens hoping for a beach getaway. Fortunately for those of us living in the land of the free, 2021 is shaping up to be a promising year for travelling to this Caribbean gem.
Known as an ecotourism haven worldwide, Costa Rica boasts 20 national parks, eight biological reserves, seven wildlife sanctuaries, and 26 other nationally-protected areas. If you’re a nature lover, start planning your trip ASAP; there’s plenty of sun, surf, and other emerald turf for everyone.
Of course, it’s always wise to do a bit of planning ahead for a big trip like this--especially in a post-COVID world. Today, we’re bringing you some tried-and-true tips for planning a vacation to Costa Rica in the coming year.
Even though Costa Rica’s borders are currently open to all Americans, there’s no telling what could happen even in the next couple of weeks. For this reason, it’s wise to pick a date well in advance; most airlines will let you cancel your trip for a full refund if you do it with a few weeks to spare. It’s also wise to choose a date that’s a bit far off in case you or one of your travel companions catches COVID. They’ll need time to recover and get a negative PCR test proving that they’re no longer contagious.
But aside from these logistics, the best time to travel to Costa Rica has just started, actually. The dry season there lasts from December to April, and the weather during this time is pleasantly warm and dry. However, the optimal weather also means that this is the most expensive time to travel there, so try to plan your trip during the “shoulder season” (i.e., the interim period between wet and dry season) to save some dough.
As always, you’ll need a passport with at least six months validity, a valid visa, and a valid photo ID to enter the country. You may also need a COVID vaccine if it’s both applicable and available, so check back on the U.S. Embassy’s website to see if any new rules have been implemented.
Are you a hiker or more of a beach bum? Questions like these matter when it comes to planning a trip to Costa Rica, as there are certain areas that cater to certain interests or activities more than others. For a lovely beach vacation, check out Jaco Beach. Surfing trips, on the other hand, are best spent anywhere on the southern coast of the Pacific side.
If you’re more into what natural sights the country has to offer, though, then we highly recommend Monteverde, which is home to a number of those national parks and protected areas we mentioned earlier.
Since Costa Rica is such a popular tourist spot, it’s home to a bevy of charming accommodations. Depending on the kind of vacation you hope to have, you can stay at a luxurious beachside hotel or an eco-friendly lodge nestled deep in the Costa Rican rainforest. Just don’t forget to double check which activities are available near your accommodations; you want to make sure there’s plenty to do, no matter what your interests are!