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Tropical Getaway Guide to Costa Rica - Top Things To Do!

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

Costa Rica is the tropical/rainforest dream destination and the perfect getaway during the winter months.

If you're the type of person that enjoys warm weather and nature adventures, this will become one of your top travel destinations.


December - April (Best Time to Visit)

This is considered the dry season. It's the best time to explore the lush green rainforest, stunning coastlines, natural wildlife, and sandy beaches.

May - November

The rainy season - it's not too bad if you book your trip close enough to the dry season, to avoid the rain showers and crowds of tourists. The costs are also typically lower between September - December.


You definitely need a car to get around in Costa Rica! To get to each destination, the drive was anywhere between 2-8 hours. I would also suggest a sturdy SUV or 4x4 because some of Costa Rica's roads aren't paved and if you're driving up a rocky mountain, it just makes life easier.


I feel like people have different experiences when it comes to safety. Costa Rica is a really safe country; I never felt like I was in any danger and the people are very kind. I think it's a great solo female destination to travel to. Just make sure to get back to your hotel stay before dark, because it does get pitch black at night since there aren't any street lights to light up the roadways.


Depends on what you want to see and do! I stayed in 3 different hotels during my time in Costa Rica because I wanted to go to different parts of the country (Puntarenas, Baha Rica, Montezuma, Monteverde, and La Fortuna)


#notsponsored - I honestly wish I stayed longer at Tulemar! They are in the Manuel Antonio Beach region and have a huge selection of unique accommodations in this tropical oasis. You can click here to see more.


On my second stay, on Santa Teresa Beach, I fell in love with the Ninta Beachfront Bungalow in Nantipa. I found so much peace and serenity surrounded by nature. So, if you're looking for a luxurious experience to romanticize your life, this is the place for you to stay in Costa Rica!

I left this location feeling refreshed and ready for adventure.


1. Místico Arenal Park

This was such an amazing experience! It doesn't take more than 2-3 hours to walk through the entire park full of hanging bridges; for about $28usd.* The nature in these forest are breathtaking and the wildlife is fun to observe. At one bridge, there was a whole village of monkies crossing and interacting with the visitors. It was all very epic.

You can get your tickets, here. For Google Maps directions, click here.

2. La Fortuna Waterfall

After walking down a 500-step staircase, you can swim in these cool celeste waters of La Fortuna Waterfall. A 70-meter cascade in the middle of a lush green forest!

I completely forgot to purchase my ticket online (which you can purchase here). But the good news is you can purchase it at the very entrance for about $18usd.* and there is parking available. It's also fairly easy to find; for Google Maps directions, click here.

3. Tabacon Hot Springs

Schedule a whole day at Tabacon Hot Springs or stay the night because you are NOT going to regret it! If you wanted to travel to a tropical oasis, look no further! This place has the largest natural hot spring thermal experience I've ever seen and it's freaking amazing.

If you aren't staying at this resort, you can get also a ONE-day pass right here for about $89usd* and trust me it's worth it. Take the day to relax and cleanse your soul!!

. . . You can thank me later. For Google Maps directions, click here.

4. Nauyaca Waterfall

The majestic falls of Nauyaca! Take a hike through the forest to this waterfall for about $30usd* and swim in the rushing clear waters of this natural wonder. You can also take a small train at the entrance. But if you are up for the trek about 3.5 miles up and down the mountain; I highly suggest the 2-hour walk, so that you can experience the springs along the pathway and come and go on your own terms and time.

The official site to book your ticket is here. For Google Map directions, click here.

5. Monteverde Extreme Tarzan Swing

So apparently there is a drop called the Tarzan Swing, where you fall 300 ft down over the Monteverde Cloud Forest Canopy -- It's the most exhilarating feeling and the scariest.

So here's the photo of me praying before my drop. lol. To see the video, watch my Costa Rica IG stories @AnnabelTravels_

You can find these fun tours with Airbnb Experiences.

6. Manuel Antonio National Park

The entire coastline of Costa Rica looks unreal. I've seen a lot of beaches, but Manuel Antonio Beach is the most scenic. It feels like you're on a mysterious stranded island.

7. MUST DO: Bioluminescence Tour

Costa Rica is full of unique experiences, but THIS is one of my TOP choices!!

The Bioluminescence Tour is this really cool adventure out into the sea at the darkest time of the night when the stars light up and so do the microscopic plankton that turns into a glowing neon color as you navigate your kayak.

Unfortunately, my phone died and I wasn't bold enough to bring my camera on a kayak in the pitch dark of night on this amazing tour to capture this image below, borrowed from our friends at Paddling Magazine.

Image Source: Paddling Magazine

If you found this Costa Rica travel guide helpful, please leave a comment below so that we can improve the quality of our content for you. - Thank you!

Should I make a Costa Rica Travel Itinerary?


  • NAH! I can figure it out!

* Prices/Rates are subject to change. Information shared is the cost at the time of my trip.


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