For example, Christmas and Easter peak weeks are nearly twice as expensive as the average and the shoulder months (May/June and Sept./Oct./Nov.). It is the most sparsely populated of all the provinces of Costa Rica. Unlike many other parks in the country that best serve hikers, Tortuguero should be explored via the water channels. Flying in one airport and flying out the other. We heard a lot about the rainforests (don't know which one is better since there are many) the hot springs, the zip lining and the AI resorts.I am not sure if we will get to all those and if so which side is the best to stay on. Hi Chandra, you could go to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, it’s a bit of a long drive between Fortuna and Puerto Viejo but there are shared shuttles available or you can drive. In 1836 the town of Guanacaste was declared the capital of the Guanacaste province. *Click here to read latest Costa Rica coronavirus information.*. My sister and I are on our way to CR in a month and a half and I had no idea where to begin to plan. It rains every month of the year on the Caribbean side. The rainiest months are usually September and October and the hottest months are March and April. If you’re interested in visiting this area, you can read our Osa Peninsula guide to get started. The best scuba diving can be done in the Gulf of Papagayo and down by Cano Island, there is excellent fishing in Drake Bay, Flamingo and Playas del Coco and there are a myriad of great surf spots all up and down the coasts such as Tamarindo, Jaco, Guiones, Avellanas, Dominical and Matapalo. 5th – ? Thanks for the excellent information! [citation needed] The combination of beaches like Playas del Coco, Playa Tamarindo, and the sunny dry season that coincides with the winter months in northern latitudes have made tourism a key economic activity. The Nicoya Peninsula consists of the Santa Teresa, Mal Pais, Montezuma, Paquera and Tambor. Caribbean side beaches. Tortuguero is located on the northern Caribbean coast within Tortuguero National Park. The Costa Rica Caribbean. Would the Caribbean coast be cooler? The province is bounded on the east by a group of green-swathed volcanoes forming the Cordillera de Guanacaste (which features Orosi, Rincón de la Vieja, Miravalles and Tenorio volcanoes) and the Cordillera de Tilarán. Any recommendations? What you’ll find instead are just a few villas and bungalows hiding in a lush jungle that envelopes a picturesque beach with tall palm trees, bright turquoise waters and soft tan sand. The other side of Costa Rica is the Caribbean. The only time you’ll run into a crowd is in downtown Puerto Viejo but go out 1 kilometer and you’ll feel like you’re a world away. It is just a bit far from the international airports (around 5 hours driving from San Jose Airport) so if you want to find a closer beach, then you can check out the Gulf of Papagayo beaches which are only a 30 minute drive from LIR Airport. We’ve been tothe Pacific Coast in February. The months of August and September are extremely popular for Europeans on the Caribbean side, particularly Tortuguero. What side of Costa Rica has better beaches? Guanacaste's … The other agricultural products of relative importance in the province are sugar cane and cotton, and since the late 1980s, with the creation of a large-scale irrigation program (the water comes from Lake Arenal after passing through several power generating stations), rice has become a prominent crop. The Caribbean Coast. Not to mention you’re very close to Bocas del Toro so you can even hop over the border to Panama for a couple of nights! There are many differences between the Caribbean and Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Puerto Viejo is touristic but not super developed so I would recommend to drink bottled water or bring a filter (to help reduce plastic) just in case. Which is why I suggest that you pre-book to guarantee that you get the rooms. Temperatures can soar into the 100s F (38 C) during March and April. The best adventure on the Caribbean side is white water rafting at Rio Pacuare which is one of the top 5 in the world! When it comes to vibes and crowds, Northern Guanacaste and the Tamarindo areas are much more touristic and developed with more American/Canadian expats and immigrants. Thank you for all that information—so helpful! Main attractions of tourists include water, land, mountains, volcanos, and coastal ecosystems. You can experience a Costa Rica only found in that corner of the country! From Puerto Viejo, you have Cahuita National Park, Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, La Ceiba Private Nature Reserve, Jaguar Rescue Center, and a handful of beautiful beaches. The dry seasonon the west side allows for great hiking conditions for those that want to … Playa Hermosa Guanacaste in dry season. You can also rent bikes or scooters to get around. Most of the forest is primary, with a few patches of secondary forest, and thus has a high biodiversity, being one of the best sites inside the ACG (Guanacaste Conservations Area) to see a great variety of birds. QCOSTARICA – Heavy rains due to the indirect effects of Eta, a category 4 hurricane that hit Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast this Tuesday morning, caused floods in the province of Guanacaste. Hello, we are going to Tamarindo in January. Though some of the resorts and hotels here are more on the expensive side compared to the majority of Central America, they are still considerably cheaper than their equivalents in the United States and Europe. 7th – return flight from SJO at 8 am, My initial plan was to leave to Manuel Antonio and spend 4th, 5th and 6th there. Also, the sand is not white. In the Puerto Viejo area, there are more things to do. Side roads from the Inter-American … Thanks! It can be more like mid 80s F (29 C). Tortuguero: Over on the east coast — the Caribbean side of Costa Rica — is Tortuguero, a small village located on a tropical sandbar. Hi Wendy, Gulf of Papagayo is good. I see that you are planning to travel to Costa Rica during high season. July and August are almost as popular as December and January. The Caribbean coast of Costa Rica doesn’t follow the tropical tropical dry-rainy season weather pattern. Thank you. First, the wildlife is incredible. Hi Since the late 20th century, tourism has emerged as the new and growing activity in the local economy. I’d say Manuel Antonio is a bit more family friendly because it has more accommodation options but nowadays with Airbnb and VRBO, you can even rent a whole house. Even if all you’re looking for is a beach vacation, you can have drastically different experiences on each coast. In this map below, you will see the major tourist destinations for the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Hi, I’m planning an adults only trip with 4 couples. Puerto Viejo is the main tourist town in the South Caribbean, surrounded by gorgeous beaches and plenty of nature. There’s one canopy zipline tour and you can hike or kayak in the national park. Temperatures stay in the high 80s F (31 Celsius) and cools off at night. After a plebiscite in 1824-25, the territory of Guanacaste was annexed to Costa Rica. Click here to check out our content recommendations. You can have a great time on either coast of Costa Rica but here are some reasons why you should visit one over the other. Guanacaste's climate and culture are unique among Costa Rican provinces. You are HEAVEN SENT for all of this information. Interests are relaxation, nature, animals, adventure, beaches. It provides seamless travel to most of Guanacaste's attractions. The Caribbean coast of Costa Rica doesn’t follow the tropical tropical dry-rainy season weather pattern. When it comes to snorkeling, Cahuita National Park has the longest coral reef so when the conditions are right, it is amazing. The main attractions are the national park and the turtles/wildlife. It is the most sparsely populated of all the provinces of Costa Rica. Hello, you can check our Costa Rica itinerary ideas for ideas! Rather, here, rain can happen almost any time of year. But the trade off is that it is very humid. Or you can fly, which is fastest. Caribbean Side of Costa Rica—Best Time for Your Birding Trip. Canadians and Americans love the Tamarindo and Playas del Coco area. The South Pacific coast is the Costa Ballena: Dominical, Uvita and Ojochal, about 3-4 hours from San Jose. Since the climate is different and can be cloudy most of the time, it’s hot but a very comfortable hot whereas the Pacific can get unbearably hot. Caribbean. Many young American and British adults like the Guanacaste area because it has more all-inclusive resorts and is more developed. In 1854 the town of Guanacaste was renamed Liberia. 3rd – early morning drive to Arenal – spend the day at volcano and hanging bridges park (we plan to start the day pretty early so we reach Arenal by 9 am maybe) [9], Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN), 2009, Area de Conservación Guanacaste World Heritage Site, "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab", "Nicaragua Claims Costa Rica Tourist Area", "Nicaragua's Ortega threatens to 'reclaim' Costa Rican province", Conservation efforts and scientific work of biologist Daniel H. Hanzen in Guanacaste,, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from December 2018, Articles with Spanish-language sources (es), Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 3 November 2020, at 13:04. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Puerto Viejo on the other hand has everything for tourists. Tortuguero, nicknamed “Little Amazon” is a tiny boat/plane access only rural town. Costa Rica grocery stores We would go for one or two nights. The white and black sand on the Caribbean coast is a unique feature and one of the main differences between the two coasts, along with the vibrant Caribbean coral reef and marine life that also differ from the Pacific. The Gulf of Papagayo has the most amount of all-inclusive resorts, many of them with their own “private” beach (all beaches in Costa are public). Thank you such great info and helpful in determining where our family will go this November!! We’ll prob do a VRBO. Most people spend 1-3 nights in Tortuguero. Thank you From May to October, the climate is similar to that of San José, consisting of showers daily and moderate temperatures. You can read our post about Costa Rica COVID travel for more information but there are little restrictions in Costa Rica now. [8] Animal rehab center, Centro de Rescate Las Pumas, is located in the heart of Area de Conservación Guanacaste World Heritage Site. First time to Costa Rica. When it comes to adventure and things to do, the Pacific does have more variety than the Caribbean. The Caribbean is pretty amazing and has all that you’re looking for. Another reason is close proximity to the airport. Both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts have beautiful beaches and it’s impossible to say which side of Costa Rica has better beaches! My wife and I are visiting Costa Rica in July. Cattle ranching is declining in Guanacaste due to an international drop in the demand for beef. Tamarindo/Conchal is a 1 hour drive from Liberia International Airport, Samara and Nosara is 2. Instead, the Caribbean is much more humid and can rain all year long. The province covers an area of 10,141 km2 and as of 2010, had a population of 354,154. A lot of tourists are also attracted by the Province's seven national parks. This luxury resort has two private beaches, three restaurants and a nine-room spa. This handy budget calculator can help you compare costs and estimat… At this bottleneck, the Inter-American Highway runs north of Puntarenas and into Guanacaste. The Pacific side has many more national parks and surfing, fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling spots than the Caribbean. It is located on the eastern side of Cacao Volcano, set inside the rainforest, with great influence from the Caribbean. Hard time deciding. Unlike the Pacific, you won’t find any all-inclusive resorts, high rise condo towers or large international hotel chains in the Caribbean. Most of the population descends from a mix of Chorotega natives and Spaniards, with a significant African admixture as a result of a large number of slaves working the land during the colonial period. Hello , Great info here thank you . Happy travels! Jaco and Manuel Antonio are arguably the most touristic and developed beach ares on the Pacific coast. The Caribbean coast stretches for some 125 miles between Panama and Nicaragua. Take a look at our top picks for hotel beaches in Costa Rica, and start planning your getaway! So the Pacific ocean is what you will see and play in. The rivers that tumble out of these steep mountains flow down to rolling flatlands, forming a vast alluvial plain drained by the Rio Tempisque, which empties through swampy wetlands into de Golfo de Nicoya. Not looking for to much excitement but not to be too isolated either . To Puerto Jimenez, the main town in the Osa Peninsula, it is about an 8 hour drive or 1 hour plane ride from San Jose. The South Pacific is a little like the Caribbean in the sense that there aren’t many people and it’s more jungley. Rincon de la Vieja’s Caribbean side is a little further from Liberia, Guanacaste and a little closer to Upala than the Pacific side of Rincon de la Vieja. The province is named for the guanacaste tree, also known as the ear pod tree, which is the national tree of Costa Rica. 4th – ? The best thing is that they’re all within a 30 kilometer radius! From the Nicoya Peninsula to the Caribbean, it will take you a whole day to get there. If you are tied to flying into Liberia, then stick with the Guanacaste trip plan, as it makes no sense to travel from there to the Caribbean. Surfers, yogis and those interested in more rural areas like the Nicoya Peninsula and Costa Ballena (Uvita, Dominical, Ojochal for the laid back atmosphere and undeveloped nature. Down in the Costa Ballena, it changes completely as this area is still quite rural. Beach bumming and soaking up the sun are the best things to do in the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica since it has a much more chill and laid back vibe. Here are the differences between the Caribbean and Pacific coast of Costa Rica to help you decide. The Pacific coast does follow the typical rainy and dry tropical season which is from end of April to beginning of December and beginning of May to end of November respectively. In fact, it is only accessible by boat! However, the Nicoya Peninsula takes quite some time to get to but there is a local airport in Tambor. The closest beach town to Liberia International Airport is only 25 minutes away! The Caribbean side of the island and wanted to know what is the best place for us to visit during our 5 night stay (possibly 6 nights). Birdwatching is amazing in the Caribbean since you can see birds such as Keel-billed toucans, Great Green Macaws and unique hummingbirds. The dry tropical climate and proximity to both beaches and mountains make the ideal location for travelers seeking anything from sun and … You will find a lot of all-inclusives in this area. Guanacaste is, however, considerably warmer than other provinces in the country located in higher elevations. This doesn’t mean that it’s always raining on the Caribbean coast, by any means, though. Culturally rich in Afro-Caribbean influences, the Caribbean Coast is unlike any other region in Costa Rica. Caribbean coast is a bit cooler than the Pacific as it’s more humid, so temperatures are not as high as the Pacific coast. The Caribbean is also far from any other type of natural attraction like volcanoes and cloud forest. It’s around 4 hours to Arenal Volcano and 2.5 hours to Ostional Wildlife Refuge a nice place to see turtle nestings. Tortuguero is a tiny village with 1 ATM. Go for a walk in the jungle and you may be the only one to witness a sloth climbing a tree right in front of you. Southern Guanacaste goes from the Tamarindo area down to Samara and Nosara. There are still cost differences depending on dates. Monteverde Cloud Forest is 3 hours from Liberia. We’ve visited dozens of hotels in Costa Rica and spent some time with our feet in the sand and testing out the waters to see which of beaches available are the best of the best. Historically, the main source of income of Guanacaste was cattle ranching. 2nd night – land in SJO Costa Rica survival guide Puerto Limon has a privileged location in the Caribbean coast, due to its proximity to the Panama Canal, Gulf of Mexico, and southern United States.Puerto Limón, on the Caribbean side, is the main port of Costa Rica. As in Nicaragua and elsewhere in Costa Rica, Usted is the form of address used by Guanacastecans upon initial meetings and typically among adults. Go to the beach and you may be the only one swimming in the warm water. Instead, the Caribbean is much more humid and can rain all year long. It is bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Alajuela Province to the east, and Puntarenas Province to the southeast. The Guanacaste province is home to the bulk of Costa Rica's all-inclusive resorts. If you are looking for the ultimate vacation in a breathtakingly stunning setting where everything is convenient, this is the spot for you. That means more time sunbathing on white sandy beaches or adventuring through lush rainforests. One question I do have is, is the water safe to drink? If you are able to fly into San Jose, then the … Some of the popular ones are Catarata Llanos de Cortes, Montezuma waterfalls, Nauyaca Waterfalls and Uvita waterfall. More from my siteRoca Bruja: Costa Rica’s Ultimate Surf Spot (Witch’s Rock)Puerto ViejoMar Y Sol EcotelVillas SolCarara National ParkLodge […] Thinking to spend a couple nights near the volcano and do the cloud forests, raft, hike…then head to the coast for the remaining 4-5 nights…looking for scuba, snorkeling, beautiful (not super crowded/touristy beaches, hiking, fishing…where would u recommend? It was on this coast that Christopher Columbus first saw and named Costa Rica. We actually wrote a post comparing Tamarindo and Playas del Coco in case you’re trying to decide. They are 1.5-2.5 hours from San Jose. The vos verb-form is used mainly when adults address children, especially their own, and occasionally between adults who are family members or good friends. However, what the Caribbean lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. Real estate in Caribbean Costa Rica can be found in every city and town dotting the coast. Even though you have to spend a little more time getting here, compared to the south side, it is definitely worth the effort. You can find everything for tourists on the Pacific side, even all the way down at the Costa Ballena. You’ll still see plenty of tourists in Samara, Santa Teresa and Montezuma but the beaches are not that commercial. Mytanfeet LTDA Copyright© 2013 - 2020 - Thank you for supporting our Travel Blog! Tortuguero is best known for being the nesting ground for green sea turtles, which also makes it a popular ecotourism site. In 2013, Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega claimed Guanacaste province belonged to Nicaragua. Samara, Nosara, Montezuma and Santa Teresa are less touristic. Any risks i need to be aware of? Surfing and snorkeling are two other popular activities in the South Caribbean but it is not as consistent as the Pacific and have fewer spots. Beginning at the south end of Lake Arenal, the Tilaran Mountains extend toward the Pacific coast, leaving only a small bottleneck of coastal lowland. I still don’t entirely want to go as the hotels own website refers to it as 3 stars which is different to the travel agent and also seems to have issues with ecoli and other gastro related illness but you have least made me feel a little bit better about it! Additionally, Guanacaste rains much less. Guanacaste is a province of Costa Rica located in the northwestern region of the country, along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. We will be touring around all that area. Four different sea turtle species that all nest on the beaches of the Tortuguero National Park , and the Cahuita National Park has some of the best coral reefs in the country and is a fantastic place to go snorkeling. Guanacaste runs up and down a large part the Pacific side of Costa Rica. Included / Excluded. Its not a real safe place because of it and the real nice resorts will not build there. The cantons (with their capitals in parentheses) are: A major portion of the peninsula of Nicoya is now under the jurisdiction of the province of Puntarenas. Many Europeans aren’t keen on all-inclusive resorts or staying at fancy hotels, they rather experience nature and more local life so they tend to gravitate towards the Caribbean. I have 3 teens. The Pacific coast has a range of beaches and not all of them are developed and touristy. In the North Caribbean, Tortuguero National Park Beach is the nesting place for the green sea turtle, hawksbill sea turtle and leatherback sea turtle. Rica—Best time for your Birding trip to stay in the local economy coast of Costa Rica are differences. Build there guys have a great time in Costa Rica road conditions Rica... 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Planning to travel to Costa Rica is an amazing place to go out on a boat or even kayaking!
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