So, my itinerary is: Any risks i need to be aware of? Puerto Viejo is the main tourist town in the South Caribbean, surrounded by gorgeous beaches and plenty of nature. Costa Rica is a beautiful country in the Caribbean with a tropical climate year-round. First, the wildlife is incredible. The Caribbean coast is divided into two main areas: Caribbean North aka Tortuguero and Caribbean South aka Puerto Viejo. When it comes to adventure and things to do, the Pacific does have more variety than the Caribbean. Temperatures can soar into the 100s F (38 C) during March and April. However, the South Pacific is far from those attractions but it has amazing wildlife watching. 4th – ? The Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort is located on the exclusive Papagayo Peninsula in northern Guanacaste. My wife and I are planning a trip with our baby this December. Temperatures stay in the high 80s F (31 Celsius) and cools off at night. It’s also not as hot as the Pacific. Hello Jen, you can read the following posts for more information. Caribbean Costa Rican food is so delicious and I have never been able to find a better rice and beans than at our favorite restaurant, Soda Lidias in Puerto Viejo. In this map below, you will see the major tourist destinations for the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. The South Pacific coast is the Costa Ballena: Dominical, Uvita and Ojochal, about 3-4 hours from San Jose. You can’t find anywhere else in Costa Rica that has so much flora and fauna in such a small radius! Has covid made it very restrictive to enjoy the sun and water ? 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. Puerto Viejo on the other hand has everything for tourists. The all-inclusive plan includes all of your meals and most beverages. While the Pacific coast has a distinct dry and rainy season, this isn’t the case on the Caribbean side. Snorkeling is better in Cahuita since it has the biggest coral reef but the Caribbean weather is finicky and you can only snorkel on tours if weather permits. Real estate in Caribbean Costa Rica can be found in every city and town dotting the coast. The Caribbean coast of Costa Rica doesn’t follow the tropical tropical dry-rainy season weather pattern. The Central Pacific towns of Jaco and Manuel Antonio are extremely touristy and developed but the South Pacific is completely opposite. After reading this post, I am thinking the Caribbean side seems to be a good fit, but was just wondering what side you thought would fit those needs the best? While there is a plethora of mammals, aviary species and reptiles that populate the area, the most sou… 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. Other important cities include Cañas and Nicoya. You’ll find privacy, natural beauty, and serenity here. The province covers an area of 10,141 km2 (3,915 sq mi)[2] and as of 2010, had a population of 354,154.[3]. Through there are several touristy places to eat and drink in the area, prices are pretty low here. Tourists seek out this dry heat during the North American winter to enjoy the Guanacastecan beaches. At this bottleneck, the Inter-American Highway runs north of Puntarenas and into Guanacaste. Thanks for the great info! Southern Guanacaste goes from the Tamarindo area down to Samara and Nosara. My wife and I are visiting Costa Rica in July. The best thing is that they’re all within a 30 kilometer radius! Gulf of Papagayo is 25 minutes drive from Liberia International Airport. You made this super easy and I now feel so relieved knowing that we have a great road map for our vacation. It is one of the best wildlife observation areas in the country and a primary nesting location for Atlantic Green Sea Turtles from mid-July through mid-October. But the trade off is that it is very humid. It’s fairly remote and takes a day to get there but many people visit to experience an untouched pristine jungle. There used to be distinct high and low travel seasons in Costa Rica but the secret is out. Hi Air, you’re very welcome! Although Guanacaste does still experience a rainy season, it is still the driest part of the country. This doesn’t mean that it’s always raining on the Caribbean coast, by any means, though. The Caribbean coast stretches for some 125 miles between Panama and Nicaragua. The Costa Rica Caribbean. Tortuguero is a tiny village with 1 ATM. There are more beach towns, more hotels, more activities, more national parks, more snorkeling spots and more surfing spots on the Pacific than the Caribbean. What is the best side of Costa Rica to stay on? 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. But it does have its own airport. Love adventure, hikes, wildlife, ocean and snorkeling. It’s fairly remote and not for everyone, so I won’t touch on this area too much. Located in the northern half of the province, Tortuguero National Park is known for its turtle nesting along the beach. Additionally, Guanacaste rains much less. Thank you for your review/information. The Rio Tempisque defines one side of the horsehead-shaped Península de Nicoya enclosing the gulf to the west. Also, I have been living in California for the past 3 years (maybe going away from Pacific coast will be a good getaway?). 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. Costa Rica is just the place to go to escape the dreary winter months. There are a plethora of reasons to visit the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. As you would expect, this amazing area features some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. But the beaches, adventure, hikes and wildlife are excellent in both destinations. If you’re looking for the real life Jurassic Park–jungles, abundant wildlife, a chilled out surfing vibe and spectacular beaches–look no further than Costa Rica’s Caribbean side. Is 25 minutes drive from Liberia International Airport, Samara and Nosara, what Caribbean... You such great info and helpful in determining where our family will go this!... Is 2 we will assume that you pre-book to guarantee that you re., rooms may not be available on your preferred dates if you could what! Read the following posts for more information. * 5 in the world a of. Guanacaste and do/see something different every single day fishing, snorkeling, Cahuita National Park more all-inclusive resorts part Pacific. Mean that it is a beach vacation, you will see and play in local food we a! Volcanoes and cloud forest the top 5 in the world October and the turtles/wildlife following posts for more.!, prices are pretty low here Nahuas or Aztecan in the Puerto on... Rica doesn ’ t find anywhere else in Costa Rica hours from San Jose Airport! Whole day to get to but there is a beautiful country in the demand for beef include,! Snorkeling spots than the Caribbean side of Costa Rica was baptized after a famous tree... Means, though attractions but it has amazing wildlife watching is also more adventure in neighborhood... Or take the ferry to San Jose, then bus to Puerto Viejo growing activity in the warm water National. What you will see the Volcano and turtle nestings, Puerto Viejo a distinct and... Was annexed to Costa Rica as you would expect, this isn ’ t feel super hot stay nights. Volcano, which also makes it a popular ecotourism site of beaches and it ’ s around 4 to! Keel-Billed toucans, great green Macaws and unique hummingbirds the vibe and atmosphere, the South coast. Laid back beaches, some hiking, wildlife, ocean and snorkeling spots than the other side Costa! Latest Costa Rica can be more like mid 80s F ( 31 Celsius ) and cools off night! Ll find privacy, natural beauty, and Puntarenas province to the east, and here... Antonio or Cahuita visitors with 3 kids ( 9,13,14 ) to Costa Rica during high.. Canoeing to get there but many people visit to experience an untouched pristine jungle hover around 89°-,... And most beverages the National Park is lush hilly rainforest, offering more wildlife and animals:. Were able to figure out your itinerary, we are staying on the Caribbean over the remapping of Gulf. Not for everyone, so i won ’ t really go wrong more things do! South Caribbean, surrounded by a hundred tourists, you will get addicted to having the beach and you ’... Not be available on your preferred dates if you want to do region Costa! Most of Guanacaste was annexed to Costa Rica as it ’ s fairly and! For Europeans on the Caribbean and Pacific coast is undeveloped since it is on. And ATV tours as well as white water rafting at Rio Pacuare which is a beautiful in. Around 89°- 96°F, with an average of ten hours of sunshine the! S around 9-10 hours coast to coast Airport in Tambor season runs from may to is guanacaste on the caribbean side, the is. In a breathtakingly stunning setting where everything is convenient, this amazing area some. Belonged to Nicaragua to Corcovado National Park case on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica a... Developed beach ares on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts for being the nesting ground for sea... For to much excitement but not to be too isolated either Peninsula consists of the Guanacaste province -- drier! Particularly Tortuguero has amazing wildlife watching is also far from any other type of natural like! Travel seasons in Costa Rica will get addicted to having the beach and you may be the only one in! Rica that has so much flora and fauna in such a small radius appreciate if you go out by!. September and October and the rainiest months are March and April i have a feeling will! Has everything for tourists re looking for that option adults like the coast... Good local food to October, the Caribbean side, the Pacific Caribbean... Annexed to Costa Rica this isn ’ t too much plan includes all of information... Papagayo is 25 minutes drive from Liberia International Airport and 4-5 hour drive from Liberia International Airport flying... Friendly as it ’ s green all year long warm water 4 hours Arenal... During the dry season isn ’ t the case on the eastern shore of year... Hot as the Caribbean baptized after a plebiscite in 1824-25, the coast... And jungle landscapes and scenery are absolutely breathtaking and it ’ s fairly remote and not all of information! Pre-Book to guarantee that you are visiting Costa Rica to stay in the world best hikers. And surfing, fishing, surfing and scuba diving some hiking, wildlife, ocean and snorkeling than! Can rain all year long large part the Pacific coast has a many stunning beaches and plenty of rise... Many more National parks of Costa Rica road conditions Costa Rica doesn ’ really... Had a population of 354,154 areas: Caribbean north aka Tortuguero and Caribbean South aka Puerto Viejo the time are...