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    Costa Rica Hotel & Resort Travel Guide

    Costa Rica is a colorful destination in Central America. Known for its diverse flora and fauna, it’s a major advocate of conservation and ecotourism. Whether you’re looking to hike through tropical rainforests or veg at the seaside, book your flights to Costa Rica today and get ready for ocean breezes and palm trees.

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    Geography

    Costa Rica is nestled between Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. This Central American destination features a varied landscape with all kinds of terrain, from beaches and volcanoes to jungles and cloud forests. These regions support an impressive ecosystem with an assortment of plant and animal species. In fact, this tiny country contains 5 percent of the world’s biodiversity, and 25 percent of the land is protected.

    Best and Worst Times to Visit

    Because this country sits just north of the equator, it experiences toasty temperatures year round. The high season, which the locals refer to as summer, lasts from late November to April. This time of year usually sees the most sunshine. Some argue that the best time to visit is during December and January because the scenery is still green from the wet season, but the rain has tapered off.

    The locals call the wet season winter and it usually runs from May to November. Certain regions see an increase in rainfall, making the landscape especially green and lush. Depending on the region, it may rain every day, but in other areas it could only pour for a few hours. If you’re looking to capitalize on the sunshine, the rainy season may not be the best time to visit.

    Lodging

    If you’re in search of an accommodation with everything on site, book a stay at one of the best resorts in Costa Rica. Many of these luxury places include multiple restaurants, beach access, and full-service spas. Some even boast several pool areas and recreational activities, such as tennis courts and watersport rentals.

    You’ll also find standard Costa Rica hotels that provide some of the same amenities on a smaller scale. Oftentimes, hotels in the area offer complimentary breakfasts, lounges, and computer stations to accommodate your travel needs. Check out our cheap deals on resorts and hotels right here with Expedia.com to keep your vacation within your budget.

    Things to Do

    Costa Rica boasts some of the world’s most diverse flora and fauna, and you can witness it all at the national parks scattered around the region. Explore the tropical rainforest at Corcovado National Park and hike the dormant volcano at the Arenal Volcano National Park. Manuel Antonio National Park is where you’ll catch sight of wild monkeys, while Barra Honda National Park includes caves of limestone. These parks usually offer a number of ecotourism activities that allow visitors to experience the landscape and support the conservation efforts.

    For warm sand and salty sea air, head to the shore. Costa Rica flaunts serene beaches, perfect for relaxing and soaking up the sunshine or making a splash in the ocean. Retreat to Playa Potrero and find shade under a palm tree, or discover peace and quiet along the tranquil shores of Samara. Hit the waves at Playa Avellana, aka Little Hawaii, which stirs up some of the best surf in the country, attracting surfers from around the globe. You can also stay at one of the resorts in Jaco, where you’ll find another sweet spot for surfing.

    Take a break from the beach scene and dedicate some time to learning about the Costa Rican culture. San Jose has a number of must-see exhibits, including the Costa Rica Art Museum, Costa Rica National Museum, and the Costa Rica Jade Museum. Discover Central America’s pre-Hispanic history at the Museum of Native Cultures in Sarapiqui, and don’t miss Heredia’s Museum of Popular Culture.

    Culture

    Baseball is to America what soccer is to Costa Rica. The English taught the sport to locals in the early 20th century, and Costa Ricans have been scoring goals ever since.

    Bullfighting is another sport close to Costa Ricans’ hearts. It’s considered the country’s Super Bowl, with the most famous fight occurring in Zapote each year. Unlike the Spanish version though, the fighters don’t kill the bulls. These bullfights involve the contestants dodging the animal and running around the arena, much like a rodeo.

    The Costa Rican people are also big fans of festivals. In early January, they host the Fiesta de Palmares, which is a massive carnival with parades, concerts, comedy shows, and bullfights. The Fiesta de Los Diablitos is another popular festival that celebrates the indigenous culture and their ancestral spirits. Meanwhile, Independence Day falls on September 15 and commemorates the country’s separation from Spanish rule. During this celebration, the streets are lined with paper lanterns, and the Freedom Torch is carried from Guatemala to Cartago, the colonial capital of Costa Rica.

    Food

    Gallo pinto, a black bean and rice dish, is a staple of Costa Rican cuisine. Usually it’s served with a side of meat, salad, and fried plantains. Ceviche is another favorite fare, which includes raw fish, often white sea bass, with lime juice and chopped vegetables. Tamales, chicharron, and empanadas are common meals, too. As for drinks, coffee is the backbone of the culture, while the sweet cinnamon drink, horchata, and the sugar cane drink, guaro, are popular, too.

    Sip on horchata and join one of the ecotours in Costa Rica. Visit during one of the major festivals to get a sense of the culture or escape to the serene shoreline for an unforgettable sojourn. Here at Expedia.com, we provide a variety of cheap deals on Costa Rica resorts and hotels. Book today get ready to take on this diverse destination.

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    Costa Rica Hotels
    Costa Rica Hotels

    Hotels in Guanacaste - North Pacific Coast

    Hotel Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort - Tamarindo Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Hotel Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort

    Tamarindo Beach, Tamarindo - Map
     
     
    "Lovely hotel on the beach."
    We stayed at the Diria Hotel for 1 week at the end of January, 2016. Lovely decor and ambiance. Our stay was wonderful. The hotel is centrally located in Tamarindo, close to other restaurants and good shopping. The main part of the hotel is located right on the beach with the restaurant facing the ocean. The 2nd part of the hotel is across the main road with their rooms facing into a courtyard with pools, lush gardens, and swim up bar...so you have the option of spending time at the area on the beach side or enjoying a little more privacy and quiet in the garden & pool area. All hotel staff were pleasant to deal with. Our room was clean and spacious. The breakfast (which was included in our package) was wonderful - lots of choices, well prepared and laid out in a spacious dining area. Local wildlife are a treat to enjoy as they wander the property (birds, iguanas, cheeky squirrels).
    Traveller from Toronto, Canada
    Hotel Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort fronts a white-sand beach in a dry tropical forest of Costa Rica's Guanacaste province …More
    The Harmony Hotel - Nosara Hotels
    Rating: 4.0 Stars

    The Harmony Hotel

    Guiones Beach, Nosara - Map
     
     
    "GOOD VIBRATIONS AT HARMONY HOTEL"
    Each day at Harmony Hotel began with coffee made in my room and then enjoyed on the private outdoor deck where I could sit comfortably and check my work online. Around 6:30 AM, I would then proceed to the surf board checkout stand, sign out a board and then walk the private path to Playa Guiones and paddle out with all the other locals. Great, long rides in warm, clear water beneath the warm morning sunshine. Back to Harmony to shower off on the private deck of my room, and then breakfast at the Hotel....delicious. The Staff is very friendly. A little nap poolside before Yoga class and then meet friends in the spacious, relaxed Juice Bar. Thanks to David and Eduardo who were very kind and helpful.
    Traveller from Santa Monica, CA
    Situated in Nosara, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Nosara Beach and Safari Surf School. Nosara Wildlife …More
    Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa - Playa Flamingo Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Flamingo Beach Resort & Spa

    Flamingo Beach, Playa Flamingo - Map
     
     
    "Ideally located across small road from beach."
    Perfect for relaxing on the beach, finding good restaurants close by if choosing not to eat at the hotel, and playing golf on a very good and quiet affordable golf course 30 minutes from hotel (Hacienda Pinilla).
    Traveller from Toronto
    This Playa Flamingo resort is on the beach, 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Flamingo Beach, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Conchal Beach and …More

    Hotels in San Jose

    Hotel Presidente - San Jose City Center, Costa Rica - San Jose Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Hotel Presidente - San Jose City Center, Costa Rica

    Avenida Central, Calle 7, San Jose - Map
     
     
    "Great if you need to be downtown"
    Would stay at this hotel unless you need to be downtown or want to visit the downtown sites. It is a busy, noisy, dirty area, but the museums and national theater and central market are all easy walking distance. The hotel was noisy with swarms of cars honking and driving by.
    Traveller from sammamish WA
    This family-friendly San Jose hotel is located near the airport, steps from Morazan Park, National Theater, and Gold Museum …More
    Hotel Luisiana - Santa Ana Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars
    $94

    Hotel Luisiana

    100 west and 400 south from Cruz Roja, Santa Ana - Map
     
     
    "Good rest from travels from US. "
    Works well. . A little noisy. But, handy for traveling to the south OSA area.
    Traveller from Texas
    A restful alternative to the busier resorts of Costa Rica, Hotel Luisiana is 10 minutes' drive from the international airport …More
    Best Western Irazu Hotel & Casino - San Jose Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Best Western Irazu Hotel & Casino

    General Canas Hwy KM3, San Jose - Map
     
     
    "Airport hotel"
    Room was ok. Restaurant food was not great. Breakfast at hotel was terrible.
    A Traveller
    This family-friendly San Jose hotel is located near the airport, within 2 mi (3 km) of Estadio Nacional, Museum of Costa …More

    Hotels in Arenal Volcano Region

    Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort - La Fortuna Hotels
    Rating: 4.5 Stars

    Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort

    13 km oeste del centro, La Fortuna - Map
     
     
    Close to town where there is lots to do. We did a combo tour of hanging bridges tour, waterfall tour and volcano tour. Steven was our guide. Very knowledgable.
    A Traveller
    This family-friendly La Fortuna resort is located on the riverwalk, within 2 mi (3 km) of Arenal Natura Ecological Park …More
    Volcano Lodge and Springs - La Fortuna Hotels
    Rating: 4.0 Stars

    Volcano Lodge and Springs

    7 Km West From La Fortuna, La Fortuna - Map
     
     
    "Nice hotel close to Arenal Volcano"
    We liked this hotel because it was very well situated, close to La Fortuna, the hot springs, Arenal Volcano and many of the amenities that region has to offer. The rooms had a private porch with rocking chairs, a private garden an a great view of the volcano. The staff was very cordial and helpful. Their hot springs pool was very small, but after spending a few hours in Baldi we still went at night with my daughter and son in law and it was very relaxing. The breakfast was very good, it had fresh tropical fruits, eggs or omelettes made to order, many dishes to choose from, great coffee and juices. I loved their bread pudding. The room was spacious and clean. We walked around the property and enjoyed all the tropical plants, flowers and trees. Everything was so well maintained. We checked out early and left our luggage at the reception desk for a few hours while we went hiking, that way we didn't have to worry to be back before noon to check out. That was very nice of them. We got two rooms, it seems like the rooms are spread up and linked in pairs. We were next to my daughter's room and we could hear from our bathroom when they were showering. If I was showering at the same time, there wasn't enough water. It wasn't a big deal. I still would come back to this hotel.
    Traveller from Lakeland, FL
    Located in Arenal Hot Springs, this spa lodge is within 2 mi (3 km) of Arenal Natura Ecological Park, Baldi Hot Springs, and …More
    Hotel El Silencio del Campo - La Fortuna Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Hotel El Silencio del Campo

    5 Km West Of La Fortuna Central Park, La Fortuna - Map
     
     
    "Beautiful resort with lovely gardens and hot pools"
    A free facial was included with a two night stay - this was a pleasant touch.
    A Traveller
    Located in Arenal Hot Springs, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Baldi Hot Springs and Ecotermales Fortuna. Ecoglide …More