Skip to content

How to Plan an Amazing Road Trip in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a great destination for road trippers and those looking for a tropical getaway. It’s not too far from the United States, but it feels like a world away.

The lush jungles, towering volcanoes, and crystal-clear waters of Costa Rica make it an ideal location for a road trip vacation.

Beaches that rank among the best in the world can be found in Costa Rica, as can a wide variety of exotic plant and animal life. You can get out and enjoy the fresh air even if you drive about in a rental car.

We have provided you with a detailed Costa Rica travel guide below to ensure you make the most of your trip. 

A Costa Rica Travel Guide for an Enjoyable Road Trip

1. Pick a Destination

Planning where to go is one of the first Costa Rica travel tips you should follow if you plan on traveling there. You can’t just pick any location in the country and expect it to be excellent. Even if the place is incredible, some locations will make your experience unforgettable.

For instance, if you want to see some of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica, you should go to Playa Santa Teresa, which is located in the Puntarenas Province. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for something a little more exciting, think about going to La Fortuna or Monteverde. If you want to get away from it all and be surrounded by the splendor of nature, Manuel Antonio National Park is the ideal destination for you to visit in Costa Rica.

2. Choose Your Transport

When embarking on a trip, the most practical thing is to get a rental car. This is true whether you travel alone or with your entire family. There are travel agencies that concentrate on Costa Rica, and most of them have desks staffed with professionals who can assist you in determining which mode of transportation would meet your requirements most efficiently.

Renting a motorcycle is a fantastic option for those exploring the surrounding area. You will also be able to locate places in Costa Rica where you can hire bicycles, which will enable you to discover the country at your own pace and in the way that you find to be the most interesting.

3. Reserve a Place to Stay

Booking accommodations in advance is recommended in this travel guide for Costa Rica and should be one of your highest priorities. Even at the busiest times of the year, several Costa Rican hotels provide deals for guests who book at the last minute.

There is a wide range of hostels available for budget travelers. Hostels can save you money compared to hotels, and you can stay there without needing an Airbnb account. If you’re looking for personal space or want a feel for the neighborhood, consider looking into an Airbnb or Homeaway rental.

4. Find the Best Things to Do

In Costa Rica, there are many different things to do. Vacations are available at beach resorts and tours of tropical rainforests are also an option. Try horseback riding, surfing, hiking, snorkeling, or diving—you’ll like it. 

You can also visit Costa Rica’s three UNESCO World Heritage sites—the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, La Amistad Reserve and National Park, and Cocos Island National Park. Each region has its own climate zone and native flora and wildlife.

5. Explore the Food Scene

Traveling around Costa Rica by car and sampling the local cuisine is an experience that can only be described as a culinary journey. From crowded local markets to long-established dining establishments. This ensures that your experience will be of the highest quality. Move away from the tourist site and enjoy a delicious lunch. The cuisine in rural places tends to be more authentic.

Three of Costa Rica’s most popular foods are the following:

  • Gallo Pinto

Rice and beans make up Gallo Pinto, a breakfast dish. The locals call the meal “pinto,” It has roots in Costa Rican and Nicaraguan culture.

  • Casado

Casado is the most typical Costa Rican dish. It is a multi-item dish. One could claim that a “Casado” is a “marriage” of flavors and textures because “casado” means “marriage.”

  • Arroz con Leche

As this is sweet, it goes without saying that it is at the top of the list. The simplest explanation for Arroz con Leche is rice combined with milk. The flavor is more complex and fulfilling than its description suggests. The recipe requires cinnamon sticks, sugar, salt, and lemon zest.

Many smaller communities are proud of their unique food, and tourists should try to learn about the culture during their visit. In the end, exploring Costa Rica’s many cuisines is a delicious way to discover this lovely country.

6. Plan How You Will Pack

Make your own packing system to reduce stress when planning to travel to Costa Rica. Consider the number of attendees and their desired activities. Remember that the average summer temperature in Costa Rica is a sweltering 100 degrees, so pack accordingly. Shorts and tank tops can reduce luggage. Between December and April, when the weather is dry and sunny, is the best time to visit Costa Rica. And finally, remember to include some storage space for mementos. 

If you plan what to bring, who to go with, and where to go on your Costa Rica road vacation, you can avoid stress.

7. Plan How Long Your Trip Will Take

A vacation to Costa Rica is similar to taking one in any other country. Most timed events are a lot of fun, but only if you are taking part and know what to expect ahead of time. If you plan to drive across the country, you should realize that some routes are faster and some places have more attractions.

Planning a trip for a particular number of days reduces the risk of running out of food or gasoline. There are several ways to estimate road trip time.

  • Use Google Maps “My Maps” option to generate detailed journey maps. Waypoints and attractions can tailor your trip.
  • Navigate with Waze or GPSmyCity (both available for free on Google Play). Free and certain premium subscribers will get real-time traffic instructions and be alerted of imminent congestion or construction.


Driving across Costa Rica is the best way to see the country’s breathtaking landscapes. And there’s no substitute for completing the trip planning yourself if you want to take your road trip to the next level.

Having a strategy is the most effective approach to making your trip one you will always remember. Know your final destination, expected arrival time, and how much time you must spend at each stop. If you want to see the best of what Costa Rica offers, you should spend a good chunk of your vacation exploring the country.

Plan for your vacation so that you are not caught off guard. Once you have properly planned a fantastic trip to Costa Rica, you can sit back, relax, and take in every moment of your vacation.

Call Now