About Costa Rica Vibes

Hi! We Are Sarah and Thomas!

Thomas is from Germany and Sarah is from the United States. Since 2016 we have called Costa Rica our home.

We have made it our mission to help travelers who are struggling to plan the perfect trip to beautiful Costa Rica. 

Curious to know how we ended up here? Grab a pina colada, it’s a bit of a story!

Have you been dreaming of the perfect Costa Rica vacation for way too long? Let’s make it a reality!

We’re here to help you discover the best path to the ideal Costa Rica trip.

If you’ve stumbled onto our corner of the internet you probably:

  • 🍍 Are ready for a thrilling and relaxing vacation in a tropical environment.
  • 🍍 Tried to start planning your trip, but are overwhelmed by all the info out there.
  • 🍍 Have most of your trip planned but need to iron out the details

That’s where we come in! Costa Rica Vibes is here to save your vacation!

Our Costa Rica Travel Vibe

Sarah is usually planning the trips. Thomas is picking up the pieces (how very German of him).

Sarah is the dreamer. Thomas is the practical thinker.

We love to deeply explore the places we are visiting, but we also make a point to stop and just enjoy the moment.

It is not unusual for us to spend a day drinking margaritas on a beach and spend the next day doing a several-hour-long hike followed by a sunset kayak trip.

We like to get the best deals possible (which we always share with you) but also find places with the best vibes.

We are all about supporting local businesses.

And, we love to be outside.

Why We Started Costa Rica Vibes

Costa Rica Vibes started in 2017. At that point, we had been living in Costa Rica for a year.

In that first year, we wanted to travel a lot and explore this new country we were in. However, we were on a tight budget.

We struggled to find good information online about traveling in Costa Rica that wasn’t geared just to high-end travel. 

Luckily, we made some great friends who helped us discover the real Costa Rica without spending too much.

After a year of getting to know this new paradise that we called home, we decided we wanted to share what we had learned to help other people visit all the beautiful aspects of Costa Rica.

And, on a sunny day in June of 2017, Costa Rica Vibes was born. 

Over the last several years we have been fortunate enough to help hundreds of thousands of people plan their dream trip to Costa Rica through our website. 

How We Met….In Detail

We met in 2010 while volunteering for a year in a community for adults with mental disabilities in Virginia.

After just a few months together we needed to plan our future.

Thomas needed to go back to Germany because his visa was about to run out.

So, we brought a picnic to our favorite lake, and vowed not to leave until we figured out our future.

Thomas didn’t want to try long distance. And to stay in the US legally our best option would have been to get married.

So, Sarah decided she would move to Germany.

Looking back, it was crazy.

Two months after Thomas left the US, Sarah followed and we started our life together.

Our Move to Costa Rica

After four years of living in Germany, we were ready for a change.

After applying to companies around the world, Thomas was offered a job at a school in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Less than two months later, in January 2016, we packed our bags and flew to Costa Rica. We had never even been to Central or South America before moving here.

It didn’t take long for us to fall in love with this beautiful country we now call home.

Our Life in Costa Rica

Life in Costa Rica is pretty perfect for us.

Running the Costa Rica Vibes website has given us the opportunity and reason to see almost every area of the country.

Sarah loves Costa Rica because the weather is always good (she does not do well with dark winters), she sees her family in the US much more than she did while living in Europe, and she absolutely loves running the Costa Rica Vibes website.

Thomas loves that he can go fishing every day, that there is always something interesting to explore, and that it’s always warm out.

You Should Know….

🥥 We believe in being completely authentic with our opinions. There are certain activities or places we will flat-out say are not worth your time. 

🥥 We only promote things we genuinely feel strongly about. You are spending a lot of money and using your coveted vacation time, you deserve to have an amazing experience.

You Can Trust Us Because…

🌴 We have been living in Costa Rica since 2016. We have extensively traveled to every corner of this country.

🌴 We are foreigners just like you! We understand the cultural differences and things you will want to be aware of before coming here.

In other words, we are all about transparency and making sure you have the best information possible when planning your trip. 

So, are you ready to plan your dream vacation? Here are some good places to start. ↓

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Language

Spanish is the official language. Most people in tourism speak some English.

Currency

The main currency is Costa Rican colones. US dollars are also widely accepted.

Outlets

110 volt (same as the US)

International Airports

There are two international airports in the country. These are Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in the capital city of San José and Liberia International Airport (LIR) in the northwest corner of the country.

Must Do Activities

zip lining | exploring national parks | surfing | wildlife tours

Sun Rise/ Sun Set

Sunrise: between 5:15am and 5:45am

Sunset: between 5:30pm and 6pm

Time Zone

Central Standard Time

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37 Comments

  1. We are traveling with friends on a birding tour that ends at the San Jose airport on 2/10/25. Four of us will be staying 3 extra nights so we’re looking for a change to relax and possibly hike, kayak, swim, or snorkel. We were thinking of staying in San Jose and doing museums, but keep being told it’s not a safe city.

    1. Hi Marilyn, It is safe enough. We live in the city and have never had any issues. However, it really is not the nicest city ever. I think its fine for one day to explore the downtown area, but not a place you really need to spend 3 days during your trip. As an alternative, I would suggest looking into Alajuela. This city is actually closer to the airport. If you stay in the hills above the city it is actually really nice. From here you can visit Poas Volcano, take a coffee farm tour and see La Paz Waterfall. It is also a lot easier to get from Alajuela back to the airport when you depart.

  2. JOEL WISNER says:

    Hi Sarah:
    My wife and I are traveling to CR for a friend’s wedding, and we will be staying for 2 weeks. We signed up for a bus tour, and thought it would be a good way to see a lot of the country and learn some things as well. My questions are: was it a hassle to stay that long down there? At what point will they “kick you out”? Have you bought property?
    Thanks,
    Joel

    1. Hi Joel, We are fortunate that my husband’s job here allows us both to get residency. But, I know several people who have been doing the perpetual tourism thing for years. So, they stay for 90 days and the leave by crossing the border into Panama or Nicaragua for a few days (or fly somewhere) and come back. But, it gets a bit nerve wracking after awhile. Also, a lot of people go the route of buying property for a residency, putting a certain amount into the bank here to get residency, giving birth to a child here for permanent residency, or using the amount they get as a pension as proof they maker enough to stay her for residency. There are TONS of options but, all are a bit stressful. If you’re thinking of moving and have specific questions feel free to email me [email protected]

  3. MARY COOK says:

    Hi guys. Happened upon your Nate experience and enjoyed your blog. The description of “Sarah as the planner reading a million books at once and Thomas as the practical one”, is my husband and I in a nutshell. Both American Retirees researching a limited move to Costa Rica. Not hauling “things” down there, just renting furnished digs for a while. Haven’t decided on a set location but leaning toward Heredia/Alajuela/Limon. Vacationing next year. Are you still there? would love to know how you feel about the country now.

    1. Hi Mary,
      That’s exciting that you are thinking of moving down here! Have you visited previously? We are still here. It’s been fur years now and we still absolutely love it. In fact, we are debating the opposite (moving to the US) but it is just so hard to leave the perfect weather and relaxed mindset.
      Feel free to email me as you plan your trip down. [email protected] I’m happy to help. It can definitely be a bit overwhelming at first when you don’t know what you are doing.