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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35 Comments

  1. Hey Guys!
    Just found your site! Congrats on your upcoming marriage! So I am an avid traveler, and so are my sons, so I found a deal 7 nights in Costa Rica for $719 including airfare and hotels and transportation to hotels. 1 night San Jose, 2 nights Arenal Volcano area, 3 nights Manuel Antonio area, 1 night San Jose. I am from NYC so driving is not an issue for me, but honestly we are going to be moving around a bit, and I rather enjoy the sights rather than have to figure out where we are going. What other options do we have for transportation? There will be 4 of us, myself and my 3 sons (15, 12, 11) This deal just popped up so I am not sure what else there is to do or not do, but I wanted to see if you would be so kind as to let me know if this is a good deal. Also when they say Green Season, I know it means rainy season, but does that mean its like Florida where it rains every day, between certain hours for a certain time then it clears up? Thanks so much!!

    1. Hi Maura,
      That actually does sound like a great deal. Coming from NYC you will usually pay about $400 roundtrip for flights alone. Transportation such as private shuttles is usually expensive here. I’d say take it. Of course, double check on what the hotels are like. There is a wide range of hotels here from very basic to fancy.
      Also, I don’t think you wrote which month exactly you would be coming, but Green Season does mean rain, sometimes more than others. July and August tend to just be afternoon storms for a few hours like Fla. September, Oct, and Nov sometimes can be completely fine and other times can be full days of rain. You just never know!
      Hope this helps! And feel free to email me if you have more questions. [email protected]

  2. Marianne Silva says:

    I have found your site to be so helpful and informative! My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Costa Rica Aug 26th to Sept. 3rd. After reading your site thoroughly, I have mapped out a route, but feel it might be too much for the time that we have. I am just having a hard time deciding what to take out! We arrive at 9pm on Aug 26th and will be renting a car from Adobe through your site. I am thinking 1 night near the airport, 1 night in Tortuguero, 2 nights in Puerto Viejo or Cahuita (leaning more towards Puerto Viejo, because we want to enjoy some night life one night, but would definitely stop in Cahuita) , 2 nights in San Gerardo de Dota, and 2 nights near Manuel Antonio NP. We are ok with waking up early to start our drives and I know Puerto Viejo to San Gerardo de Dota is going to be a long drive, but was thinking about taking our time and stopping to see things along the way. If you have time, I’d like to know your opinion if this is too ambitious of us and what to eliminate if we have to. Also, are we missing out if we don’t go to Arenal and Monteverde? I appreciate any advice and absolutely love your blog!!!

    1. Hi Marianne!
      I’m going to send you an email to give you some advice. I’ll be out this evening but look for an email from me in the morning. πŸ™‚
      -Sarah

  3. Blake Plysiuk says:

    Hi,
    Your website was a great resource for our recent trip to Playa Santa Teresa. My wife and I traveled to Costa Rica from British Columbia Canada with our two young daughters and some of our immediate family as a family vacation spurred on by my sister. We loved Costa Rica and found your website to be a great resource for the trip. We used the link to Adobe rental car and had a great experience with Adobe for the trip. A tip to anyone travelling with kids and driving is that the roads are mayhem and very rough in the rural areas so be prepared, also allow lots of time to get to your destination as it’s not as easy to travel a long distance as in North America. Also make sure you go for the 4×4 SUV if you plan to go to any rural areas. All in all we felt safe in the country for the most part with the exception of the crazy drivers and lack of order on the roads (IE where to park, pedestrians not having the right of way etc). Just make sure you always are aware of your surroundings.
    The only real hiccup in the trip was when our checked baggage was lost on the flight to Costa Rica, it took almost a week to receive it at our rental house(it was sent to the wrong location). I would definitely recommend packing some basic items to last a few days in your carry on bag and possibly considering taking just a carry on bag and not checking bags as it’s not fun not knowing when/if your bags will show up.
    Cheers from Canada.

  4. So glad I found this blog! We are traveling to Jaco in April for my friends wedding and all of your posts have been EXTREMELY helpful so far! This will be my first time traveling outside of the US, so I’m sure I’m in for a culture shock. Your blog is definitely making me feel more prepared for the trip and less anxious about things that could go wrong. Murphy’s Law.
    My boyfriend is AD in the Navy. Just curious if you have heard of anyone running into problems at Customs if they are AD or any advice? When asked about profession do you know any downside to saying he is military or if he shouldn’t show military ID with the passport?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Kelsey! I have not heard of anyone having problems entering as someone in the Navy. He should be totally fine with saying his true profession. I would have him just give his passport. If they then ask for his military ID he can always give it, but they most likely won’t ask. Just make sure you have a printout of your return flight to show as proof that you are leaving the country within 90 days.
      Have fun at your friend’s wedding! And seriously don’t hesitate to message us if you have any other questions or need any help planning. πŸ™‚

  5. Hey guys! I have been reading your site all day and I feel I finally found someone who actually travels the way I like it and that I can trust your recommendations! I’m going next week to CR arriving at 5:00pm (mon 12) and leaving 5:00pm (sun 18) we are from Mexico so we are looking to see places with a lot of wildlife and also to find a cool hotel for a few days at the beach (not too fancy or expensive) so the first plan we are working on is to go to san gerardo de dota spend 1 day
    There then go to manuel antonio area, go to the national park and near by beaches. We also would like to know if you think we would have time to go all the way to santa teresa or montezuma in the same trip or maybe skip a place…
    Another plan is maybe hike up irazu, then manuel antonio area and beaches en San gerardo. (or maybe trade Manuel antonio for Cahuita?) We are a bit afraid to find to many people in manuel antonio NP… and feel overwhelmed. I also saw playa blanca that its nice…
    Also Do you think we can survive with a 4×2 car? 4×4 costs almost twice as much ????
    so if you have an idea of a good, fun and also relax plan (we love eating at local places) we would really apreciate it! your blog is great! And any time you want to come to Mexico I will help you with all the local tips πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Natalia! I’m so happy you like our site. I’m going to send you an email in a few hours to respond to everything!:)

  6. George Taylor says:

    Hi Folks,
    I’m a Canadian senior adventure seaker looking for a 6 to 10 day back packing, hiking,camping, experience vrs guided tours, buses and hostels. Are there any opportunities here for that type of experience.

    1. Hi George
      It is definitely possible to have that type of experience here, but it seems as though it is getting more and more difficult to find this type of thing. Two good places I’d suggest are either hiking through Chirripo National Park or heading down south to Corcovado. We, unfortunately, have not done either yet but the folks who run the site Costa Rica Guide are our go-to for this type of travel. Check out their site and maybe message them. I bet they can help you out a bit more than we can.

  7. Lots of great info, we have connected on Girls love travel. I was wondering about SIM cards from the airport for my unlocked Samsung, any suggestions? We don’t plan on doing much calling but like having text option and Uber option. Ty leaving in a couple weeks plan on heading directly to bus stati9n to catch bus to Cahuito so getting from airport to bus station on Uber might be the way to go. Thanks for your info! Kimberly

    1. Yes definitely use Uber! Its always A LOT cheaper than taxis. There is free wifi in the airport (or at least there used to be but I was there picking up some friends the other day and I had trouble connecting to it sooo hopefully it was just a temporary problem). After you go through Customs in the baggage claim area there is a Kolbi counter (a phone company) where you can buy a SIM card. It will take like 5 minutes to register there. Its about $4 for a card and that money is applied to your account. If you need to check your balance ever just dial 8888 and press 2. You can also buy a Kolbi top up card at literally any mini market in the country. Hope that helps! You’ll LOVE Cahuita! its great!