We try our hardest to make our site top notch for planning your trip to Costa Rica, but we can’t do it all! There are a lot of other websites for Costa Rica trip planning that we depend on. We created this list of great sites to round out all your Costa Rica planning.
- 1 Transportation
- 2 Accommodations
- 3 Deals
- 4 Food
- 5 Activities
- 6 Staying up to date
- 7 Safety
There are several different transportation options in Costa Rica. We detailed all of your options in our guide to transportation in Costa Rica.
Also, if you are interested in renting a car, we have an amazing discount for our readers with Adobe.
However, there are a few other sites we think that you will love for planning your transportation in Costa Rica….
CentroCasting is our go-to website for looking up the public bus schedules in Costa Rica. This site is excellent! They even include maps of all the bus stations in Costa Rica. They have obviously put a lot of work into this site and it shows!
TicaBus is the private company we use for booking a bus to Nicaragua or Panama. This site will be really helpful to you if you are backpacking across Central America.
Also, when entering Costa Rica you need to show proof that you will be leaving the country within 90 days. If you have not booked a departure flight yet you can buy a Tica Bus ticket online to show as proof of departure from Costa Rica.
If you plan on renting a car and driving while in Costa Rica, we suggest following this Facebook page. It is in Spanish, but you can easily translate it on Facebook. This Facebook page is run by the government and is a great way to stay up to date on road conditions and closures.
For example, last year we got stuck on the Pacific coast during Tropical Storm Nate because all of the roads were closed. This Facebook page helped us to eventually find a route to get home. Granted it may have almost taken two days, but we eventually made it!
Another good Facebook page is Accidentes de CostaRica. They are really fast at updating about various car accidents and road closures throughout the country.
Obviously, you need to find a place to stay while in Costa Rica. We have a post on how to find great accommodations here. These are the two sites we book 95% of our accommodations from while traveling in Costa Rica….
We love Airbnb as an alternative to staying in hotels because you can have a more unique experience, you can find a place with a kitchen (which definitely saves money), and you can find a place with more seclusion than most hotels offer.
When we do book a hotel instead of an Airbnb, we always use Booking.com. We love Booking because most places in Costa Rica offer free cancellation up to a certain date. This means that if you find a hotel that you like more you can still cancel your first reservation. We also like Booking because we always find the best rates on their site.
I bet that you definitely want to get the best deals for your trip to Costa Rica. I mean, why pay more for something you can get cheaper? We are working hard to bring you good deals in Costa Rica (check out our rental car discount), but there are a few other sites we are always checking for discounts.
If you live in the US, I bet you have heard of Groupon. If not, Groupon is a site in which companies can post special deals for their product, experience etc. These deals sometimes have a lot of conditions that you need to read, but they can save you A TON of money.
When searching for deals in Costa Rica it does not matter which city you select as your location. Just type “Costa Rica” into the search box and all the goodness will come up.
This works especially well during the rainy season here in Costa Rica when all the hotels just want some customers.
Travel Pirates is a site that posts special deals that they find from around the internet. Sometimes these deals are things like mistakes the airlines make in flight prices and you will have a very small window of time to take advantage of these deals.
Do you want to eat at the tastiest restaurants possible while in Costa Rica? Of course you do! We have a guide to our favorite must eat food in Costa Rica, but you might love some guidance from one of our favorite sites as well.
TripAdvisor is definitely one of our favorite websites for Costa Rica. We love learning about all the great restaurants we need to eat at. We have a list of our favorite places on each destination page of our site but definitely look at TripAdvisor as well.
Most restaurants do not have websites in Costa Rica. If you want to see things such as opening hours, directions, and the menu for restaurants, you usually need to depend on Tripadvisor. Side note, does anyone else love to read the menu and decide exactly what you want to eat before going to a restaurant? The lack of restaurant websites in Costa Rica makes this really difficult for me!
You can also use TripAdvisor to book tours, read reviews on activities, find hotels, and more!
One of the best things about Costa Rica (besides the great weather of course) is all the amazing activity options there are here. In fact, there are so many fun things to do that it can be difficult to choose the best things for your vacation. We do have our favorite activities listed in each destination guide, which will definitely help you out, but there are two sites we just had to share with you as well.
We are budget travelers, so we don’t typically book tours, but sometimes it can be a nice change of pace to have someone plan your whole day for you. Our favorite tour company is Urban Adventures, which is part of Intrepid travel.
At the moment they only offer tours in San Jose, but we are hoping they will start to offer more Costa Rica tours soon. The reason we like Urban Adventures is that their tours aim to give a more authentic experience. For example, in San Jose, they offer a tour that combines brewing coffee the traditional way, sampling authentic delicacies from the market, and participating in a hands-on cooking class in a local home. Cool right? Plus, these are things you would never get to experience on your own.
We also love that their tours support locals who have an interesting tour idea that they want to share with the public.
Thomas follows this Facebook page from the turtle association in Ostional and it pretty much makes him cry about once a month. See, the turtles in Ostional only come about once a month for about six months out of the year. If you follow this Facebook page you can see if the beach is filled with turtles while you are in Costa Rica. If it is, you better turn your car towards Ostional (near Nosara) and head there ASAP for a once in a lifetime experience.
We have never actually made it there. We miss it EVERY. SINGLE. MONTH!!!! So, if you get to see this amazing turtle migration you are really freaking lucky.
Staying up to date
It’s always good to stay up to date on what is happening in Costa Rica while you are here. Sometimes there are strikes, road closures etc. It is good to know what to expect so you can plan accordingly.
Sorry everyone, but volcanos and earthquakes are a reality of life here in Costa Rica. You don’t have to worry too much about the erupting volcano thing. That does not happen often, and the chances of you being near an erupting volcano are pretty rare. However, earthquakes happen pretty much every day here.
I’d say I feel one about once a month here in San Jose. Usually, it is nothing more than a second of very mild shaking, but sometimes they can last a bit longer. Earthquakes scare the sh*t out of me. I absolutely hate them.
Anyway, follow this page on Facebook. They report all the seismic activity in Costa Rica within an hour or so after it happens. If anything serious happens, this will be the page where you can get safety updates.
Twitter is a great tool for instant news. While you are in Costa Rica make sure you change your location to Costa Rica so you will be sure to see all the trending hashtags.
Safety first people! Costa Rica is a mostly safe country, but you definitely should be aware of some things beforehand. We created a detailed article on staying safe in Costa Rica.
Besides our article, these are the sites we depend on for staying safe while traveling.
It’s always good to read any travel warnings from your country before going anywhere. I’m from the US, so I’m linking the US warnings page.
Also, along the same lines, if you are from the US, make sure you register for STEP before going anywhere. It is a great way to ensure that your government knows which country you are in and how to contact you if there is any kind of emergency.
World Nomads is our go-to travel insurance company. We love them because they cover injuries from tons of adventure-related activities, and in Costa Rica, you will likely be taking on some serious adventure! They are also just an all around great company to deal with.
Let us know if you have questions about any of these websites for Costa Rica in the comment section below. Also, if you have found a great site that helped you plan your Costa Rica travels, we’d love to hear about it!
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