This beautiful country known as Costa Rica has immense biodiversity. It is a perfect place for anyone who loves water activities especially diving. A wide area on the land of this country is home to wildlife-protected areas, and these include the celebrated Cocos Island National Park, which is also a world heritage site. It was even known as the happiest country in the world in the year 2019. Costa Rica is well-known for striking wildlife, adventure sports, and tropical cloud jungles. Almost one-third part of this country is reserved for wildlife protection, and it is popular for its green and clean environment.
Costa Rica is a paradise to witness natural attractions, with volcanoes, seashores, cloud jungles, and unique flora and fauna. This is a nation that calls for bird-watchers, adventure seekers, give-backpackers, and luxury travelers as in the case of surfers and backpackers. Some of the best museums can be found in the busy city of San Jose, but actual Costa Rica can be explored beyond the cities in the forests and coasts.
With Discover Costa Rica guided tours, your tour guide will take care of your plans completely. A trip to this beautiful place is all you need if you are someone who loves being close to nature and greenery. By booking your Costa Rica package from us we remove the stress of planning your trip, simply book and join this award-winning tour! Our Costa Rica group tours are meant to bring the same explorers of nature together. Let's give you an insight into what this whole adventure travel Costa Rica experience is like. Our tour guide also answers some of the most commonly asked questions about Costa Rica tours by people just like you.
Your most frequently asked questions about Costa Rica
The best and most preferred time of the year is from December to April, those are the driest seasons in the year. You can expect to see a lot of sun in these months, and the temperature will be somewhere 70 degrees. The rainy season is when the country looks green and pleasant. On the other hand, you must pick the time for your tour according to the kind of activity you wish to do as there are some adventures and activities that are climate specific like the coming out of turtles and laying eggs and much more this amazing country has to offer.
A citizen of America will not be in need of a visa to visit Costa Rica unless they wish to stay more than 90 days in the country. Along with that, a valid passport is a must. If you want to travel from other countries, then you can check the website of the Costa Rican Embassy to know the requirements.
Yes, Costa Rica is an extremely safe country to visit with anyone, including friends, children, and family. The country got a "Level 1" travel advisory given by the U.S. Department of State, which is lower than the current advisories for most countries. Costa Rica is so often looked upon as the benchmark country in Latin America due to its respected democracy and moderately low poverty rate. Our Costa Rica group holidays are designed to keep the safety of you and our group in mind. You can leave all your worries behind and just enjoy the tour.
Pura Vida translates to "pure" and "simple," which is very apt looking at the lifestyle of this beautiful country that is so close to nature. It is a common greeting that people use or even as a response to "how are you?". People of Costa Rica believe in being appreciative of the small joys in life and live in a very laid-back way. The government, too, has been very active in improving education, healthcare, and retirement plans. All this leads to a happier nation. The beaches of this beautiful country are always clean and provide a soothing experience to anyone who pays a visit.
Most of the tourists in Costa Rica opt to rent a car. This is an easier and budget-friendly way to travel to the large number of wonders of nature that are sure to be on your bucket list while you planned for this trip. After all, national parks and biodiversity are what people come here for. Adventure tours in Costa Rica always include various natural sites. Book a tour with us for the same, and there is nothing you need to worry about.
Tipping people in restaurants and other places is not as prominent as in most countries like the United States. Eateries in Costa Rica typically add a 10-percent service charge to the total bill only. Tourists, however, sometimes tip their travel guides or drivers that take them from destination to destination. For taxi drivers, you can give some extra amount over the total bill to give them some tips. Other than that, if you do not wish to, then also it is completely fine, and it isn't considered rude at all.
Yup! Costa Rica's pledge to being close to nature is something that people all over the world are aware of. The nation aims to become carbon neutral in the coming years, and most of its electrical energy even now comes from natural resources, mostly through hydroelectricity which is a renewable resource.
Making use of water to produce electrical energy has stopped the devastation of Costa Rica's famed forests; as of 2005, deforestation has closely halted completely. Apart from that, 25% of the country's land is covered by national parks, and the rest has a lot covered by biodiversity. Costa Rica trips are sure to mesmerize anyone that is close to nature. Most of its land is covered in greenery, and it is very pleasing to the eye of anyone that visits this country.
Always remember to carry clothes that are light and airy as the weather can get humid sometimes. In some regions, it can get a little cold as well, so remember to carry maybe a jacket or a light sweater for the same. Apart from that, always check the weather forecast for the month you are planning your trip. Book a tour from us, and we are sure to guide you on which months are the best and what the weather is like during that time so you can pack accordingly.
Costa Rica is a great destination for anyone who enjoys bird watching, ecology buffs, natural historiographers, and nature enthusiasts of any kind. Manuel Antonio National Park, for example, is a well-known destination for tourists that come to have a look at the wild monkeys. You can also see the Osa Peninsula, Scarlet macaws, hummingbirds, marine turtles, sloths, toucans, bats, iguanas – and many more, and the list goes on and on.
Our Costa Rica group vacations are something to consider as you can enjoy with your friends and family. These tours are tailored to fit your traveling needs.
Our Costa Rica tours are suitable for anyone who is either into exploring this land of wildlife for various reasons like wildlife photography, anyone who is an eco-nature lover, Costa Rica is sure to keep you well after your adventure tour is over!
Firstly, on behalf of everybody at Bamboo, | would like to offer you our thanks for choosing to experience this incredible part of the world with us. We guarantee you an amazing time and we're all very much looking forward to meeting you in Costa Rica soon.
| imagine that right now you’re very excited about your upcoming adventure and this little guide has been put together to help you understand more about what will be happening, what to expect, how to plan and more. We guarantee your time with us will be unforgettable from start to end.
Bamboo is growing as our style of 'travel' has proven to be the ‘way’ to travel. You are now a part of this journey and we welcome you with open arms and hearts. This growing experience is down to people like you, so get stuck in, become part of our way of life, live every moment and take nothing for granted.
Peace, Love & Bamboo
Mark (& the other Panda, Colin)
Soak up the stunning vistas of the lrazu Volcano National Park
Wake up to sounds of the jungle in Manuel Antonio
Chill out for sunsets on breathtaking beaches.
Embrace a fascinating and captivating culture
Sample authentic and traditional, mouth-watering cuisine
Learn about the continuing work being done to sustain and replenish the local wildlife
Not all people who wish to travel to Costa Rica need a tourist visa; this will depend on your nationality, the purpose of visit, country of residence and duration of stay.
Visa requirements are based on international agreements or treaties. However, the visa does not guarantee entry to Costa Rica.
We recommend that you check the following website to check if you require a visa or not.
You will need to be able to prove that you have an exit flight from Costa Rica upon arrival. This must either be printed or available to show upon request. You will not be granted entry without this information to hand.
It is essential that you arrange travel insurance providing suitable cover for the duration of your trip before you travel.
Bamboo offers a comprehensive policy through our partners AHI. For more information, click here.
Native Costa Ricans call themselves Ticos and Ticas.
Costa Rica has a 96% literacy rate. For rural areas where children can't make it to school, lessons are taught over a national radio station
The Colón (named after Christopher Columbus, known as Cristóbal Colón in Spanish) is the currency of Costa Rica. The plural is colones.
When it comes to advice on how much money to bring, it’s entirely up to you. All our BamFam members are very different.
Where some go all out, others are on a budget. You can find both high end and budget restaurants, bars and shops.
ATMs, or cash machines, are prevalent throughout Costa Rica with the exception of when you are volunteering. We recommend that you bring some currency with you, which you can change before touch down in Costa Rica, or if you prefer at the airport once you arrive. Please remember that ATM machines will charge you for withdrawals, and you should bear this in mind when budgeting.
As mentioned above you will be issued the local currency called colón. Typical exchange rates are:
$1 - 560 CRC
£1 - 748 CRC
In the touristy areas of Costa Rica you can spend USD along with colones.
We don’t recommend bringing traveller's cheques with you. The reason is that banks across Costa Rica have odd hours of operating, and it may cause unnecessary hassle finding a bank open when you wish to make a transaction. Major credit cards are widely accepted in Costa Rica.
Larger hotels and restaurants may accept credit cards, but in general cash is king.
FAST FACTS: MONEY
Basic costs of things:
Remember to tell your bank that you are leaving the country to avoid your cards getting blocked.
For up to date information about the best travel vaccinations to have before arriving in Costa Rica we urge you to contact your own GP, travel health clinic or check the World Health Organisations website. Bamboo are not medical professionals and therefore can’t offer you medical advice.
Thanks to the world wide web we all now have access to great flight deals through websites such as Skyscanner, Google Flights and more. If you’d rather use the services of a booking agent, the likes of Trailfinders and Flight Centre are available online.
To be eligible for the airport pick-up, please arrange your flight to arrive at San Jose International Airport on the day that your tour starts between the hours of 8am and 6pm.
The tour ends two weeks later in San Jose. From there you’ll need to make your own arrangements for onward travel.
Once you have booked and confirmed your flight to Costa Rica, please make sure that you have shared your flight arrival time and flight number with our team.
Without those details we will be unable to guarantee your collection on arrival.
San Jose International Airport can be a busy airport and also a confusing place. Please read these details carefully so you are prepared on arrival.
You will need to complete an arrivals card when you land in San Jose, before passing through immigration. This will ask for where you are staying in Costa Rica. You will be staying in the Barrio Escalante area of the city. The name and address of the hotel will be confirmed approximately 14 days before your arrival so please make a note of this when you receive it.
Once you have passed through immigration (Passport Control) you’ll need to turn left and collect your luggage from one of the carousels before heading through the exit.
Once through you will enter the busy main arrivals area. You will see a crowd of taxi drivers but go straight through them until you find our Bamboo team member holding a Bamboo sign.
They should be easily recognizable with their Bamboo t-shirts. Once you’ve spotted our team, head over and introduce yourself, you will then receive further instructions.
Please bear in mind that we may be waiting for others to arrive, so your transfer to the hotel may not be immediate.
Once we have you we’ll transfer you to the hotel, help you check in and give you more details of what’s happening.
This first trip will take us from the capital city of San Jose to Puerto Jimenez. This will be by public bus with your guide and will take approximately 6 hours.
We'll be leaving around 8am - 9am and will aim to arrive by 2pm - 3pm.
This journey between Puerto Jimenez and the turtle project is much shorter, around just one and a half hours but is along dirt roads through the jungle!
After the turtle project, we'll head back to Puerto Jimenez for lunch and then continue on to Manuel Antonio. This journey to Manuel Antonio will take around three hours and will be in a private minivan -luxury!
The last leg of our trip is back to San Jose the night before your departure. It's approximately three hours drive from Manuel Antonio.
FUN FACTS: TRANSPORT
To cut down on high levels of pollution in San José, Costa Rica, car owners are forbidden to drive into the city one day out of the week. The forbidden day corresponds to the last number on their car’s license plate.
Throughout the tour, you'll be using a combination of private, air-conditioned buses, mini-vans or local public transport to travel overland
Any tour is only as good as the guide - fact. The input of a tour guide cannot be understated. Their input into your tour, their little insights, the off-the-beaten-track adventures, the knowledge and experiences that they share with you will make or break your time wherever you are in the world.
At Bamboo, we take the selection and training of our guides and coordinators very seriously. Each guide undertakes a structured training program of three months and only once we're convinced that they are genuine representatives of Bamboo are they signed up to the family.
Each of our tours has English-speaking guides to support you, answer your questions, educate you and to ensure that your time is unforgettable. From time to time we may have new guides-in-training on our tours. If you’re lucky to have a trainee on your tour, please be patient. They are undergoing training and therefore their knowledge won't be that of the trained and experienced guide who will be accompanying them.
Although not in any way expected or encouraged, anybody who goes over and above the call of duty to ensure that you have the very best time, may deserve a special little thank you.
Did you have extra special service in a restaurant? Did the bus driver make an additional pit-stop just for you? Did your guide go out of the way so that you could experience something unique? At Bamboo we're firm believers in Karma - what goes around most definitely comes around!
0. An open mind
1. Light 'work' clothes
2. Warm clothes for the evenings
3. Dark Clothes (Only during nesting months; July-December)
4. Work gloves
5. Flip flops or sandals
6. Trainers or sneakers
8. Insect spray
9. Hat & sunscreen
10. Reusable water bottle
11. Multi-use plug adapter
1. Medical Kit
4. Any home luxuries you simply can't live without
5. Card games or books
6. Day pack/small backpack
This lovely little guesthouse is set on a quiet street but within walking distance of bars and restaurants. This accommodation will also be exclusive to your group.
Rooms here will be on a dorm style basis but will be extremely comfortable.
Free WiFi is available throughout the guesthouse.
Ready, set, go...it's time to give back!
Your accommodation here will be dorm-style and you'll be sleeping on bunk beds with three other fellow travellers, with one bathroom per dorm.
The accommodation is basic but comfortable and clean. Towels are not provided so it is important that you bring your own.
Each room is equipped with mosquito nets and a fan to keep you cool at night.
Located in Puerto Jimenez, Cabinas Carolina offers double, triple and quadruple shared rooms with flat-screen TVs and cable channels. All rooms have air-conditioning and a private bathroom.
Outside there is a terrace and sun-deck as well as an on-site restaurant.
The Hotel Arboleda in Manuel Antonio is located perfectly on the beachfront allowing you to step out of your door and straight onto the sand!
With double, triple and quadruple shared rooms, all offering a balcony and private bathroom with a shower.
The adjacent Terraza del Sol restaurant offers great local food in a beautiful surrounding environment; with a jungle feel, right next to the beautiful Pacific Ocean!
Working with a local animal rescue centre, you will be contributing to the overall mission of rescue, rehabilitation and,where possible, the release of endangered Costa Rican wildlife. The main goal of the centre is to ensure the welfare of the animals housed at the centre and support them to recover from both physical and psychological wounds. Many animals at the centre have sadly suffered abuse in the tourism sector or illegal pet trade prior to their rescue. The centre not only helps to help these animals, but also raise awareness about their mistreatment.
The tasks you will be involved with may vary depending on the needs of the animals and the work going on at the time of your arrival. Some of the activities you may be assisting with could include:
Preparing a selection of healthy and natural food for each animal, you will learn more about the varying nutritional needs. Rather than just putting food in bowls, certain species benefit from foraging, as they would do in their natural habitat. We work to create enrichment through feeding; a foraging ball for monkeys or a fruit string or popsicle for birds who need to sharpen their beaks whilst pecking for food.
Many animals require active enrichment in and around their enclosures or cages. This encompasses quite a variety of work and can involve building 'toys', climbing apparatus, houses and swings. It's all about giving the animals additional opportunities to spend time in a more natural environment in order to keep them healthy and challenge them to follow their instincts.
It goes without saying that these beautiful creates deserve a clean and safe space to live in. You'll be involved in cleaning as well as checking the safety of enclosures and cages.
Raking trails, sweeping, fixing fencing and tending to trees and plants all help to keep the centre as natural, safe and beautiful as possible for both the staff and animals.
The conservation projects we support on the Pacific Coast are located on the country's southern Nicoyan Peninsula. They offer unique experiences where you'll be involved in sea turtle conservation and hands-on volunteer work; assisting in the protection of marine and terrestrial life resources as well as interacting with, and educating the local communities.
Nesting season for the turtles on the Pacific Coast is commonly between the months of July and December. This is normally when the turtles come ashore to nest and lay eggs on the beach. Please remember that the turtles are wild animals and sightings are never guaranteed, even during nesting season.
The projects operate year round and vital work is always being carried out to support the conservation of the animals and their environment.The tasks you will be assisting with may vary depending on when you travel but the sort of activities you can expect to be involved with could include:
Fishing nets, pollution and rubbish are one of the causes of the alarming decline in turtles hatching on these beaches. We'll work together to ensure the beaches are clean and safe for both the wildlife as well as the local community.
Educating the local community is an important part of the project's work. Without the support and engagement of the community, habits and customs will not change and their ecosystems will continue to suffer. Outreach activities range from school visits to workshops and environmental initiatives like recycling. The project also recruits and employs local members of the community, providing a wage and a better opportunity than poaching eggs to earn a living.
During turtle nesting season, we conduct nightly beach patrols. This is to ensure the turtles have a safe passage from the sea to hatch their offspring. We also count both turtles and eggs, relocating nests from the beach to the hatchery for protection.