9008963452?profile=originalCosta Rica is one of the hottest holiday destinations of 2016, but planning a vacation to Costa Rica can be overwhelming given the seemingly endless choices of what to do, and where to go and stay. A simple Google search for “Costa Rica vacations” yields close to 78 million results!

Who has the time to research all of that information? You just want a vacation, right?

To help you plan your perfect Costa Rica vacation, see these essential insider travel tips from travel expert Eliot Greenspan of Costa Rica Custom Trips and author of Frommer’s Costa Rica, Costa Rica for Dummies, and Costa Rica Day By Day.

1. Choose the dates you can travel
and buy your airline tickets.

Insider Tip:
the best time to travel to Costa Rica is in the in-between seasons – after Easter week to mid-June, and early November through the first two weeks of December. Weather is good and crowds are low. Avoid the Christmas holidays -- the busiest time of year.

There are dozens of daily flights to Costa Rica, and now with new direct flights from London on Thomson Airways and British Airways, travelers from Europe have more options to visit Costa Rica.

2. Choose your interests:
adventure, nature, wildlife, spa, surfing, honeymoons, etc. to better plan where you go and what you do.

Insider Tip:
Destinations that are off the beaten path are worth looking into for fewer crowds and a unique, special experience. For a unique experience at an off-the-beaten-path destination, visit Portasol Living on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast. The extraordinary eco-development gives you the best of Costa Rica rainforest and beaches.

3. Plan your time

Insider Tip: don’t try to do too much.
It is easy to try to cram too much into a week-long vacation to Costa Rica. “Costa Rica is built for a minimum of 9 days if you want to really get a feel for a few different places,” said Greenspan. But if you only have a week, stick with two to three destinations maximum.

4. Rent a car or hire transport?

Insider Tip:
“In terms of cost, it’s almost the same to rent a car or do private transfers. After that, it’s a matter of personal preference,” noted Greenspan. Private transfers make life easier; but if you want more independence and flexibility, then rent a car.

5. Can you use your cell phone?

Insider Tip: bring an unlocked cell phone and it is easy to get a local SIM card for pre-paid Costa Rica cell phone service for as little as $2. It is easy to replenish and very inexpensive, especially compared to roaming charges from your home service. Wi-Fi is very prevalent throughout the country.


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