Me and my friend are planning a trip to Costa Rica next summer. I've researched the different regions but am unsure of which to go to. Does anyone have any experience traveling there to either the Pacific side or the Caribbean side? What mode of transportation would be best to get around the country?
Also, any suggestions on where to go that do not include touristy areas?
Ignore Caribbean side. It's all about the Pacific.
25% of the country is parkland and protected. The reason to go to this country is to enjoy that protected nature (and it's waters) by going to their National Parks. So, you do a little guided rafting trip combined with cloud walk/ rappelling trip. Dirt cheap. Enjoy a little eco-beachlike hotel or lodge on the coast, shower outside, stay in a treehouse open air kind of room, kind of thing...enjoy delicious food...all in safety.
Costa Rica isn't too hard to navigate.
I went to Costa Rica a few years ago. I hear they have nice all-inclusives, but I try to experience the most "real" aspect of a place as I can. I spent over a week in Montezuma, which admittedly is more geared for tourists than it used to be, but ehh.
I landed at San Jose International. I rented a car through a company called Vamos, nice people..good prices, and everything wen well. I even broke the key to the door and they were cool about it.
Anyway, drove from airport to the west coast Nicoya peninsula. First time I ever rented a car, even. Took the car ferry across. I did a lot of reading so none of this was too difficult.
Rented a cabin through flipkey or tripadvisor or something.. anyway, about $400 for the week. No A/C, but electricity, killer view and outdoor shower. (Montezuma Heights) Really nice owner with sweet daughter and two cute dogs.
Spent the vacation driving around the peninsula, going to the beach below the cabin and hanging out in town.
In hindsight, would have liked to do more exciting things, and experience more in general. I hear the cloud forest & volcanoes are awesome. Costa Rica also has the worlds only "natural" waterslide or something. Check it out, it's bananas.
I'll dump some pictures. I have a vacation video..but it's nothing you can't already find on youtube.
Pacific side is vastly superior.
For transport, I really liked the bus system there. Goes just about everywhere, nice and cheap, not as absurdly crowded as other Latin American buses.
If you want to go to non-touristy areas, I hope you speak Spanish well enough to find your way around. It'll be a tremendous help.
Im also interested in going to Costa Rica this summer, probably july for 3-4 weeks. Im taking spanish in college so I should be able to communicate well enough.
I want to go to a latin country this summer but im not entirely sold on Costa Rica, Ive heard peru and ecuador are nice but im not sure.
Will it be too hot in Costa Rica in july?
>too hot in Costa Rica in July
You do realize that there aren't exactly seasons in the tropics, right? The weather is pretty much the same year-round except for some months having more rain than others.
In terms of niceness, Costa Rica is overall better than Peru, which is overall better than Ecuador, but they all have good places.