Costa Rica

Costa Rica Tree FrogCosta Rica Coffee BeansCosta Rica ArtCosta Rica VolanoCosta Rica TurtlesCosta Rica Puerto Viejo FishermenCosta Rica Beach SunsetCosta Rica IguanaCosta Rica BeachesCosta Rica Montesuma OropendolaCosta Rica Sloth

Name: Republic of Costa Rica
Population: 4.8 million
Capital: San José
Language: Spanish
Currency: Costa Rican Colón (CRC)
Time Zone: UTC -6

Country Information
Pura vida (“real life”) has become the unofficial motto of Costa Rica. And for a reason. Costa Rica is, in essence, a slice of tropical paradise in Central America, and its inhabitants, AKA “the ticos”, are justifiably proud of it. Perfect waves for surfing, breath-taking sunsets, misty crater lakes, waterfall-filled hiking trails, white-water rapids, sun-kissed beaches, adventure-filled paths and wildlife that includes howler monkeys, capuchins and other friendly-looking animals await you in this small, yet magnificently varied country.

Climate
Costa Rica has a reputation for being a tropical paradise, and rightly so. However, due to its diverse terrain, the country boasts a range of different climates.

Costa Rica has no real summer or winter due to its proximity to the equator, and the average temperature ranges from 21°C to 27°C. However, a rainy season does exist, and takes place between May and November.
The central valley is often cooler than the coastal areas.

The Pacific coast tends to be hot and dry all year-round, especially the northern part (known as the Gold Coast), while the highlands (around Monteverde) are filled with mist during much of the year, due to the high altitude. The Caribbean coast is quite hot and moist, and receives rain during most of the year. The lowlands have quite a warm climate, with an average temperature of 26°C, and the Central Valley, including San José, is said to have the best climate in the country.

Culture
Costa Rican culture, as in most Latin American countries, is heavily influenced by Spain, as a result of colonization. However, parts of the country have other strong influences, such as that of Limón, which has more of a Jamaican feel to it. There are also several indigenous areas throughout the country.

A great part of the music and folklore of Costa Rica comes from the north of the country, where Mayan culture mixes with Afro-Caribbean trends. Costa Rica has a distinctive musical genre known as punto and most of its music can be easily distinguished by a very unique rhythm known as tambito.

Costa Rica goes by the motto Pura Vida, which means “pure life” and the phrase can be used as a greeting or a farewell, or just to say “that’s great” or “all’s good”. The phrase was originally from a Mexican film, but was soon adopted by Costa Ricans, and is used in several contexts to express a positive outlook on life.

Gastronomy
The cuisine of Costa Rica relies heavily on fresh fruits and vegetables as well as fish and meat. Rice and black beans are traditional and included in most meals. Potatoes are another staple of Costa Rican gastronomy as wells as plantain, a member of the banana family.

Due to the tropical location of the country, you will be able to find many exotic fruits that you might have never heard of before!

Due to the amount of tourism that Costa Rica boasts, international food is offered in many sites – from Japanese to Mexican to Peruvian.

Transportation
By Plane
Two domestic airlines (NatureAir and Sansa) connect major tourist towns

By Shared shuttle
Shared shuttles are available to popular destinations on a daily basis and they will pick you up from your accommodation and return you, making them the most stress-free option.

By Bus
Traveling by public bus is the most affordable way to get around Costa Rica. It can be time-consuming for many Costa Ricans, as many routes are based in and out of San José. However, Esparza is 1.5 hrs away from San Jose by direct bus, and Puntarenas has access to much of the Pacific Coast by bus, so Esparza is well situated for bus transport to the whole country and beyond.

For more information on Costa Rica check out the Costa Rica Tourism Board website here.

  • Care Work Volunteer Project in Costa Rica

    Esparza, Costa Rica

    22 people
    14 days
    Code: CRVCW1
    Activity and Adventure, Care Work, Children, Community, Early Learning, Volunteering Abroad
    You will work with the daycare and preschool kids, between the ages of 6 months and 6 years. The centre is bilingual, but none of the staff are mother-tongue English speakers. This placement is ...
    From £550Member Price £525
    More Info £25 off
  • Marine Conservation and Animal Rescue in Costa Rica

    Esparza, Costa Rica

    22 people
    28 days
    Code: CRVCN1
    Activity and Adventure, Coastal Conservation, Fish Conservation, Marine and Wildlife, Turtle Conservation, Volunteering Abroad
    Get involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of sea birds, mammals, and reptiles, before they are released to the wild - not many people can say that they have cleaned a shark!
    From £950Member Price £925
    More Info £25 off
  • Multi-Sport Coaching in Costa Rica

    Esparza, Costa Rica

    22 people
    14 days
    Code: CRVMS1
    Activity and Adventure, Cricket, Football, Sports Coaching, Volunteering Abroad
    Develop the sporting skills of children in rural government schools and give them the benefit of exposure to other cultures. Teach in one of the many rural schools around Esparza and get an ...
    From £550Member Price £525
    More Info £25 off
  • Teach English Project in Costa Rica

    Esparza, Costa Rica

    22 people
    14 days
    Code: CRVTC1
    Activity and Adventure, English, Primary, Secondary, Teaching, Volunteering Abroad
    Teach English to children in a fun and practical way! Create real-life situations, games and other activities while utilizing your mother tongue. There is a lot of freedom for your own creativity ...
    From £550Member Price £525
    More Info £25 off
  • Costa Rica Family Holiday

    Costa Rica,

    18 people
    15 days
    Code: QCFR
    Activity and Adventure, Family, Tours, Wildlife
    Experience the drama of Costa Rica’s landscapes, the real flavours of its culture and cuisine and uncover the country’s adventurous heart. This Family Adventure has been specially crafted to ...
    From £1,695Member Price £1,655
    More Info £40 off
  • Costa Rica Family Adventure

    Costa Rica,

    16 people
    8 days
    Code: QCFS
    Activity and Adventure, Family, Tours, Wildlife
    Travel to Costa Rica on this tailored family tour and encounter a country bursting with natural beauty, charm and opportunities for adventure. Spot wildlife in some of the country’s most abundant ...
    From £1,395Member Price £1,365
    More Info £30 off
  • Central America Discovery

    Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua,

    16 people
    53 days
    Code: QVBCC
    Activity and Adventure, Discovery, Tours
    Discover the heart of Mexico's Aztec, Zapotec, Mayan and Spanish cultures on this journey spanning ruins, pueblos and beaches. Arrive in Mexico and travel through the mad metropolis of Mexico ...
    From £5,295Member Price £5,245
    More Info £50 off
  • Complete Central America

    Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama,

    16 people
    65 days
    Code: QVBDC
    Activity and Adventure, Discovery, Tours
    Discover the heart of Mexico's Aztec, Zapotec, Mayan and Spanish cultures on this journey spanning ruins, pueblos and beaches. Arrive in Mexico and travel through the mad metropolis of Mexico ...
    From £6,480Member Price £6,430
    More Info £50 off
  • San Jose Stopover

    Costa Rica, Guatemala,

    12 people
    4 days
    Code: QVHS
    Activity and Adventure, Discovery, Tours
    You savour San Jose the same way you do a mug of velvety Costa Rican coffee. To really appreciate this Central American gem you need time for all its subtle notes to reveal themselves – plus a ...
    From £1,290Member Price £1,260
    More Info £30 off
  • Essence of Central America

    Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico,

    12 people
    30 days
    Code: QVKAC
    Activity and Adventure, Discovery, Tours
    Discover the culture and landscapes of this fascinating region on a trip that takes you from Mexico City to Havana to San Jose – with a spattering of enticing stops along the way. In Mexico, ...
    From £8,160Member Price £8,110
    More Info £50 off
  • Mexico & Costa Rica Experience

    Costa Rica, Mexico,

    12 people
    23 days
    Code: QVKBC
    Activity and Adventure, Discovery, Tours
    Encounter the vivacious beauty and fiery flavours of Mexico and Costa Rica. Discover the culture, landscapes of this fascinating region on a trip that takes you from Mexico City to San Jose, ...
    From £5,240Member Price £5,190
    More Info £50 off
  • Cuba & Costa Rica Discovery

    Costa Rica, Cuba,

    16 people
    16 days
    Code: QVKCC
    Activity and Adventure, Discovery, Tours
    Cuba's imminent political and cultural change makes it something to experience now before it evolves. Wander through Havana’s glittering colonial architecture, soak up the clear mountain air ...
    From £3,345Member Price £3,295
    More Info £50 off
  • Costa Rica Express

    Costa Rica,

    12 people
    9 days
    Code: QVKR
    Activity and Adventure, Discovery, Tours
    The jewel of Central America, Costa Rica's environment is world-renowned for being diverse, vibrant and healthy. If you’re short on time but want a taste of this country's unique sights then jump ...
    From £1,625Member Price £1,585
    More Info £40 off
  • Costa Rica & Panama Discovery

    Costa Rica, Panama,

    16 people
    13 days
    Code: QVRC
    Activity and Adventure, Discovery, Tours
    Adventure-lovers rejoice! Here is a trip that delivers pure beach bliss, idyllic islands, curious creatures and small towns packed with charm. First travel to Costa Rica to uncover cultural gems ...
    From £1,210Member Price £1,180
    More Info £30 off
  • Central American Journey

    Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua,

    16 people
    17 days
    Code: QVRJ
    Activity and Adventure, Discovery, Tours
    Get ready for a fast-paced adventure through the best of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. From beautiful black-sand beaches to tropical forests alive with jungle ...
    From £1,635Member Price £1,595
    More Info £40 off

Total: 40 activities .    Showing 1 - 15 view all

Search for Activity

Not what you're looking for? Try your search again

  • Intensive Spanish Course in Costa Rica-1
    3
    Intensive Spanish Course in Costa Rica

    Esparza, Costa Rica

    15 people
    14 days
    Code: 389
    Learn Languages
    Get a solid grounding in Spanish with our two or four week courses while enjoying Costa Rica and practicing your new skills with locals!These intensive Spanish courses were tailored either as ...
    From £1,200Member Price £1,080
    More Info 10% off
  • Language Teaching in Costa Rica-1
    4
    Language Teaching in Costa Rica

    Esparza, Costa Rica

    15 people
    Code: 384
    Learn Languages
    Give back to the local rural community by teaching children in government schools and by giving them exposure to other cultures and languages.Teach in one of the many rural schools around Esparza ...
    From £400Member Price £360
    More Info 10% off

Total: 2 learn opportunities .    Showing 1 - 2 view all

Search for Learn Opportunities

Not what you're looking for? Try your search again

Loading Maps
View
Normal Midnight Family Fest Open dark Riverside Ozan
My Location Fullscreen

From wildlife-packed rainforests to incredible waterfalls to surfing paradise beaches, Costa Rica will not disappoint. Endless options await you and your career break.

Visit our Career Break Costa Rica section to start your adventure.