Manuel Antonio Costa Rica

Playa Linda, Costa Rica, by Portasol Living

Costa Rica is one of the hottest holiday destinations of 2016. Especially since it was named one of the safest places to visit around the world in 2016.

Planning a vacation to Costa Rica, however, 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?

You can save time and money by using a knowledgeable travel agent to do your Costa Rica vacation planning for you.

Air travelTo help you plan your perfect Costa Rica vacation, we turned to travel expert Eliot Greenspan of Costa Rica Custom Trips for essential insider travel tips. Author of Frommer’s Costa Rica, Costa Rica for Dummies, and Costa Rica Day By Day, Greenspan, who has lived in Costa Rica for 24 years, creates personalized Costa Rica vacations for savvy travelers.

“There’s almost too much information on the internet about Costa Rica. And the online reviews are a really mixed bag,” noted Greenspan, who added that while anyone can go online and book a hotel room, Costa Rica has logistical challenges that make having an agent’s help irreplaceable.

Ready to get going on your Costa Rica holiday? To get started:

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. “Christmas is crazy; last year we stopped accepting clients for Christmas in July because everything was full,” said Greenspan.

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

British Airways flies to 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.

Costa Rica wildlife at Portasol Living

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.

Manuel Antonio Costa Rica

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.

Cazuela Waterfall & Portalon River at Portasol Living

For that unique experience at an off-the-beaten-path destination, visit Portasol Rainforest & Ocean View Living on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast. The extraordinary eco-development gives you the best of Costa Rica’s two main attractions: the rainforest and beaches. Take advantage of their Costa Rica vacation deal of up to 35% off vacation lodging from now through June 30, 2016.

Portasol Vacation bungalow

Set on a private reserve of pure rainforest, Portasol Living is 10 minutes from beautiful, uncrowded tropical beaches. Famous Manuel Antonio National Park – named a best beach in the world – is just to the north, and the surfing hotspot of Dominical, along with remarkable whale-watching in the Ballena Marine National Park, is under an hour to the south. You are close enough to easily visit, but out of the crowds.

Contact Portasol Living for an unforgettable vacation in one of their Costa Rica vacation rentals.

Matapalo Beach Costa Rica by Portasol Living

Article by Shannon Farley

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