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NEW! Our awesome Costa Rica Destination Tool filters 66 destinations by nearly 150 criteria to help you quickly and easily decide where to go in Costa Rica according to your unique preferences, wants, and needs. Learn more and access the tool on our sister site, DIY Costa Rica, here.

Where To Go In Costa Rica: Determining the Best Places To Visit During Your Trip

Where To Go In Costa Rica: Determining the Best Places To Visit During Your Trip

Last updated on May 30th, 2022 at 01:46 pm EST

Welcome to Disney World! Uh, we mean, Costa Rica!

Costa Rica is the Disney World of Central America. It’s a sought-after tourist destination, it welcomes millions of visitors each year, and it’s entertaining and enjoyable enough to keep travelers coming back time and time again. It’s also a magical place that hosts cultural representations, provides adrenaline-inducing experiences, and showcases an impressive animal kingdom. Even if you haven’t traveled to the destination yourself, you probably know someone who has or who is headed here shortly because Costa Rica is simply too fabulous to miss. Consider this: just shy of 200 countries fan out over the globe but it seems everyone has Costa Rica at the top of their must-see list. Perhaps it really is a small world after all.

If you’re already sold on traveling to Costa Rica and you’re at the stage where you’re trying to figure out exactly which cities, towns, and/or beach communities you should visit, we can help! We can also read your mind. Right about now you’re thinking: “I’m overwhelmed!” “There are too many places to choose from!” “Help me decide where to go!” Or better yet, “Save me the time, and just tell me where to go!” Done and done.

Not sure where to go in Costa Rica? Meet our Costa Rica Destination Tool.

Back in 2008, we began working with travelers one on one to help them discover where they should go in Costa Rica. We had a lot more free time then, and we would spend hours, days, and sometimes weeks helping each visitor pinpoint the perfect Costa Rica destination(s) for them. Over the years, we channeled a lot of our advice into this blog (sadly, a lot of it has been copied or paraphrased by competing Costa Rica blogs that were created after ours) and we funneled our recommendations into our sister project, DIY Costa Rica, so our knowledge could reach a broader audience. (If you aren’t yet familiar with DIY Costa Rica, you can learn more about the project here.) While we did this, one question remained on our minds: how can we continue to provide tailored, traveler-focused guidance, albeit to a large volume of visitors who want to quickly and easily decide where to go in Costa Rica?

When we looked back on the time we spent working one on one with travelers, and all of the things we learned about people in general that influenced our destination recommendations, the answer became clear: we needed to develop a straightforward, user-friendly resource that could serve as our mini-me, asking all of the questions we used to ask and collecting all of the answers we used to collect. More specifically, we needed to computerize our thoughts so you and other travelers could tap into them at any moment, and we needed whatever resource we built to be dynamic so you could explore different options and change your mind freely throughout the planning process. This challenging, complicated feat resulted in our awesome Costa Rica Destination Tool—an online questionnaire-based resource that has the ability to analyze your vacation preferences, wants, and needs, and provide you with one or more fitting recommendations for the perfect place(s) for you to visit in Costa Rica. In short, our Costa Rica Destinations Tool is the culmination of more than a decade’s worth of lessons learned from us working directly with travelers, and it’s our best recommendation if you’re wondering where to go in Costa Rica. If you’ve ever wanted to ask us this question, here’s your chance. Simply enter your preferences, wants, and needs into our Costa Rica Destination Tool, and the results page will tell you exactly where we think you should go.

How our Costa Rica Destination Tool can help you determine where to go in Costa Rica

Currently, our Costa Rica Destination Tool allows you to filter 66 Costa Rica destination recommendations according to nearly 150 different criteria that span the following categories: geographical region, popularity, atmosphere/vibe/style, ecosystems, climate/temperature, cultural interests, must-have sites and attractions, must-experience tours and activities, accommodation types, and other must-haves and preferences. Below are several examples of the types of inquiries that our Costa Rica Destination Tool can assist you with. Please keep in mind that the below images are simply screenshots of the tool and not the actual tool itself. To access the Costa Rica Destination Tool, please visit this page.

Where to go in Costa Rica if you have a specific region in mind

If you’ve already conducted some research for your trip, you may have already decided which region of the country you want to visit. For example, if you’re drawn to the beautiful beaches that edge the Nicoya Peninsula or the Guanacaste/Northern Pacific coast, you can choose to limit our recommendations to either of those areas. Perhaps you want to experience the culture on the Caribbean coast or see the wildlife that the Osa Peninsula is known for. If so, you can limit our recommendations to one of those areas too. Simply select one region from the eight geographical areas provided and our Costa Rica Destination Tool will deliver recommendations for destinations in that region.

Where to go in Costa Rica if you want a destination that’s popular, off the beaten path, or somewhere in between

Do you want to station yourself at a popular place in Costa Rica so you can stay close to other visitors, surround yourself with plenty of estabishments and services, or be near the country’s top experiences? Would you prefer to hole up at places that few other travelers frequent? No matter where you fall on this spectrum, our Costa Rica destination tool can help you discover destinations that are as popular (or as far from being popular) as you want.

Where to go in Costa Rica if you want a destination with a particular atmosphere, vibe, or style

Costa Rica destinations are as unique as the people who visit them. Are you looking to visit a place that’s secluded, luxurious, exclusive, and/or romatic? Laid-back and/or tranquil? Lively, artsy, and/or metropolitan? Or simply family-friendly? If one or more of these vibes is your style, select it/them on our Costa Rica destination tool and you’ll receive recommendations for destinations that provide the atmosphere you’re after.

Where to go in Costa Rica if you want to experience a particular ecosystem

You may have heard that Costa Rica is home to a variety of ecosystems and is replete with the flora and fauna that inhabits those ecosystems. If you want to immerse yourself in a particular ecosystem, select it on our Costa Rica destination tool and you’ll receive recommendations for destinations that showcase it.

Where to go in Costa Rica if you want to experience a specific temperature or climate

Costa Rica is home to a variety of microclimates. This means that the atmospheric conditions you’ll experience in Costa Rica depend largely on where you go and that it doesn’t matter if you prefer cool, warm, or hot temperatures, Costa Rica has a fitting destination for you. If experiencing a particular climate is important to you, use our Costa Rica destination tool to learn where you should go in Costa Rica according to the weather you’d like to experience.

Where to go in Costa Rica if you want to immerse yourself in a particular culture

Perhaps you’d like to experience a particular culture while exploring Costa Rica, and if so, you’ll need to know where pockets of that culture exist. Fortunately, our Costa Rica Destination Tool can deliver this information; just select the type of culture you’d like to immerse yourself in and the tool will provide recommended destinations where the culture can be found.

Where to go in Costa Rica if you want to experience a particular site or attraction

The list of sites and attractions that draws travelers to Costa Rica is endless. Surely, you have your own list of must-see sights in Costa Rica, and our Costa Rica Destination Tool makes it easy for you to turn that list into a decision regarding the best place(s) to visit so you can do and see everything you want. All that’s required is that you select the sites and/or attractions you want to experience during your trip, and our Costa Rica Destination Tool will tell you where to go to do and see it all.

Where to go in Costa Rica if you want to participate in a particular tour or activity

Similar to the set of must-have sites and attractions described above, our Costa Rica Destination Tool allows you to select the tours and activities you want to experience during your trip. Simply choose the tours and/or activities that interest you, and our Costa Rica Destination Tool will supply recommendations for destinations that provide all of your desired experiences.

Where to go in Costa Rica if you want to stay at a specific type of accommodation

Does your interest in traveling to Costa Rica involve staying at a specific type of accommodation? Maybe you dream of lounging around a luxurious, all-inclusive (or non-all-inclusive) resort or renting a condo. Perhaps you dig more natural accommodations and would enjoy kicking back at a rustic cabin, cabina, casita, bungalow, or lodge. If you’re looking to meet new travel mates, you may want to stay at a hostel, and if you don’t plan on spending a lot of time at your accommodation, you may decide that a room at a standard hotel is all you need. If one or more of these accommodation types speaks to you, simply select it/them on our Costa Rica Destination Tool to discover destinations in Costa Rica where the accommodation types can be found.

Where to go in Costa Rica if you have other preferences, wants, and needs

Having worked with thousands of travelers over many, many years, we’ve learned that every Costa Rica visitor is vastly different. Fittingly, our Costa Rica Destination Tool is able to process additional criteria that accounts for some truly unique (and equally important) requests and desires. For example, if you hate traveling on bumpy roads and you want recommendations for Costa Rica destinations that can be accessed via paved roads only, you can search by that criterion. If you want to learn which Costa Rica destinations have a decent variety of vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free restaurants, you can search by that criterion too. Need a hospital in town? Want to avoid mountainous destinations? In search of Costa Rica’s best nightlife? You can narrow down our Costa Rica destination recommendations according to these random criteria and more with the help of our trusty Costa Rica Destination Tool.

To learn more about our Costa Rica Destination Tool, see the tool’s page on our sister site, DIY Costa Rica:

Learn about our Costa Rica Destination Tool on DIY Costa Rica

QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: What other criteria would you like to be able to select when deciding where to go in Costa Rica?

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Where To Go In Costa Rica: Determining the Best Places To Visit During Your Trip
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Where To Go In Costa Rica: Determining the Best Places To Visit During Your Trip
Description
Use our Costa Rica Destination Tool to filter 66 Costa Rica destination recommendations according to nearly 150 different criteria. Learn more!
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The Official Costa Rica Travel Blog
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