A few nights ago, I was daydreaming about how often travellers ask us how to plan a trip to Costa Rica. I had just caught the tail end of the Academy Award winning movie The Help and I let Aibileen’s words “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” sink in. I also bawled like a baby at the end (spoiler alert!) when little Mae bangs on the windowpane for her beloved friend’s return. I wondered if fictitious little Mae would remember her maid’s words of wisdom that seemed to sweep her off her tiny feet each time they were recited, rightfully spoiling the toddler with insight and inspiration. I wondered if the help could do just that: aid in bringing about change in the mindset of the privileged by planting the civil rights seed and sprouting a new hope.
On a much more trivial note, I started thinking about the help we provide travellers with when it comes to their Costa Rica trip planning. With incredibly loose reference to the word “help”, (stripping it of any association with or leading up to the Civil Rights Movement in its use throughout this post), I would like to think that our style in assisting travellers build their ideal vacation is similar to the confidence-building strategy employed by Aibileen towards her precious Mae. You is kind. You is smart. You is important. That you are, you can, you will attitude resonates well with us and is something we hope comes across boldly throughout our writing and our work. If there is any one message that we aim to offer travellers throughout our business practice at Pura Vida! eh? Inc. it is that all travellers are capable of designing their own dream trip to Costa Rica no matter where in the country they plan to go, when they plan to travel, and how much money they have to spend. With a little help (in its most basic and utopian form: encouragement) anything is possible.
Allow us to be the Aibileen to your Mae. Let us work for you and with you. Let us shower you with support so you can cleanse yourself with confidence. Let us hold your hand and lead you far enough until you’ve listened to us, leaned on us, and learned from us as much as you need before giving it a go on your own. Oh, and while we’re at it, we’ll show you how to do so in the most cost-efficient way possible. 🙂
How To Plan A Trip To Costa Rica STEP #1: Explore our blog to familiarize yourself with the country and our general travel recommendations.
You may find our related blog posts helpful:
- When Is The Best Time Of Year To Travel To Costa Rica?
- Where To Go In Costa Rica: Determining The Best Places To Visit During Your Trip
- Which Costa Rica Beach Is Best For You? What To Know About The Northern Pacific Beaches
- Which Costa Rica Beach Is Best For You? What To Know About The Central Pacific Beaches
- Why You Should Visit La Fortuna (Arenal) During Your Trip To Costa Rica
- Should You Visit La Fortuna (Arenal), Monteverde, Or Both Destinations During Your Costa Rica Vacation?
- How To Make A Day Trip To Monteverde From La Fortuna (Arenal) Or Vice Versa
- Spots For The Soul: Great Places To Find Peace In Costa Rica
- Costa Rica Destinations: Common Name And Location Misunderstandings
- Comparing Costa Rica’s San Jose (SJO) And Liberia (LIR) Airports
Proceed to STEP #2 when you have determined how many days/nights you wish to travel for, the time of year you plan to travel during, which airport you would like to fly into and out of, and which Costa Rica destinations you would like to visit (a rough idea of destinations, including exact cities/towns/beaches, need not be narrowed down during this step).
How To Plan A Trip To Costa Rica STEP #2: Familiarize yourself with our recommended top-down approach to trip planning in order to narrow down the destinations (ie. the cities, towns, and/or beaches) that you would like to visit and how much time should be spent at each place.
Read our related blog post: Planning A Vacation To Costa Rica? READ THIS FIRST!
Browse through our online Costa Rica Tour Discounts database to not only determine which cities, towns, and/or beaches would be best to visit according to the tours/activities that interest you, but also determine how many days/nights you should spend at each destination according to the number of tours/activities you wish to participate in while in each area (if you are unsure whether you would like to participate in guided tours/activities during your trip, you may find our related blog post helpful: Guided Tours In Costa Rica: Are They Necessary, Valuable, And/Or Worthwhile?). Fortunately, travellers can quickly and easily search our recommended tour/activity listings according to a multitude of factors, including the following:
- Search all tours/activities by location in Costa Rica
- Search all tours/activities by activity type in Costa Rica
- Search all transportation-inclusive tours/activities in Costa Rica (ie. tours/activities that include transportation between two different cities in their rates)
- Search all tours/activities by tour operator in Costa Rica (ie. company provider name)
- Search all tours/activities by photos in Costa Rica
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica that are “family-friendly”
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica that are “fantastic for foodies”
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica that are “super for seniors”
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica that are education-based
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica that create an opportunity for cultural immersion
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica that create an opportunity for wildlife-spotting
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica that promotes personal pampering
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica that are time-savers (ie. that help maximize experience with minimal time)
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica that allow travellers to choose/build their own experiences
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica that require an overnight stay (ie. 2-day tours, 3-day tours, and 4-day tours)
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica that are guided adventures (ie. that include a guide with the experience)
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica that are self-guided adventures (ie. a guide is not included with the experience)
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica that do not require any previous experience
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica for which previous experience is recommended)
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica that require a low degree of physicality (ie. strength/endurance/mobility)
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica that require a moderate degree of physicality (ie. strength/endurance/mobility)
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica that require a high degree of physicality (ie. strength/endurance/mobility)
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica that produce mild adrenaline
- Search all tours/activities in Costa Rica that produce extreme adrenaline
You may also find our related blog posts helpful:
- What To Do And See In San Jose, Costa Rica
- The Best Volcano To Visit In Costa Rica: Arenal, Irazu, Poas, Rincon De La Vieja, Or Turrialba?
- The Best River For Rafting In Costa Rica
- Rafting And Kayaking In Costa Rica – Pacuare River Tour
- Which Costa Rica Zipline Is The Best? Comparing 6 Popular Canopy Tours in Arenal and Monteverde
- Which Costa Rica Hanging Bridges Are The Best? Comparing 4 Popular Hanging Bridge Sites in Arenal and Monteverde
- Ziplining And Canopy Tours In Costa Rica: The Difference Between The Two
- Costa Rica Ziplining: An Exhilarating And Cultural Tour In La Fortuna (Arenal)
- The Best Hot Springs In La Fortuna / Arenal, Costa Rica: Baldi, Ecotermales, Tabacon, Or The Springs Resort?
- Is Costa Rica’s Tortuguero Worth Visiting?
- The Most Time And Cost Efficient Way To Visit Tortuguero And Raft The Pacuare River During Your Time In Costa Rica
- A Step-By-Step Guide (Literally!) To Costa Rica’s Arenal Hanging Bridges
- Superb Sailing, Snorkeling, And Dolphin Watching In Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
- Sloths, Snakes, Sunshine, And So Much More At Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio National Park
- The Ideal Mangrove Boat Tour (Or Kayak Tour) Experience In Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
- La Fortuna (Costa Rica) Waterfall”s” – Yes, There Are More Than Just One!
- El Silencio Trail (La Fortuna) Hike And Volcano-Viewing Experience
- A Walk In The Park: Arenal Volcano National Park
- A Proposal to Remember: Costa Rica’s Cerro Chato Hike
Proceed to STEP #3 when you have determined a) which tours/activities interest you the most, b) which destinations (ie. cities, towns, and/or beaches) would be best to visit according to where your preferred tours/activities are run, and c) the ideal number of days/nights you should spend at each destination in order to do/see all you wish to experience in each area. Before proceeding to the next step you should also have an idea of the order in which you would like to visit each destination (ie. “x” first, “y” second, and so on). If you are unsure of the best order in which to visit each destination, browse through our list of sample Costa Rica Trip Itineraries for additional trip design inspiration!
How To Plan A Trip To Costa Rica STEP #3: Choose your ideal accommodations (keeping in mind the number of days/nights you plan to spend in each area according to the outcome of STEP #2).
You may find our related blog posts helpful:
- Choosing A Costa Rica Hotel: Are You A Knowledgeable Traveller Or An Informed One?
- Costa Rica All-Inclusive Resort Series – PART 1: Why Costa Rica Is NOT An All-Inclusive Resort Destination
- Costa Rica All-Inclusive Resort Series – PART 2: How To Have An All-Inclusive Vacation In Costa Rica WITHOUT The All-Inclusive Resort
- Costa Rica Hotel Tip: Can You Name Your Arenal Or Monteverde Hotel?
Browse through the hotel promotions section of our Costa Rica Promotions department to learn which hotels are offering promotions (and/or which hotels we recommend, if the listing is a “Pura Vida! eh? Exclusive Promotion”).
Proceed to STEP #4 when you have determined which Costa Rica accommodations you wish to stay at (according to the ideal number of days/nights you should spend at each destination in order to do/see all you wish to experience in each area).
How To Plan A Trip To Costa Rica STEP #4: Choose your ideal transportation arrangements (imagine each Costa Rica destination as a dot; now is the time to connect them).
You may find our related blog posts helpful:
- Costa Rica Transportation: 10 Ways To Get From Point A To Point B Throughout Your Trip
- Costa Rica Vehicle Rentals: Should You Rent A Car For Your Costa Rica Trip?
- Costa Rica Vehicle Rentals: How Not To Fall For A Car Rental Scam
- Costa Rica Vehicle Rentals: Good Car Rental Agencies Are Hard To Find. Here’s Where We Choose To Look.
- Costa Rica Vehicle Rentals: Credit Card Insurance Coverage And Declining Part CDW
- Are We There Yet? Driving Durations For Popular Costa Rica Routes
- Your Best Transportation Options Between Monteverde And La Fortuna (Costa Rica)
Browse through the transportation service promotions and vehicle rental promotions sections of our Costa Rica Promotions department to learn which transportation service providers and vehicle rental agencies are offering promotions (and/or which transportation services and vehicle rental agencies we recommend, if the listing is a “Pura Vida! eh? Exclusive Promotion”).
Proceed to STEP #5 when you have determined which Costa Rica transportation services you will rely on to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ and so on for each leg of your trip.
How To Plan A Trip To Costa Rica STEP #5: Secure your chosen hotels, tours/activities, and/or transportation services through Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated (home to 2000+ discounts and cash back savings for Costa Rica trip items).
Learn about Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated, its unique operation, and how the company can help you do and see more in Costa Rica for less than you might expect! You may find our related blog posts (and Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated website links) helpful:
- All About Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated
- How Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated Is Different
- Compare Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated To Others
- How Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated Works
- Planning A Vacation To Costa Rica On A Budget And Looking For Discounts? Browse Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated’s Company Manual!
- Nifty And Thrifty: Costa Rica Cash Back Savings Program!
- The Buzz! Click Here To Read Client Testimonials And Reviews About Us!
- Humble Business. Period.
- The Art Of Good Business: Practice What You Preach
- Our Costa Rican Hotel, Tour Operator, And Transportation Service Provider Partners Are Awesome. Here’s Why We Think So… We’re Sure You’ll Agree.
- Tourism Competition In Costa Rica: The Haters Gonna Hate, Hate, Hate… But We’re Gonna Shake It Off
In preparing to reserve your Costa Rica trip items you may find our related blog posts helpful:
- Reserving Costa Rica Trip Items In Advance: How Much Time Is Needed?
- Costa Rica Day Tours: Should You Book Ahead Of Time Or Wait?
- Paying For Your Costa Rica Trip: What Is Normal, Common, And To Be Expected?
When confident and ready, reserve your chosen Costa Rica day tours through Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated via its online tour reservation form (and/or reserve your chosen Costa Rica hotels, transportation services, or vehicle rental directly through the operators you have chosen according to our Costa Rica Promotions department listings). Remember, as per its unique operation, no money or credit card information ever passes through Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated in order to maintain travellers’ privacy!
Proceed to STEP #6 when you have secured your Costa Rica trip items. You’re almost done! 🙂
How To Plan A Trip To Costa Rica STEP #6: Fill in the blanks (now that your trip has been designed, reserved, and confirmed, prepare yourself for other facets of the travel experience)!
You may find our related blog posts helpful:
- Is Costa Rica Safe? Yes, If You Travel Consciously, Cleverly, And With Common Sense. Here’s How.
- What To Pack For A Costa Rica Vacation
- Internet, Technology, And Device-Friendly Tips For Travel In Costa Rica
- Spending In Costa Rica – Trip Currencies
- Understanding The Practice Of Currency Exchange and Minimizing Loss: USD to Costa Rican Colon
- To Tip or Not To Tip (While On Vacation In Costa Rica) – That Is The Question!
- What To Eat And Drink In Costa Rica: Our Costa Rica Food/Beverage List And Order Tips
- Vegetarian and Vegan Dining in Costa Rica
- Gluten Free Dining In Costa Rica
- The DO’s And DON’T’s Of Costa Rica Travel
- Travel Brain: How To Maintain A Level Head Throughout Your Costa Rica Trip
- What To Buy In Costa Rica: Our Costa Rica Souvenir Shopping List And Buying Tips
Whew! You made it, and if you’re like most other travellers who have used our Costa Rica Travel Blog and/or Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated to plan their Costa Rica vacation, you have an amazing trip to show for it that encompasses who you are and what you want to get out of your visit. Yes, the entire process is time consuming, and yes, it takes focus and determination, but that’s what Costa Rica travel is all about. That’s also why Costa Rica is not a typical all-inclusive resort destination that calls for little effort and boasts little reward (well, unless you consider escaping home reward enough, short of discovering, experiencing, and falling in love with a new country, culture, environment, cuisine, sense of adventure, and quite honestly, a more pura vida sense of self). Instead, it packs more punch than you could ever fit into your suitcase, which is why travellers who invest time, energy, and interest into calculating and intricately piecing together parts of their Costa Rica vacation get so much more out of it than gift shop souvenirs and a tan. Costa Rica simply offers too much to miss out on, so congratulations for not selling yourself and your hard-earned vacation short. You is kind. You is smart. You is important. And, you are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime.
QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: What have you found useful throughout the planning of your Costa Rica trip?