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5 Things You “Must-Do” in Costa Rica (from a Local’s Point of View)

Article Summary:

Follow the wisdom of others before you: Here are five great tips from expats and locals on what you “must do” while in Costa Rica.

Photo Credit: Time Crunched Traveler

Original Article Text From Times Crunched Traveler:

A local’s point of view: 5 tips to maximize your Costa Rican vacation

When looking to visit another country, why try and blaze a new trail?

Follow the mistakes and blunders of those that have gone before you, and learn from their mistakes instead of making your own. Save your adventurous nature to try new foods, activities, and thrill seeking.

Here are five great tips from locals or expats that have traveled on a Costa Rica vacation, which you might want to consider before you head to this sunny paradise.

5. Wear sunscreen!
This may sound like common sense but you wouldn’t imagine how many people come down to Costa Rica and all they can think about is the tan that they want to bring back home. What you need to remember is that Costa Rica is right on the equator and the sun is powerful. Also in this little bit of jungle bliss you and everyone else will be spending the majority of time outside, which means your body will be getting way more sun than ever before. With activities like surfing, riving kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, rafting, and hiking, you will get your share of sun without ever needing to lay out and tan. Don’t get your vacation off to a bad start and get fried on your first couple of days. Lather up with a high SPF and do it often. One favorite to bring down is the spray sunblock for easy application, or the stick block as they tend to be more water resistant and don’t drip into your eyes when surfing or sweating.

4. Save some money.
Costa Rica has become a tourist hot spot because of all the great attractions that it has to offer. Don’t be sucked into spending extra money as a tourist. Firstly you CAN drink the tap water there. Costa Rica has good tap water, especially in any tourist town. While you may feel better about buying bottled water in general, you can save a lot of money drinking tap water at restaurants. Also ask locals where there are good happy hours, and save money like a local getting the best deals and drink specials. You can negotiate a little with tour operators as well. Ask if they offer a cash discount, low season rate, or group rate. Often times if you look like you may check out some other places, they may offer you a more competitive price.

3. You don’t need a ton of preventative shots.
While you may be travelling to Nicaragua or Panama during your visit, you might want to consider a typhoid shot, or malaria tablets. This is a waste of your time and pain if you are just staying in Costa Rica. While there are some occasions of dengue they are few and far between and usually happen to locals not tourists. Bring some tablets incase you get an upset stomach from change of environment, and lots of bug spray. While the stuff can smell terrible it will prevent you from getting attacked. Remember the time right around sunset and near the water can be the worse so spray up and remember to wash your hands after you rub it in, the stuff tastes terrible and is very toxic.

2. Keep an eye out for cheap flights.
Last minute flights can be pretty pricey, and can have bad travel times. Set up a Kayak alert to get messages about when flights are cheapest and best fit your schedule. Also don’t just assume that the San Jose international airport in San Jose, Costa Rica will offer the cheapest flights. You should consider that San Jose might not be close to where you are headed. If you are headed to Tamarindo Vacaion Rental for example, most flights come in late at night so you need to get a hotel, then the next day you will need to take a four to six hour shuttle to the beach, all costing you time and money. Consider that, and check out flight times and prices for the new Daniel Oduber Airport in Liberia and realize that could save you a lot of time and money.

1. Embrace the pura vida lifestyle.
Take time to take a siesta during the day to relax and stretch out in a hammock. Read that book you have been meaning to dive into, or just relax and watch the kids play in the pool. Part of the Latin life of relaxation depends on allowing yourself to enjoy the day at a pace of your choice.

Planning a Costa Rica vacation should be fun and exciting, and shouldn’t break the bank. Invest a little money into lifetime memories like zip lining, and surfing lessons, but save a little by eating at local sodas. Make sure to plan for those adventures that you have always dreamed of, and set aside some time to relax and enjoy paradise. If you fall in love with Costa Rica, you too might one day become a local.

Link to Original Article:

From Time Crunched Traveler

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