Costa Rica: a beginner’s guideSophie Barber - Travel Expert
Peaceful and army-less, Costa Rica has a reputation as Latin America's Switzerland.
Top five attractions
- White-water rafting at Turrialba.
- The surfing scene on the Nicoya peninsula.
- Rincón de la Vieja national park for riding and volcanoes.
- Monteverde cloud forest.
- If you can visit around the time of a full moon, watching the arrival of the Olive Ridley sea turtles on the beaches of the Pacific Coast.
Not San José, one of Latin America’s least inspiring capitals. Try the cowboy town of Liberia, in Guanacaste province.
Souvenir to buy
Costa Rican coffee is among the best in the world.
Quirky Costa Rica
By way of greeting, Costa Ricans say “Pura vida” (pure life) or “Que tuanes”, which is of obscure provenance, but may be a corruption of the English “Get-to-our-knees” – in other words, I like you so much I am genuflecting.
‘Monkeys are Made of Chocolate’ by Jack Ewing (Pixyjack Press), a celebration of jungle life and man-and-nature symbioses by a resident with 30 years’ observations
Your edit for Latin American inspiration
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Lina Fuller - Travel Expert
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.
Juliet Ellwood - Travel Expert
After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!
Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert
Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert
Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.
Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert
Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.
Charlotte Daubeney - Travel Expert
Charlotte's fascination with Latin America began with a family holiday to Belize. She went on to study Spanish in school and at university before spending a year living in Santiago, Chile.