Costa Rica vs. the Bahamas: Which Is the Better Vacation Destination?

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Costa Rica and the Bahamas are both popular destinations for a beach vacation. However, each destination offers something unique, so travelers can usually choose one destination over the other based on their personal preferences and travel style. For example, the Bahamas offers luxury resorts perfect for an all-inclusive vacation, whereas Costa Rica provides a nature-focused retreat with many adventure and exploration opportunities.

Are you still unsure whether Costa Rica vs. the Bahamas are right for you? Keep reading for our comparison of Costa Rica vs. the Bahamas (and why we think Costa Rica is the better vacation destination!).


Travel Logistics for Costa Rica vs. the Bahamas

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is located in Central America between Nicaragua and Panama. Usually, most travelers fly into one of Costa Rica’s two main international airports: Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in the capital city of San Jose or Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) in Guanacaste.

After arriving in Costa Rica, many travelers use public buses or rental cars to travel between the major cities and attractions across the country to keep transportation costs low.

A public bus parked on the street in Costa Rica.
Public buses are a great (and affordable) way to get around Costa Rica.


The Bahamas is a series of 700+ islands in the Caribbean Sea just off the coast of Florida. Several cities offer direct flights to the Bahamas from the United States, including Miami, Dallas, and Chicago.

However, the most common way to travel to the Bahamas from the United States is on a cruise. Many popular cruise lines stop in the Bahamas, especially at Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.

A beach in the Bahamas with blue water, white sand, turquoise and orange umbrellas, and a cruise ship parked in the background.
The Bahamas is a popular cruise destination, so expect to see tons of cruise ships during your vacation here!


Weather Patterns for Costa Rica vs. the Bahamas

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has a tropical climate, meaning the country has two seasons — the rainy and dry seasons. During the dry season, from December to April, tourists can enjoy reliably warm, dry weather, while during the rainy season, from May to November, the country experiences frequent afternoon showers. Average temperatures range from 75°F to 85°F throughout the year in Costa Rica.

A beach in Costa Rica with golden sand, overgrown palm trees and vegetation, and waves from the ocean lapping on the shore.
The beaches in Costa Rica are best enjoyed during the dry season when the weather is warm and dry.


The Bahamas has a subtropical climate, which is very similar to the warm, humid climate in Costa Rica, except that temperatures in the winter are slightly cooler. Temperatures in the Bahamas range from 70°F to 80°F in the winter and 80°F to 90°F in the summer.

A wooden sign is attached to a stick that says "Bahamas" in purple letters and points to the right.
The Bahamas is a great place to visit… when it is not hurricane season!

The main difference between the weather in Costa Rica vs. the Bahamas is that the Bahamas are in “Hurricane Alley” and may experience hurricanes between May through October. Costa Rica does not have hurricanes.


Beautiful Beaches in Costa Rica vs. the Bahamas


The Bahamas is well-known for its beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters.

A beach in the Bahamas with clear blue water and white sand, umbrellas, and green palm trees in the distance.
The Bahamas are known for its beaches with turquoise blue waters and white powdery sands.

Cable Beach, located on New Providence Island, is one of the most popular beaches in the Bahamas. It is known for its turquoise waters, powdery white sands, and convenient location near popular shopping, dining, and resorts in Nassau. Pink Sands Beach, located on Harbour Island, is a three-mile stretch of sand that features a pink hue from crushed sea shells.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is home to over 300+ beaches, and unlike the Bahamas, which is just located in the Caribbean Sea — Costa Rica has both a Caribbean Coast and a Pacific Coast.

The beaches along the Pacific Ocean, like Tamarindo Beach and Playa Flamingo, are popular for water sports like surfing, fishing, and diving, while the ones on the Caribbean side, like Playa Tortuguero, are popular for snorkeling and wildlife spotting.

Two men with surfboards walking between two trees to a beach in Costa Rica with white sand and bright blue waves.
The beaches in Costa Rica, especially on the Pacific Coast, are ideal for water sports like surfing!


Outdoor Attractions in Costa Rica vs. the Bahamas


The Bahamas primarily offers beach activities, like snorkeling and diving, so visitors can explore the blue holes, underwater caves, and shipwrecks filled with tropical marine life.

A family of three wearing snorkeling gear and looking at a school of tropical fish underwater in the Bahamas.
You’ll find no shortage of marine life and snorkeling opportunities in the Bahamas!

Nassau and Paradise Island offer plenty of shopping and dining options, featuring everything from international to local cuisine. The Bahamas also offers historic sites, like Fort Charlotte and the Queen’s Staircase, for visitors to explore.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a popular eco-tourism destination. With over 30% of the country protected in national parks, a trip to Costa Rica offers no shortage of adventure activities and wildlife encounters, including white-water rafting adventures, zip-lining excursions, whale-watching tours, and more!

A woman wearing a backpack walking across a hanging bridge through the jungle in Costa Rica.
While you’re in Costa Rica, you can visit the national parks to enjoy activities like hiking, ziplining, and canopy tours, where you’ll come face-to-face with exotic wildlife!

Some of the most popular places to visit in Costa Rica include Manuel Antonio National Park, where you’ll find beautiful beaches and tons of wildlife, like sloths and monkeys; Arenal Volcano National Park, where you’ll find fabulous hiking trails, hot springs, and waterfalls; and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, where you can go on canopy tours to see tons of unique flora and fauna!

Plan an Adventurous Trip to Costa Rica with Special Places of Costa Rica

While the Bahamas have a lot to offer — it doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the adventures that await in Costa Rica! Not to mention, traveling to Costa Rica is usually the more affordable option, and since all the country’s attractions are centered on one landmass instead of hundreds of islands, you’ll be able to see, do, and experience more during your vacation!

Special Places of Costa Rica offers several vacation rentals in Costa Rica, from beachfront homes to luxurious mansions, to help you find the perfect place to stay during your tropical vacations. Contact us to book the ideal “home away from home” for your upcoming trip!

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