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Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful countries in Central America, making it one of the most popular and, therefore, expensive countries to visit.
However, if you’re looking to save money on your trip to Costa Rica, visiting this popular destination on a budget isn’t impossible. Keep reading to learn the average price of a trip to Costa Rica, how much to budget for your trip, and some tips for finding the best deals for your upcoming vacation!
Costa Rica Costs to Consider for Your Vacation
According to Budget Your Trip, the average daily cost of a Costa Rican vacation is $71 per person, which amounts to $499 per person for a one-week vacation. For reference, this would equate to $998 for a couple and $1,996 for a family vacation for a group of four. However, it’s important to note this estimate is the absolute baseline for the cost of traveling to Costa Rica for backpackers or budget travelers. If you’re trying to find cheaper prices, you can always look for cheap hotels or cheap flights, but these are likely the lowest prices you’ll find.
If you’d like to stay in luxury accommodations, book a rental car or hire private transportation, and enjoy tons of guided tours and adventurous activities during your vacation, you’ll likely pay closer to $170 to $400 daily per person. This would equate to $2,380 and $5,600 for a one-week couples vacation and $4,760 and $11,200 for a week-long family vacation. These price ranges are more realistic if you don’t want to be pinching pennies during your entire trip. Before visiting, here are the specific items you’ll need to include in your Costa Rica budget, including average prices.
Flights to Costa Rica
Round-trip flights to Costa Rica can cost between $500 and $1,000. There are two international airports in Costa Rica—San Jose and Liberia—and you can typically find flights from major airlines, like American Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue, and Southwest Airlines. However, if saving money is your top priority, you’ll typically find the total cost of flying into San José is cheaper than to Liberia.
One of the best ways to save money on flights to Costa Rica is to avoid flying during the high season, from December to April, and to have flexible dates instead. You can usually find the cheapest flights in May, September, and October.
Lodging in Costa Rica
Costa Rica has no shortage of options for accommodations, including hotel rooms, vacation rentals, and all-inclusive resorts. Because of this, accommodation prices are varied, so whether you’re looking for a cheap hotel for budget travel or a luxury beachfront resort for a honeymoon or anniversary trip, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in Costa Rica.
Most hotels with a private room and private bathroom will cost anywhere from $90 to $150 per night. Luxury hotels cost between $250 to $500 per night. Special Places of Costa Rica offers beachfront properties, condos, houses, villas, and private rooms starting from $25 per night.
Food in Costa Rica
Like any vacation, the amount you spend on food will vary depending on your eating habits. However, the overall cost of food in Costa Rica isn’t very expensive, and you’ll pay much less than you would in a big city like New York City or Los Angeles.
You should expect to pay between $3 to $5 for a local beer, $2 for bottled water, $5 to $7 for breakfast, and $7 to $10 for lunch. However, if you have a kitchen in your apartment or condo, you can purchase groceries at a grocery store and do some cooking to cut down on food costs.
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Transportation in Costa Rica
Once you’ve bought your flights to Costa Rica, the transportation budget isn’t complete. You’ll need to decide how you want to get around during your vacation—public transportation, a car rental, or a private chauffeur.If you’re looking to save money, local transportation is a budget-friendly way to travel around Costa Rica. Local buses cost anywhere from $1 to $10 per ride, but they aren’t always the most timely, accessible, or convenient, which is why many people opt to get a car during their vacation. However, rental cars can get expensive, especially with the mandatory car insurance you must buy as an international visitor. Plus, driving on uneven and unmarked roads can often be a challenge.
You can also hire a private shuttle to take you to and from your tours in Costa Rica, so you don’t have to worry about bumpy driving conditions. These run anywhere from $60 per person for shared shuttles or $100 to $350 for a private shuttle. And if you’re planning to hang around close to your hotel or resort, you can take a taxi ride from the airport.
Entertainment in Costa Rica
Would you like to go ziplining, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, surfing, or deep sea fishing during your vacation? If so, you need to factor the cost of these tours or experiences into your budget as there are many, many things to do in Costa Rica.
For example, national park admission can cost anywhere between $7 to $20 per person, which can add up if you’re planning to visit a few national parks, like the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve and Arenal Volcano National Park. Hot springs can cost anywhere between $15 to $60 per person. Hiking tours may run between $60 to $70, a ziplining tour can cost $50 to $80, and a surfing lesson may cost $40 to $60.
Most destinations and activities (even the outdoor ones!) have an admission fee, which can make visiting Costa Rica expensive. Don’t forget to save money in the budget for fun tours and activities during your vacation to explore this country’s natural beauty and learn more about its unique culture.
Plan Your Costa Rica Travel Experience with Special Places of Costa Rica
Whether you are traveling on a tight budget or looking for the perfect destination for a luxury vacation—Costa Rica has something to offer you. Special Places of Costa Rica can help you coordinate several aspects of your vacation, including accommodations, tours, transportation, and more. Contact us to get started planning your vacation!