Planning a trip to Costa Rica? If you’ve surfed the Internet in the last few years then you’ve probably heard of travel hacks. They’re the shortcuts that can save you a lot of time, angst and/or money.
There are hacks for every spot on the globe, and at Paradise Jacó, we’ve got Costa Rica covered. Here are five must-have travel hacks we’ve discovered for anyone who is headed to Costa Rica.
Hack #1 – Pack a Pocket English to Spanish Dictionary
Do you need to know Spanish to vacation in Costa Rica? Not really. All you really need to know in Costa Rica is survival Spanish – the bare necessities. In some areas like Jacó Beach and San Jose so many Ticos speak English you can get around just fine. In others, it helps to be able to converse in the native tongue.
But don’t think you have to buy an expensive Rosetta Stone course and practice for months. A pocket English to Spanish dictionary is enough to get you by during your trip. There’s also a solid Google Translate app, but we still recommend the dictionary since phone service isn’t guaranteed everywhere in the country.
Hack #2 – Enlist the Help of a Wildlife Guide
Costa Rica is known for having an abundance of wildlife, but locals like the sloth can be hard to spot if you don’t know what you’re looking for and where to look. If you plan to do some hiking or nature exploration it’s worth it to hire a wildlife guide. Not only can they point out where monkeys and sloths hang out they can also help you avoid creatures you shouldn’t get close too like the poisonous dart frog.
Hack #3 – Make the Most of Rainy Season
Like everywhere else in the world, Costa Rica has different seasons. They just aren’t like the seasons we have in the U.S. Being so close to the Equator, Costa Rica doesn’t see many variations in temperature. But what they do have is a rainy season, also known as the green season.
The rainy season is from May to mid-November. The rainest months are generally September and October. You can take advantage of lower rates and fewer tourists and avoid most of the rainfall by planning a Costa Rica vacation in May, early June or November.
Bonus Hack: Buy rainboots once you get to Costa Rica. You’ll need them for rainforest trekking no matter the season and you can pick them up just about anywhere. Save that suitcase space for souvenirs.
Hack #4 – Carry a Mix of Currency From Day 1
Costa Rica is a foreign destination, but U.S. currency is accepted just about everywhere. That said, your best bet is to carry a mix of currency. If you have US dollars, credit cards and colóns with you there should be no problem paying no matter where you go.
If you’re flying into San Jose you can exchange US currency for colóns. The exchange rate is usually somewhere between 500-600 colóns per $1 US. Plus, saving a few colóns is a great souvenir of your Costa Rica vacation.
Hack #5 – Leverage a Local for the Best Deals
Just like anywhere, the locals know Costa Rica better than anyone. Enlisting the help of a Tico can result in insider insights and possible savings. The best part is, Ticos are super friendly. They’re more than happy to help you out and make suggestions or even introductions. If you don’t know someone who lives in Costa Rica hiring a local travel guide is the next best thing.
Paradise Jacó can set you up with personal guides that live in Jacó Beach Costa Rica. They know all of the best local spots, can suggest excursions and even help you get the most for your money. Explore the rest of our site to learn about accommodations, excursions and more.
Ready to start planning your Jacó Beach vacation? Give us a call to experience the easiest vacation planning ever!