Costa Rica is a country one would easily describe as a marvel of nature. The Central American country is bordered to the southeast by Panama and Nicaragua to the north. The Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean are on the eastern and Southwestern coastlines.
The area experiences tropical and subtropical climates. Depending on topography, elevation, and region, there are also varying micro-climates.
The range of diversity in geographical features is quite fascinating. A Costa Rica travel will expose you to winding mountains, valleys, volcanoes, mangrove forests, and beaches. For travelers, there is so much to see and experience.
But there is one notable challenge. Some of the best Costa Rica nature is in some remote locations. Examples include the Corcovado National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, and the Rincon de la Vieja National Park. But your Costa Rica travel or vacation would only be complete with a visit to these national treasures.
We will show you fun ways to travel inside the remote Costa Rica areas.
- Domestic Flights
There are two main international Costa Rica airports. Juan Santamaria Airport in Alajuela is the largest. The other is the Daniel Oduber Airport in the Guanacaste region’s capital city of Liberia. Besides receiving international guests, the airports also offer hubs for the available domestic flights.
There are also smaller airports in Costa Rica. But don’t expect a full-scale airport setting. Many are not much more than small airstrips with short runways.
Domestic flights offer an easy, fun, and convenient way to get to more remote Costa Rica locations. What you will realize is that the road networks to some of the regions are not well developed. While you can get there by car or bus, it will take longer.
Areas like Ditto Tambor, which sits across Tortuguero and the Gulf of Nicoya, are inaccessible by road. In that case, a domestic flight is the most viable option.
The main domestic flights are Skyway, Air Caribe, Aerobell, and Sansa. You can catch the scheduled flights at the Costa Rica international airports of Liberia and San Jose.
The domestic flight network gives access to remote locations like:-
- Puntarenas in Oslo Peninsula and the south end zone
- Arenal volcano in La Fortuna, Alajuela
- The Caribbean side of Limon
- Nicoya peninsula in Guanacaste
- Tortuguero and more.
Domestic flights can cost anywhere from $80 to about $120 per person. Please note that the destination and date of travel will determine how much you pay. As you can expect, the prices may be higher during peak Costa Rica vacation periods. The planes are small, with a capacity for less than 20 passengers.
- Chartered Domestic Flights
Chartered domestic flights are another excellent option for touring remote Costa Rica locations. These flights are also available at the Costa Rica international airports.
As you can imagine, they will be more expensive than domestic flights. But what you get is more flexibility with schedules. Unlike domestic flights, you can set your timings. Imagine how much fun you would have with friends or family.
Some companies that offer chartered domestic flights include Alfa Romeo, Carmon Air, and Air Caribe.
Chartering a plane may be cheaper than you think. Like in the case of domestic flights, the destination and date of travel will impact pricing. But, if you are several people sharing, the cost decreases significantly.
A plane carrying five passengers from San Jose to La Fortuna can cost $840. For 12 passengers, it goes to $1866. If you do a per-person costing, it will be the same as the public domestic flights. Yet, you don’t have to deal with the inconvenience of sticking to other people’s schedules.
- Take a Self-Drive
A self-drive has one significant advantage. You can take in the splendor of Costa Rica’s nature without anyone rushing you. You plan your trip and can make as many stops as you wish. Further, it is a fun way to explore with family or friends.
Do take note of the areas you want to visit during your Costa Rica trip. Learn all you can about the roads and weather patterns. An interesting fact about Costa Rica’s weather is that, in some locations, it can change rather suddenly. So what started as a sunny morning can turn into showers in minutes.
A good idea is to hire a 4WD vehicle. Many car agents have offices at international airports in Costa Rica. They should have the vehicle waiting for you when you get there. You must have a valid driver’s license from your country of origin or an international driving permit. But, if you plan to stay longer than 90 days, the law requires that you apply for a Costa Rica license.
Accessing locations like Arenal, Osa Peninsula, and Manuel Antonia is possible by road. But, as we stated, some roads need major work. Thus the need for a sturdy vehicle that can navigate such paths without too much difficulty.
Also, some road stretches in remote areas are quite long and lonely. So, it helps to have good navigation as well. Reputable car rental service providers typically include GPS devices in the vehicles. They even take it a step further to include interesting areas worth exploring.
Please note that you can access the remote areas via domestic flights. Once you get to your destination, you can hire a vehicle. Rental companies have offices in major tourist attractions like the Tortuguero National Park.
- Hiking the Trails
If you aren’t afraid of some strenuous, though fun activities during your Costa Rica travel, consider hiking. Indeed there is no better way to experience Costa Rica’s nature.
For instance, a trip to Monteverde cloud forest is something you want to experience first-hand. There is something magical about entering the mist-shrouded trees. The low cloud cover makes it feel like you are walking into a fantasy world. A night tour is even more enthralling and awe-inspiring.
The national parks have excellent trails ranging from beginner to more advanced levels.
- The Arenal National Park is easy to moderate.
- The Braulio Carrillo National park has some areas you would rather leave to the advanced hikers. Cahuita National Park is pretty flat, which makes it ideal for family tours.
- The Corcovado National Park is moderate to challenging, etc.
The one thing we advise is to get the services of reputable local guides. Parks like Corcovado have this as a requirement. The same applies to seeing the nesting turtles at Tortuguero National park. The best time to catch the amazing natural phenomenon is after 6 pm into the night.
For your safety and security, you must have a local guide. Some of the national parks are extensive in size. You could easily wander off the path and get lost.
Also, remember there are tons of wildlife, including prey and predators. Bumping into the wrong kind would make your Costa Rica vacations take a dangerous turn.
The remote Costa Rica locations have some of the best natural wonders. A trip to the country would only be complete with the opportunity to visit them. Fun ways to travel to such locations include domestic flights, chartered flights, road travel, and hiking. For domestic and chartered flights, you will find the offices in the main Costa Rica international airports. The same applies to car rentals.
Costa Rica is one of the most incredible destinations in the world and to explore it all, you need to plan a trip that takes you off the beaten path. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation or something in between, Costa Rica has something to offer everyone. With its beautiful landscapes, rich culture and thrilling activities, there’s no better way to experience Costa Rica than through its remote areas. So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip now and embrace the beauty of wild Costa Rica!