Whether you're zip-lining through cloud forests, relaxing on a wellness retreat, or swimming with manta rays, discover the real pura vida with Moon Costa Rica. Inside you'll find:
With Moon's practical tips and local know-how, you can experience Costa Rica your way.
- Flexible, strategic itineraries designed for backpackers, beach-lovers, adventure travelers, honeymooners, and more, including the best beaches for swimming, sunsets, and seclusion
- The best spots for eco-friendly outdoor adventures like kayaking, hiking, and scuba-diving: Swim under a waterfall, raft over rapids, explore mysterious caves, and cliff-dive into river pools. Hike to the summit of Mount Chirripó, the highest point in Costa Rica, snorkel with sea turtles in warm turquoise water, or soak in a volcanic mineral pool
- Unique and authentic experiences: Admire the forest floor from the middle of a hanging bridge, or take an aerial tram to lake, volcano, and ocean views. Relax on a pristine beach and watch the sunrise with a cup of flavorful local coffee. Fill up on fried plantains at a traditional soda, and shop at a neighborhood mercado
- Insight from Cartago local Nikki Solano on how to experience Costa Rica like an insider, support local and sustainable businesses, avoid crowds, and respectfully engage with the culture
- Full-color photos and detailed maps throughout
- Helpful resources on COVID-19 and traveling to Costa Rica
- Background information on Costa Rica's landscape, history, and cultural customs, as well as volunteer opportunities
- Handy tools including a Spanish phrasebook, packing suggestions, and travel tips for disability access, solo travelers, seniors, and LGBTQ travelers
Exploring more of Central America? Check out Moon Belize
About Moon Travel Guides: Moon was founded in 1973 to empower independent, active, and conscious travel. We prioritize local businesses, outdoor recreation, and traveling strategically and sustainably. Moon Travel Guides are written by local, expert authors with great stories to tell—and they can't wait to share their favorite places with you.
For more inspiration, follow @moonguides on social media.
11 years ago, Nikki Solano boarded a plane to Costa Rica for the first time. Immediately, she fell in love: with the consistently warm weather, the landscape lined with beaches and waterfalls, and the genuinely friendly people greeting each other with a smile. To her, Costa Rica is as close as it gets to paradise, and she's felt at home ever since. One of her favorite things about living in Costa Rica is the pura vida lifestyle that encourages her to notice the little things: the sweet trill of a marimba instrument, the comradery that comes from "fútbol fever," and the savory crunch of chicharrones. What she loves most, though, is how much Costa Ricans love Costa Rica, and how proud they are of their beautiful country.
With 11 years of exploring Costa Rica under her belt, Nikki has made a career out of guiding travelers to her adopted home. To date, she has developed (and currently operates) six independent initiatives that focus on Costa Rica travel: Pura Vida! Eh? Inc., the Costa Rica Travel Blog, DIY Costa Rica, the Costa Rica Trip Planning 101 E-Course, Costa Rica Promotions, and the Reach Out Costa Rica Travel Philanthropy Project.