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The Ultimate Costa Rica Vacation Guide: Know Before You Go

Updated: Jun 2, 2019

Self-care is the best care and unplugging from being on the constant go recharges your mind and body. There seems to be a mentality of go, go, go but eventually you’ll burn yourself out. Hence why I’m a big proponent of taking a mental break.

Pura Vida

I recently visited Costa Rica for my birthday, and it was the experience of a lifetime. Pura Vida is the main phrase spoken by everyone in the country. It means simple life or pure life. It's also used to say hello and goodbye. Pura Vida isn't just a saying, it's a lifestyle. The locals are laid back and care free which is why Costa Rica is the ideal place for you to recharge.

I found out at the airport where I was headed and as you can see, I was shocked! We spent 6 days in Costa Rica, visited 2 cities, and stayed at 2 properties. Here’s a recap of the trip including activities, restaurants, and recommendations.

Safiyyah in airport shocked about birthday trip


Located in Central America, Costa Rica is a short flight from Atlanta, 3 hours and 45 minutes, and is known for its beaches, volcanoes, wildlife, and the rainforest. We flew into San Jose (SJO) airport and arrived Thursday morning. Yes, it’s warm and the weather reminded me of Atlanta summers. The airport is a decent size and efficient. Once you deplane, you’ll retrieve your bags, go through customs, and then off to ground transportation.

Ground Transportation

There are several options to get around the country.

1. Rental car

2. Cab

3. Local bus

4. Interbus

Depending on your hotel location and budget will determine the ground transportation. The cab fare directly to our hotel was $150 for two. It was expensive because our hotel was located three hours away near the beach. We didn’t choose a rental car because we were unfamiliar with the country and it wasn’t worth the risk.

We opted to do a mixture of ground transportation. We took a 20-minute cab ride from the airport to the local bus for approximately $25. At the bus station we purchased two bus tickets to our first stop for $16. We did save money on ground transportation, but the travel time is the longest. However, what I liked about the local bus is it stopped at 2 farmers’ markets on the way.

 Local Costa Rica bus to get around the country
Local bus