20+ Best Places For Your Next Costa Rica Vacation

Playa Junquillal at sunset Costa Rica travel tips.

It’s 2020 and so many people are planning their Costa Rica vacations!  Since travel is one of my favorite topics, I thought I’d round up a few of my favorite places in Switzerland of Central America. Because you need more than just 10 Awesome Reasons To Visit Costa Rica This Year

After Lonely Planet named Costa Rica one of the Top 20 Places to Visit in 2020 in the world, and San Jose (the capital city) made Fodor’s list of best places to visit in Central America and the Caribbean in 2020- well, it’s going to be the place to be this year. 

playa junquillal costa rica at sunset

In 2019 I moved from the United States to CR where I spent 9 months living in the San Ramon area with my husband and kids.  We went practically everywhere there was to go! I made it a point to skip the major tourist attractions and find some off the beaten path gems.

I decided to compile this helpful list of relatively unknown places we loved best! This Costa Rica travel list includes places that are great for everyone- but especially those visiting Costa Rica with kids. I’ve broken down this post into a few different sections: Beach Destinations, Rainforest Hikes, Attractions, Places to Stay and Places To Eat. 

As always- if you want to cut the stress and have me prepare a personalized Costa Rica trip plan for your group, I’ll do it!

You might also like: 

20+ Best Places For Your 2020 Costa Rica Vacation

15+ hidden places in Costa Rica you must visit this year- tested by a family who lived there! The best of the best Costa Rica vacations!

2020 Costa Rica Travel- Best Beach Destinations

For me, the perfect Costa Rica beach destination is one where the beach is pristine, the waves are fairly calm, and there aren't a ton of people. (Read- Manuel Antonio National Park, while beautiful, is not going to be on this list.)

We tend to stick to the Pacific coasts of Costa Rica simply because the dry season seems to last a lot longer. These beaches are my current favorites:

Related post: 20 Marvelous Beaches on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast -Top Picks

Costa Rica Vacations- Top Hikes

Hiking through the cloud forests of Costa Rica might be one of my all-time favorite activities- it's neck and neck with eating Costa Rican food. With a perfect climate, amazing opportunities to spot wildlife, and some of the best guides around, all you really need are some great walking shoes to get you started!

Costa Rica With Kids (or Without!) Best Attractions

Everyone knows the basics about the Costa Rican travel experience- zip line, beach, museum, bird watching, maybe ride a horse or two. The three attractions listed below are super kid-friendly, and not to be recommended by any travel agency. They are all tested by our family- and excellent additions to any trip.

Places To Stay

There are so many lodging options in Costa Rica, and I will round up favorites over the next few months. In the meantime, I wanted to use this post to highlight the most pura vida accommodations that I found while living in Costa Rica. 

Places To Eat- Costa Rica Foodie

I love Costa Rican food so much. Whether traditional Costa Rican dishes or delicious fusion food, I jump at literally every opportunity to eat out in Costa Rica. Here are three new places I found in 2020 that I LOVE.

And that’s all folks! Please do let me know where you plan to travel, what you plan to do, and if you have any questions. And- don’t’ forget to pin this post for later too!

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