Traveling to Costa Rica: Getting Travel Insurance, and Tips for An Unforgettable Trip
Your ziplining excursions are booked, your bags are packed, and you’re dreaming about the endless days you’ll be spending on the beach under the Costa Rican sun—but there’s one vital aspect of planning your trip that you might’ve forgotten: travel insurance.
And with so many options flooding your Google search results, finding the right travel insurance policy within your budget can be overwhelming, and that’s why we’re going to break it down for you from start to finish. From finding the right policy for your needs, to shopping and comparing prices, all the way down to actually purchasing your travel insurance, we’ll walk you through every step of the process and answer the questions swirling around in your head. Also, stick around until the end of the article for some of our travel tips and suggestions that will help you prepare for your trip to Costa Rica.
Travel Insurance for Costa Rica
A lot of people may think that travel insurance is unnecessary, but it actually provides a great deal of coverage and security for a variety of troubling situations that can arise before and during your trip.
For example, purchasing travel insurance for your vacation can provide a means of reimbursement if you have to cancel your holiday last minute for a covered reason. Additionally, many travel insurance providers offer concierge and support services while you’re abroad to help you organize your accommodations, deal with delays or cancellations, or recover your lost passport and stolen items.
These concierge services provide a sense of security when you encounter these stressful situations, and they’re especially helpful if you’re traveling alone and don’t have anyone to call or lean on when something goes wrong.
And most importantly, a lot of travel insurance policies will cover you if you need emergency medical attention while you’re abroad. If you’ll be participating in a lot of active excursions while you’re in Costa Rica, it’s in your best interest to get travel insurance that includes medical coverage.
Do I Need Insurance for My Vacation?
In short, no, you aren’t required to have travel insurance to travel to Costa Rica. But, it’s smart to get coverage in order to have complete peace of mind while you’re traveling. And since travel insurance is relatively inexpensive, it’s smart to purchase it for your trip, as it can potentially save you from paying thousands of dollars out of pocket if you encounter an emergency while you’re traveling.
You may have medical insurance in your home country, but note that many insurance providers don’t offer coverage in foreign countries, so you’ll likely need to purchase a separate policy.
How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost for Costa Rica?
Depending on coverage options you choose, the limits, and the type of coverage you want, your cost can go anywhere from 3-4% of your total trip cost for basic coverage, and up to 10-12% for premium. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a lot of money, and the peace of mind travel insurance provides definitely worth the additional cost.
Different providers provide a variety of options for coverage, and some are incredibly customizable with coverage limits that you can adjust quickly to match your budget. The best way to ensure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck is to compare quotes from multiple providers. Our online travel insurance comparison engine will analyze multiple policies and present you with quotes from a variety of different providers based on the coverage options you want. Plus, you can purchase directly on our site with a lowest price guarantee, making it the ultimate one-stop-shop to get your coverage and your peace of mind.
Costa Rica Vacation Tips & Travel Guide
Now that you truly have everything covered, including your travel insurance, you can get back to planning your exciting vacation. To help you on your journey, we’ve collected some of our best tips and suggestions for having a truly immersive Costa Rican experience!
Money: Currency, Exchange Rates, and Tipping Recommendations
The official currency of Costa Rica is the colón, but U.S. dollars are widely accepted in tourist areas at many large chains. There’s no need to exchange money ahead of getting there, and you can quickly get colónes out of the many ATMs around with your debit card and can avoid standing in line at banks.
Credit cards are becoming more widely accepted throughout Costa Rica, especially in the tourist areas. Mastercard and Visa are the primary ones used, while AmEx and Discover cardholders may run into more of a problem.
Tipping etiquette in Costa Rica is pretty similar to that of the U.S., so it’s not mandatory, but it’s expected. Also, locals usually prefer getting tips in U.S. dollars, so if you’ve run out of the local currency and need to tip, feel free to leave a couple of dollar bills!
If you’re out at a restaurant, many will add a 10% gratuity to your bill automatically, so be sure to check this out before you pay. The 10% is sufficient, but for really excellent service, you can also feel free to leave a few more dollars. Tipping for cabs, taxis, and shuttle drivers are between $1-$5 depending on the length of the trip. If you’re staying at a resort, be sure to tip for housekeeping, the bellhop, and room service at around $2 per day.
Costa Rica’s Weather and Suggested Packing Tips
Costa Rica has some seriously great weather, which is probably one of the reasons you’ve chosen it as your vacation destination! Temperatures average between 70 to 80-degrees year-round, with no summer or winter seasons. Costa Rica does have a rainy season between May to November, though, where hard, short rains will come down fiercely, and you’ll experience a lot more humidity than during other times of the year.
If you’re staying in a resort, you’ll be most comfortable in beach clothes, bathing suits, and cover-ups. Costa Rica is a pretty casual place, so walking around in flip flops and bathing suits is not frowned upon.
Costa Rica is known for its flourishing, expansive rainforests, and you definitely want to make sure you visit one while you’re there. Be sure that you bring sturdy sneakers, waterproof shoes, and a raincoat, as well as your insect repellent! Mosquitos are abundant during the rainy season, so make sure you’re protected.
One final thing you’ll probably want to make sure you have is a Spanish to English dictionary. Many locals don’t speak English, so this will come in handy. However, you should feel comfortable learning some Spanish before you go. Locals will appreciate the effort you make, even if you only can say a few words and phrases.
Experiences Unique to Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a beautiful country with white sand beaches, crystal waters, warm temperatures, and abundant sunshine. But if you want to experience all that you can of this beautiful country, you’ll want to check out some of the things that are uniquely Costa Rican.
Throughout the year, there are a variety of festivals that are celebrated around Costa Rica. Fiestas de Los Diablitos (Festival of the Little Devils) celebrates an alternate Spanish History and involves burning a (symbolic) bull at the end of the five-day event over New Years’ every year. Limon Carnival, on the other hand, is a week-long celebration in October, celebrates Caribbean Culture with traditional foods, music, singing, and dancing. This is the largest festival in the Limon Province!
Take a dip in the hot springs near Volcan Arenal! Dormant since 2010, this volcano continuously smoked for 40 years. In the foothills below, there are tons of small hot springs that have naturally occurred. These areas are the perfect places to soak up the sun and take in the stunning scenery. If you’re more of an adrenaline seeker, visit Volcan Poas National Park, where you’ll find a volcano that is currently active.
You can’t leave Costa Rica without taking in the breathtaking natural beauty of the ecosystems. Costa Rica is rich with experiences that you can enjoy. In one day, you can go from the rainforest to white-sand beaches in a matter of miles. Explore the jungles of Tortuguero, a mini-Amazon that you can explore by boat and sit on the beach to watch turtles hatch. Take a canopy tour to the rainforest, and see how many different species of wildlife you can spot. With more than 400 different bird species, 60 frog species in addition to monkeys, manatees, turtles, and sloths, it’s a nature and animal lovers’ dream excursion!
Popular Destinations in Costa Rica
Narrowing down your itinerary for a vacation where you only have so much time can be overwhelming. To help you finalize your itinerary, here are the top 10 destinations in Costa Rica, plus an additional five unique places you should also think about checking out!
Top 10 Most Popular Places to Visit in Costa Rica
- Arenal Volcano
- Parque Nacional
- San Jose
- Puerto Viejo
- Monte Verde
- Jaco Beach
- Drake Bay
- Playa Mantas
Top 5 Unique Places to Visit in Costa Rica
- Corcovado National Park
- Santa Teresa
- Tenorio Volcano National Park