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Travel in Costa Rica: The Pacific or the Caribbean Coasts?
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Travel in Costa Rica: The Pacific or the Caribbean Coasts?

Costa Rica lays between two of the most important tides on the Globe, the Pacific Ocean, and the Caribbean Sea. Not only does that enhance Costa Rican culture, but it provides tourists a great variety of sceneries, fauna, and flora to choose from. However, with so many options, how do you know where to travel in Costa Rica? If you are struggling to find the perfect Costa Rican vacation spot, here are some comparisons that might help you.

1) What's the weather like?

If you want a break from the snow and those chilly winter days, a visit to the beach might be just what you need.

The Pacific coast follows a dry and rainy tropical season schedule. The rainiest months are usually October and November, while the hottest are March and April. However, since the Pacific coast is 780 miles (1,254 km) long, there are some differences between the North coast and the South coast.

You will find that the Pacific North coast has a longer dry season, ideal for more sunny days and the perfect tan. On the South coast, the humidity levels are higher, so the vegetation stays green and vibrant.

As for the Caribbean coast, it doesn't follow the same tropical season pattern, since you will find more rain year-round. September and October are the least rainy months, however. While the days might be rather hot and humid, the evenings are cool and perfect for bike rides and beach walks.

Locations like Bocas del Toro, which is part of the Northern coast of Panama and very close to the Costa Rican border, may have rain at times during the day, though usually the skies clear up pretty quick, giving you ample time for fun activities such as boat tours, fishing, and snorkeling.

2) What vacation lifestyle do you prefer?

On both coasts, you will find a place that best fits your interests. Whether you are visiting for business or pleasure, both the Pacific and the Caribbean offers a vast variety of activities and places you can enjoy.

The Caribbean coast hasn't been developed as much as the Pacific side. Most of the locations in the Caribbean remain down-to-earth and simple. This provides the perfect space for fauna to be more visible and for closer interaction with nature. Not only that, but the less interfered Caribbean makes it a more affordable option and a paradise for backpackers and surfers. During the night, the Caribbean is full of life and color. From dancing to an amazing cuisine, the Caribbean coast nightlife is deemed to be fun and the paradise experience you are looking for.

For all-inclusive resorts on the Caribbean side, you can find a beautiful selection in Bocas del Toro. These tropical islands are perfect for all tastes, from flora and fauna lovers to piña colada by the pool lovers.

The Pacific offers natural and city-like fun for everyone! Find the best hotels and spa resorts near the hottest beaches, such as Quepos and Tamarindo. The Pacific also holds a larger number of national parks and hidden beaches for everyone's enjoyment, the most famous being Manuel Antonio at Quepos. Pacific coast nightlife offers a variety of bars and clubs and family-friendly restaurants for an experience of a lifetime.

3) Where are the best beaches?

The Pacific and Caribbean alike have some amazing beaches. However, we highly recommend visiting certain spots, if you want to make the most of your journey.

Costa Rican Mid-Pacific Coast

For the mid-Pacific coast, Manuel Antonio is perfect for those who want to spend some quiet time during the day, but a more active life during the night. Visit the Manuel Antonio National Park during the early hours of the day and go to any of their hotspots for a social gathering after sundown.

Quepos is every surfing beginner's dream. With more than 16 surfing camps, Quepos is the best spot to shake off those surf jitters. And if you want a less extreme activity, yoga retreats and workshops are also an option.

Northern Costa Rican Pacific Coast

One of our favorite options for the Northern Pacific coast is Tamarindo. This little fishing village has grown into one of the hottest beaches in Costa Rica. More advanced surfers, ocean fishermen, and sunbathers will all find a home here.

Costa Rican South Pacific Coast

The Southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica is definitely a destination for the adventurous, nature lovers, and eco-tourists. Explore Corcovado, catch a whale sighting off the coast near Puerto Jimenez, or stay in a yoga retreat in Drake Bay. These destinations are much less populated, compared to the rest of the Pacific coast due to the long drives. However, with Skyway, you can make it to this remote paradise in under an hour.

Caribbean Coast

If you decided that the Caribbean coast is the one for you, we have great news! Not only is Puerto Viejo or Manzanillo great destinations for your Caribbean stay, you can also visit Bocas del Toro just over the border in Panamá! Since Bocas del Toro is a group of islands in the Caribbean, you will most definitely find a place perfect for you. Find a vast variety of local restaurants and plenty of activities to enjoy. If you love turquoise water and white sand, then this paradise just might be your next destination.

About Skyway Costa Rica

We’re a fresh Costa Rican airline that leverages years of experience flying with the safest in modern dual-turbine aircraft to provide you with a fun, stylish, and safe flight experience around Costa Rica and to Bocas del Toro. Choose the stress-free route and fly the #Skyway.

Local Costa Rican flights mentioned in this article:

San Jose to Quepos (SJO ↔ XQP) 17 minutes

San Jose to Tamarindo (SJO ↔ TNO) 40 minutes

San Jose to Puerto Jimenez (SJO ↔ PJM) 40 minutes

San Jose to Drake Bay (SJO ↔ DRK) 35 minutes

San Jose to Bocas del Toro (SJO ↔ BOC) 45 minutes