|Most popular in||December||High demand for flights, 13% potential price rise|
|Cheapest in||September||Best time to find cheap flights, 6% potential price drop|
|Average price||C$ 551||Price for this month|
|Cheapest price||C$ 409||From Toronto to San José|
C$ 471 - C$ 1044
28 - 30 °C
8 - 290 mm
When to fly to Costa Rica
January through May, the dry season, is the best time to book cheap flights to Costa Rica.
The rainy season – May to November/December – gets sun in the mornings and rain showers from afternoon through evening. This is not a good time to go if you are hoping to travel around. Secondary roads can become flooded during this time.
Almost a quarter of Costa Rica is in national parks and protected areas. Verdant rainforests give way to white-sand beaches and its diverse landscape features volcanoes, forests, mountains and marshy lowlands.
The Central American country has Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south, the Pacific Ocean on the west and Caribbean Sea on the east. Costa Ricans are friendly and welcoming, living in a stable democracy so peaceful that the army was abolished in 1949.
The capital is San Jose, a modern and bustling city offering a great introduction to tourists just off cheap flights to Costa Rica. After exploring its districts – El Pueblo for the bars, restaurants and galleries or Calle de la Amargura, a lively area of bars and cheap eateries – and perhaps the Gold Museum, most tourists head out of town to the parks and beaches.
One such park is the Corcovado National Park, renowned internationally for its biodiversity and abundance of wildlife. There are others equally bounteous including Tortuguero National Park and Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
Flying to Costa Rica from Canada takes a flight time of approximately 10h 45m for a one-stop flight. Direct service from Toronto to Costa Rica has a duration of 5h 15m, so travellers should be aware of the vast difference in flight times as compared to fares. Flight times will vary depending on the city of departure and arrival, as well, with some flights taking as long as 19h 32m. While Costa Rica travel deals may offer discounted fares, beware of extra stopovers and additional travel time.
Direct flights from Canada to Costa Rica fly into Liberia, leaving from Toronto International Airport in Toronto. Montreal also offers nonstop service with one flight available. Vancouver, Calgary, and Ottawa offer indirect service to Costa Rica. Flights are available from Air Canada, WestJet, Avianca, Lufthansa, Air France, and Copa airlines. Flights may also arrive in San Jose, and service is also available from United and American Airlines.
Most travellers to Costa Rica choose to rent a car when they arrive. Rental cars are easy, cheap, and the roads are fairly well-designed. There are some remote destinations that require an SUV or travel by air or water. Public buses are available for those on a budget, but they can be time-consuming and some routes are surprisingly more expensive than other forms of travel. In Costa Rica, tourist minibuses and taxis are also available, but the exact method of travel that is preferred by visitors depends on where you are in the country and where you want to go.
Costa Rica is known for outdoor activities, from adventures to relaxing beaches. The country is home to ziplining tours, plenty of lush vegetation, snorkeling and scuba adventures, and more. Sunset cruises are popular, as are private boat tours of the Gulf of Papagayo, where there are hidden islands and beaches to explore. Some of the best surfing in Latin America is found in Costa Rica, as well, at Pavones, Jaco, Playa Hermosa, Playa Grande, and a number of other popular surfing beaches. The Buena Vista Combo Tour in Guanacaste offers a waterslide taking you 400 meters through jungle territory. There are also a number of national parks to explore. Visit the cities to check out local cuisine and cultural attractions, and to explore popular nightlife destinations and tourist areas.
All Canadian citizens flying to Costa Rica from Canada will need a valid Canadian passport to enter the country. Passports must not expire for at least one month after your expected departure date. Tourists that are Canadian nationals will not need to apply for a visa if they are staying less than 90 days. However, visas are required for all business and student travellers flying to Costa Rica from Canada.
Costa Rica is a tropical country with little variation in temperature throughout the year. You will encounter a lot of rain if you visit between May and November, the significantly rainy season. The coastal temperatures are hotter at an average of 32 C, but sea breezes make it much more comfortable. The highland areas are cool at night and warm during the day.
Sansa Regional Airline and Nature Air offer cheap flights around Costa Rica.
As the majority of Costa Ricans do not own cars, public transportation is good. The country is well connected by buses – public buses and private tourist buses. The remotest areas may be linked just once a day however.
Car rental is a great, independent, way of travelling. The biggies – Dollar, Budget, Alamo – all have offices around Costa Rica.