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4 Travel tips for Costa Rica


Without a doubt, and for good reason, Costa Rica is the hottest travel destination in Central America. The friendly culture, amazing natural resources, and top-notch adventure activities make for a fantastic experience in this tropical wonderland. In this blog, you will find some basic Costa Rica Travel Tips that hopefully provide you some insight when planning your next trip to Costa Rica.

For Americans, Costa Rica is roughly the size of the state of West Virginia. So, different areas of the country can be visited by driving or by domestic flights depending upon your preference. If you have never been to Latin America, you will quickly realize that driving is somewhat of a different animal. Not only can the driving be a little on the exciting side, but many of the roads in Costa Rica could benefit from some serious tender-loving-care. I have seen potholes there that may not have a bottom to them. One road that is particularly troublesome with potholes in the road that goes around the northwest side of Lake Arenal. If you are driving that road at night, slow-down or be prepared to potentially lose a front wheel. I write that with humor and seriousness.

If you don’t want to drive between destinations in Costa Rica, there are two domestic airlines that provide good service throughout the country. Check out Sansa or Nature Air to help get you where you need to go.

Cocina Verify has four restaurants currently participating in Costa Rica and more are joining the program. We have tested the water in all of our restaurants and we have not had any water quality issues with regard to microbiological contaminants. In conversing with the experts at the water lab in San Jose, they shared with us that they rarely see any bugs in the water in Costa Rica other than from time to time from a couple of the smaller communities on the Caribbean coast. Personally, since I met with the people at the water lab, I drink the water out of the tap everywhere I go in Costa Rica, although I have not made it to the Caribbean coast.

San Jose Transportation
Taxis are different in every country. After staying at the same hotel on two different trips and taking taxis to and from the hotel to the airport, I decided to start using Uber. The reasoning was because after the same ride in three different taxis, the charges varied between $21 to $32 for the same exact trip. All three taxis had different amounts on the meters when I got in them. After those experiences, I embraced the transparency and reliability of services like Uber or Lyft. I am not anti-taxi by any means, but when traveling in a foreign land, I prefer the transparency of these other services.

Food safety in tourist towns
Costa Rica is a progressive country when it comes to many things such as tourism opportunities. With that said, we have been surprised that in many of the small tourism dependent towns, such as Manuel Antonio and Tamarindo, we have been unable to find any restaurant or hotel owners who want to participate in our food safety program. Rest assured that restaurants and hotels that participate in the Cocina Verify program truly care about your safety. We are doing our part to find restaurant and hotel owners who want to provide the safest dining experiences for your next trip. If you know of any progressive restaurant owners in Tamarindo or Manuel Antonio who care about food safety, please let us know.

These tips are based upon the personal experiences of the staff of Cocina Verify. We make no guarantees as to their reliability because conditions on the ground are continually changing. Use them at your own risk.

When traveling in Latin America, choose Cocina Verify restaurants and Trust Standards, Not Reviews!