Costa Rica awaits. That means world-famous nature reserves laden with sloths and resplendent quetzals. It means roaring surf swells on the Pacific, and glinting Caribbean reefs in the east. Between the lot are some seriously awesome Costa Rica house rentals to consider, which is where this handy booking guide steps in.
Some top features of Costa Rica rentals
Just to whet the appetite a little, let's delve into the mix and medley of different Costa Rica vacation rentals. You'll get a peek of what awaits in terms of features and style.
Natural settings you won't forget
If there's one thing that Costa Rica does like a maestro, it's nature. One day, you might be scrambling up smoking volcano slopes. The next, you might be plunging in to cold waterfall pools. The very best Costa Rica rentals out there will aim to make the most of their dramatic setting, whether that's with panoramic windows gazing at the Monteverde cloud forests or gardens under the watchful eye of Arenal.
Costa Rica villa rentals with chef
If you're looking to be looked after in Costa Rica, there are a select few luxury rentals that cover those bases. A good litmus test for them is if the letting comes with a private chef. The service means you'll enjoy hearty smorgasbords of gallo pinto – the national dish – and uber-fresh ceviche made with straight-off-the-boat seafood.
Eco lodges aplenty in Costa Rica
Costa Rica isn't hailed as the home of ecotourism for nothing. There are loads of getaways here that champion carbon-reduced travel and ethical visiting. They might be a jungle lodge built from sustainable materials around Santa Teresa, a surf shack with no footprint on the Nicoya Peninsula, or trekking lodges by the jaguar-stalked Corcovado National Park.
Bucket-list destinations for Costa Rica rentals
Knowing you're going to Costa Rica is one thing, knowing where you're going in Costa Rica is a whole other ball game. That's because the hardest part of travel planning in this amazing country is often choosing the destinations that captivate among a series of destinations that are masters of captivation.
Tamarindo vacation rentals – calling beach bums and surfers
Vacation rentals in Tamarindo, Costa Rica's surfing mecca, are always in high demand. They fringe a wide, yellow-tinted bay on the edge of Guanacaste Province, within reach of reliable breaks like Witches Rock and Playa Grande. Beginners are treated to more surf schools than you can shake a bottle of sunscreen at, and at nighttime things can get pretty darn fun in the cocktail bars by the shore.
The wild vistas of Arenal
Ecotourism takes off around Arenal. It's a cone-shaped volcano that looks almost sculpted by hand, encompassed by its own national park. On the one side, there are palm-peppered plains with wiggling rivers that host whitewater rapids for the intrepid rafters. On the other side is wide Arenal Lake, tucked between mountain trails and small cottages by the shore.
Monteverde simply can't be missed
Costa Rica rentals up with the misty, humidity-soaked lands of Monteverde are a ticket to some of the most biodiverse rainforests on the planet. Canopy bridges offer spots to watch the sloths and capuchin monkeys by day. By night, you could retreat to your eco lodge to share stories with other backpackers by the bar.
A taste of the Caribbean in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Set on scoring a Costa Rica vacation rental on the beachfront? How about scooting down to the south-east of the country to where the glistening Caribbean rolls in? Cue Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, a fishing village with ounces of charm – think pastel-painted shacks, surf rentals, little casitas poking over the sea grapes to the beach.
Keeping costs low in Costa Rica rentals
Costa Rica isn't the cheapest country to fly to, and it's not the cheapest to travel these days, either. And while none of the cloud-forest safaris or surf trips should break the bank, it always helps to cut costs at the booking stage. Here are some tips on how to do just that…
Book early, long before you fly
As Costa Rica continues to hit headlines for its amazing creatures and stunning landscapes, more and more travelers are coming in search of rentals. The upshot? For peak times like Christmas and New Year, finding bargains is all but impossible. That is, unless you get in there early, before the crowds come a-calling.
The "Green Season" has its perks
Like everywhere else in the tropics, Costa Rica has two distinct seasons – the dry and, as it's now known, the Green Season. That runs from May to November and sees thunderstorms and rains douse the inland peaks. Prices are halved, but some will say it's the single best time of year to visit, when the exotic flowers are blooming, waterfalls are roaring, and you have most chance of spying a tapir.