A Costa Rica Honeymoon Guide for the Trip of a Lifetime

Costa Rica's honeymoon resorts, national parks and beautiful beaches make it an ideal getaway.
A sunny beach view of the Nicoya Peninsula in Tambor, Costa Rica
Photo: Atlantide Phototravel | Getty
Neha Kashyap
by Neha Kashyap
Updated Feb 09, 2024
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A Costa Rica honeymoon has much to offer beyond beautiful beaches. Whether you'd prefer meditating in a boutique hotel by the Arenal Volcano or whitewater rafting in the Pascuare River, you'll find your match in this Caribbean paradise. Known for embracing "la pura vida," it's one of the top honeymoon spots for couples to unwind and explore.

From serene Caribbean Sea resorts nestled along the coastline to breathtaking treehouse stays amidst lush tropical forests, a Costa Rica honeymoon presents a diverse palette of experiences. Couples can indulge in luxurious spa treatments, embark on guided jungle tours to spot exotic wildlife or simply soak up the sun on pristine sands. With its rich biodiversity, vibrant culture and plenty of exciting activities to try out, a honeymoon in Costa Rica is sure to provide you and your sweetheart with the ultimate getaway.

From the best months to visit Costa Rica to finding fun things to do as newlyweds, use these honeymoon ideas and tips to plan your romantic vacation.

Costa Rica Honeymoon Tips in this article:

Costa Rica Honeymoon - A majestic waterfall in Costa Rica
Photo: Kryssia Campos | Getty

Best Time to Visit Costa Rica

The best time to enjoy a honeymoon in Costa Rica is mid-December to April, when you'll find the best weather. It's the dry season in Costa Rica during those months, making it the ideal time to travel. Remember, Costa Rica is a tropical destination, which means you'll want to be prepared for rainy patches throughout the day regardless of when you choose to visit.

The rainy season (also known as the green season) is between May and November, but it's often broken up by a short dry period in mid-July. This brief period is known as "venerillo" or little summer. If you can catch it, it's a lovely time to visit—but the timing can be quite unpredictable.

Best weather: December to April, Mid-July.
Festival highlights:
In the coastal town of Uvita from late February to Early March, the Envision Festival is a unique blend of music, art and yoga. The Fiesta de los Diablitos, or the "Festival of the Little Devils," is an indigenous celebration by the Boruca people to commemorate their resistance against Spanish conquest. It usually takes place at the end of December in Boroca and late February in Rey Curré. Semana Santa is a week-long festival that takes place across Costa Rica with solemn processions, traditional rituals and vibrant parades. The date varies each year, typical during the week before Easter.

Costa Rica Honeymoon Planning Tips

A honeymoon in Costa Rica offers newlyweds an unparalleled blend of adventure and relaxation. Its landscapes vary from pristine beaches and lush rainforests to majestic volcanoes and tranquil cloud forests, catering to all types of travelers. Whether it's the thrill of zip-lining through the canopy, the romance of sunset cruises or the indulgence in Costa Rica honeymoon resorts, you're sure to share an unforgettable experience together.

As you're surrounded by nature and eco-tourism, Costa Rica's natural wonders can sometimes present safety concerns: Not all the beaches are for swimming and certain bodies of water can be dangerous (we're talking sharks and crocodiles, among other wildlife). Mosquitos also thrive in Costa Rica's tropical climate, so carrying environmentally friendly repellant and antihistamines in case of reactions is recommended.

Here are a few other important things to keep in mind while you plan:

Entry requirements: A valid US passport with proof of onward or return travel. Unless you plan on staying more than 180 days, a visa is not required.
Language:
Spanish is the official language of Costa Rica, with English widely spoken in tourist areas. Indigenous languages like Bribri, Cabécar, Maleku and Guaymí are also spoken.
Location:
Costa Rica is located in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south and the Caribbean Sea to the east.
Currency:
The Costa Rican Colón (CRC) is the official currency, though US dollars are widely accepted in most tourist locations.
Flight time to Costa Rica:
From major US cities like New York or Los Angeles, direct flights to Costa Rica typically range between five to seven hours.
Getting around:
Domestic flights, public buses, car and walking. 4x4 vehicles are recommended for certain areas due to road conditions.

Pro tip: Invite a honeymoon planning expert to join your vendor team. Browse travel agents near you on The Knot Marketplace for Costa Rica honeymoon expertise, reviews, testimonials and more.

Best Costa Rica Hotels & Resorts for a Honeymoon

When it comes to honeymoon hotels and resorts, Costa Rica has it all—so newlyweds shouldn't have any trouble finding top-notch accommodations. Just make sure to choose a spot that aligns with your desired experiences.

For stunning sunsets and ocean views, consider luxury resorts along the Pacific coast. If you're drawn to lively culture and exquisite cuisine, Caribbean resorts are your go-to. Eco-lodges nestled in cloud forests offer thrilling adventures and close encounters with wildlife. Here are some of our top picks to get you started.

Costa Rica Honeymoon - A couple enjoying a pool in at a lush Costa Rica resort
Photo: StockstudioX | Getty

Marriott Vacation Club at Los Sueños

The Marriott Vacation Club at Los Sueños is located near Manuel Antonio National Park (a national wildlife treasure) for those who prefer outdoor adventures like kayaking and jungle hikes, however, there's also a golf course and shopping available for a slower pace.

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo

This Hyatt property offers glass-walled suites with jungle views on a 14-square-acre property. There are three private beaches to stroll through and a concierge available for planning adventure tours.

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Four Seasons Costa Rica

You can't go wrong with a Four Seasons property. Along Costa Rica's pristine Peninsula Papagayo, suites at the Four Seasons are designed to feel integrated with the tropical landscape. An "on-site adventure outfitter" can help with planning your stay, and there are private dining and couple's spa services available.

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Origins Lodge and Spa

In the middle of a cloud rainforest (two hours away from the Liberia Airport) is an open-air, luxury eco-lodge overlooking thousands of acres of land. With honeymoon packages and Michelin-star culinary offerings, couples will rise to the soothing chorus of birds in this rhythmic paradise. Activities are endless, including yoga, spa experiences, hikes, horseback riding excursions and educational day or night walks to learn more about the lodge's focus on sustainability.

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa

Nestled next to Arenal Volcano National Park, Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa includes a honeymoon suite with a private plunge pool and breathtaking views of the volcano itself. In addition to hot springs, there's an adults-only open-air lounge, couples spa packages and private dining experiences available.

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

JW Marriott Guanacaste

The JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa provides storybook views of the sea from rooms nestled among palm trees. There are "staycation" deals for those who stay longer than five days and couple's massages at the spa.

4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

Pro tip: For a honeymoon accommodation with a little more privacy, consider looking into an Airbnb or VRBO property. If you're more into an all-inclusive vibe with infinity pools and room service, make sure to check out the country's amazing honeymoon-worthy resorts.

Things to Do in Costa Rica for Couples

Costa Rica provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures, including whitewater rafting, surfing, zip-lining and day or night hikes in the rainforest. It's also great for snorkeling, coast-hopping on a catered catamaran mini-cruise or simply lying back in the sand. Each city and province has its own specialties; here are some of our recommendations.

Costa Rica Honeymoon - A person zip lining across a rainforest in Costa Rica
Photo: Niki Harry | Getty

Hit the Town in San Jose

Colonial architecture, an innovative food scene and bustling nightlife are some of what San Jose has to offer. From San Jose, you can day trip to Manuel Antonio National Park to see toucans and sloths or to take an "adrenaline" tour, if ATVs are your thing. The capital is also about two hours from the Pacuare River, where more outdoor adventures await.

Visit Arenal Volcano

La Fortuna, a small town about three hours' drive from San Jose, is home to the Arenal Volcano, around which are several hot springs and resorts. There are also chocolate and coffee farm tours, whitewater rafting, animal sanctuaries and nocturnal wildlife expeditions available in this eco-tourism playground.

Visit Museums and Local Shops in Liberia

Liberia, Guanacaste in the northwest is home to several historical churches and attractions, including the Sabanero Museum, which displays the city's cowboy culture, and "sodas," or cafes with local cuisine. There are some great horseback riding trails and zip-lining tours in this area, too.

Surf or Kayak in Guanacaste

The province also includes the Papagayo peninsula, which is known for its water activities, amazing hotels and commitment to sustainability. Tamarindo, a beachside town known for great surfing, is an excellent option for honeymooners. It's a quieter resort town with less crowds.

Whether you want to go kayaking after spa treatments or nestle in a bungalow in the Nicoya Peninsula, Guanacaste is a popular and reliable destination. Along with hotels, Costa Rica's Airbnbs boasts several unique stays throughout, including rustic beach houses and treehouses.

Explore Costa Rica's Cloud Forests

Monteverde, a city in the southwestern province of Puntaneras, is home to Costa Rica's famous cloud forests. If you want to walk across suspension bridges above lush treetops, watch the sunset on horseback or explore the rainforest at night, this eco-tourism destination is for you.

Hike Trails in Oso Peninsula

Also in Puntarenas province, Oso Peninsula is a remote, rural stretch for adventure lovers. The peninsula is home to Corcovado National Park, where travelers can hike trails accessible by boat. You can also visit a mangrove swamp, go gold-panning or fly above the small town of Bahia Drake.

Learn about Costa Rica's Wildlife in Tortuguero

This town in the eastern province of Limon is famous for the turtles of Tortuguero National Park. Tortuguero is an eco-tourism hotspot, where you might spy species of monkeys native to Costa Rica, jaguars and of course, sloths. Tortugeuro can only be reached by boat or local flight, so keep that in mind while you're planning.

Pro tip: Consider including Costa Rica honeymoon experiences in your gift registry so your friends and family can give you a fun activity to do during your romantic getaway.

What to Pack for a Costa Rica Honeymoon

Costa Rica Honeymoon - An aerial view of a beach meeting a lush forest in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Photo: Francisco Sosa | Getty

For a honeymoon in Costa Rica, couples should pack a versatile wardrobe that'll suit both adventure and relaxation. Fill your honeymoon luggage with lightweight, breathable clothing—it's essential for the tropical climate. Don't forget to bring a sturdy pair of hiking shoes for exploring the country's diverse terrains, along with swimwear for the beautiful beaches and hot springs.

Even if you're traveling during Costa Rica's dry season, we recommend packing a rainjacket in case of sudden showers.

You can add sunscreen and insect repellent to your packing checklist, but you should be able to find both of those things once you arrive.

Brittany Barber contributed to this article.

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