A week-long vacation in Costa Rica can cost anything from $1,800 to over $4,500 per person. The trip price will be affected primarily by the type of accommodation you choose and the kind (and the number) of activities included in the tour. Meals and transportation can also affect the cost of the trip but to a lesser degree.
On average, a week-long trip can cost under $2,000 per person if it includes mid-priced accommodations and only a few popular activities, such as ziplining or nature hikes.
If you want to enjoy beachfront lodging, multi-bedroom suites, or more luxurious accommodations, and you want to include exclusive activities such as deep-sea fishing, the price of your trip can quickly increase to over $3,000 per person per week.
One important thing to consider is that those general prices do not contemplate airfare or alcoholic beverages.
Also, remember that the total cost of your trip will vary depending on the time of the year you choose to visit. For example, during the high season (December to April), you should expect to pay the highest price at most hotels. However, costs are lowered during the green season, which means the rainy season (May to November). Learn more in our article, Best Time to Visit Costa Rica.
Note: All prices used in this article are USD.
How much does a round trip flight to Costa Rica cost?
More than 25 different airlines weekly connect the Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José and the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia with 38 different destinations worldwide. In addition, some of those airlines have daily flights to more than one destination.
On average, around 450 weekly flights come to Costa Rica from the Americas and Europe. The total amount of flights grows during the high season between December and April.
That is why, when planning your trip to Costa Rica, you should take the time to look at different flight options. Also, try to keep flexible dates and flight itineraries.
One can find round-trip flights for as little as $300 if you come from destinations like Miami, Huston, Panama, México, and sometimes even New York. But in general, the fight from other less-connected US destinations can be as high as $900-$1,200.
Round-trip airfare from Europe costs around $1,200, but sometimes you can find flight itineraries from cities like Madrid, Frankfurt, or London, for as little as $600.
How much does lodging cost in Costa Rica?
Because Costa Rica has dedicated so much to creating an excellent tourism industry, there are lodging options for everyone’s taste and budget.
You can find everything from hostels that only cost a few US dollars per night to hotels and luxury lodges that cost more than $650 per night.
One can find fantastic lodging for around $150, double occupancy, almost anywhere in Costa Rica. There are different lodging options that you should consider besides the traditional hotel or resort. We always recommend that you try to avoid informal lodging because there is no guarantee of the quality of the service you will receive and the safety of hosts and guests.
How much do food and other items cost in Costa Rica?
Depending on where you decide to eat, you can end up paying for your dinner as much as you would in a fine dining restaurant in New York City. But do not stress; Costa Rica also offers a lot of food options that are affordable and even inexpensive.
In a traditional Costa Rican restaurant called a “soda,” a good Costa Rican meal, like a Casado, can cost around $10. This will be a huge meal that could probably hold you for the day (with maybe a small snack at the end of the day). Learn more about Costa Rica’s traditional cuisine.
Breakfast is huge and can cost around $6, including a delicious cup of Costa Rican coffee.
But if you want to try the new Costa Rican cuisine, you can find, almost at every destination, a restaurant that is experimenting with fusion cuisine. There you can try exotic tropical ingredients beautifully and tastefully presented. The meal cost at such restaurants can vary from $15 to $40 a plate, sometimes a bit more if you eat a dish that includes lobster or imported products.
One thing that is important to mention is that alcohol, in general, is expensive in Costa Rica. For example, a beer at a bar can cost from $2 for local beers to $6 for artisanal and imported beers.
If you want bottled water, a 12 oz bottle can cost $1.50.
One very affordable thing (and also delicious) in Costa Rica is fruit, especially the fruit that is in season. For example, mangos are in season from March to May, and you can find them in local markets for as little as $0.40 per pound.
How much does transportation cost in Costa Rica?
In Costa Rica, you can opt to use public transportation like buses, taxi cabs, and local airlines, to private services like shuttles, private drivers, private flights, or a rental car. However, we recommend you opt for something other than a rental because driving around Costa Rica can be tricky. We also advise that you stay very alert regarding public transportation. Learn more in our article on Costa Rica transportation.
In general, land transportation is very affordable in Costa Rica. The existing bus network can reach even the most remote places at least twice a week. A bus fare inside the central valley can cost between $1 to $5; buses that go to the beach or the northern region can cost up to $15.
To hire a private driver for parts of your trip or to accompany you during your total stay in the country can cost, on average, $150 a day, including the vehicle and the driver if you are visiting Costa Rica with your family or with a group of people. However, this option will be affordable. Also, it will be very advantageous since an experienced Costa Rican driver will take you to your destination, and at the same time, he or she will share his knowledge of the country with you.
How much do activities cost when traveling in Costa Rica?
The cost of activities in Costa Rica is also very varied, just like lodging.
More popular activities like zipline/canopy tours, hanging bridges, or visiting wildlife rescue centers can cost around $50 per person. Other actions that take longer, such as white water rafting, can cost about $100.
Non-Costa Rican visitors pay between $5 and $18 daily to visit different national parks and biological reserves.
How to save money during your trip in Costa Rica?
The fun can begin here because you have to be creative, but it is very doable.
When it comes to flights, we suggest looking at websites like Kayak or Travelocity to get an idea of what flights are cheaper and then compare them to the airline itself. For example, Southwest Airlines can have some excellent deals, but you will notice that their times are selective, so you have to go on their schedule, but it may be worth it in the long run.
You can save money on lodging, but they can be hit or miss. For example, if you are interested in a particular hotel, follow them on social media, as they could potentially post a deal for you. Also, if you have a travel credit card, you can always use points for the hotel.
If you want to spend time on the beach with the family, head to either the local Pali (Wal-Mart) or other grocery stores in town, grab a picnic filled with fruits, chips or lunch meat and cheese, or something simple for the kids, peanut butter and jelly and bread. Side note: when it comes to buying local, that will be a tad cheaper than purchasing a brand-name peanut butter from the States.
If you want to hike and explore, there are many opportunities to go to National Parks without a guide. And while you may not see as much as you could with a guide, you will still enjoy being in nature.
How much cash should you bring?
First of all, most places do take credit cards, such as Visa or Mastercard. You will see little American Express usage these days.
Second of all, there are ATMs all over Costa Rica. The leading banks are Banco Nacional de Costa Rica and Banco de Costa Rica. Just check with your banks regarding the fee, as your bank may take an international price for using the ATM. You can also exchange your dollars at the airport at SJO or LIB when you leave.
So, where do you need to use the Costa Rican Colones? We see most people using the colones during a local market, a street vendor, or a taxi. Some restaurants prefer you to pay in colones, or you can pay in dollars, but the exchange rate isn’t the best when you do that.
Alright, how much cash do we bring? Upfront, if you can take out $300 to $500 in colones for a week, that is reasonable, BUT it all depends on where you will be, how many people will be with you, and what fun adventures you want to try. Remember, you can always use an ATM.
How much do different types of trips to Costa Rica cost?
As mentioned above, the cost of a trip to Costa Rica depends on the lodging you choose, the activities you include, and the time of year you visit. Here are some considerations for the most popular trips to Costa Rica.
How much does a Family Vacation to Costa Rica cost?
Average Trip Cost: $1,670+ per person (for 7-10 nights)
If you need to keep your trip very affordable, spend a lot of time at the beach, where sand, sun, and water will keep everybody happy and busy. We have a few suggestions for The Best Beaches in Costa Rica for Families. Another way to keep you affordable is by staying at a resort, which will cost you authenticity and get you served generic experiences.
If you have a bit more budget, include several adventure activities in your family vacation in Costa Rica to make the trip memorable!
Costa Rica Honeymoon
Average Trip Cost: $1,610+ per person (for 7-10 nights)
Honeymoons in Costa Rica are incredibly delightful and romantic but know that they can be a little costly if you want to indulge yourself (and you should).
We love to plan honeymoon trips, and we make sure that you can enjoy as much time as possible with your loved one, feeling in paradise.
Even though Costa Rica is such a popular destination in the world, there are still places where you can be almost alone, surrounded by great luxury. Visiting those parts of Costa Rica can be a bit more costly, but it will make your trip even more special.
Costa Rica Destination Wedding
Average Trip Cost: Contact for a quote
Destination weddings can be expensive, mainly depending on the type of accommodations you decide to use and the kind of wedding you want.
Costa Rica has a very established destination-wedding industry. You can choose to celebrate your wedding at beach resorts, reducing costs using the resort’s amenities. Or you can have a very exclusive and tailored wedding in private villas with an event created just for you.
Solo Adventure Trip to Costa Rica
Average Trip Cost: Contact for a quote
Costa Rica is a land of diverse wildlife and landscapes. Therefore, you can enjoy all kinds of adventures here, from mountain biking to white water rafting to sports fishing. These adventures are more costly than other popular activities, so be aware that this trip can be higher.
If you are interested in getting more details about your Costa Rica trip, we would be happy to help you plan, save and organize your itinerary to make sure that you get the best possible trip available! Contact us below.
John Rabenau has been working in the eco-tourism & adventure travel industry in Costa Rica since 2002. He has worked in a variety of capacities from Outdoor Educator & Principle Guide to Itinerary Design Manager & Business Owner for numerous organizations. He has grown Costa Rica Escapes into one of the most reputable Costa Rica travel agencies since its creation in 2006, hosting more than 5,000 people with custom vacation itineraries.