Be sure to read the “fine print” on travel deals to Costa Rica
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -Travel newsletters are pushing out deals which seem “too good to be true,” and they often are!
The problem is: that many of the ‘deal sites’ rely on computer software, rather than a real person, to find the lowest prices from city-to-city. As a result, the low prices pushed out to consumers often include travel hiccups, like unexpected lengthy layovers.
As an example, several travel sites are advertising $220 round trip flights from Phoenix to Costa Rica. The average prices are up in the $600 range, so $220 would be an unheard of deal. If you look closely at this alleged deal, you’ll find it requires a 12-hour overnight layover in Austin, Texas. While Austin is a great city, a 12-hour layover eats into your Costa Rican vacation time! It also requires a hotel stay, which raises the price of the deal.
In general, it’s rare to find a round trip flight from Arizona to Costa Rica for under $500. If you see something in the $400 range, snag it before it disappears! Once you arrive in Liberia or San Jose, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the relatively low prices you’ll pay for rental cars in Costa Rica and food in restaurants. Prices for lodging can be very reasonable, whether you’re looking at staying in Costa Rica’s beautiful hotels, eco-lodges, or hostels.
Many of the best activities in Costa Rica are free, like visiting the diverse stretch of beaches in the Puerto Viejo area along the Caribbean Coast. One of them, in a rural town called Manzanillo, is now home to an infamous shipwreck which you can explore.
The wildlife in Costa Rica is another draw. You’ll encounter spider monkeys, sloths, lizards, and more in your travels. While Costa Rica has a newer law prohibiting photos of people with wildlife, you can learn about the animals at different sanctuaries. The Jaguar Rescue Center in Puerto Viejo houses wildlife injured by cars and powerlines or are turned in by people who can no longer take care for them. Some of the stories are heartbreaking, but it’s inspiring to see the good care the animals are getting at the sanctuary.
Central America is known for its coffee plantations, and several of Costa Rica’s coffee farms offer tours. They highlight the changes farmers have made over the years to improve the surrounding environment and boost biodiversity. As for the best time of year to take a road trip through Costa Rica, the “rainy season” is less defined, as a result of climate change. You’re likely to encounter a mix of sun and rain no matter which month you decide to visit.
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