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Costa Rica

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Rain forest (Photo: Costa Rica Tourist Board)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on May 18, 2009. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: AirTran, beach, Cayman Airways, Cayman Islands, Cheap Tickets, Costa Rica, Curacao, destination, Expedia, Ft. Myers, Jessica Labrencis, JetBlue, low season, Orbitz, San Antonio, Sanibel Island, shoulder season, Southwest, Spirit, summer, Travelocity.

Summer is Costa Rica's "green season," and is a great time for budget travelers to visit the already affordable country. The green season is a pretty way of saying "rainy season," but don't worry about your trip being a wash-out, as heavy rains don't normally occur until fall (although you can expect some rain every day). If you can deal with some wet weather, you'll enjoy cheaper prices for hotels and airfare, and you will experience lighter crowds at parks and beaches around the country.

Getting to Costa Rica is even easier (and likely cheaper) this year, thanks to JetBlue's new service. The airline offers nonstop flights between Orlando and San Jose, and connecting service from many of its other cities. When I compared summer off-peak flights to San Jose with peak-season flights, I found savings of up to $124. Although the prices below are merely samples, you'll probably find similar results from your departure city.

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Route Off-Peak Fare Peak Fare
Milwaukee to San Jose $365 $473
New York City (LaGuardia) to San Jose $271 $321
Oakland to San Jose $458 $582
Orlando to San Jose $260 $271

Off-peak fares are based on travel from August 5 to 12, 2009, and peak fares are based on travel from January 14 to 20, 2010. Prices were found on Expedia and include taxes and fees.

Although many people visit Costa Rica for its cloud forests, rainforests, beaches, and wildlife, there are cultural events that take place throughout the summer that may be of interest. The Costa Rica Tourism Board lists events by month.

For instance, in July, art is celebrated at the Nicoya Peninsula's Chorotega Cermaic Fair, on weekends from July 3 to 12, and at the Sarchi Crafts and Managerial Fair in Sarchi from July 24 through 26. August brings National Parks Day to parks around the country, and many hold special events on August 24.

Visit Costa Rica is a good source of information on planning a trip to any part of the country.

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