With activities for both the most adventurous and indolent of travelers, Costa Rica is an easy and affordable vacation from most U.S. cities.
Adrenaline junkies will gravitate toward a multitude of zip line courses, rappelling tours down waterfalls and ATV paths, and those seeking relaxation will find solitude in sunset horseback rides on the beach, natural hot springs pools and unspoiled beaches.
Many vacation packages, including this one, include a car rental to explore the beauty of Costa Rica on your own. Although I’d absolutely recommend driving from one city to another, the roads can be challenging with bridges, giant potholes and rivers running through them -- if an SUV upgrade is available it’s worth the splurge. Also, be sure to purchase the insurance. In some cases there is no deductible and you can show up with only the keys and the bumper with no penalty (be sure to read the fine print though). GPS units can be rented and offer warnings of upcoming bridges, one-lane roads and other hazards. In addition to directions and warnings, the GPS units offer tips and information along the way to your destination -- like your own personal tour guide! Although you may be tempted, do not exceed the speed limit. The police recognize the rentals cars and with speeding tickets costing US$400, it could quickly vaporize your spending and souvenir money.
Travelzoo Tip: When exiting the country to return home, there is a US$26 departure tax. Avoid the long lines at the airport by popping into any bank in town and paying the tax with a teller.