When to go
For a beach wind-down good weather is a priority, so most visits are in the dry season Dec - Apr when there is plenty of sun. It’s hot all year round (often over 30°C). The busy times for visitors are the dry season months, especially weekends and Easter week. The green (i.e. rainy) season is much quieter.
Getting local currency
Colón. Notes can be withdrawn from ATMs in San José using a UK credit or debit card. You may have to authorise your bank first, and withdrawals may be limited to amounts lower than in the UK. US dollars cash can be exchanged in banks too. There’s an ATM in Tamarindo, but stock up with your local currency needs before travelling to the Nicoya Peninsula.
GMT -5 hours.
By light aircraft from San José to the beach resorts at Tamarindo, Nosara, Sámara and Tambor. Flights take less than one hour. Road transfers between the beaches tends to be arduous and only possible by 4WD vehicles.
Anywhere in Costa Rica, since you depart from or return to San José by air. Arenal, in the north, the most spectacular volcano; Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, for excellent bird watching; Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast for wildlife turtle watching. Costa Rica is a tiny country so road journeys, even winding ones through the highlands, are relatively short. Some roads are in good condition while others require 4WD vehicles.