Costa Rica Cruises

Cruising in Costa Rica

Costa Rica means “rich coast,” a name the country earned by virtue the belief of sixteenth century Spanish explorers that it was a place of great wealth. The country was inhabited more than ten thousand years ago by Andean and Mesoamerican cultures, but remained isolated from much of the world until it came under Spanish colonial rule. Costa Rica became a self-governing country in 1938, after the Mexican War of Independence and its aftermath, and it’s now a peaceful, prosperous, and welcoming country—one of only a handful of countries in the world without a standing military.

Cruises that stop in Costa Rica typically visit either Limon on the east coast, or Puntarenas on the west coast, where the country’s two busiest ports are situated. The inland regions of the country are largely mountainous, and much of it is cloaked in rainforest; from either coast it’s a journey of several hours to the capital of San Jose—too long a trip for a day visit, but luckily there are many sights to see and activities to enjoy in the coastal cities. In Limon, you can tour the city, travel the short distance Moin to take a boat trip on the Tortuguero Canals that wend their way through thick forests, or ride the aerial tram, which provides an incredible view of the rainforest beneath. In Puntarenas there are similar adventurers to be found, including an incredible zipline trip high above the rainforest canopy. Whether you stop in Limon or Puntaneras, be sure to spend some time at one of the city’s markets, to purchase bags of one of the country’s finest exports—coffee!

Costa Rica is generally warm throughout much of the year, but it’s often what you might think of as “liquid sunshine”—wet weather is a frequent visitor, even outside of the traditional rainy season (you can’t have a rainforest without plenty of rain, after all). It’s all part of the experience, and the sight of steam rising off the thick rainforest canopy after rain is truly unforgettable.

Ports in Costa Rica

Cruise lines that visit Costa Rica

Popular countries in South America

Cruise guides & features