Top 10 Reasons to Get Married in Costa Rica

Top 10 Reason to Get Married in Costa Rica

Want to tie the knot on a tropical beach, a dense tropical rainforest, a mystical cloud forest, at a breathtaking waterfall, or near a picturesque volcano?  These are just a few reasons to plan your destination wedding in Costa Rica.  Although there are sundry reason to get married in Costa Rica, these are the top 10 reasons why you should.  

1. Beautiful Natural Sites

To say Costa Rica is beautiful is an understatement.  Most of its numerous and varied natural wonders are National Geographic material.  Many of its Pacific Coast and Atlantic Coast beaches in Guanacaste and Puntarenas are simply stunning and appear as if never touched by man.  Among its breathtaking volcanoes is the Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna, which is the quintessential volcano if one imagines a lava-spewing, cone-shaped mountain jutting from the earth.  Then there are its many waterfalls, among which is Catarata del Toro in Bajos del Toro, one of the most majestic and sublime waterfalls in Costa Rica, if not in the world.  There’s also the Rio Celeste Waterfall whose cascading water is sky-blue water that flows into a blue river, which is one of many amazing rivers in Costa Rica as well as lakes.  Last but not least are the amazing rainforests and cloud forests that cover most of Costa Rica that are home to innumerable exotic species of flora and fauna.

Catarata del Toro Waterfall (Bulls Waterfall) in Bajos del Toro is a great site for wedding photos and sightseeing.  It's a short drive El Silencio Lodge & Spa - an excellent location for a cloud forest waterfall-themed wedding.

 2. Amazing Wedding Venues

Its amazing wedding venues is another reason to get married in Costa Rica.  If you want to get hitched on the beach in Guanacaste or Puntarenas, there’s the Four Seasons Resort, Hotel Punta Islita, and Si Como No and Los Altos Resort to name just a few.  For a rainforest and volcano-themed wedding, there’s The Springs Resort & Spa, Tabacon Thermal Resort, and Lost Iguana Resort & Spa in La Fortuna among others, or there is Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel in the dense rainforest just south of the Tenorio National Park where there’s also a volcano a blue waterfall and river. El Silencio Lodge & Spa in Bajos del Toro and Peace Lodge in Poas are excellent choices for a cloud forest and waterfall wedding.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.  There’s no shortage of great places to tie the knot in Costa Rica.

This rustic honeymoon suite at Peace Lodge in Poas overlooks a cloud forest and the Poas Volcano.  

3. Pre and Post-Wedding Day Activities

The number and type of activates you can engage in before and after your big day are as numerous and as varied as the beautiful Costa Rican landscape.  There’s horseback riding on the beach or country, zip-lining, surfing, hanging bridges, nature walks and boat rides, bird watching, coffee and chocolate plantation tours, arts and craft, cooking, coffee and wine tasting classes, white water rafting, tubing, visiting natural wonders, volcanic mud baths, helicopter tours, canopy tours, river and ocean kayaking, snorkeling, hot springs, rappelling and many other activates. 

This is a long-exposure photo we took of the river flowing from the base of the La Fortuna Waterfall.  It's a wonderful site to visit before or after your wedding day, and is also an amazing place for bride and groom photos.

4. No-Headache Marriage Requirements

Tying the knot it Costa Rica is about as easy as it can get for non-citizens.  The process is straightforward.  You have to fill out a bit of paperwork, provide a copy of your passport, sign an affidavit swearing you are not married and therefore legally free to marry, and have two witness to sign an affidavit at the wedding ceremony – if you don’t have any witnesses, your wedding planner should be able to provide them. 

Bride signing marriage affidavit at the end of wedding ceremony at Dreams Las Mareas in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

5. No Visa Required

No visa is required to enter Costa Rica, just a valid passport that has at least three months left before it expires and a return plane ticket if you fly in.  That’s it!  This makes planning a Costa Rica destination wedding much, much easier.  There’s no need to coordinate your travel and wedding dates with the time allotted on a visa, which can be a headache if you have family and friends coming with you, or check in with the local police upon arrival.  This is great for elopements too.  You can decide to take off at any minute as long as your passport is valid.

This honeymoon suite at Lost Iguana Resort & Spa in La Fortuna has French doors that lead to an outside jacuzzi-type tub that has a magnificent view of the Arenal Volcano.

6. Frequent, Short, Inexpensive, and Direct Flights

This depends the origin airport, which airline and seating class you choose, if you get married in the high or low season, and the state of international affairs, especially with oil-producing countries.  Unlike other exotic wedding destinations, there are several airlines that offer frequent, non-stop flights to Costa Rica from the United States.  If flying from either Ft. Lauderdale or Miami, the flight’s are non-stop and about 2 hours and a half hours.  I’ve found round-trip fares from Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) to Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) for $120.00 that were not promotions.  Before booking flights for your Costa Rica destination wedding, check out all the airlines.  You never know. 

A view of the Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna enveloped in haze as seen from a guest suite at The Springs Resort & Spa.

7. English Spoken & Dollars Welcome

One fear couples planning on getting hitched in Costa Rica might have is the language barrier.  Fear not.  Costa Rica is quite Americanized – most movies are from the U.S., there are Applebee’s, TGIF, Popeye’s Chicken, KFC, Taco Bell, McDonalds, Carl’s Junior, Hooligans, and even Hooters restaurants.  Many employees at resorts that cater to destinations weddings speak English and speak it well, especially employees whose position requires them to have direct and frequent contact with guests.  The same goes for tour guide operates, people involved in transportation, and even at restaurants and shops that are not part of your resort.  To boot, Dollars are accepted everywhere.  If you want to change Dollars for Colones, do so at a bank to avoid the high fees charged at the currency exchanges at the airport.  Banks are everywhere in Costa Rica.  All you need is your passport.

While at Bahia del Sol Hotel in Potrero, Guanacaste, we happened upon this small iguana taking in a bit of sun in their lush tropical garden.  

8. LGBT and Minority Friendly

If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, Costa Rica is "the" place for your same-sex destination wedding.  Wedding venues all over the country will welcome you with open arms, and wedding-day providers - wedding planners, photographers, videographers, officiants, bakers, florists, DJs, . . . - will provide you with the services and products you need to make your wedding day a day to remember.  It's your wedding day!

If you are not white, the same applies.  Costa Rica, racially speaking, is a veritable melting pot, so the color of your skin will have no bearing on the service or treatment you receive from your wedding-day providers and resort staff to taxi drivers and people on the street.  

10. Great Climate and Weather

Costa Rica is ideal for destination weddings due to its temperate and consistent weather.  It does not get too cold and it does not get too hot.  It’s just right.  In the beach and low-lying areas, it can get a bit warm in the summer, but nothing like Florida in August.  When the sun sets, it cools off quickly and stays that way all night.  In the higher-elevation areas, it can get a bit cool, especially in the cloud forests, but it’s nothing that requires a parka and layers.  One thing to keep in mind is the rain: it rains in the rainy season, more so in the rain and cloud forests.  If working with an experienced wedding planner who specializes in Costa Rica destination weddings, they’ll know when and where to get married to avoid the rain, and they will have a Plan B in case it does.

This picturesque red bridge crossing a waterfall feed by a volcanic thermal spring is located at Tabacón Thermal Resort and Spa in La Fortuna, a great wedding venue in Costa Rica.

10. First-Rate Customer Service

We’ve shot wedding all over Costa Rica and have been guests at many luxury resorts, and can say without a doubt from the perspective of a wedding provider and a guest, the wedding venues in Costa Rica provide excellent customer service.  In our experience, they bend over backward to make your stay and your wedding memorable. 

An amazing view of the Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna from a tub in a honeymoon suite decorate with red rose petals. 

Bonus Reason: Politically & Economically Stable

You can plan your wedding a year in advance and not worry about it.  Costa Rica has no army.  There are no generals waiting in the shadows planning or executing a coup d'etat.  It’s not a third-world dictatorship ruled by an authoritarian iron fist who has sundry enemies.  It’s political leaders are democratically elected and they, as are its business leaders, are fully aware that without tourism and destination weddings, Costa Rica would suffer greatly economically.  It’s also relatively safe, especially at resorts and tourist destinations.  There are areas you should not venture, as there are in most if not all other countries.  Just use common sense.  Tourists are always a target, even in the U.S.

This hanging bridge in a cloud forest in Bajos del Toro spans a river that flows through El Silencio Lodge & Spa.

If you are looking for "the" place for your destination wedding, there is no other location that has so many reasons to choose it than Costa Ria. 


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