Author launches Costa Rica Trips iPhone app

Update as of Sept 12, 2011: I just launched an update of the app, adding dozens of additional restaurants, clubs, and hotels, along with two brand-new Trip Ideas:

–Explore Gay Costa Rica

–Explore Medical Tourism (cut-rate facelifts and bargain bypasses).

Those who already bought the app will get this (and any future updates) free; those who haven’t yet bought the app, this might be a good time to get Costa Rica in your pocket:


From July 1:

I’m thrilled to announce the birth of Costa Rica Trip Ideas, a mobile app for iPhones, iPads, and the iPod Touch. Weighing in a 0 pounds, 0 ounces, it is nevertheless a robust baby: more than 135 entries, and almost 1500 photos.

So why did I spend almost a year developing this little critter?

The most common question readers of Living Abroad in Costa Rica ask me is, Where should I go in Costa Rica?

You’d think, after having lived here and traveled around the country at least 15 times, I’d have an easy answer.

Instead, my answer is always more questions: How much time do you have? What are you interested in? Do you want to splurge or travel frugally?

I’ve often wished I had something to hand people who needed help planning a trip to Costa Rica, along with maps and lists of my favorite hotels, restaurants, and national parks.

Now I do.

With the help of Sutro Media, last week I launched Costa Rica Trip Ideas, the only (as far as I know) itinerary-based mobile app available for Costa Rica. If you have an iPhone, iPad, or an iPod Touch, download the app for $2.99 at

Soon, I’m hoping it will also be available for android phones.

Here’s a little more about what you can do with the app:

  • Browse more than 135 entries, covering beachfront villas, jungle lodges, national parks and reserves, along with 10 detailed Trip Ideas, organized by theme (wildlife, yoga, surfing, sea turtles, indigenous culture, birding, hot springs, volcanoes) and trip length (Hot Spots in 10 Days; 21 Glorious Days in Costa Rica).
  • View nearly 1500 photos to get a sneak peak before you go.
  • Easily sort entries by category, name, price, distance, or geographical region.
  • Find what you want faster, using the app’s global search, alphabet scroll, and hyperlinks between entries.
  • GPS tracking tells you instantly what’s nearby (when you’re online).
  • Access all of the app’s content at anytime (including offline maps!). Maps like this are a boon in a place like Costa Rica, which isn’t known for its helpful signage.

Early users have told me that the app is more than a great on-the-road tool; they say it’s also a dream book and a planning kit, with stunning photographs and compelling Trip Ideas designed to whet your appetite for the next trip of a lifetime.

Download away, and you tell me what you think.


  • By Michael Burr, July 26, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

    I am the owner of and
    We sell GPS maps of Costa Rica for Garmin and iPhone.

    Please let me know if you would ever like to try our GPS maps.


  • By John, April 22, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

    Hopefully you will include what is required to enter Costa Rica, especially for those traveling on a one way ticket. As you may be aware, if a tourist does not have proof of exiting the country then they will not be allowed to enter. And what many people are not aware of is that a ore-purchased onward bus ticket serves as proof of onward travel. Tourists planning on traveling Central America by bus or renewing their visa, do not need an airline ticket out of the country in order to enter. Naturally, some airlines do not publish such information as it serves them to sell an airline ticket at the counter. In the latter case airlines win and the traveler loses.

  • By Erin Van Rheenen, April 23, 2012 @ 10:55 am

    John, Good point — that immigration officials may ask those entering Costa Rica for proof that they have a ticket out of the country. I do in fact mention that in my app, though in my next edition I will emphasize that the ticket doesn’t have to be an airline ticket–it can also be a bus ticket. Thanks for the reminder!

Other Links to this Post