Hawaii Vs Costa Rica for Vacation(2022)? An Honest Comparison to Help You Choose!

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Hawaii Vs Costa Rica for Vacation? If you’re struggling to decide between Hawaii and Costa Rica for your next vacation, then this article is for you.

Both of these locations are wonderful for a holiday. Costa Rica is recognised for its amazing rainforests, unique fauna, and active volcanoes, whereas Hawaii is known for its diverse beaches and breathtaking scenery. As a result, if you have to pick amongst them for your next holiday, the task is obviously daunting.

That’s why we’ve compared Hawaii and Costa Rica in this post based on a variety of critical variables to help you decide which one to visit for your next vacation. So, which is the better vacation spot between Hawaii and Costa Rica?

If you’re looking for stunning beaches, nice hotels, and a varied selection of activities, Hawaii is a better vacation location than Costa Rica. Costa Rica is a better alternative if you are a nature lover seeking pristine beaches and the chance to explore Costa Rica’s amazing jungles, exotic wildlife, and limitless adventure activities.

ParametersHawaiiCosta Rica
Cost of a
7-day Trip💵
$4490 (For a couple)$2337 (For a couple)
Known for👍Beautiful beaches, breathtaking natural beauty, Volcanoes, picturesque landscapes, Waterfalls, and a wide range of activitiesUnspoiled beaches lined by jungles, Rich biodiversity, Active volcanos, Dense rainforests, National parks, Towering Waterfalls
Beaches🏖Hundreds of diverse range of beaches that are well equipped and well developedUnspoiled, Natural, undeveloped
Activities🏄🏼‍♂️Helicopter tours, Snorkeling, Hiking, Whale watching, Surfing, Scuba diving, Kayaking, Ziplining, Skydiving, ATV toursHiking, Surfing, Ziplining, Volcano trekking, Canopy tours, Kayaking, Atv tour, Eco tours
Popular Tourist Attractions🏛Road to Hana, Molokini Crater, Haleakala crater, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Waikiki beach, Na Pali CoastArenal Volcano, Manuel Antonio National Park, Tamarindo, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Monteverde and the Cloud Forests
Best Place to Stay🏨Waikiki, OahuTamarindo town

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Hawaii Vs Costa Rica: Beaches🏖

Costa Rica

Costa Rica beaches

Costa Rica’s beaches are untouched, undeveloped, and natural. Costa Rica’s beaches are typically surrounded by deep tropical rainforests teeming with diverse animals, making them an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and adventurers.

Fortunately, more than 90% of Costa Rica’s coastline area is protected, so its beaches remain unspoilt and in their natural state. As a result, Costa Rica’s beaches are unquestionably more natural, tranquil, and less crowded than those in Hawaii.

On the negative side, Costa Rica’s beaches are still developing, so you won’t find major commercial hotel chains or beachfront resorts like in Hawaii. So, if you want a relaxing beach holiday with beautiful beachfront resorts and modern amenities, Hawaii is a better alternative than Costa Rica.

Furthermore, unlike Hawaii, its beaches are very remote and difficult to access due to its vast size. Many of its well-known beaches are in isolated places with insufficient road infrastructure. As a result, travelling from one beach to another in Costa Rica may take several hours.

🏖 Suggested read: Puerto Rico Vs Costa Rica for Vacation? Which is Better to Visit?


Oahu beach
Waikiki Beach

When it comes to beaches, Hawaii is a one-of-a-kind destination in the globe. In comparison to Costa Rica, Hawaii has an abundance of high-quality beaches. Unlike Costa Rica, Hawaii provides a broad assortment of beaches to suit every type of visitor.

Lanikai and Waimanalo beaches: Is Oahu worth visiting?

If you desire vibrant beaches, Hawaii boasts Waikiki Beach, tranquil beaches like Kapukahehu Beach for peace seekers, family-friendly beaches like Hapuna Beach, and romantic beaches like Lanikai Beach for lovebirds.

If you’re tired of white sandy beaches, don’t worry; Hawaii also boasts green sand, black sand, and red sand beaches. In other words, nothing beats Hawaii when it comes to the diversity of beaches to pick from. Every type of beach imaginable can be found in Hawaii.

Hawaii boasts more attractive, well-developed, and well-equipped beaches than Costa Rica. In comparison to Costa Rica, Hawaii has a diverse choice of beaches that are suitable for all ages and are easily accessible.

There is a beach for everyone in Hawaii, whether you are a peace seeker, a partygoer, a honeymooner, or a family vacationer. In addition, every major hotel chain and all modern amenities can be found near Hawaiian beaches, which is not the situation in Costa Rica.

Winner: Hawaii

Hawaii Vs Costa Rica: Nature🏞

It is no secret that both Costa Rica and Hawaii are paradises for nature and adventure lovers. Both of these destinations are endowed with breathtaking natural beauty, panoramic views, and scenic lush green landscapes that allure everyone who goes there.


Road to Hana
Road to Hana, Maui

When it comes to natural treasures, Hawaii is home to endless natural treasures such as beautiful hiking trails such as the Road to Hana, towering waterfalls such as Wailua Falls, scenic landscapes such as Haleakala, lush mountains such as the Napali Coast, and tropical rainforests such as Iao Valley State Park.

Iao valley and Haleakala crater

Indeed, some of Hawaii’s natural beauties, such as the Road to Hana, which boasts some of the most magnificent scenery in Hawaii, and Haleakala crater, which displays picturesque otherworldly panoramas, attract nature enthusiasts from all over the world.

🏖 Suggested read: US Virgin Islands Vs Hawaii? Which is BETTER for a vacation?

Costa Rica

However, if we had to choose between Hawaii and Costa Rica, we think Costa Rica is a better option for nature and adventure lovers than Hawaii.

There is no doubt that Hawaii is a fantastic location for nature lovers, but Costa Rica, with its incredible dense rainforests, beautiful national parks, incredible biodiversity, and active volcanoes, is the world’s topmost destination for nature and adventure enthusiasts.

Costa Rica is a nature lover’s paradise. Costa Rica’s lush green tropical rainforests cover more than half of the country. Costa Rica has some of the densest jungles in the world.

Costa Rica National Parks

It is a place of active volcanoes and unspoilt, deep tropical rainforests that provides nature enthusiasts with a true tropical experience. That is why its world-famous national parks, such as Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Tortuguero National Park, and Arenal Volcano National Park, draw millions of people from all over the world each year.

Costa Rica nature and biodiversity

Costa Rica also outperforms Hawaii in terms of “Great Biodiversity.” Costa Rica has over 500,000 plant and animal species, making it the country with the highest density of biodiversity anywhere in the world.

Costa Rica is home to approximately 250 animal species, including sloths, Jaguars, Monkeys, Tapirs, Anteaters, and many others. So, if you are a nature lover looking for a real, unspoilt tropical experience and to explore unusual species, Costa Rica is unquestionably a better alternative than Hawaii.

Winner: Costa Rica

🏖 Suggested read: Costa Rica Vs Cancun for Vacation? Which is BETTER to Visit?

Hawaii Vs Costa Rica: Activities🏄🏼‍♂️


Maui adventure activities

When it comes to activities, Hawaii is unquestionably the clear victor. Hawaii definitely has a significantly more wide choice of activities than Costa Rica. In reality, if you want to experience all of Hawaii’s activities, a single trip is insufficient.

On each of the Hawaiian islands, there are a plethora of activities to partake in. However, we believe that Oahu is the best island for activities. With its world-class retail malls, restaurants, theatres, and museums, Oahu provides a limitless array of metropolitan activities. In addition, Oahu has the most nightclubs and bars of any Hawaiian island.

Again, Hawaii is a considerably superior option over Costa Rica when it comes to aquatic activities. Hawaii is home to some of the world’s top snorkelling spots, including Molokini crater and Hanauma bay, where you can snorkel with Hawaii’s colourful marine life in crystal clear, warm water.

Hawaii provides an abundance of fascinating water sports such as surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, kitesurfing, windsurfing, kayaking, and whale watching, making it a far better alternative than Costa Rica for those looking to enjoy underwater activities.

Maui and Kauai, on the other hand, are the best destinations to visit in Hawaii for adventurous activities. The rich forests, lush mountains, and towering waterfalls of Maui and Kauai provide numerous options for sightseeing and adventure. Hiking, ATV tours, ziplining, horseback riding, and skydiving are just a few of the adventurous activities available in Hawaii.

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Costa Rica


When it comes to Costa Rica, nature and adventure activities reign supreme. The majority of visitors to Costa Rica come to explore the country’s deep rainforests, rich biodiversity, active volcanoes, and the many nature and adventure activities that Costa Rica has to offer.

Hiking, volcano hiking, canopy tours, Eco tours, kayaking, ATV excursions, and ziplining are just few of the adventurous activities available in Costa Rica.

In other words, if you are a true nature enthusiast looking to engage in a variety of nature and adventure activities, Costa Rica is a better choice than Hawaii.

However, if you want to experience a wide range of activities, from water sports to cosmopolitan activities to adventurous sports, Hawaii is a better choice than Costa Rica.

Winner: Hawaii

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Hawaii Vs Costa Rica: Accommodation🏨

Comparison of average accommodation costs in Hawaii and Costa Rica

PlacesHawaiiCosta Rica
Mid-range hotel$165$74
Villas/Luxury rooms$527$188

Hawaii is undoubtedly one of the most expensive travel destinations in the world. So, it is no surprise that Hawaii offers far more expensive accommodation options than Costa Rica. So, if you are on a budget, there is absolutely no doubt that Costa Rica must be your first choice over Hawaii.

In other words, if you are a true nature enthusiast looking to engage in a variety of nature and adventure activities, Costa Rica is a better choice than Hawaii. However, if you want to experience a wide range of activities, from water sports to cosmopolitan activities to adventurous sports, Hawaii is a better choice than Costa Rica.

In contrast, modest boutique-style hotels and backpacker hostels are more common in Costa Rica than major opulent resorts and hotel corporations. As a result, if you want to spend your holiday in a beautiful beachfront resort with all modern amenities, Hawaii is a better choice than Costa Rica.

Winner: Draw

Hawaii Vs Costa Rica: Safety🦺

Safety is definitely a big parameter when comparing Hawaii and Costa Rica.

When it comes to Hawaii, it is unquestionably one of the safest travel destinations in the USA. In fact, it has one of the lowest crime rates in the United States of America. Not only violent crimes are uncommon, but also petty crimes such as theft and pickpocketing.

When it comes to Costa Rica, there are few places that are not safe for tourists. However, if you stay away from such places, the rest of Costa Rica is quite safe for tourists. Petty crimes such as theft, tourist scams, and pickpocketing, on the other hand, are quite common in Costa Rica. So, while visiting Costa Rica, stay alert and take basic safety precautions.

Winner: Hawaii

Hawaii Vs Costa Rica for Family Vacation?👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

Hawaii and Costa Rica both are undoubtedly excellent vacation destinations.

However, when it comes to family vacations, we believe Hawaii is a far superior option over Costa Rica. Hawaii is a safer place to visit than Costa Rica. In addition, unlike Costa Rica, Hawaii’s magnificent beaches are easily accessible, well-equipped, and developed, making them ideal for families.

Apart from that, Hawaii offers a diverse selection of family-friendly accommodations and an abundance of family-friendly activities.

Additionally, due to Costa Rica’s immense size, you may find yourself driving for hours on the country’s terrible road infrastructure, which is not ideal for families with little children.

Winner: Hawaii

Hawaii Vs Costa Rica for Honeymoon?💘

Hawaii and Costa Rica are both excellent honeymoon places. Both of these locations provide the romantic atmosphere that every couple seeks. It all comes down to the type of destination you desire for your honeymoon.

Hawaii is a better choice for your honeymoon than Costa Rica if you seek the perfect beach experience, luxury hotels with modern amenities, and a diverse range of activities. Costa Rica, on the other hand, is a better alternative for your honeymoon than Puerto Rico if you seek an unspoilt natural paradise with a calm, romantic environment, unique fauna, and numerous adventure activities.

Winner: Draw

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About the author
Chetan Patil
Chetan is a travel enthusiast, who finds solace in traveling. Reading, writing, and sharing about outdoor adventures, culture, and traditions has been his lifelong passion.

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