The Caribbean is a fantastic destination for everyone: prominent families, tourists, and even corporations that decide to work while mixing luxurious and exotic locations. This makes places like Costa Rica or Puerto Rico some of the most picked options.
If you understand the importance of building team identity, you may be planning a corporate trip to Costa Rica or Puerto Rico. So, to help you decide, we performed this comparative so you can choose the one that fits your styles and needs.
Costa Rica or Puerto Rico: The Main Differences
Both Costa Rica and Puerto Rico are known for being tropical paradises visited by many people during the year. They are also perfect places for relaxation while having a leisure trip. Hot climates, mountains, beautiful beaches, and historical areas are some of the most common spots of these getaways.
Such similarities can be compared and even differenced. These are the things that can change when comparing Costa Rica with Puerto Rico:
The two places are known for their amazing beaches. What makes them different is their activities. Depending if the company team prefers surfing or swimming, destinations may vary. This also applies to those who like to get a tan or play on the sand.
Puerto Rico has calmer waters and crystal blue and golden sand. Unlike PR, Costa Rica has more diverse landscapes when it comes to beaches: there are white sand ones, black volcanic ones, and less calm waters. Those are perfect for kayak activities and surfing.
Puerto Rico is the best option for those who prefer to lay on the sand and get a tan while reading a book on a very relaxing day. If visitors prefer a more adventurous day, Costa Rica’s beaches are the go-to: there are many watersports to practice on every beach.
Costa Rica and Puerto Rico both have tropical climates, though some areas of Costa Rica have subtropical climates due to local factors such as altitude. Temperatures in both locations are generally hot all year, with Puerto Rico slightly hotter.
Temperatures in Puerto Rico are typically consistent all year, with average highs varying from 28 °C in January to 32 °C in August.
Costa Rica has a broader temperature range, with the hottest areas in the north near the Nicaraguan border having an average annual temperature of 27 °C. All year, average highs range from 26 to 28 degrees Celsius.
However, both have wet and dry seasons, meaning they both experience periods of hefty rain for several months of the year. The rainy season in Costa Rica typically lasts from May to December, whereas the rainy season in Puerto Rico lasts from April to November.
Unfortunately, the rainy seasons in both Puerto Rico and Costa Rica can culminate in cyclones and hurricanes. Storms, cyclones, and occasionally hurricanes batter the Caribbean and the southern and eastern United States during this season, typically from June to November.
To give you an idea, hurricanes tend to hit Puerto Rico once every five years, making them rare but something to consider when scheduling a corporate trip.
Whether the destination for your corporate travel is Costa Rica or Puerto Rico, both are known for having unique handmade Caribbean gifts to take home. Whether to use them as an interactive activity, during the meeting or for your employees to give to their families, you need to know the possibilities.
Since Costa Rica and Puerto Rico are Caribbean destinations, both have similar products. However, similarly doesn’t mean the same, and each has unique possibilities making them very different. For example, you can expect Puerto Rican coffee and Costa Rican coffee, but they won’t be the same.
That said, we will divide it into three categories, listing the elements that both have in common and the elements that are unique to each, starting with the shared ones:
- Puerto Rican and Costa Rican coffee.
- Caribbean chocolate.
- Handmade crafts.
- Regional beachwear.
Please remember that the items above are similar but not the same; you won’t find the exact products despite both being called identical. Nor the chocolate, coffee, crafts, or beachwear will be the same in Costa Rica or Puerto Rico. Now let’s check the Costa Rica exclusive souvenir:
- Salsa Lizano: a sweet and spicy sauce that can be used for many culinary purposes.
Because of Puerto Rico’s rich history and mix of many cultures, it is natural to find more unique options that came to the island over the centuries. These are some of those unique souvenirs you’ll only find on PR:
- Caribbean seasonings.
- Puerto Rican hot sauces.
- Fragrance oils and Bath salts.
In Puerto Rico, there are gifts for all tastes for sure. Your employers can take some Caribbean flavors and scents to their homes.
Which One is Easier to Visit?
Sometimes, planning a corporate destination can become a big headache depending on the place chosen. Some countries are more complicated to visit depending on the documents and identification necessary.
In the case of Puerto Rico, it is much easier for those who are native American citizens since the island is part of the United States territory. It’s unnecessary to show a passport when arriving. Only a standard photo ID and anyone with American citizenship can enter.
Many roads and bridges conform to the island, which is very noticeable when arriving. It’s possible to visit each one of the towns by rental car or public transport. Also, almost everyone speaks English and Spanish, breaking the communication barrier that can be present in any other country.
In the case of Costa Rica, it can be a bit harder to get in since everyone needs a passport. Also, there are many rainforests and rough roads filled with dirt, with makes traveling harder under certain conditions. These things must be considered if traveling by car, bus, or taxi.
Puerto Rico is the best option here, especially for Americans, since they do not need elaborate documents.
Which One Offers the Most Activities?
Puerto Rico is broadly known for being more culturally mixed than Costa Rica, making it more varied regarding traditions and activities. There’s a massive blend of Caribbean, Spanish, American, and African influences, which, along with their historical ties to the island, bring a lot of colorful landscapes.
Old walls and buildings (many of which are UNESCO world heritage sites) can be found around Old San Juan and the island, as well as abandoned fortresses and the tombs of Spanish explorers. Many hiking trails are also available for those who want to explore nature at their own pace.
Meanwhile, Costa Rica is a perfect place for those nature lovers. Active volcanos, many hiking paths, and backpacker trips are available to discover. It’s even possible to hike all around Central America, down from Costa Rico, and reach the United States of America.
Deciding here isn’t as straightforward as other points since it depends on the tourists. Still, for a corporate trip, visiting Puerto Rico is preferred since relaxation places are required for the group after a long journey of work.
Which is Better for Families with Kids?
If your corporate trip includes families, defining if your chosen destination has good family activity options is essential.
Puerto Rico, in particular, is a better choice for younger children, because it has more family resorts and kid-friendly parks, museums, and enjoyable activities for the entire family. Puerto Rico also has more beaches with showers, lockers, and lifeguards, making it easier for a family day out.
Also, Puerto Rico is a bit easier for traveling with kids because you don’t need to get passports or go through customs.
Costa Rica has family activities, but they are more suited to older children, couples, and solo travelers, such as hiking and adventuring. Also, the beaches are much less commercial, meaning they have fewer lifeguards or commodities.
Which One is the Cheapest?
It’s known that every tourist and company business person will want the best deal possible when planning a corporate trip. Finding good deals for travel accommodations, transport, and food is significant. The good thing is that both destinations have a place for travelers of any budget.
Since Puerto Rico is part of the United States of America, prices are expected to be noticeably higher for transport, hotels, and food. Most of this is due to the costs of supplies and transportation since the island is away from the mainland U.S.
Costa Rica is better for those looking for cheaper deals, hotel rooms, and food vendors. However, some areas are more expensive than others due to the tourist boom in the late years.
Which One is Safer?
You can never be too cautious when visiting the Caribbean or Central America. Both have pickpocketing cases, but both have good aspects regarding crime, like not having high violent theft rates.
While in PR, you won’t need to be more cautious than average when traveling, in Costa Rica, you may need extra precautions. Nothing too special, though. You must be careful and take precautions as any other tourist would.
Hurricanes and storms sometimes hit Costa Rica and Puerto Rico. However, this can be simply avoided by planning your corporate trip around outside from the stormy season, so they shouldn’t be a problem for your meetings.
Furthermore, the more powerful riptides in Costa Rican waters pose the most severe threats. This is particularly dangerous for surfers and swimmers on the Costa Rican coast, who should proceed with extreme caution before entering the ocean.
Regarding health insurance, Costa Ricans have the advantage of receiving government-paid health care services. Unfortunately, you will not have access to these services as an American tourist. When visiting Costa Rica, you must purchase travel insurance with medical coverage.
If you have Medicare or health insurance in the United States, you can use it in Puerto Rico without issue. Because Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, you can use your regular health insurance there.
Ending, it’s clear that if you want your corporate travel to be family-friendly, Puerto Rico is the best pick overall. On the other hand, if your employees are more adventurers, Costa Rica has better options. Still, it can be a little dangerous, and PR offers almost the same activities, a little bit less adventurous but safer.In addition, with year-round warmer temperatures and the fact that regardless of where they stay, there are always beaches nearby, all your guests in Puerto Rico will be able to enjoy the beaches more. Finally, in PR, you’ll also find the best Caribbean gift baskets to give as part of your corporate trip.