Unique Places in Costa Rica

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by blueskyjohn
  • Crocodile of the Puerto Jimenez mangroves
    Crocodile of the Puerto Jimenez...
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by TravellerMel

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Costa Rica

  • dweissnj's Profile Photo

    Cool off with the Ticos in Guanacaste

    by dweissnj Written Mar 27, 2008

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    My secret spot is the Cataracta Llanos de Cortés, off Rt.1 just north of Bagaces. It is a lovely waterfall to a sandy bottom pool that is in the middle of nowhere, and I've only met another N.American couple there once in about 6 visits. The weekends have plenty of Tico families, and teens. If you can swing it, it makes a great spot to cool off before heading to Liberia Airport, about 30Km away. There is a bus stop on Rt. 1 there, and then about a 2Km walk into the bush.

    Llanos de Cort��s
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel
    • Jungle and Rain Forest

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  • ArenJo's Profile Photo

    El Zota Research Center

    by ArenJo Updated Mar 7, 2008

    I stayed here for a month to study howler monkeys. The people that take care of you are very kind people and they try their best to take care of all of your needs. I went here through a Biological Anthropology program from Iowa State University. If you decide to go here, be prepared for hand-washing, running out of water to shower with, living in a very rustic location. If all that sounds fine with you, you will love it. Just be prepared.

    Two school websites offering trips to El Zota:

    Related to:
    • School Holidays
    • Study Abroad

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  • gregfdxx's Profile Photo

    Quepos. Plane inside restaurant..

    by gregfdxx Updated Feb 23, 2008

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    this is a beautiful city south of Jaco along the coast. It has the best beach Ive seen in C.R.
    I also visited Manuel Antonio National park while in quepos. Monkeys and huge lizards are free to roam about. BUt the one thing that stuck with me from my visit to Quepos was the restaurant"EL avion"(the airplane). please click the link for the history of this plane.


    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park

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  • Sonny0155's Profile Photo

    Amazing Views

    by Sonny0155 Written Jan 20, 2008

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    If you are around Playa Pelada in Nosara, definitely visit the Sunset Bar at Lagarta Lodge. The sunset views are unmatched, and the food and drinks are fantastic. Make sure you have enough film/memory card space, because it's hard to stop taking photos.

    View from the Sunset Bar at Lagarta Lodge

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    Hike to Cerro Chato

    by Irina80 Written Nov 28, 2007

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    When in Arenal area do the hike to Cerro Chato's lagoon-filled extinct crater. The hike starts at the Observatory Lodge at the base of Arenal volcano but we didn't know that and started from the end (near Rio Fortuna Waterfall), got lost big time as the trail was sometimes not clearly seen, wandered in the jungle for few hours until met some locals coming back from the forest with some fruits and they guided us to the top of Cerro Chato. The hike is physically challenging especially if you start at the end like us, that side of the mountain is pretty steep.
    But getting lost in the jungle was the greatest experience!!! There are guided tours to Cherro Chato so it's not completely off the beaten path but compared to Arenal Lodge, Tabacon resort and La Fortuna it definitely is.

    little hydration won't hurt before we start:) are we lost yet? the trail lagoon in the crater
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • Backpacking

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  • ArenJo's Profile Photo

    Manuel San Antonio

    by ArenJo Written Oct 8, 2007

    I went here for 3 nights. The hotels are run down. Don't expect Holiday Inn types of accomodations (unless they've recently fixed them up or built a new hotel). The National Park was wonderful. However, if you plan on getting in the ocean, bring shoes you can swim in because there are a lot of rocks and crabs around and everytime you land after a wave, it feels like you're stepping on glass.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Beaches
    • Budget Travel

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    Santa Rosa National Park

    by genki44 Written Aug 31, 2007

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    Santa Rosa is a National Park 260 km from San Jose and 35 km north of Liberia, but the long drive is definitely worth it for those who are interested in history, nature and even camping and surfing.

    This national park in Costa Rica was established because of a battle that took place there on March 20, 1856, that barely lasted fifteen minutes. At this battle, troops of filibusters that wanted to take over and enslave Costa Rica, retreated because of the attack of Tico troops.

    The flora and fauna of the area are fortunate that this battle took place in this area, because without its occurrence, hundreds of species and their ecosystem would now be extinct or endangered.

    Currently there’s an old hacienda house, which is where the filibusters took shelter during the short battle. There is a small display of guns and other artifacts used, as well as a historical display of pictures and of the leaders at the time. Other battles, of lesser significance, were fought here in 1919 and 1955. There are some small tanks that were left abandoned on pastures around the park’s administration.

    The Parque Nacional Santa Rosa, with its 50,000 hectares of coastline, forest and savannah, protects numerous species of flora and fauna, including 253 species of birds, 10,000 of insects (including 3200 butterfly species), 100 of amphibians and reptiles and 115 mammal species. The mammals include around 50 species of bats, many white-tailed deer, white-nosed coati, peccary and howler and capuchin monkeys. The most common birds are magpie jays, trogons, orange-breast parakeets and black hawks. The most endangered species in the park is the ocean turtle, including the olive ridley, the hawksbill, the green and the leatherback turtles. These beautiful and peaceful animals lay use the beaches of this park as main nesting sites, that are of extreme importance for all of tropical America.

    Yeah.... we kept going in our mini-SUV rental An Overlook of the Dry Forest A White Faced Capuchin Monkey A precariously buzzing (and low hanging) beehive

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    Easiest way to travel

    by Denay Updated Apr 15, 2007

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    While I was there I discovered that for less than $100 dollars we could buy a plane ticket and use it UNLIMITED for one week! (They also have two week passes). This was the greatest thing ever!

    I was expecting to travel throughout the Liberia area and if I could swing to Arenal, great but if not, I was really there for the sun and the beaches so no biggie.

    In six weeks, I travelled the entire country...Arenal, San Jose, Limon, all of it! We would board a tiny little plane, (where I would sit at the front and watch the pilots reactions for any stress) deboard, sight see, amybe spend a night or tow, and then continue on to the next adventure! It was the perfect way to see the country.

    Black Sand Beach in Limon The airplanes! No worries, they're safe, I promise Arenal volcano...view from the hotel!
    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Road Trip

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  • Kyla-Rose's Profile Photo

    Drink for CHEAP from 10 AM until 5 AM!!

    by Kyla-Rose Updated Mar 23, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There is a little bar in Playa Azul or Playa Hermosa called Monkey Bar, where there are English and German speaking owners/bartenders... it was an awesome place, and Peter (German/English), one of the owners, was so much fun. He even ordered us great food while we were drinking in his bar, and had it delivered to us. It was just a great overall experience.

    Related to:
    • Beer Tasting

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  • kiwi78's Profile Photo

    Caño Negra Reserve

    by kiwi78 Written Aug 27, 2006

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    This reserve is not entirely off the beaten path, though it is definitely missed by a lot of travelers in Costa Rica. We were very glad that we decided to take a day tour from La Fortuna to the reserve. It's a fairly long day as its a good couple of hours drive north from La Fortuna, near to the border with Nicaragua. Once you get to the reserve there are boat tours that take you through the marshy wetlands that are the heart of the reserve. From here it is easy to see any number of animals and birds such as monkeys, sloths, caimans, anhingas, egrets, and roseate spoonbills.

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  • mcsmiles77's Profile Photo

    Free viewing of Crocodiles

    by mcsmiles77 Written Aug 24, 2006

    One of the best places to see crocodiles is along the Tarcoles River, 25km south of Orotina, Hwy. 34. I personally did not want to get up close and personal, but for those that need that kind of excitement in their lives, you can go on a guided river tour.

    Crocodile Line-up

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  • ThamaraSD's Profile Photo

    In the middle of no where......

    by ThamaraSD Updated Aug 16, 2006

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    The waterfall in Bri Bri was in the middle of the forest. Our guide actually had to clear the forest in some areas and get very creative to get here. I'll post the exact location when I hear from TheLotusgarden.net.
    We had our picnic in Manzanillo beach. It is the last town at the end of the road before Panama. A little fishing village with almost white sandy beaches. We picked up some fresh seafood and had a great out door picnic here.

    Waterfall  in Bri Bri Manzanillo beach
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel

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  • TheTravelSlut's Profile Photo

    La Fortuna near Arenal Volcano

    by TheTravelSlut Written Jul 26, 2006

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    After spending time @ Tabacon, I returned to the nearby city of La Fortuna which is positioned in the shadow of the towering Arenal volcano. La Fortuna, one of the major cities of Costa Rica, is a jumping off point for tourists who want to explore the Alajuela province of northern Costa Rica with its dams, bridges, Tabacon Hot Springs, waterfalls, and the classic Costa Rica canopy tours which all lie within easy reach of this city.

    I stayed in La Fortuna and the next morning I hired a car and driver for a tour of the area. One highlight was the Iguana Bridge.

    Many gorgeous flowers Near Iguana bridge Colorful toucans in the trees
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • School Holidays
    • Women's Travel

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    Leaving the airport for Jaco or south of Jaco

    by Flyin4Free Written Jul 26, 2006

    So the map will show you HWY 1 and it takes you to Putareneas, then you head south to Jaco, or if you are like me, you are looking for the short cut of HYW 3 that cuts thru. Well, this is actually really hard to find, and its a crazy mountain road that I really love to travel. Especially late at night. There is no traffic, but its super easy to get lost. If you are going to try it, pay attention to your odometer as you pass the airport, from getting your rental car, on HWY 1. There is a Y in the road just past the airport. stay to the left, or you will wind up in Alajuela. 11 kilometers (roughly) past the airport, heading west, you will find an exit to the right, and there is a bridge over the highway that you are on. THe signs say : Atenas & Alajuela. Exit, and turn left, which is roughly a SW heading. follow that road for the next hour and 20 minutes. You will have many choices and many Y's in the road, but stay on the main one, and follow the signs for where you want to go. Good luck! Oh yeah, its all very nicely paved...

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Beaches
    • Road Trip

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  • Albernfrau's Profile Photo

    Brasilito - Tico Village

    by Albernfrau Written Jun 17, 2006

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    Just beyond Playa Conchal to the north, you'll come to Playa Brasilito is a tiny beach village just like Potrero although there are a couple of more "general stores". One of the stores sells great produce. Just like Potrero the soccer field is the center of the village. This is the town where we would pay our cable TV bill (in a small hut just outside the centre)

    The beach is long and mostly pretty gray sand but if you want a beach to yourself come here. There are a couple of places to stay here but mostly this is a locals village.

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Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Costa Rica off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Costa Rica sightseeing.
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