Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path

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

Costa Rica Off The Beaten Path

  • Off the Beaten Path in Costa Rica

    I visited different countries in America since the last six years of my life. From Cuba to Panama or United States until Mexico driving. I love adventure. I'm a nature fan. But let me explain my top 5 reasons and recommendations to travel off the beaten path in Costa Rica. REASON #1SafetyIt is easy to travel off the beaten path in Costa Rica. No...

  • A forest walk with a Maleku guide

    The morning after our stay in the Tonjibe guesthouse, young guide Alfonso took us for a walk in the surrounding forest. Alfonso is only 50% Maleku, his father being from San José. At one time only 200 Maleku people remained, while in 1824 there were still 3200 living in 17 communities. As marriage between cousins is taboo, with so few people left...

  • Playa Bonita at Limón

    We wanted to see the Atlantic Coast, so we headed to Puerto Limón. There is really not much to do there, except for surfers. At the beach Palaya Bonito 4 km west of town we saw a couple of local youth surfing, no foreigners.It is the best place for swimming aorund Limón, many locals were here to relax on the beach or the restaurant terraces, even...

  • A Maleku cultural performance

    After our evening meal at the Tonjibe guesthouse, we attended and took part in a cultural performance. This consisted of dance and prayer por la naturaleza (for nature). We felt the sadness of the performers for what already has been lost, but also their hope that the Creator (gran dios Tocú) will not abandon the natives. Said elder Dagoberto...

  • The Caribbean - Affordable, Unique to...

    Consider which part of Costa Rica you want to visit. I live on the Caribbean side. Here you can be minutes from an uncrowded beach in a rental I know of for $600.00 a month. You have internet, security and a kitchen so you can eat cheap if you cook for yourself. The place is small, clean and the owners are a very nice congenial family. The...

  • Why You Should Check Out Costa Rica's...

    Travel agencies and online sites often direct people to the Pacific side of Costa Rica. The is because it is the more developed part of the country and there are more opportunities for them to make money from the tourists. Some even say to stay away from the Caribbean side due to high crime. Well that just is not true. There is just as much crime...

  • The Undiscovered Caribbean

    My advice is to drop all your plans and go to the Pacific and come to the Caribbean! I live in Puerto Viejo and I can tell you that August and September is just about the most beautiful time of the year to be here. The ocean crystal clear and great for swimming, snorkeling & diving. And the weather is almost always sunny. In the fall it is rainy...

  • Buying Property in Costa Rica

    I just bought an Ocean Front lot and used Mariette Daignault to help me. She is one of the most wonderful people I have encountered in life. I was referred to her by someone I met down there, and have ended up staying in one of her rooms for rent below her home also. She knows the in's and out's of buying land, homes, etc, has a wonderful...

  • Visit the village of Potrero, Costa Rica

    Potrero is the village we lived in for six weeks. It is an absolutely perfect place to TRULY get away from it all. The only store in the village is a grocery store called Super Ceymi. It is owned by two wonderful friendly men, Miguel and Orlando. We rented a little house just down the road from the store from a man named Gato. He owns a number of...

  • Zarcero

    This place is awesome, we drove here from Volcano Poas, super trippy topiary creations ! We stayed at Hotel Don Beto ($25 anight), locals are super friendly!

  • Volunteer in Gondoca

    If you really want to experience life in Costa Rica, avoid the tourist areas. Volunteer with ANAI and work for a week in Gondoca and live with a local family. For only $15 a night, you get accomodations and three excellent meals. Plus you get the chance to see and work with sea turtles. It's far from luxury, in fact, you'll get to be on a first...

  • The Caribbean side of Costa Rica

    I have lived in Costa Rica for 3 1/2 years and I love it. I live on the Caribbean side. This part of the country is an undiscovered treasure.I love it here because we have enchanting uncrowded beaches, amazing jungles and awesome mountain vistas. This part of Costa Rica is less developed than the Pacific side but with accommodations from primitive...

  • Poas, a great place to go in the central...

    I spent a little over 3 months in this beautiful town just a bit outside the capitol. Where as this is a place you can walk around wearing your ipod at 3am, places like Alajuela (closer to San Jose), and San Jose itself you wouldn't think of it in most areas anytime of the day. Alot of people will try to steer you away from many of the cities in...

  • Close To Heaven

    For fashion-shooting a superb location; the design and the decor are the most important to create a fabulous atmosphere. Even you donot actually see the surroundings, it does not matter. The Hotel Villa Caletas has all of it. It's hard to find a luxury hotel in Costa Rica with a more spectacular setting.High on a mountain you feel like in heaven,...

  • Country Side !!!!

    Costa Rica has some of the most beautiful country i've ever seen. This picture was taken between Monte Verde and San Ramon. Make sure you rent a four wheel drive, because some of the roads are not in very good shape.

  • wildlife sanctuary: El Manantial

    A santuary for macaws, other birds, sloths and monkeys; it's about an hour from Puntarenas. There are wild macaws fling around you, toucans, love birds and assorted parrots. Some are caged and some free to fly away.Also, there are monk monkeys, lizards and sloths. The fauna is beautiful too!Fresh fruit and water was served before we were given an...

  • Cool off with the Ticos in Guanacaste

    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...

  • El Zota Research Center

    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...

  • Quepos. Plane inside restaurant..

    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...

  • Amazing Views

    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.

  • Hike to Cerro Chato

    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...

  • Manuel San Antonio

    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...

  • Santa Rosa National Park

    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...

  • Easiest way to travel

    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...

  • Drink for CHEAP from 10 AM until 5 AM!!

    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...

  • Waterfalls in nature

    Driving on the way from Arenal to Poas volcano. Passed a waterfall along the way. Sheer beauty and peaceful serene area.

  • Caño Negra Reserve

    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...

  • Free viewing of Crocodiles

    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.

  • In the middle of no where......

    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 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...

  • La Fortuna near Arenal Volcano

    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,...

  • Leaving the airport for Jaco or south of...

    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...

  • Brasilito - Tico Village

    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...

  • Give way to the unplanned!

    I see it like this… we had 2 weeks to see the most of Costa Rica we could, we had kind of a plan to stick to, so we could go to all the places everyone told us we couldn’t miss, and some that just sounded irresistible. But as you go from one “check point” to another that’s as much as part of the travel as anything else, and you can have great...

  • Sleep to the sounds of the rain forest

    The Pacuare Rain Forest can certainly be found in tourist books and on web sites, but where we ended up (and how we got there) isn't for the faint of heart! The Pacuare Lodge in the heart of the rain forest is definitely off the beaten path. We took a shuttle bus from San Jose to a beautiful piece of countryside where we hiked down a small hill to...

  • Inside the mountains / off common...

    Go the Panamericana from San Jose to the south and leave the road at empalme or Canon westward down to the dota valley. There are some lodges close to the highway and one down in the dota valley called 'el toucanet lodge' ( We spent some very pleasent days with some not so hot nights (alt. 2000m) hiking on small roads....

  • Visit Tamorindo, Costa Rica

    On the west coast, this town is popular with surfers of all abilities. I actually wish we would have lived here instead of in Potrero as there are a variety of stores, restaurants, etc. but still the feeling of being away from it all. Lots of young people here.

  • Sit in hot springs at the base of an...

    Although travel guides cover it well, we saw almost no other tourists at Volcan Arenal. And that's pretty ironic, because it was so gorgeous it felt like the Garden of Eden. It may have been because it was the off-season. We stayed at Arenal Lodge, which was in the middle of nowhere and fabulous. Tabacon was the hot spring resort at the base of the...

  • Coastal Road southeast from Tamarindo.

    Travel Southeast out of Tamarindo and stay on the dirt road that follows the coastline. We visited many deserted beaches that were simply gorgeous. Do not be afraid to stop in the smaller villages; you will be surprised at how friendly the Ticos can be. Cold Beer and Costa Rican Tacos are great for lunch and fresh fruit and vegetables are sold at...

  • hit playa hermosa

    Very small and relaxing area, just south of Jaco. Very clean and nice. Great surf spot. You actually have some nice waves and a clean beach. Makes jaco look second rate. And it is only minutes from Jaco's nightlife.

  • Pavones

    This is such a cute little town - or should I say village? I guess many people don't know about it, besides the avid surfers. The town is based around surfing. There is one bar, 2 restaurants, one little convenient store, heaps of hostels and budget accomodation, and a surf shop. The locals are the nicest people and if you stay there for more than...

  • Whitewater Rafting down the Rio...

    Hold on to your hat and your cameras, this is a wild ride chock full of great photo opportunites. The Reventazon river is a class II-IV river . It feeds out of Lake Cachi and heads toward the Caribbean coast. The river gives you the best of both worlds, calm serene pockets and tumbling rushing adventures. Guides are required but do not have to ride...

  • Bullfighting festival

    No worries, the bulls aren't killed in Costa Rica. The annual Fiesta de la Yeguita is generally the second week of December. The festival is throughout the country. I caught some of the events in Tamarindo which included bullfights, bullriding, horse processions, fireworks, food, music and plenty to see and do. Riders come from all over the country...

  • Sarapiqui: Charming Inland town on River

    If you have the opportunity, take a bus or cab or guide to the town of Sarapiqui for a few hours. Sarapiqui is in the Alajuela province and surrounded by coffee and banana plantations. This small town has the endearing quality of many growing inland areas of Costa Rica where old world traditions meet modern demands. For example, the oxcart driver...

  • Get close and personal to wildlife...

    Curu Wildlife Reserve allows you to be in the natural habitat of Costa Rica's wildlife. 200+ species of birds, monkeys (spider & howlers), and many mammals that I have no names for! unlike Monteverde Rainforest...this is not busy so and allows you to have more sightings. we did not have a car so we trekked in through the main gate. hiking in is so...

  • Horizon Of Prosperity

    "We are a free people. We will control our destiny with our own votes," the Costa Ricans are saying. "We will not create a government that controls us with soldiers and guns." Well, the Costa Ricans got worldwide well-known for their history and tolerance. And the horizon of prosperity had been taken to heart by positivity and the lessons they...


Costa Rica Hotels

See all 684 Hotels in Costa Rica

Top Costa Rica Hotels

San José Hotels
537 Reviews - 924 Photos
Montezuma Hotels
95 Reviews - 166 Photos
Tamarindo Hotels
148 Reviews - 227 Photos
Quepos Hotels
178 Reviews - 438 Photos
Liberia Hotels
50 Reviews - 100 Photos
Jacó Hotels
167 Reviews - 323 Photos
Arenal Hotels
30 Reviews - 105 Photos
Puntarenas Hotels
44 Reviews - 78 Photos
Puerto Viejo Hotels
158 Reviews - 265 Photos
Tortuguero Hotels
110 Reviews - 325 Photos
Monteverde Hotels
184 Reviews - 453 Photos
Sámara Hotels
64 Reviews - 192 Photos
Mal País Hotels
61 Reviews - 82 Photos
Cabuyal Hotels
See nearby hotels
Sarapiquí Hotels
24 Reviews - 34 Photos

Instant Answers: Costa Rica

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

33 travelers online now


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.
Map of Costa Rica