Costa Rica is the country that is going to steal your heart. Where most of Central America is rife with the most incredible mountains and beaches, the one card that Costa Rica holds over all of them is wildlife. As a wildlife lover, you will be in absolute heaven in Costa Rica and not even know where to start. So here's some tips on places to go and where to look for hostels.
If you are starting in the centre in the capital city of San José, you can literally go in any direction from here. While the city itself is nice enough, there isn't a great deal to do here, but you will find yourself coming back here again and again as all buses route themselves through the city. Find yourself a good hostel in San José and they can help you with information on how to get around and where to go. There are quite an abundance of hostels both in San José and the entire way around the country so you shouldn't have trouble finding somewhere to stay. The prices of hostels in Costa Rica are the most expensive in general of all of the hostels in the Central American region so make sure you check out costs and budget before you leave.
Heading northwest, you will find the small mountain town of Monteverde where you can go zip-lining, bungee jumping, or go on nature walks and get involved in a large number of outdoor activities. You can head on over to the small mountain town of La Fortuna, where you can go for a hike around the mountain or sit within some of the thermal pools here and relax. Going further west, you will find the coastal towns of Tamarindo and Montezuma. They have some great surfing on the north west coast and you will find an abundance of hostels in the small towns all along the coast.
On the north east coast is the Tortuguero National Park, home to one of the largest turtle migrations in the world. If in season you can organize a visit to the area, but given that in recent years there have been major issues with poachers, regulations on visits here are changing. Check out what is happening with your hostel when you arrive and they can advise you.
Head southwest towards Puerto Jimenez and use this as a base to explore the Corcovado National Park. Home to pumas, tapirs, monkey, red macaws, and a whole range other amazing animals, this is one of the best place to see these animals in the untainted wild on a two day hike into and out of the park. You will need to get passes from the National Park office before you go in Puerto Jimenez. The beaches in the Pavones around this area are also stunning and home to a range of different yoga retreats for those wanting to get in touch with nature and themselves.
On the south eastern side you will find the glorious town of Puerto Viejo. There area many hostels, hip cafes and restaurants around the area. From here you can explore the Cahuita National Park and head to the sloth sanctuary.
Of course there is way more to do here than we can fit in but to do all of this properly and actually enjoy it while taking your time you will need at least a month in Costa Rica. It is definitely time well spent.
Hi, I'm Globetrotter,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Costa Rica hostels. Welcome.
Hey all travellers Alajuela is the best town in CR to spend a couple of nights before heading for the beach or the mountains. It's only five minutes away from the airport and a taxi ride to there is only like 2 bucks so it is a great deal, it is very clean and much more safer than San Jose, you should visit it.
I love Santa Teresa -- very nice spot for surfing and to party too. The beach is huge and very beautiful. We had really a good time.
Samara is a great sea-side town! If you love the beach, sun bathing, walking in the dark sand, you would enjoy Samara. It's also an ideal place to take surfing lessons, with a couple of surf schools available and mild pacific waves.
Over the last 2 years Quepos has boomed. Manuel Antonio is becomming prohibitively expensive and so Quepos has grown to accommodate the medium to budget traveller. According to the Tico times it has the most even mix of 4 categories of people, ticos on vacation, ticos that live there, ex pats, and foreign tourists …
There is an alternative taxi / boat / taxi shorcut to the grueling 8 hours ride between Monteverde Cloud Forest and the Arenal Volcano. See http://www.monteverdeinfo.com.