Cheap Things To Do In Costa Rica

Cheap Things To Do In Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is a magical place. With its lush jungles, pristine beaches, and abundant wildlife, this Central American country is a paradise for nature lovers. And the best part? You don’t have to break the bank to experience all the incredible things it has to offer.

Believe me when I say that Costa Rica is a budget traveler’s dream come true. From exploring national parks and soaking in hot springs to sampling local cuisine and shopping at bustling markets, there are plenty of cheap things to do here that will leave you feeling fulfilled and free.

So pack your bags, grab your sense of adventure, and let’s explore all the amazing experiences waiting for you in Costa Rica!

Explore National Parks

You’ll be amazed at the stunning natural beauty waiting for you in Costa Rica’s National Parks. With over 25% of the country protected by national parks and reserves, there’s no shortage of places to explore. Whether you’re looking to hike through lush rainforests, spot exotic wildlife, or marvel at breathtaking waterfalls, Costa Rica has it all.

One of my favorite national parks is Manuel Antonio. Located on the Pacific coast, this park boasts scenic hiking trails that wind through dense jungle before opening up onto pristine beaches with crystal-clear waters. Plus, with an admission fee of just $16 USD per person, it’s an affordable way to spend a day exploring nature.

But don’t just take my word for it – grab your camera and head out on your own adventure!

And when you’re ready for some relaxation time after all that hiking and exploring, why not head to one of Costa Rica’s beautiful beaches?

Relax on Beautiful Beaches

I absolutely love spending time on the beautiful beaches of Costa Rica. Three of my favorite spots are Playa Tamarindo, Santa Teresa, and Jaco Beach.

Playa Tamarindo is perfect for surfing and has a lively atmosphere with plenty of restaurants and bars.

Santa Teresa offers a more laid-back vibe with stunning sunsets and great waves for surfing as well.

And Jaco Beach is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike, offering a wide range of activities from beach volleyball to zip-lining.

Playa Tamarindo

If you’re looking for a beautiful beach destination, Playa Tamarindo should be on your list – it’s one of the most popular spots in the country with over 2 miles of golden sand and crystal clear waters.

As someone who’s spent a lot of time in Costa Rica, I can confidently say that this is one of my favorite beaches in the country. Here are just a few reasons why:

  1. Surfing: Playa Tamarindo is known for its great waves, making it a hot spot for surfers from all over the world.

  2. Wildlife: The beach is surrounded by lush vegetation, which attracts various types of animals such as howler monkeys and iguanas.

  3. Nightlife: If you’re looking to party after spending your day on the beach, there are plenty of bars and clubs within walking distance.

  4. Activities: From snorkeling to horseback riding on the beach, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy during your stay.

As much as I love Playa Tamarindo, there are other amazing destinations in Costa Rica worth checking out too – such as Santa Teresa. But we’ll get into that later!

Santa Teresa

When you arrive in Santa Teresa, the stunning beaches and laid-back vibe will immediately transport you to a state of pure relaxation.

This small town on the Nicoya Peninsula is a surfer’s paradise with miles of unspoiled coastline and consistent waves year-round. Whether you’re an experienced surfer or just looking to catch your first wave, there are plenty of rental shops and surf schools that can help get you out on the water.

But surfing isn’t the only thing to do in Santa Teresa. Take a yoga class overlooking the ocean, hike to a nearby waterfall, or simply lounge on the beach with a good book.

And once the sun goes down, head into town for some delicious food and live music at one of the many restaurants and bars. But if you’re looking for more nightlife options, then it’s time to head over to Jaco Beach.

Jaco Beach

Jaco Beach offers a lively nightlife scene, perfect for those looking to dance the night away and experience the vibrant energy of Costa Rica’s party culture. The beach town is simply buzzing with activity, from street performers to live music venues and bars that stay open until the early hours of dawn.

Whether you’re looking for a wild night out or just want to take in the atmosphere with a refreshing drink in hand, Jaco won’t disappoint. But don’t let the party scene fool you – Jaco also has its fair share of natural wonders to explore.

If you’re looking to unwind after a long night out, there’s no better way than soaking in hot springs surrounded by lush greenery. And lucky for us budget-conscious travelers, many thermal hot springs around the country offer affordable rates and even free access at certain times. So why not enjoy both sides of Jaco – its lively nightlife and rejuvenating natural landscapes?

Soak in Hot Springs

Savor the steamy and soothing sensation of soaking in natural hot springs. Costa Rica is blessed with an abundance of geothermal activity, making it a prime destination for those seeking relaxation amidst nature’s wonders.

The thermal waters are heated by volcanic activity and contain high mineral content that has been known to provide therapeutic benefits. One of the most popular hot springs destinations is Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa located at the base of Arenal Volcano.

The resort offers a variety of pools ranging in temperature from 77°F to 102°F, as well as spa treatments that use volcanic mud and hot stones for added relaxation. If you’re looking for a more rustic experience, consider visiting one of the many free or low-cost hot springs scattered throughout the country. These hidden gems offer a chance to soak in nature without breaking the bank.

After indulging in some much-needed self-care at the hot springs, why not take advantage of Costa Rica’s other natural treasures? Visit waterfalls cascading through lush rainforests or hike up mountains offering breathtaking views. Adventure awaits around every corner in this beautiful country!

Visit Waterfalls

After a relaxing soak in the hot springs, I was ready for my next adventure in Costa Rica. One of my favorite things to do is visit waterfalls, and luckily there are plenty of them scattered throughout the country.

From towering cascades to hidden gems tucked away in the jungle, each waterfall offers its own unique beauty and charm. One of the most popular waterfalls is La Fortuna Waterfall, located near Arenal Volcano. The hike down to the falls can be challenging, but it’s worth it once you reach the bottom and see the stunning 200-foot cascade.

Another must-see waterfall is Nauyaca Falls in Dominical, which features two tiers of crystal-clear water surrounded by lush greenery. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing swim or just want to take in the natural beauty, visiting waterfalls is an affordable and unforgettable experience in Costa Rica.

As much as I love exploring nature, I also enjoy learning about local culture and traditions. That’s why taking a coffee tour is next on my list of cheap things to do in Costa Rica. Not only will I get to taste some delicious coffee, but I’ll also learn about the history and production process behind this beloved beverage.

So let’s grab a cup of joe and head out on our next adventure!

Take a Coffee Tour

You’re in for a treat as you take a tour of the coffee plantations and learn about the rich history and production process behind one of Costa Rica’s most beloved beverages. As someone who loves coffee, I found this experience to be both educational and delicious.

Here are three reasons why you should add a coffee tour to your list of cheap things to do in Costa Rica:

  1. You’ll learn about the history of coffee in Costa Rica, which dates back over 200 years.
  2. You’ll witness the entire production process from start to finish, including harvesting, roasting, and packaging.
  3. You’ll get to taste some of the freshest and most flavorful coffee you’ve ever had.

After indulging in some caffeine-fueled fun at the coffee plantations, it’s time to head out into nature once again and go wildlife spotting.

Go Wildlife Spotting

Get ready to immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Costa Rica’s wildlife as you embark on a journey through lush rainforests. Witness the vibrant colors and exotic creatures that call this place home – it’s a true feast for the senses. From monkeys swinging from trees to sloths hanging upside down, there is an abundance of wildlife waiting to be discovered.

You can go hiking through the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve or take a boat tour through Tortuguero National Park to see sea turtles, caimans and howler monkeys in their natural habitat. One of my favorite experiences was visiting Manuel Antonio National Park where I saw capuchin monkeys playing in the trees above me while iguanas sunbathed on rocks nearby. The park has several trails that lead to secluded beaches and stunning viewpoints of the Pacific Ocean. It truly is a magical experience being surrounded by so much nature. But don’t forget to bring insect repellent and sunscreen!

As you explore Costa Rica’s natural beauty, don’t miss out on experiencing its rich cultural heritage. Visit historical sites such as ancient ruins or museums showcasing local art and history – there’s always something new to learn about this beautiful country.

Visit Cultural Sites

While Costa Rica is best known for its stunning wildlife, the country also boasts a rich cultural heritage. From ancient indigenous communities to Spanish colonial influences, there are many cultural sites to explore throughout the country. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or simply immersing yourself in local traditions, there’s something for everyone.

One of my favorite cultural sites to visit is the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum in San Jose. Here, you can learn about the fascinating history of gold mining and metallurgy in ancient Costa Rica through a stunning collection of artifacts and exhibits. I also highly recommend visiting the Guayabo National Monument, an archaeological site located near Turrialba that dates back over 3,000 years. It features impressive stone structures and petroglyphs that offer a glimpse into pre-Columbian life in Costa Rica.

As much as I love exploring cultural sites like these, one of the best things about Costa Rica is how easy it is to find free activities that allow you to experience the natural beauty of this amazing country.

So let’s move on to our next subtopic: ‘enjoy free activities’.

Enjoy Free Activities

I’ve found that one of the best ways to enjoy Costa Rica without breaking the bank is by taking advantage of its free activities.

Watching the sunset on the beach is a must-do experience and it costs nothing.

Exploring local towns on foot or by bike is also a great way to get to know the culture and meet friendly locals.

And, attending local festivals can be an exciting way to immerse yourself in Costa Rican traditions without spending a dime.

Watch Sunset on the Beach

Catch the mesmerizing sunset on the beach and let the colors of the sky blend with the ocean waves. Watching a sunset is always free, and in Costa Rica, it’s even more special.

The country boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Central America, making it an ideal place to unwind after a long day of exploring. Whether it’s Playa Jaco or Tamarindo Beach, every beach offers its own unique view that will leave you breathless.

To make your sunset watching experience even more enjoyable, here are some tips:

  • Bring a blanket or towel to sit on
  • Bring some snacks and drinks to enjoy while watching
  • Try to get there at least 30 minutes before sunset
  • Don’t forget your camera!

After enjoying a peaceful evening watching the sun go down, it’s time to explore local towns.

Explore Local Towns

Now it’s time for you to explore the charming local towns that are waiting to be discovered. One of my favorite things about Costa Rica is the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture, and these towns offer just that.

Take a stroll through bustling markets, where vendors sell everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts. Or sit back and relax at one of the quaint cafes, sipping on a delicious cup of locally sourced coffee while taking in your surroundings.

One town I highly recommend visiting is Grecia, located just 30 minutes outside of San Jose. Its picturesque red metal church and vibrant central park make for a perfect afternoon outing. Another option is Sarchi, known for its colorful oxcarts and artisan shops selling traditional pottery and woodwork.

No matter which town you choose, you’re sure to get a taste of authentic Costa Rican life. As you explore these local towns, keep an eye out for any upcoming festivals or events – they’re not to be missed! From cultural celebrations like Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) to lively music concerts, there’s always something happening in Costa Rica.

So why not attend a local festival during your visit? It’s yet another way to fully embrace this beautiful country and create unforgettable memories.

Attend Local Festivals

Get ready to fully immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Costa Rica by attending some of the exciting local festivals happening throughout the year. There’s no better way to experience the true essence of this beautiful country than by taking part in its lively celebrations.

Here are three must-attend festivals that will give you a taste of Costa Rican culture:

  1. Fiestas de Palmares: Held every January, this week-long festival is one of the biggest and most famous celebrations in Costa Rica. It features live music, parades, bullfighting, carnival rides, food stalls, and more.

  2. Envision Festival: This eco-friendly music and arts festival takes place every February in Uvita and offers a unique blend of yoga workshops, sustainability talks, and performances by international musicians.

  3. Día de los Muertos: Also known as Day of the Dead, this holiday is celebrated on November 2nd throughout Latin America to honor deceased loved ones. In Costa Rica, it’s marked with colorful altars decorated with flowers and offerings for the departed.

Attending these festivals is just one way to experience the rich cultural heritage of Costa Rica. Another great way is to try out its delicious local cuisine!

Try Local Cuisine

You don’t want to miss out on the vibrant flavors and cultural experience of indulging in Costa Rican cuisine. It’s like taking a bite out of the country’s history and traditions.

From the savory stews made with tender meats and hearty vegetables, to the sweet desserts infused with tropical fruits, there is no shortage of delicious dishes to try. One of my personal favorites is casado, which consists of rice, beans, plantains, salad, and your choice of meat or fish. Another must-try dish is ceviche, made with fresh seafood marinated in lime juice and served with crispy tortilla chips.

Not only will you be satisfying your taste buds by trying local cuisine, but you’ll also be immersing yourself in Costa Rican culture. Many traditional dishes have been passed down through generations and hold significant meaning for locals. You can even take cooking classes to learn how to make some of these tasty treats yourself!

So grab a fork (or spoon) and dig into the flavors that make Costa Rica so unique. And speaking of unique experiences, why not continue your adventure by exploring local markets?

Shop at Local Markets

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Costa Rica by browsing the colorful and bustling local markets. Here, you can find an array of unique handmade crafts and fresh produce. These markets are not just places to shop, but also serve as community gathering spots.

You can witness locals chatting with each other while enjoying a cup of coffee or a traditional snack. If you’re looking for souvenirs to take back home, local markets offer a wide range of options at affordable prices. Some popular items include wood carvings, hand-woven textiles, ceramics, and jewelry made with indigenous stones.

Additionally, buying from local vendors supports the community’s economy, which is an excellent way to give back during your travels. So, head out to the nearest market and discover the hidden gems waiting for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some affordable accommodations options in Costa Rica?

As someone who’s traveled to Costa Rica on a budget, I know how important it is to find affordable accommodations. Luckily, there are many options available that won’t break the bank.

From hostels and guesthouses to eco-lodges and camping sites, there’s something for every type of traveler. One adage that comes to mind when searching for accommodations in Costa Rica is “you get what you pay for.” However, with a bit of research and patience, you can find comfortable and budget-friendly places to stay.

Some popular options include staying in local homes through homestay programs or renting apartments or vacation homes through services like Airbnb. No matter which option you choose, be sure to read reviews from previous guests and do your due diligence before booking.

With so many affordable accommodations available in Costa Rica, you’ll have plenty of money left over for exploring all the amazing activities this beautiful country has to offer!

Are there any safety tips for tourists visiting national parks in Costa Rica?

As someone who’s visited multiple national parks in Costa Rica, I highly recommend taking safety precautions when exploring these beautiful natural wonders.

First and foremost, always stay on designated trails and never venture off into unknown areas.

It’s also important to keep a safe distance from any wildlife you may encounter, as they’re not accustomed to human interaction.

Additionally, bring plenty of water and snacks with you on your hike, as the heat can be intense and dehydration’s a real danger.

Finally, make sure to check weather conditions before heading out, as sudden rainstorms can create dangerous flash floods in some areas.

By following these tips and exercising caution, you can safely enjoy all that Costa Rica’s national parks have to offer.

What is the best time of year to visit Costa Rica for budget travelers?

As a seasoned traveler and budget-conscious adventurer, I understand that finding the best time to visit Costa Rica can be a challenge. However, let me assure you that there are plenty of affordable options for exploring this beautiful country year-round.

While some may argue that peak season offers the best weather and activities, it’s important to note that traveling during less popular times can save you money on accommodations and activities. Plus, you’ll have fewer crowds to contend with while enjoying all of the natural wonders Costa Rica has to offer.

So don’t let concerns about cost hold you back from experiencing everything this incredible destination has to offer – plan your trip with an open mind and a willingness to explore off the beaten path!

Can I visit multiple national parks in one day?

Yes, it’s possible to visit multiple national parks in one day in Costa Rica. However, it really depends on the distance between the parks and how much time you have.

Some parks are located close enough to each other that you can easily visit both in one day, while others may require a longer drive or hike. It’s important to plan ahead and consider factors such as park hours, transportation options, and potential weather conditions.

Additionally, keep in mind that some parks may have an entrance fee, so factor that into your budget as well. Overall, visiting multiple national parks in one day can be a great way to see more of Costa Rica’s stunning natural beauty and make the most out of your trip.

What are some off-the-beaten-path destinations in Costa Rica that won’t break the bank?

As an avid traveler, I’m always on the hunt for off-the-beaten-path destinations that won’t break the bank. And let me tell you, Costa Rica is full of them!

From hidden waterfalls to secluded beaches, this country is a treasure trove of adventure waiting to be discovered. One of my favorite spots is Cahuita National Park on the Caribbean coast. This stunning park boasts miles of pristine coastline and lush rainforest teeming with wildlife.

Another must-visit destination is Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, which offers incredible hiking trails and breathtaking views from high up in the mountains.

So if you’re looking for a unique and affordable escape, look no further than Costa Rica’s hidden gems.


Well, that’s a wrap on my Costa Rican adventure! I’m filled with gratitude for the memories I’ve made and the experiences I’ve had.

As I reflect on my time here, it reminds me of a beautiful painting. Each stroke of the brush represents a moment or activity that’s enriched my life.

The lush greenery and wildlife in the national parks are like vibrant colors popping off the canvas. The beaches are like gentle waves washing over me, providing relaxation and peace. The hot springs are like warm hues that soothe my muscles and calm my mind.

All of these elements come together to create a masterpiece that’s truly unforgettable. If you’re looking for an affordable getaway filled with endless beauty and adventure, look no further than Costa Rica.

With so many cheap things to do, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So grab your paintbrushes (or backpacks) and start creating your own masterpiece today!

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