Avoid the crowds in Costa Rica and discover the most beautiful, off the beaten track destinations in Costa Rica in 2 weeks! You’ll stay at unique accommodations in the middle of nature. Maquenque Nature Reserve is a great example. The hotel can only be reached by boat and during your stay, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to spot the great green macaw.
Pura Vida is the motto of every Costa Rican and literally means “pure life”. This trip offers you a taste of what pure life feels like on the Caribbean coast. Join the rhythm of the locals, relax on the beach, float in the waves on a surfboard and enjoy cocktails in the afternoon sun.
This trip is all about to explore beautiful Costa Rica in a relaxed way, enjoying the vibrant flora and fauna of this country, the friendly people and tasty food. Pura Vida!
Your journey through some of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica starts in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica and also the cultural and economic centre of the country. Explore the bustling streets in the city centre during the day. Everything’s on sale, from tropical fruit and vegetables and traditional “gallo pinto” to handmade bags and jewelry from young Costa Rican designers.
In the evening, there’s good food and drinks in “Barrio Escalante”, a nice neighborhood near your hotel with many cozy bars and restaurants. From traditional Costa Rican to Italian, Indian, fusion and vegan …. everything can be found here, so enjoy your meal!
Today you leave the big city and enter the jungle. Your next destination is the small village of Barra Pacuare, south of Tortuguero National Park.
You’ll stay in a basic, but comfortable cabin and you’re surrounded by nature. The tiny village is a true off-the-beaten-track destination and you won’t meet other tourists. Together with a guide you go (in season) look for leatherback turtles that come to lay their eggs on the beach, a unique experience! In addition, it will be easy to get to know the small local community. This is your first introduction to Costa Rica’s Pura Vida!
From the jungle on the Caribbean coast you travel to Siquirres by boat and bus and pick up your rental car. Once all the paperwork is done, you’re off again down the Caribbean coast to the small town of Manzanillo.
In Manzanillo the road ends and your jungle house is waiting for you. Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast is certainly one of the most beautiful parts of the country. Its atmosphere, the beach and the reggae music will make that you go into relax mode immediately!
You can explore the surroundings of Manzanillo on foot, walking along the beach, or by bike, cycling along the coast towards the larger town of Puerto Viejo de Limon. Along that one way you will find nice restaurants and bars and you can sign up for a surf lesson or book a snorkeling tour.
If you want to get a taste of Costa Rica’s indigenous culture, then visit the Bri Bri Indians and learn more about their age old habits and way of life.
From the coast you travel inland in the direction of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. Near Puerto Viejo you spend the night in a beautiful hacienda.
The friendly Belgian owner knows a lot about Costa Rica’s cultural history and indigenous tribes, something you’ll certainly notice in your hotel room and even on your plate.
The Sura cocoa tour on the grounds of the hotel is also recommended. In a fun and educational way you learn a lot about how chocolate as we know it actually came into existence.
Maquenque is a beautiful nature reserve in the north of Costa Rica and your next destination. Bird lovers will love it here, there is a good chance that you will spot Great Green Macaw and toucans when you are having breakfast in the restaurant of your lodge.
The lodge was set up by the local Artavia family, who decided to return their land (first used for animal husbandry) to nature in order to provide the next generation with a sustainable income. Your guide, also a member of the family, will introduce you to everything that grows and blooms around the hotel and you also contribute yourself by planting a tree.
Today you travel to El Castillo! A small village at the foot of the most famous volcano of Costa Rica, the Arenal volcano. You will stay on a beautiful estate and inspiring place literally at the end of the road.
At the ranch, sustainability is made visible in an impressive way. Everything you eat and drink is produced organically. In addition, you can contribute yourself and help milking cows, collecting eggs, picking herbs or learn how soap is made.
There is also a beautiful natural swimming pool on the site, you can participate in free yoga classes or go for a hike.
There is plenty to do around the Arenal volcano and from the ranch you can make excellent day trips in the area.
For example, you can visit the Arenal National Volcano Park where you can take a walk on the lava and see the volcano up close. Furthermore, is also a beautiful waterfall near Arenal where you can take a refreshing dip and swim. Besides you can book a canopy tour and explore the rainforest from above.
Junquillal is a small coastal town on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica with a beautiful long and quiet beach. If you’re lucky, you can spot turtles in the season or help baby turtles find their way to the sea at the local turtle shelter.
You stay at a cozy, comfortable hotel and the Dutch owners will do everything to make your time here unforgettable. The food they serve is delicious and because they have been in the area for quite some time, they are happy to provide you with tips on what you can do in and around Junquillal.
Activities that are certainly recommended are a kayak tour in the mangroves, but also relaxing at the beautiful beach of Playa Avellanas!
If you want to see something different in the area, go visit the local pottery village of Guatil, where craftsmen are still using age-old pottery techniques, originally developed by the Chorotega Indians some 5000 years ago.
Your journey through paradise ends at a comfortable hotel close to the airport. Here you can relax by the pool in a nice tropical garden before you flying home the next day.
If you fly in the afternoon or evening, you might want to consider a final visit to the nearby Irazú volcano!
We really enjoyed our trip to Costa Rica! Everything was well organized, from transfers to car rental, accommodations etc.
We had a fantastic holiday and think that Costa Rica is a beautiful country with friendly people and easy to travel around. The 2-week ‘off-the-beaten-track’ itinerary was perfect to avoid the crowds in Costa Rica because some places can be fairly full. Our stay in Manzanillo was really a highlight, we loved our wooden jungle house!
Thank you very much, we will definitely recommend Edventure to anyone who wants to spend his / her vacation in Costa Rica. (2018)
Some of the most beautiful places Costa Rica were for us:
Barra Pacuare, a beautiful location. Very friendly staff and super nice guides.
Manzanillo: Beautiful location and very nice people. Beautiful house.
Sarapiqui: Great location. Only 1 night. Visited Frogs Heaven as recommended by you, great tour!
Boca Tapada: Beautiful lodge and bungalow. Nice tours and good guides (2018)
We look back on a very nice trip!
We really enjoyed our stay in Junquillal. Super hotel and great hosts! Very convenient to be so close to a beautiful beach. (2018)
During our stay in Sarapiqui we went a horseback riding in the morning. We explored the beautiful rainforest (spotted white face monkeys) and we even had to cross a river twice.
Afterwards, in the afternoon, we visited an organic pineapple plantation, Finca Sura. Certainly one of the nicest places in Costa Rica. Our young guide was very enthusiastic and we learned a lot. Also for our young daughter this was a great experience. (2018)
In the village of Manzanillo we stayed in a beautiful house in the jungle and we think that this is certainly one of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica.
It is a former cocoa plantation transformed by the Dutch owner Daan into a tropical paradise with 7 handbuilt, wooden houses, fully furnished and fully equipped kitchens. Early in the morning you are woken up by howler monkeys and for us, that was a great start of the day! (2016)
In Sarapiqui we stayed at another beautiful lodge and booked the chocolate tour. Very nice and interesting! (2017)
The rancho in El Castillo is a beautiful location with friendly people. The way they deal with sustainability has made a big impression on us. Also because they try to include their guests as much as they can in what they do during the tour. We met quite some volunteers and they definitely give the place a good “vibe”. (2017)
Our arrival in Boca Tapada was very welcoming. Very beautiful houses, lots of nature, a true paradise. We explored the jungle around our lodge and also booked a guided tour with a great guide. The food served was amazing and we were so impressed by all the animals you can spot while having breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Our accommodation in Junquillal turned out to be a great location and we were very well taken care of by our friendly hosts. The Dutch owner is also a great cook!
If you wish to travel a bit longer, then it might be nice to extend your trip and visit Zapotal de Miramar. This little village is beautifully situated on top of a mountain. From here you’ll have a magnificent view of the Pacific ocean and the beaches and islands of Puntarenas.
In Zapotal only live some 200 people and agriculture is their main source of income. You can stay in simple cabins or opt for a homestay with one of the local families. A day tour is included in this pleasant and educational stay. Here, you will for sure avoid the crowds in Costa Rica!
Check the destination Zapotal here