Best Places to Go Backpacking in Costa Rica


With its sparkling beaches, stunning waterfalls, and beautiful rainforests, Costa Rica is a paradise for backpackers. Here, you can make your way through forest canopy walks or fall in love with the relaxed pura vida (a favorite local phrase, meaning "pure life") of this lovely Central American country. There’s so much to do here that if you plan well you can truly have the trip of a lifetime. And here are some of what I think are the best places to go backpacking here:

Chase Waterfalls

There are many stunning waterfalls in Costa Rica that would be a shame to miss. In your Costa Rica all-inclusive vacations you can include waterfalls like Bajos del Toro which falls into a 300-feet deep crater, which you can see when visiting Poas Volcano. The vibrant waterfall in the hiking trail of Rio Celeste surrounded by emerald jungle is another not-to-miss destination for the backpackers. If you are headed to La Fortuna, visit the popular La Fortuna waterfall located ten minutes from the main town. Here, you can climb down 400 stairs to enjoy a dip into the sparkly clear river as well.

Zipline Through Rainforest Canopy

In the heights of Costa Rican rainforests, you can enjoy the adventure of your life with a zip-line tour. Go for adrenaline-pumping views of the vast jungles beneath your feet. Monteverde is the best place to go zip-lining and hiking through the misty cloud forests. Here the weather can be cool, so don’t forget to carry your hoodie, a waterproof jacket, and hiking boots before you set off on this trail. At the end of the trail, enjoy a quiet dinner at Tree House, or there are options like Tico y Rico.

Play on Playa Guiones

If surfing and yoga are your prerogatives for the vacations, plan a trip to Nosara. It’s a beautiful and quaint town on the Pacific Coast for families and backpackers alike. Playa Guiones is the main beach area of the town, offering consistent surf. If you’re into beginner-friendly waves, visit in the dry season that stretches from December to April. Even if you aren’t a surfer, you can go to mangroves for some paddle-boarding, take a yoga class, or walk down the gorgeous beaches.

Catch the Buzz in Beach Town Jacó

From a sleepy town known for excellent surfing to a thriving city with a buzzing lifestyle, Jacó has come a long way, and is still a paradise for the surfers die to its location in the Central Region on the Pacific Coast. If you are on the backpacking party vibes, it’s the perfect place for you. You can simply chill on the beach, explore the nightlife, take a surfing lesson, try going for SUP, or watch a stunning sunset. Miro’s Mountain is a hidden gem in the landscape of Jaco. You can go hiking on this mountain to burn the energy buildup after a laid-back time spent on the Jaco beaches.

Explore Capital San José

A backpacking trip to Costa Rica isn’t complete without a stay at the capital city of San Jose. It perfectly serves as a base for backpackers coming to explore this wonderful country. There are many budget hotels and backpacker hostels for accommodations. The city boasts many underrated attractions like a Chinatown, the historic National Theater, and fantastic gold and jade museums, along with hipster hub San Pedro, where you can chow down amazing burgers, chug microbrewed craft beer, and enjoy great live music.

Budget for Backpacking in Costa Rica

When planning Costa Rica all-inclusive vacations, you need an appropriate budget for a convenient trip. If you are planning to stay in a small budget hotel for your tour, you need to spend USD 45-50 per day, while it costs anywhere USD 50-100 for a mid-range hotel or private room in a hostel. For luxury accommodation you need a budget of USD 100-160 per day. With an all-inclusive package, you can save a lot on your trip and yet enjoy every exciting attraction that Costa Rica offers.

Getting Around

On a backpacking trip you'll want explore as much of the country as possible with affordable and easily accessible transportation. Buses are the best way to travel within the country. If you are traveling with a group, you can also book a private bus. Car rentals are also available at surprisingly affordable prices in Costa Rica.

When to Go?

Dry season is the best time for your backpacking trip to Costa Rica, from mid-December to April. You’ll find unending sunshine during the summer spell, though most of the famous spots are swarmed by tourists in this peak season.
May to November is the rainy (or "green") season in Costa Rica, and it’s the cheapest time to visit the country. The temperature remains warm is warm, but rainforests in this region burst into life during June and July when rains are light.

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