I am trying to plan a trip to Costa Rica for the spring. We want to stay somewhere that isn't too touristy, but safe with a good beach and rain forest. We don't like really upscale places, more small hotels or bungalows. Does anyone have suggestions?
It really depends on what you consider a "good beach". In my opinion, there are no "bad beaches" in Costa Rica. I'm a surfer so most of the beaches I prefer are great for surfing.
Let me know what you mean by a "good beach" and I'll give you a list of favorites.
Yes, I am in Costa Rica right now and are traveling around. Montezuma is a really cosy town but a lot of tourists in high seasons. Santa Teresa got great beaches and good for surf (that is my opinion as a beginner). You got good rainforest in Cabo Blanco which is close to Santa Teresa and Montezuma and has great beaches and you won't see too much tourists since the walk is roughly 1,5 hour through the djungle and the path is a small challenge. You also have Manuel Antonio National Park with amazing nature and beaches, though more tourists but there is one more far away from the entrance which is smaller and more private since most people do not have time or have the desire to walk so long.
Monteverde is also a good place to visit rainforest and also to the ziplines which is amazing.
If you want to see more of our trips and all that Costa Rica has to give you, you can check out my youtube site with all the videos. I will upload a video from the ziplines soon as well from Monteverde. La fortuna is a really nice place with the amazing volcano Arenal and the hot springs but I think it is quite touristy on the high season...right now it's not so much.
Hope this helps!
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Thanks for the advice. By good beach I mean not very rocky and somewhere to learn how to surf.
There are many good places in Costa Rica which can meet your wishes. The ones mentioned before are certainly valid. However, another interesting coast is the Caribbean, between Puerto Viejo de Limón and Manzanillo, where the beaches are plentiful, the surf excellent, beautiful nature around (Refugio Gandoca-Manzanillo), and an interesting hinterland (Bribri, etc.)
You can Google these names (and don't forget Cahuita) for ample information.
Very best places in Costa Rica is
1. Lankester Botanical Garden
2. Santa Rosa National Park
3. Marino Ballena National Park.
Most probably it depends on the your choice where you want to go and see.