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Costa Rica-Do's, Donts, and help with Backpacking

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Costa Rica-Do's, Donts, and help with Backpacking

1. Posted by rubyrox1 (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hi! So I am a 18year old female planning to do some work with sea turtles for a week with an I-to-I program, and wanted to spend a few weeks after that touring and discovering Costa Rica. I have never backpacked alone before, oe gone to Costa Rica. My budget is pretty tight, so any helpful hints or suggestions? Thanks a billion

2. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1028 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hello RubyRox. Welcome to the Board. I hope you find your answers.

Costa Rica is not the budget destination it once was, so you have to pick and choose your towns a little more these days. Jaco is out, for instance. Too bad about that town.

But before we all try to help you, you gotta help us. What do you want to get out of the trip? Are you a drink til you puke girl? Or do you just like to commune with nature? Do small towns drive you bonkers? Or do cities make you anxious? Do you like meeting locals? Or do you want to hang with other travellers? Outgoing? Bookish? Is it all about the water for you? Or is it all about the jungle?

You gotta give us something to go on.

Nice to meet you.


3. Posted by rubyrox1 (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Wow, Thats a lot. Ahaha well, To sum myself up, I am an outgoing person who just loves to explore.
I have traveled to many places before, but always with someone from the area.
I really want to see all the parts of Costa Rica, get a feel for the whole country and know all about it. I absolutely love adventure, but I am very timid and unsure when it comes to anything that may be dangerous, or if I am unsure of the circumstances. Which is where I am right now, I have faith in the group setting but when I am venturing out on my own, I do not know what to expect. Partying and drinking is not something of a priority when traveling, I would much rather go to bed early so I can wake up at 4am to start on a day of hiking. I love learning about everything and am really open to whatever scenery I can get. I love beaches and water, and I have always been fascinated with jungles and the amazing wildlife in them, but never actually been in one. I like talking to locals, I love hearing stories and making friends but truthfully I prefer to be alone. I really just want to see, explore, and learn. I want to gain a good knowledge of Costa Rica, and add a bit to my rough Spanish vocabulary.
Hope that clears things up a bit.

4. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1028 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Okey doke.

So I assume that the turtle thing is in Manuel Antonio. Near there is the cool little town of Quepos. Nice little place to stay and the beach is great and the sunsets are stupid good. The beaches at Manuel Antonio are gorgeous and they have some scuba diving....Though, to be fair, the coral sort of blows. South of the park there are several surfer towns that all have a ton of beach style hostels and hotels and surf schools.

Puerto Viejo is gorgeous for swimming and there is lots of junlge nearby. You can rent a scooter there and look around. There are tons of places nearby for zip lining and jungle expeditions.

Near Arenal again they have great hiking...the volcano of course....Some very good river canoing....and I think there was some white water rafting, though I didn't do it. I'll look that up.

The is nothing to do in San Jose that you couldn't do in any other city. It's right in the centre of the country so CAN be used as a base, but it's sort of rundown and unfun....Every time I write this some girl comes on and says stuff like
"It's off the chain in San Jose if you ain't a nerd." So believe who you will.

To get you started.

5. Posted by rubyrox1 (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Wow! That's amazing!
Thats far more help than I could have even wished for!
Thank you so so much.
cheers! :D

6. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1028 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Oh, and the Pura Vida cliche....well it's real. You'll hear the locals tell that to each other when the day is good, or there's a great sunset, or they had a good meal. The locals are very approachable.

Also, the Spanish in Costa Rica is very laid back. You won't give yourself a hemmorage trying to discern words.

Have fun. I assume all the other travellers are already out, or they would have helped. It's spring, you know, everyone gets moving in Spring.

Buena Suerte