BEACH LOVERS ITINERARY (SOUTH PACIFIC)

This itinerary is designed with all of you beach hopping lovers in mind. Get ready for laid back vibes, golden tans, drinking out of coconuts, surf lessons, and Instagram pics that are guaranteed to make all of your followers insanely jealous.

Schedule:

7 nights total

Jaco (2 nights) -> Manuel Antonio (2 nights) -> Uvita/ Dominical (2 nights) -> San Jose (1 night)

Day One:

Land in San Jose. San Jose airport is a very hit or miss experience. Sometimes you can end up waiting in line at Customs for an hour or so. The best thing I can suggest is to not take your time after getting off the plane. While everyone else is heading to the bathroom to freshen up, go straight to Customs. This will help you get closer to the front of the line.

Customs is generally pretty easy. The Customs Officer will ask how long you are planning to stay and what is the purpose of your visit. You will then be good to go! As a precaution, I always have my flight info for my return flight with me so if asked I can show proof that I am leaving within 90 days.

After going through Customs you can pick up your bags at your baggage carousel. You will then put your bags through one last security check and out you go!

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a celebrity, get ready! It’s your time to shine! 🙂 As you exit the airport you will be absolutely bombarded with men asking if you need a taxi. Politely decline and look for a person holding a sign from your rental car company. We always recommend using Adobe for your rental car needs. We have used other companies in the past and have been charged crazy extra fees. You can read more about renting a car and why we like Adobe here.

No matter what company you go with they will take you on a shuttle to their shop nearby. They are all about a 5 minute drive. You will then fill out some paperwork and you’ll be good to go!

Please, please, please read our post about renting a car first though. I don’t want you to be surprised or have extra unexpected charges (which is something that tends to happen).

Drive to Jaco: The drive to Jaco is a fairly easy one. It will take you about 1.5 hours to get there depending on the traffic.

Note: This is a toll road. It will cost you about $5 total to get to Jaco. The toll booths do accept dollars but will give you change in colones. If you only have dollars I suggest giving them a $10. The change will be enough for you to pay the rest of the tolls in colones.

Along the way stop at Rio Tarcoles to check out some crocodiles. About an hour into your drive you will cross a bridge lined with people. After you cross the bridge pull off onto the right hand side of the road. Make sure nothing valuable is left visible in your car and walk back onto the bridge. From there you will get a great view of crocodiles lounging in the sun.

Arrive in Jaco: Once you arrive in Jaco head to your hotel and check in. Depending on the time you can grab dinner or check out one of our suggested Jaco activities. Definitely make sure to catch the sunest on the beach. It’s the perfect spot for it.

Day 2:

Grab some breakfast and then it’s time to head to one of our favorite beaches, Playa Blanca! You’ll be back tracking a bit for this one and driving about 20 minutes back towards the way you came from yesterday. Unfortunately there are not any budget hotels in this area, which is why we told you to stay in Jaco.

Before you hit the road stop at one of the many small grocery stores in Jaco and pick up some food and drinks for the day. There are not any restaurants at the beach you are going to. There are grills though, but if it is a busy beach day they tend to get taken over pretty fast.

We usually bring lots of water, some beers, fruit, crackers, a few cans of tuna fish (they have some crazy ones here with various veggies in them), and a few other snacky things. If the hotel you are staying at has a kitchen area you can buy stuff the night before and make sandwiches before you head out for the day.

Alright, now it’s time to drive!

Playa Blanca is located in a private resort community, but because every beach in Costa Rica needs to have public access, there is a side entrance which will lead you to a dirt parking lot which you can use. Check out the maps section in this itinerary for precise directions. You will have to pay about $5 to park.

In front of where you park you can access a beach called Playa Mantas. It’s a nice beach, but if you want an AMAZING beach walk to the left on Playa Mantas. At the end of the beach there is a little path up a hill which will take you to Playa Blanca. Welcome to paradise!

Note: You can only access this area during low or middle tide. We have tried to do it during high tide but the water comes in too far and the rocks are extremely slippery. I wiped out and ruined a bunch of things in my backpack. To check the tides I rely on the app Magic Seaweed.

Also, the hill to Playa Blanca is small but steep. It’s difficult when you have all of your beach gear with you.

Spend the day on Playa Blanca, but make sure to keep track of the tides! Make your exit when the tide is low and head back to Jaco. Check out the Activities section of this itinerary for some suggested Jaco activities to do in the evening.

Day 3:

Eat breakfast in the morning in Jaco. Check out our suggested restaurants for a list of our favorites.

It’s time to say goodbye to Jaco and head to Manuel Antonio. The drive to Manuel Antonio will only take you about an hour.

Along the way you can check out Playa Esterillos. It is a long expansive beach which isn’t as beautiful as other beaches in Costa Rica, but it is usually fairly empty and worth a quick visit.

Once you arrive in Manuel Antonio you should go check into your hotel. If it is too early to check in you can ask if you can store your stuff somewhere safe at the hotel. Usually if the room is clean they will let you check in early at no extra cost.

After dropping your stuff off, grab some lunch before heading to Playa Biesanz. We suggest the Falafal Bar. It is on the corner of the same street as Playa Biesanz, is crazy good, and has a fun vibe. You can also wait until you get to Playa Biesanz. There are plenty of locals selling grilled food on the beach at a good price.

When you get to Playa Biesanz you can park your car on the side of the road and the guy working will watch it for about $5. Even though someone will be watching your car you should make sure nothing of value is left visible. Walk down the woodsy path to the beach. On the path check in the trees for howler monkeys. There are usually a lot of them hanging out there.

This beach is not exceptionally beautiful, but it has a nice local feel. We love it because there is so much to do there! Locals on the beach can rent you snorkel equipment for a few dollars. We recommend doing this. We saw some really cool fish here. You can also rent a nice two person sea kayak for about $15 for 90 minutes. There are also beach chairs you can rent for a day with umbrellas if you want to just relax. There are plenty of vendors selling food and drinks here as well for a good price. Spend the day here and head back to your hotel around 4pm to get changed for dinner.

Manuel Antonio is the perfect place for beautiful sunset dinners. Check out our restaurant suggestions for a few of our favorite places. We aim to eat around 5pm so we can enjoy the sundown while we eat.

Note: Make sure to bring bug spray. The second the sun goes down it gets really buggy.

After dinner you can go back to your hotel for some evening relaxing or check out one of the local bars. We suggest El Avion. The drinks are decent and it is located in an old cargo plane. It’s not the cheapest, but if you stick to local beers you can save some money.

Day 4:

Time to check out Manuel Antonio national park! The park opens at 7am and we suggest being there at opening time because they only allow a certain number of people into the park at a time and it fills up fast.

We have a complete post about Manuel Antonio here which you should read to get a better idea of how to have a successful visit.

Because you can not bring food to Manuel Antonio, we suggest staying until about 12. You can leave your car where you parked it and walk to the downtown area of Manuel Antonio. You have the option of walking the trail from right outside the entrance or walking down the road. If you decide to take the road and want a light lunch, check out Sol Frozen Yogurt on your walk. They have great smoothies, fro yo, and ice cream. It’s a super cute spot.

If you want something with more substance you can stop at one of the places downtown across from the beach. We’ve eaten at a few of these places and all have been decent, but not really awe worthy.

After you eat, cross the street and enjoy some time on the beach. If you want a quieter experience walk to the end of the beach. There are some cool large rocks down there and that area is almost always empty.

After exploring the beach head back to your hotel to relax a bit or check out one of the Manuel Antonio activities we have listed.

In the evening enjoy dinner at one of our recommended places.

Day 5:

It’s time to head south to the Dominical/ Uvita area. Don’t worry, it’s a short drive. It will only take you about an hour to get down there.

Day 6:

Day 7: After enjoying breakfast and checking out of your hotel it is time to head back towards the airport. 🙁 The drive back will take you about four hours depending on traffic.

We suggest not starting too late because hitting the airport area during the afternoon rush hour is a nightmare.

If you get hungry along the way we suggest stopping off in Jaco and revisiting your fave restaurant or trying one of our suggestions that you missed out on.

We listed some of our fave cheap hotels in the accommodation section but if you want to search on your own be sure to check in Alajuela rather than San Jose. The airport is actually located in Alajuela rather than San Jose.

Once you arrive in Alajuela, check into your hotel, and chill. If you are feeling up for an activity, I’ve listed a few for you in the activity section.

In the evening, grab some dinner and get some sleep before your flight tomorrow.

Day 8:

Goodbye Costa Rica!

This itinerary needs to be done by rental car. The reason for this is that although it is fairly easy to take public transportation to each destination on this itinerary, it is not possible to get to all the awesome activities we have for you by bus.

Most of the activities listed in this itinerary are off the beaten path activities. What I mean is that we have selected activities for you which will give you a totally unique experience on a budget. There are several companies offering day tours from each destination, but they are all expensive. When we calculated it out it is cheaper to rent a car and drive to destinations on your own than to participate in pre-packaged tours which include transportation.

To save you even more money we have partnered with our favorite rental car company in Costa Rica, Adobe, to give you a 10% discount on your car rental.

The reason we chose to partner with Adobe is that they are the only company in Costa Rica that we trust fully. We always try to give you guys the best info possible on budget travel in Costa Rica and I can ensure you that Adobe is the best of the best.

We have had some nightmare car rental experiences in this country and we don’t want you to go through the same thing.

In Costa Rica there is a mandatory Liability Protection insurance. This means that every single person who drives in Costa Rica needs to purchase this insurance. Even if your bank or credit card company from home covers certain damages, it doesn’t matter. You need this insurance.

The problem with most rental car companies in Costa Rica is that they do not include this insurance in their online quote. This means that you are quoted a price, think it’s a good price so you book the car, and then arrive and are told it will actually be a lot more expensive because you need to add on this insurance.

I have no idea why companies do it this way because it means that they are left with very unsatisfied customers. I guess in their minds they have you hooked at that point. It is too late for you to search for another rental car company so you’re going to go ahead and pay the extra insurance fees.

The reason we love Adobe is because they are completely upfront about their costs. The price you are quoted online is with the Liability Protection included.

If you book your rental car with Adobe through our site you get:
-A second driver for free (it’s usually $4 per day)
-0% deductible as part of the Liability Protection (it’s usually 20%)
-A free cell phone to use
-10% discount applied to your reservation

We also love Adobe because they are a local company who believes strongly in customer satisfaction.

For example, my dad and sister came to visit a few months ago and we rented a car from Adobe. I put in the online rental car registration form that we would need to be picked up from the airport along with their flight number. There flight ended up being delayed and got in at 10:30pm instead of 8:00pm.

I checked online and the Adobe rental car office closes at 10:00pm. I figured since my dad and sister would be getting in too late there wouldn’t be anyone from Adobe waiting to greet us and we would have to pick up the car the next day. I was so wrong! There was someone waiting for us at the airport with an Adobe sign and they then took us free of charge to the Adobe office which had stayed open to allow delayed passengers to pick up their cars.

How great is that?!

It’s this kind of local businesses that we are all about here at Costa Rica Vibes.

If you still have some questions about renting a car you can read our complete page on renting a car here and feel free to email us! We’re happy to help you out. It can be a bit nerve wracking to rent a car in another country. We totally get it!
[email protected]

Once you book your car head on over to the maps section of this itinerary to see how to drive this itinerary and our suggestions for GPS usage.

JACO

Reboot Resort: For about $25 you can get a small room with bunk beds for two people and a private bathroom. There is also a pool and a shared kitchen which guests are welcome to use. This hotel is not located in Jaco, but in Playa Hermosa (6km from Jaco). Playa Hermosa has a calm vibe and we like it more than Jaco. Oh, and this hotel is a few minute walk to the beach!

La Perlita: For about $50 you can get a room with a kitchenette for two people. There is also an outdoor pool for guests to enjoy. It is about a 10-minute walk to the beach in Jaco.

Buddha House Boutique Hostel: This place has a super cool vibe to it. For about $30 you can get a double room with a shared bathroom. There is a common space with a kitchen which guests can use. There is also a small pool and it is located only a few minute walk from the beach.

Hotel El Paraiso Escondido: For about $55 per night you can get a double room. There are rooms with kitchenettes as well, but those are about $65 a night. There is a pool and barbecue facilities for guest to use. The beach in Jaco is a few minute walk away. 

MANUEL ANTONIO

Hostel Wide Mouth Frog: This hostel is located in Quepos (a ten minute drive from Manuel Antonio). For about $30 you can get a private dorm for two people with a shared bathroom. There is a shared kitchen for guests and a pool.

Guest House Pura Vida: Located in Quepos (about 10 minutes from Manuel Antonio), this guest house has studio apartments with a kitchenette and breakfast for two people at prices as low as $20 a night. It really depends on the date though. sometimes the price can be higher.

Torino Backpackers Beach: This hotel is only a one minute walk from the beach in Manuel Antonio. For about $50 a night for two people you can get a large room with breakfast included. There is also a shared kitchen on the property.

Selina Manuel Antonio: This place has a super cool vibe. There is a nice pool and an amazing view of the jungle. For about $50 a night you can get a double room with a shared bathroom. There is also a shared kitchen on site.

Waterfront Hotel Verde Mar: For about $45 you can get a super basic room for two people, but you can’t beat the location. They have a nice outdoor pool and access directly onto the beach from the hotel. It’s about a 10-minute walk to the national park.

DOMINICAL/ UVITA

Hotel Cabinas y Camping el Teca: Located about a four-minute walk from the beach in Uvita, this place has rooms with small kitchens for about $40 a night. There is also a pool on site which guests can use.

Cascada Verde Hostel: Amazing place in the jungle. For about $30 a night you can stay in a double room with a shared bathroom. There is also a communal kitchen area you can use.

Tucan Hotel: The vibe here is cool. This place is located in the jungle in Uvita. They have bikes you can use for free, an onsite restaurant, yoga classes, and a nice garden area. For about $30 a night you can stay in a double room with a shared bathroom.

Cool Vibes Beach Hostel: Across the street from the beach in Dominical, this hostel has double rooms for around $30 a night. There is also a shared kitchen you can use on the site.

Tropical Sand Dominical: Located right next to the beach in Dominical. For about $50 a night you can get a standard double room.

AIRPORT

Casa Maki: This hotel is a 5-minute drive from the airport. It also has a shared kitchen for your use and free breakfast. You can expect to pay about $50 for a double room.

Hotel II Millenium: For about $50 you can get a basic double room with breakfast included. This hotel is about 3 minutes from the airport.

Hotel Cortez Azul: For about $25 you can find a room for two people with a shared bathroom. Breakfast is included as well as a free airport shuttle. This hotel is about a 5-minute drive from the airport.

La Villa Rio SegundoFor about $40 a night you can get a room for two people with a shared bathroom. Breakfast is included and there is also a nice pool on site. This hotel is an 8-minute drive from the airport. There is an airport shuttle, but you have to pay for it.

Note: When looking for hotels near the airport search for “Alajuela” as your location rather than San Jose.

Want an even more unique experience? Check out Airbnb. You can sometimes find some really unique accommodations at crazy good prices. Just make sure to read the reviews before you book anything. If this is your first time using Airbnb we have a $35 credit for you. Woot!AIRBNB

Want to look at more hotels? We like Hotels Combined because they compare the prices on all hotel booking sites which makes it easy to guarantee you get the best deals.

JACO

Taco Joint: On point tacos at a reasonable price. A great lunch spot.

The Pizza Shop: Seriously top notch pizza at a good price.

Tacobar Jaco Beach: The food is decent, but the vibe here is the best.

Side Street Bistro: Our go-to lunch spot in Jaco. Not the cheapest, but cool vibe and a good place to spend a long lazy lunch. Plus they have a great drink menu!

Soda Jaco Rustico: A great dinner spot if you want an authentic meal at a really good price.

Green Room Cafe: We haven’t eaten here but they have a great craft beer menu and a chill vibe. There s also live local music here on some evenings.

Amphitheater Restaurant: This restaurant is located at the Villa Caletas hotel and is expensive, but we suggest just going for a drink around sunset. Just ask at the front desk and they’ll direct you. You can sit in their outdoor Roman amphitheater on a cliff above Jaco and watch the sunset here. It doesn’t get better than this.

MANUEL ANTONIO

Ronny’s Place: Really good food (fish, steaks, etc) and even better drinks. This place also has one of the best sunset views in town. The road is a little difficult to get here so 4 wheel drive would help, but you can probably make it without. It is not the cheapest though. You can expect to pay about $20 for dinner and a beer.

Falafal Bar: The perfect cute lunch spot. Their falafal is on point and the prices are good.

El Avion:We weren’t overly impressed with the food, but when else can you say that you ate in a cargo plane? You could also just go there for drinks. This place also has a killer sunset view.

Sancho’s: Quality burritos at a reasonable price. Plus the atmosphere is really fun.

El Avion: We weren’t overly impressed with the food, but when else can you say that you ate in a cargo plane? You could also just go there for drinks (that’s what we do). This place also has a killer sunset view.

TA-CHO’S: Amazing Mexican food and the nicest people ever. You’ll feel so welcome here. This is a great dinner spot.

Sol’s Frozen Yoghurt: Great froyo and smoothies next to the national park.

Backpacks Paradise Costa Linda: Your best bet for lunch after a day in the national park. Located next to Sol’s Frozen Yoghurt, this hostel has good typical Costa Rican food at an affordable price.

Baguette: Pastry heaven. A seriously good little coffee shop which I would happily eat at every day and be huge from due to carb overload.

DOMINICAL/ UVITA

PorQueNO: Located in Dominical, this place has the best coastline view! It’s not the cheapest restaurant, but the food is great. We like this place for dinner with a sunset view that will blow your mind.

Del Mar Taco Shop: Our go-to lunch spot in Dominical. Extremely good tacos with fresh ingredients located across from the beach.

El Pescado Loco: This place in Dominical has a super nice vibe, prices are great, and the fish here is the best. Try the fish tacos!

Ranchos Remo: Located in Uvita, this place has the perfect ocean view from up on a cliff. You will need a 4 wheel vehicle to get up here. This is a great dinner spot, but it is not the cheapest. You can expect to pay about $20 per person for dinner with a beer.

The Dome Drive Thru: Located in Uvita this is a good spot for burritos and fruit juices. Prices are reasonable and the food is wonderful.

Roadshack Deli: Super cute deli with quality craft beer and good sandwiches in Uvite. We highly recommend this place for lunch.

Bar Restaurant Los Laureles: Quality food in Uvita. You can’t go wrong here. Everything is delicious and the service is wonderful.

AIRPORT AREA

El Chante Vegano: This place doesn’t look like much from the outside, but get ready for super tasty vegan food. This is the perfect lunch spot.

Yellow Cafe: Great for lunch or dinner. They have good drinks, sandwiches, pasta and more. It has a nice cafe vibe.

La Calle-Beer & Street Food: Go here! This is basically a food truck with outside tables and it is the coolest. They have some great beers and good burgers. It’s not the cheapest (burgers are about $10) but it’s a fun spot to chill.

Pesqueria Qlity Fish: Totally unexpected amazingness. If you like seafood or fish, this is your spot. We suggest going here for dinner.

Jalapenos Central: Quality TexMex style food at super reasonable prices. This place is owned by a guy from the US (Norman) who likes to make his rounds through the restaurant to make sure everyone is happy. Perfect for lunch or dinner.

Denny’s: OK usually we wouldn’t suggest Denny’s as dining option, but it is open 24 hours a day and is close to the airport. If your flight gets in really late or you have an early departure, this is your best bet for a meal.

JACO

Chill on the beach: Jaco beach is perfect if you want a large open beach. If you’d like a bit more privacy head to the northern part of the beach. It tends to be pretty empty there.

Go partying: If you are into the nightlife scene, Jaco is where it’s at. Because this area is pretty saturated wth backpackers there are tons of clubs and bars along the main stretch downtown.

Take a surfing lesson: There are tons of companies that offer surfing lessons in Jaco. We have not personally tried out any of these companies, so we can’t give you a good recommendation, but check here on TripAdvisor for the top companies.

Try SUP: Carton Surfboards in Jaco has stand up paddle boards you can rent. They cost $25 per hour or $35 for a half day. Just ask at Carton and they will direct you to some good spots to explore on your SUP.

Walk the beach: Jaco beach may not be the most beautiful beach in the world, but it is long and is a great place for a long beach stroll.

Watch the sunset: Grab a beer at one of the many convenience stores and sit on the beach for sunset. We’ve never had a bad sunset view in Jaco.

Check out Playa Hermosa: If you are looking for a more relaxed vibe head a few minutes south of Jaco to Playa Hermosa. This little seaside village is the perfect getaway from the action in Jaco.

Hike Miro’s Mountain: A secret hidden gem in Jaco is the hike up Miro’s Mountain. Search for “El Miro” on your gps or in Google Maps and it should come up. The trail head is not marked, but it is located directly across from the gas station at the south part of town. If you can’t find it just ask someone for help. The hike is a little over a mile one way. Make sure to walk far enough to get to the abandoned restaurant. It’s super cool! Plus you’ll get a great view of Jaco.

Check out the farmers market: Every Friday from 7am to 2pm next to the soccer field in the center of Jaco there is a farmers market. We love the farmer’s markets in Costa Rica because you can find tons of exotic fruits you’ve probably never seen before.

 

MANUEL ANTONIO

There are not a lot of budget activity options in Manuel Antonio that we have found. Here are our few faves though.

Visit playa Biesanz and go sea kayaking /snorkeling: Playa Biesanz is not the most beautiful beach you’ve ever seen, but it has a charm about it which we love. You can park on the side of the road and have an attendant watch your car for under $5. Then walk down the path to the beach (check for howler monkeys in the trees). The beach is filled with locals selling everything you need. You can rent sea kayaks, snorkel gear, stand up paddle boards, buy cocktails, buy food, rent beach chairs, and more! All of this is at a very reasonable rate.  Plus it’s usually not very full with tourists.

Visit the national park: The main reason you are probably in Manuel Antonio is probably to go to the national park. You can read our full post with tips for the park here.

Go to the Quepos farmers market: The nearby town of Quepos has a farmers market every Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. It is located along the sea wall in Quepos. We suggest picking up some unusual fruits you’ve never seen before and trying them out.

Head to La Playita: This beach is located at the very end of Playa Espadilla. It used to be known as the gay scene beach and there were a lot of nude sunbathers. Last time we were there I didn’t see any of this cool scene. It was mostly just couples who wanted a quieter beach experience away from the action of Playa Espadilla.

Watch the sunset: Please don’t miss the sunset while you are here. It’s amazing! We suggest getting dinner on the cliffs for a good view (we have suggestions in the restaurant section) or watching it from Playa Espadilla.

 

DOMINICAL/ UVITA

AIRPORT

 

Check out the city park: In downtown Alajuela, there is a cute city park which is the happening spot on the weekends. You probably won’t spend more than an hour there, but there is a nice church there that you can go in. There are also plenty of vendors selling snacks. Grab a bunch, get a snack, and do some people watching.

Watch the planes take off: If you want a fun/ unique evening experience, check when the next planes are taking off and head on over to the airport. If you are coming from the downtown area of Alajuela, drive past the airport on the highway and you’ll see parking spots on the side of the road. You can pull off here or turn right on the street at the end of the runway. There aren’t any parking spot there, but you can just pull your car off the side of the road. You’ll probably see many families with picnics set up in the grass. This is (in my opinion) the best spot to watch the planes, but I’ll warn you, it’s absolutely terrifying to have planes flying literally right above your head. We like to go out night to get the full effect. There are also usually vendors here selling food.

Do some shopping: If you’re coming from the US, the prices in Costa Rica will be a bit higher than what you are used to, but if you are coming from Europe they are pretty comparable to what you are used to. In Alajuela, there is a city mall, which has a ton of stores which you’ll love. If you want an even crazier experience, head to MultiPlaza. MultiPlaza is not in Alajuela, but it’s still close by in Escazu. That mall is crazy even by US standards. It is the largest mall in Central America and is super modern.

Catch a film: Not really the optimal thing to do on your vacation, but if you are visiting during rainy season, you might be out of luck finding something else to do on a rainy afternoon. Both malls that I listed above have nice movie theaters in them which show films in English with Spanish subtitles. If you’d like to see what is showing, you can check that out here. Just click MultiPlaza Escazu or City Mall, depending on where you’d like to go.

Take a drive through the Central Valley: From the city of Alajuela, head north and check out the amazing views of the valley. I always feel like I’m in Switzerland while driving through here. There are tons of little places selling fresh strawberries and cheese along the way. If you would like to see a nice waterfall, type in “Catarata de la Paz” into your GPS. This waterfall is free (just on the side of the road) and it’s a beautiful drive to this spot. It is really close to Poas Volcano, but unfortunately, Poas is currently closed indefinitely due to eruptions 🙁

Catch your lunch: From downtown Alajuela, you can take a 40-minute drive to a trucha called Los Arroyos. Now, I’m sure you have no idea what I’m talking about, but this is a super popular activity with locals. It’s a totally unique experience that most tourists aren’t lucky enough to have. At this place, they will give you a piece of fishing line with bait on the end and send you over to their little pond. It doesn’t look like much, but it is stocked with trout. Catch a trout for each person in your group and then they will cook it up for you on site with great side dishes. For about $10 you can have a fun half day activity and a really tasty meal. It’s one of our absolute favorite things to do with visitors.

Play with hundreds of dogs: You may have seen a video of this place that has been going viral recently. Territorio de Zaguates (land of the strays) is located in the valley in Alajuela and is home to hundreds of stray dogs. It is possible to visit this beautiful place and play with the dogs, but only on certain days. They usually do one open day a month on a Saturday or Sunday. Check out their Facebook page to stay up to date on their next open day.

For driving, we suggest using Waze. It is the best app for Costa Rica and it is free!

Instead of paying a lot for a temporary international plan from your cell phone service provider you can get a prepaid account with the company Kolbi. They have a stand in the baggage claim area at the airport where you can sign up for a prepaid account. It costs about $3 to sign up, but you are then credited those $3 in minutes to use. If you are just using your 3G for directions on Waze you probably won’t need to spend more than $5 for the whole trip.

Another option is paying for a GPS unit from your rental car provider. This will run you about $6 a day.

Relying on maps is not possible here because roads change constantly. You are much better off to have a GPS or use Waze.

We have provided maps/ driving directions to all the towns you are visiting on this itinerary below. These are just to give you a general idea of where you will be driving each day.

Make sure you know the names of the places you are going to so you can plug them into Waze/ GPS. There are not any street addresses in Costa Rica.

 

AIRPORT-> JACO

JACO -> MANUEL ANTONIO

MANUEL ANTONIO -> UVITA/ DOMINICAL

UVITA/ DOMINICAL -> AIRPORT

Html code here! Replace this with any non empty text and that's it.