We had planned to spend 21 days travelling through Costa Rica, but instead managed to extend to 30 days and still more or less stay in budget. We decided early on to dedicate a slightly larger budget to this part of the trip as we really wanted to see as much as possible of the country.
Below you will find a list of places we went to with links to the related articles, where we stayed and how much we spent during our stay. My hope is that this can offer suggestions and help with budgeting for anyone looking to visit this beautiful country.
Places of interest we visited:
- Playa del Coco, Playa Hermosa and Playa Panama (Guanacaste province)
- Waterfall Llanos de Cortes near Bagaces
- National Park Rincon de la Vieja and Rio Negro hot springs
- Santa Elena Cloud Forest and the Selvatura Suspension bridges
- La Fortuna
- Reserva Mirador El Silencio in Arenal volcano
- Organic farm Rancho Margot
- Butterfly Observatory
- Rio La Fortuna waterfall
- Cerro Chato
- Tarcoles river bridge and the crocodiles
- Playa Hermosa (near Jaco)
- Quepos and Manuel Antonio beach
- Manuel Antonio National Park
- Uvita and Playa Ventanas (near Uvita)
- Cahuita and the Cahuita National Park
- Cahuita Sloth Sanctuary (Aviarios del Caribe)
Accommodations we stayed in:
Here is a summary of where we stayed in Costa Rica, for how long for and a rating based on 3 key criteria for us; cleanliness of rooms/bathroom, location to amenities and value for money based on the town’s/city’s price range. All of our accommodations were on a private room base and not dorms.
The ratings below are 1 – 5, with 1 being awful and 5 being fantastic:
|Liberia||Hostel El Tope||2||2.5||4||4|
|Monteverde / Santa Elena||Cabinas Eddy||2||4||4||4|
|La Fortuna||Hostel Gringo Petes Two||5||4||4.5||5|
|Playa Hermosa (near Jaco)||Cabinas Brisa Del Mar||1||3||4.5||3|
|Quepos / Manuel Antonio||Hostel Pura Vida Manuel Antonio||7||3.5||3||4|
|Dominical (Playa Dominical)||Hostel Piramys||1||2.5||4.5||3.5|
|Uvita (Playa Uvita)||Cabinas Felix||3||4||3.5||4.5|
|Cabinas Arrecife||2||2 (bad kitchen)||4||3.5|
|Cabinas Smith #1||2||2 (bad kitchen)||4||4|
|Carrizal||Cabinas Las Nubes||1||3||3||3|
Breakdown of our costs in Costa Rica:
During our 30 days we spent a total of £2,099, which worked out at £70 per day for the both of us. We had a rental car most of our stay (a 4×4 in Liberia and the Arenal region, and a compact car for the Pacific and Caribbean coast). We opted for the car rental as the shuttles were very expensive and we also wanted the freedom to really move through the country at our own pace.
Below is breakdown of what we spent:
|Type of Expense||Total (GBP)||Daily Ave. (GBP)|
|Food (inc eating out)||472||16|
|Other (petrol, toiletries, etc)||228||8|
To view photos of the places we visited see our Costa Rica gallery page.