There is something very special about solo travel in Costa Rica. If you’ve never embarked on an adventure alone, then this destination in Central America offers the opportunity to reconnect with yourself in magnificent wilderness, meet travelers in the many excellent hostels and step outside your comfort zone with the retreats on offer. Want to know more? Here’s a guide to traveling alone in Costa Rica.
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While there is really no part of Costa Rica that is inadvisable to visit, there are some towns especially suited for solo travelers. Unless you are specifically seeking solitude (which is also amazing sometimes), you will most likely want to be somewhere where there is the opportunity to meet other travelers, try a variety of foods, have nightlife options and be within close proximity to different types of activities. Tamarindo, Santa Teresa, Puerto Viejo, Nosara, and La Fortuna are all very solo traveler-friendly destinations.
During your solo expedition, it is likely that you will want to move around a bit. Private transportation can get pricey if you are the only one paying for it, but fortunately there are some reasonable and easy transportation options available here. Nature Air and Sansa are Costa Rican airline companies that fly small planes to dozens of small airports around the country. This is probably one of the easiest ways to jump from place to place without wasting time and money. There are also shuttle companies, such as Grayline and Interbus that offer transportation all over the country.
There are plenty of cool hostels in Costa Rica. They’re a great way to meet fellow travelers and often come at budget-friendly prices. But staying in one necessarily mean you’ll have to share a room and bathroom with guests you’ve never met. There are several high-quality hostels in Costa Rica where you have the option of a private room for an affordable price.
Traveling solo in Costa Rica doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do everything alone. There are plenty of activities where you can meet and share your experiences with others. If you want to take a tour, just let the tour operator know that you are traveling solo and ask if there are any groups to join. Take a surfing lesson, go on a sunset sailing excursion, sign-up for a yoga class, or join a guided nature tour. The beauty of traveling alone is that you get to do whatever you want and not worry about anyone else.
There are many different retreats taking place throughout the year in Costa Rica. Spend a week doing yoga, surfing, paddleboarding, detoxing, or learning how to live in an environmentally sustainable way. Everything will be set up for you (accommodation, transportation, food, classes and activities) and you will be surrounded by like-minded individuals from around the world.
If you don’t fancy a full-on retreat, there are several great Spanish schools on the coast and in the Central Valley in Costa Rica. There are programs that are as short as a few days and as long as several months. Joining a Spanish language program is a wonderful way to spend a portion of your day learning Spanish and the rest of your day exploring and participating in activities of your choice. Spanish schools are also a great place to meet other travelers. There is often the option to stay at the Spanish school, which is similar to staying at a hostel. Wayra Spanish Institute, Coastal Spanish Institute, Nosara Spanish Institute, Monteverde Institute and Academia Tica Spanish School are all fantastic choices.