Costa Rica: Four Solo Vacations in One:

Costa Rica Tours for Solo Travelers for adventure, culture and ecotourism

Travel to Costa Rica gives you multiple trips in one. From the US, it is only a short flight away. Vacation options range from: a beach holiday, active adventure travel, eco/wildlife tours or volunteering with local “green” projects.

Costa Rica Tours for Solo Travelers:

Costa Rica solo travel packages are popular year-round. The reason? Costa Rica has something for everyone.
Costa Rica is one of the best vacations for singles. Why is that? It has good values for a wide range of budgets from hostel stays to 4-star elegance.

Costa Rica Tours for Solo Travelers: A Brief History:

Settled in the pre-Columbian times as early as the 8th-century BC.
Colonial history began in the early 16th century with Columbus’s arrival.
1522 – First Spanish settlers arrived.
Gold was discovered.
Mid-18th century part of the Mexican Empire.
1800’s civil war raged.
Present day: a democracy and top solo travel destination.
Beyond tourism, its additional revenues from technology and agricultural products, including coffee.

Option One: Relaxing Beach Break and Cultural Tour:

Historians and architects may be disappointed since few early buildings remain. Most of the buildings were erected in the 1800’s rather than the colonial period. The striking Metropolitan Cathedral of San José was built in the late 19th century. It replaced the original structure destroyed by an earthquake. While not really old,  the National Theatre of Costa Rica is San Jose’s finest historic building dating from the end of the 19th century. Now celebrating its 117th anniversary this year, it is known for its ornate interior that features pink marble and gilt. However, it also houses an elegant Viennese-style coffee shop. Out front, there are two imposing statues. One is of  Ludwig van Beethoven and the other 17th century Spanish playwright, Calderón de La Barca. They both keep a watchful eye on 21st century visitors as they enter.

Things to see and do:

Immerse yourself in the culture and history of the country through the capital city, San Jose. Many artifacts of this “pre-Columbian” period can still be seen in museums in San Jose.
Stroll through the Museo de Oro. Fashionistas will want to stop in its gift shop to select copies of ancient artifacts.
Have a night at Costa Rica’s National Theatre.
Trek the rainforest.
Get up close and personal with a guided tour of local wildlife.
Relax on pristine beaches and curl up with a good novel.
Sample local cuisine.
Sail or swim the Pacific or Caribbean coasts.
End the day in the nearby natural hot springs.
Try your hand at deep sea fishing.
See the division between North and South America which occurs at the Continental Divide.
Spy on multiple local bird species in flight or nesting.

Option Two: Adventure Travel/Active Vacations:

Costa Rica is the ideal spot for adventure travel.

Start out going whitewater rafting on one of six rivers.
Follow-up ziplining high above the rainforest.
Take a scuba lesson.
Go spelunking in the fabled Venado Caves.
Rappel down waterfalls at LaFortuna/Arenal.
Make a day trip to the Arenal Volcano. for biking and hiking.
Soak in the hot springs within the sight of the Arenal Volcano.
Snorkel or scuba dive in the Caribbean or Pacific Coasts.
Both coasts offer snorkeling and scuba diving.
Learn  to surf at Malpais or Playa Santa Teresa.
Rent a bike or canoe.
Ride horses along the beach.
Explore the Carara and Manuel Antonio National Parks.

Costa Rica: Four Solo Vacations in One: Option Three: Eco tours and Green Travel:

Beyond placid bird watching and snapping photos of wildlife, sample tour:

Rainforest, parks and wildlife sanctuaries make up 25% of the country. You will see tee shirts everywhere with frogs plus over three hundred species of birds and butterflies. The most popular wildlife symbol is generally considered the Red-eyed Tree Frog.
The rainforest, parks and wildlife sanctuaries constitute 25% of the country. Although small in square miles, Costa Rica has some of the richest biodiversity in the world.
In keeping with its green focus, the government has undertaken a program over time to voluntarily achieve 2007 carbon neutrality.  The highly photogenic Red-eyed Tree Frog is most typically depicted to represent Costa Rican wildlife.
Bird lovers get ready to be excited!  Humming birds will hover starting at breakfast. You will find more than 170 species.  Sunrise is the best time to view Costa Rica’s colorful birds. If you have good luck, you may get a selfie with a new “friend”!
As I found, you don’t have to go very far to see colorful examples. From my hotel patio, I was joined for breakfast each morning by a low-flying hummingbird. It was just one of 26 local species.
Hike the Quetzales National Park.  This 12,350 acre park has 14 eco-systems and 3 forest zones! It has both natural water sources and highland forests.
Relish awe inspiring views between the Central Volcanic Cordillera and the Talamanca Mountains. They are near by to both the southern and central Pacific coasts. (To the east is the Caribbean Sea.)
Behind is the tallest peak in Costa Rica known as Chirripó.
Trek the rainforest.

Solo Travel Destination-Costa Rica, a Sample Eco Tour and Adventure:

Kayaking: Hatillo Mangrove Forest

Hiking the Corcovado National Park

Costa Rica: Four Solo Vacations in One: Option Four: Volunteering:

You can contact the teams below by going to our tours; click LATAM and “volunteering” under the “Specialty Tours” drop-down menu.

Options to check out:

Frontier Gap:

Frontier Gap was founded twenty-five plus years ago. The initial projects were undertaken jointly with the World Wildlife Foundation in Tanzania.

Project in the Americas:

Marine and animal conservation

Biodiversity/environmental and climate issues

Responsible travel

Sustainable livelihoods

2021 Update:

Frontier now has expanded across five continents in more than seventy countries with four hundred projects. Their global effort has brought together volunteers from thirty plus countries.

For more information, see:

Gap Years and Volunteering Abroad with Frontier (

Sea Turtle Tours:

Sea Turtle Tours was an early adopter in the world of ecotourism having been founded in 2008.  As an independent non-profit since 2017, they were the very first effort to use ecotourism to protect sea turtles both on land and in the seas.

While Latin America is their primary focus, they do work worldwide.

To date in 2021:

Having raised $1+ million, they have saved three million hatchlings. They have brought 1,000+ people to see sea turtles. Those volunteers have completed more than 5,000 work shifts at turtle conservation projects.

Locations: Costa Rica, Mexico, Belize, Galapagos + LATAM

Sea Turtle Tours provides the opportunity to:

Aid local researchers in the study and protection of sea turtles and a leatherback nesting beach.
Help in catching green turtles at sea.
Guide hatchlings to the ocean.

Green travel tips:

Tip One: Reduce Plastic Use:

Bring reusable water bottles.
Ask for no straws with your drinks.
Pack souvenirs in reusable tote bags.

Tip Two: Reef-Friendly Sunscreen

Avoid those with “oxybenzone”.
Buy those without that or are labeled as “reef-friendly.”
Use zinc oxide which is considered safe.

Tip Three: Reduce Carbon Emissions

Leave electronic devices at home.
Turn off  fans, lights, and AC when not at hotels or cabins.
Use public transportation if possible.
Get a solar powered charger for recharging small electronics.
Purchase carbon offsets, such as “Seagrass Grow”.

Tip Four: Turtle-Friendly Diving Tips

See the same sunscreen advice as to reefs.
Avoid touching or stepping on coral.
Don’t touch or chase  after wildlife since stress can injure them. Stay 10 feet away and quietly let them pass.
Avoid using flash photos and keep Go Pro and selfie sticks out of the way.

The Vacation Project:

Be a part of the Costa Rican community beyond the standard tourist path.

Volunteer at the Piro Biological Research Station (Osa Conservation):

The Osa Peninsula covers 700 square miles on Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast in what the National Geographic calls “the most biologically intense place on earth”.
Because of the Osa’s geological history, it has an almost unparalleled amount of biodiversity. Its faults extend all the way into California.

Costa Rica Budget Tips:

Tip One:

Go off-season: I selected the rainy season for lowest prices. Are you concerned about hurricanes? The good news? Hurricanes don’t often hit Costa Rica directly. In any case, my solo travel in Costa Rica was one of my best trips. The weather was fine. The tropical rains were brief and didn’t stop my beach trips. The off-season rates made luxury travel options for single travelers more affordable.
Off-season reductions come quickly after the summer.  I took advantage of price drops as early as September.
An added benefit of traveling off-season? I was upgraded to a junior suite at no extra charge. It came with a wonderful balcony bordered by flowers. The view was comprised of two spacious swimming pools. However, I am not sure that watching other people swim constitutes getting exercise!

Tip Two: Lodging

Stay inland: With Costa Rica’s two coasts, I found booking day trips alternating between the two was a great option. Better yet hotels, and bed and breakfasts were cheaper since they weren’t on the beach.
Costa Rica has more than one hundred hotels, bed and breakfasts and overnight options from 5-star Costa Rica luxury travel to small, unrated spots.  See our Costa Rican packages or use our hotel search box on the home page.

Tip Three: Meals

When you pick a place to stay, be sure to check out what other cafes or restaurants are nearby. In a remote area, your options will be limited. This “hidden” cost adds up fast.
Find a local grocery, and have a picnic outside in the glorious weather.

Check out our “11 Ways to See Costa Rica“, “Costa Rica-Top Eco Tours” and Solo Travel Package-San Jose. Costa Rica 11 Top Solo Travel Deals Latin America Ecotours to Adventure (

Costa Rica: Lodging:

Options range from global high-end chains to small local properties. Our booking engine on our home page listed 120 hotels in 20 places in Costa Rica.  A local site listed 61 hotels as 5-star. Their rates ranged from a modest $113 to a sky high $1240!

•          Of the 5-star hotels seven were priced from $200-$299 range. Although not inexpensive, they were less than many resorts around the globe.

Here is a sampling from 4-star to hostels/shared dormitories.

Cascata Del Bosco Cabinas

Natural setting with cottages nestled in the bush.
Select amenities of home, i.e., free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, a balcony to lounge on. For added savings, a completely equipped kitchenette with a microwave and refrigerator.
Free toiletries in the private bathroom plus hair dryer.
Front desk 24/7.
Full breakfast included.
On-site restaurant and bar.
18 miles from Amistad International Park, shared by Panama and Costa Rica.
10 minutes’ drive from the center of San Vito with its Wilson Botanical Gardens and airport access.

Fuego  Lodge 

Ideal beach access: Only 800 feet away or a 5 minute walk to stroll on pristine sand. Other beach options are Carmen Beach, less than a mile away, and Cocal Beach, 20 minutes’ drive.
Alternate option for a swim: the Lodge’s outdoor pool.
On-site garden.
Free Wi-Fi, air conditioned rooms with a choice of studios, private bath with shower or tub, indoor and outdoor seating.
24/7 concierge service.

The Real InterContinental:

A short 8 minute drive from San Jose.
Outdoor pool.
Central America’s largest urban spa with steam room, indoor pool, sauna and fitness center.
Chic décor, air- conditioned guest rooms with elegant Egyptian cotton sheets, a private bath and  coffee-maker.
On-site cuisine with 4 restaurants ranging from Asian to Italian dishes. Two bars for lighter refreshments.
Tennis court.

Hotel Grano de Oro:

Located in the heart of San Jose.
Walking distance to major sights.
Free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TV with cable channels.
Free toiletries, plush linens and coffee maker.

El Chilamate

Walking distance to the beach. You can make your way with a Pina Colada in hand or clutching a must-read new mystery novel.
Free Wi-Fi, guest rooms with sitting areas and kitchens.
Select rooms with a patio or terrace.
Private en suite bath with shower or tub plus a robe for relaxing.

Hotel Club del Mar

Hotel/spa – A top pick.
Set between the rainforest and the Pacific Ocean.
Located between colorful tropical gardens and Jaco Beach.
Beachfront and a pool overlooking the ocean.
Air conditioned rooms with Wi-Fi and cable TV.
Balconies views of the ocean and the lush rain forest.
Private bath with hairdryer, coffee maker and cable TV.
On-site restaurant with both international and local dishes serving fresh seafood.
Hotel’s Tiki bar for drinks, Happy Hour or poolside meals.

 Olas Verdes

Four minutes’ walk to the beach.
Free Wi-Fi, outdoor pool, on-site bar.
Select rooms with sitting area with garden or pool view.
Private bath.
Other nearby beaches: Sámara, 10 miles away and Playa Grande 29 miles away.

Arena Marinol & Hot Springs

4-Star Comfort
Large garden, a sun terrace with swimming pool, spa treatments and wellness center
Free Wi-Fi,  modern décor, air-conditioning, satellite TV, coffee maker and a refrigerator.
Private bathrooms with free toiletries.
Select rooms with a terrace and views of the Arenal Volcano.
On-site restaurant with international cuisine and a bar.
10 minutes’ drive from the Arenal Volcano National Park and from La Fortuna Town Centre.

Bargain in the Forest:

Forest Lodge

Bed and Breakfast with great prices.
Free Wi-Fi.
Swimming pool and on-site water park!
Garden and barbecue facilities.
Guest rooms with terrace and garden views.
Nearby biking and hiking.
Playa Hermosa – 3.1 miles away.
Marino Ballena National Park – a 10-minute walk

A Real “Steal”:

Hostel Plinio 

Outdoor pool.
Shared kitchen.
Free Wi-Fi.
Complimentary breakfast.
Options: dorms, private rooms with shared bathroom and family rooms. All with a balcony with ocean views.

Arenal Backpackers

Air-conditioned shared dormitories with lockers and tents for up to 2 persons.
Shared bathrooms and showers with free toiletries.
2.2 miles from Arenal Volcano.
Free Wi-Fi access.
Outdoor pool.
On-site restaurant/snack bar and bar.
Sun terraces, laundry services and front desk 24/7.
Tour options:  Visit the rainforest and have a canopy tour. See Arenal Lake, La Fortuna Waterfall or the hot springs. Hike to the volcano. Go white water rafting or  horse back riding.

For more information, see Visit Costa Rica  and for top day tours, check out Costa Rica Travel Advice & Recommendations | Viator.

For more on LATAM solo travel with no single supplements and solo-priced lodging, go to our free search tool, the Deals there are divided by location, type and pricing category.  Register there and get a complimentary copy of our “Updated 2020-2021 Solo Travel Guidebook”

For tips on packing, budgeting and tracking travel expenses, check out our free Solo Sherpa available at the App Store and Google Play Store.



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