Before heading to a new destination, we always make an effort to connect with locals. Besides the fact that they know the best spots and hidden gems, connecting with people and making new friends is the main reason why we love to travel! Not to mention, it’s incredibly cool to experience the culture of the places we visit from a local’s perspective.
Our next destination is Costa Rica, as we are planning our 7-day itinerary, we are ready to immerse ourselves in this beautiful Central American country in search of the essence behind the expression “pura vida” – or should we say, the way of life?
For this very reason, we had the pleasure of interviewing Carlos, a passionate explorer who spends his weekends uncovering the natural wonders of Costa Rica while creating awe-inspiring content on Instagram. From picturesque hikes to breathtaking waterfalls, this vibrant country offers it all. Carlos’s deep love for nature and adventure shines through as he shared with us some of his most cherished spots in San José and other captivating destinations across Costa Rica. Let’s see what Carlos have to say!
PLACES TO VISIT IN Costa Rica
Carlos – Well, although Costa Rica is a really small country I have a big list of day trips. Many of these places you will want to stay longer than one day because there are so many things to do. It’s important to always go prepared to spend the night in case you decide to stay longer.
Manuel Antonio is a great beach and really gay-friendly. There is a great bar there called Karma, when you go to MA you should definitely visit.
Some other great beaches are Samara, Quesera and Tamarindo in Guanacaste and Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo in Limón.
When it comes to accessible volcanoes to visit from San José, there are a few notable options. The Poas Volcano, Irazu Volcano, and Rincon de la Vieja Volcano are among the top choices. However, one volcano that stands out as a favorite among tourists is the Arenal Volcano. Not only is it renowned for its impressive beauty, but it’s also surrounded by a plethora of hot springs and features a famous thermal river, making it a must-visit destination in Costa Rica.
If you’re seeking a remarkable destination explore numerous waterfalls, Bajos del Toro is an absolute gem. This extraordinary location has many waterfalls with stunning light blue ponds that will leave you in awe. Just be prepared to embrace a little mud along the way, as the journey to these natural wonders promises an unforgettable adventure.
Honestly I can write a lot about this question, Costa Rica is a small country but it has a lot of natural places to visit. With microclimates, different vegetation, fauna, flora and the landscapes, there are plenty of options to explore.
WHEN TO GO
One important thing about Costa Rica is that it rains a lot. The ideal time for tourism is during the dry season, from December to May. This is a great time to visit beaches. If you are passionate about waterfalls, rainy season is the best option, but you have to be careful of slipping, higher waters and stronger currents.
WHERE TO STAY
If you are looking for a great place to eat in San José, Barrio Escalante is one of the best, it has dozens of restaurants, cafes, bakeries and bars. Weekend evenings are the best times to go, the problem here is try to find a parking, so I recommend to take an Uber.
For staying Escazú and Rohrmoser are the best options, but they are kind of expensive too.
WHERE TO PARTY
in San José there are a lot of discos, bars and gay-friendly places. Each place has it’s unique touch.
Although I don’t consider myself a party boy, I know some great places. One really popular club that almost every gay tourist visit is Avispa. It has a large gay crowd on Tuesday and Sunday nights. If you are looking for something less crowded there are some options like Bar el 13. Other options are, Club el Teatro, Puchos Night Club and Ricks Bar Restaurante.
The gay parade in Costa Rica has 10 years already since its first Celebration. Every year more and more people attend to the event that has grown a lot.
WHERE TO EAT
You have to try a traditional food for breakfast called “Gallo Pinto”. It’s a combination of rice and beans, tortillas, tamales, etc
Barrio Escalante is a great option to find incredible restaurants. There are other places like Avenida Escazú, Barrio Amón, Santa Ana, Escazú, honestly in San Jose Downtown there are too many options.
WHERE TO SHOP
There are too many malls in the country, the most popular are Multiplaza Escazú, City Mall and Oxígeno. Those places are great if you want to go for shopping, watch a movie or just hang out with friends.
If you are looking for something traditional you have to visit the National Handicraft Market located in San José Downtown, next to Plaza de la Democracia. If you are visiting touristic places, you always gonna find stores nearby to buy traditional stuff.
Well, I’m not gonna lie, there are a lot of neighborhoods in the country that you should avoid, but you rarely are gonna have to visit them. I just recommend people to not trust anyone even in San Jose Down Town. We may think we are a gay friendly country, but If you go on Facebook, you easily realize that’s not true at all. In general Costa Ricans are friendly people, that’s why our typical world is “Pura Vida”, but do not trust always in the Pura Vida.