Before traveling to a destination, we always try to connect to a local. Besides the fact that they know the best spots and hidden gems, creating the possibility to make new friends and hangout, it’s very cool because it allows us to see the local culture from a completely different perspective.  For that reason we interviewed Carlos, he spends his weekends exploring Costa Rica natural beauties as he creates inspiring content on Instagram.  From scenic hikes to breathtaking  waterfalls, Costa Rica has it all.  Carlos is passionate about nature and adventure, he shared with us some of  his favorites spots in San José and other destinations around Costa Rica.

Follow the travels of Carlos on Instagram

PLACES TO VISIT IN Costa Rica

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.

Beaches

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.

Cutie sloth at Manuel Antonio National Park

Some other great beaches are Samara, Quesera and Tamarindo in Guanacaste and Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo in Limón.

Manuel Antonio
Samara beach

Volcanos

The most accesible volcanos to visit from San José are Poas Volcano, Irazu volcano and Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. One of the most popular volcano in Costa Rica is Arenal Volcano, because is surrounded by a lot of hot springs and its famous thermal river.

Arenal Volcano
Thermal river in La Fortuna

Waterfalls

One great place to see many waterfalls is Bajos del Toro, excellent place to find waterfalls with light blue ponds, so just be ready to get muddy.

Nauyaca Waterfall

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.

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

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. 

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