Oh hey. Hey Spring. Yeah, we see you creeping’ on us. Poking your head out, teasing us with sunshine, being vaguely non-committal. We see you. And we’re ready.
We are sooooo ready. For many of us it’s been too long and too cold and too rainy/snowy and we NEED your sunshine. We’re all about getting that Vitamin D, and with the holidays a distant memory in our rear-view, we’re more than ready for that keyword: BREAK. Good. Now that that’s settled, let’s talk about our most favorite ideas for an epic Spring Break in Costa Rica. There’s something for everyone, so read on and let’s break out our swimsuits. You can never be too prepared, right?
10) Puerto Viejo
Welcome to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. And yeah, it’s every bit as stellar as you might think. Swaying palms, soft sand, turquoise water…sigh. There is literally no shortage of things to do here, and even in a full week, you won’t be able to hit everything. So start planning your return trip now, too. But for real – you can take surfing lessons. You can beach it up with sunglasses and a book. You can take a chocolate tour. You can snorkel. You can take a tour of a jaguar rescue. The list. Just. Goes. On. Not to mention, the whole vibe of Puerto Viejo is chill, laid back, do what you want on your own time. Most people get around on bikes, even – and so the main part of town is super foot-friendly and fun to explore all on its own.
9) Manuel Antonio
Whether you’re a nature lover or a party animal, traveling to Manuel Antonio during your Spring Break Costa Rica vacation is a must. This area attracts every type of personality, from hard-core partiers to adventurous outdoorspeople. Travelers come from all over the globe to visit the Manuel Antonio National Park where you can find hundreds of species of animals to your heart’s content. Nearby hiking trails, surf tournaments and endless fishing opportunities will keep you entertained during the day. And when the sun goes down, Manuel Antonio beach is teeming with people who love the nightlife scene. Soak up the energy on the sand or head over to nearby dance clubs, bars or restaurants. No matter where you go, you’ll enjoy the company of excited spring breakers and friendly locals.
We mean. Can you imagine the Insta opportunities by flooding your feed with volcano pics? In Arenal you can treat yourself, your friends, or your family to a varied and fun-filled spring break. Take a canopy tour atop the rainforest, go white-water rafting, hike to and swim in La Fortuna Waterfall, kayak on the biggest man-made lake in Costa Rica, go horseback riding while enjoying stunning volcano views. Again, the options just keep going. Not to mention that Arenal is home to a vast amount of hot springs. Because…did we mention…volcano?
Ever heard of a cloud forest? Want to learn more about them? Monteverde is THE place to do so. Imagine your typical rainforest…then imagine floating up in elevation so that you’re literally amongst the clouds. Yup. It has its own ecosystem, for goodness sake. This is a prime nature destination – and depending on what kind of spring break you’re looking for, it can also be as adventurous as you desire. Lots of wildlife tours here for you to spot birds, sloths and monkeys. You can also take the longest zip-line tour in Latin America (complete with Tarzan swing) and even add some culture by visiting a coffee plantation. Ziplines not your thing? Stay on two feet and walk across some of the longest hanging suspension bridges in the world. You’ll be surrounded by trees and clouds and animals…oh my.
Nosara is known as a haven for the yogis. Boasting some of the country’s most well-known yoga resorts with inspiring ocean views and a rainforest backdrop, this should be your top pick for a relaxing holiday where you can learn to be at home with yourself. Need a little more variety in your life? We got you covered. Nosara is also home to surfing, fishing, paddle boarding, and some of the best food around. Because food + yoga = happiness, right? It does for us. Plus, we think it’s pretty much the epicenter of Pura Vida life. Everyone is all about peace, love and enlightenment. So whether you’re a hippie at heart, a new age zen seeker, or anything in between, Nosara is as best a place as any to find your center.
Ok but if you REALLY want to be an old hippie at heart, Montezuma is where you want to be. Montezuma is a picturesque small village, known for its bohemian atmosphere and the stunning natural beauty of its beaches and waterfalls. Nestled into a landscape of true tropical paradise, Montezuma is perfect for any beach lover and eco-tourist. The village is surrounded by jungle covered hills with small rivers forming scenic waterfalls. And believe us, these are waterfalls you want to go chasing after. Also fun are the groups of capuchin monkeys live in the forests and make themselves pretty known. The hippie roots of Montezuma come alive on Saturday mornings during the local farmer’s market. Organic food, artwork and crafts are sold while musicians get together for jam sessions.
4) Santa Teresa
Another on the list of fun beachy towns is the quaint area of Santa Teresa. Here you can surf, horseback ride on the beach, find some cool hiking, and even do canopy tours of the rainforest. Ice cold coconut water served in actual coconuts flows aplenty here, and the main stretch of road in the village is walkable – peppered with shops, restaurants, and plenty of Pura Vida vibes. The sunsets here are pretty unforgettable, and the beaches offer long stretches of sand for running, walking, or simply sunning yourself before cooling off in the ocean. Santa Teresa is also home to some of the best fried fish we’ve ever had in our life. Coupled with a cool glass of watermelon juice? Mmm mmm mmm we never want to leave. In fact, take us with you. Please and thanks.
3) San José
Maybe you’re a city person at heart. Guess what? San José is a stunning city. It’s often glossed over as just a stopping point on the way to beautiful Costa Rica beaches or rainforests. But the heart of the city beats fast, and the architecture and museums are awesome. Some of San José’s most beautiful buildings are within walking distance of each other. To get your bearings, walk down Paseo Colón, the central thoroughfare downtown. Then head straight to Teatro Nacional, a stunning Neoclassical building that is home to Costa Rica’s national opera and ballet companies. Just a few blocks away is San José’s Metropolitan Cathedral. This sweeping building, dating from the 19th century, is best known for its stained glass windows. San José is also home to several museums that will give you a sense of the country’s history and culture.The sunshine-yellow National Museum of Costa Rica is a solid place to get started, as it gives context about indigenous history as well as the effects of Spanish colonization. Underrated, but also worth a visit, is the Jade Museum. Don’t go expecting to see a collection of pretty jewelry, though — this is more about what jade represents than about what kind of cool things it can make. Don’t sleep on San José – it’s well worth a week of exploration.
2) Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero is named for the famed sea turtles that often come to nest here. And this place is a wildlife enthusiast’s D-R-E-A-M. Tortuguero’s dense jungle maze of winding canals almost makes you feel like you’re in the middle of the Amazon. Here you can kayak or canoe down the maze of canals, hearing Howler monkeys along the way, and catching sight of a plethora of birds. The biodiversity here is unreal – and home to endangered species like macaws, jaguars and of course, sea turtles. And while turtle nesting times are dependent on species, if you’re lucky, you might be able to catch some action with an expert guide. Watching the sea turtles is an experience like no other. If you’re into seeing lots of wildlife you’d otherwise never expect to see, this is where you want to be.
1) Isla Chiquita
Ok but hear us out: Forget camping. Forget dusty and dirty and sleeping on an air mattress. Try instead: Glamping. On an island. In the middle of paradise. With an actual bed. If you’re looking to be affordable and a little bougie in Costa Rica, look no further. And yes – there are actual bathrooms. You can kayak. You can paddle board. You can take a boat into town. You can eat alllll the fresh ocean-to-table seafood your heart desires. You can fish. You can go birdwatching. You can do a nighttime bioluminescence tour. Yeahhhhhh. THAT. Like, the actual ocean lights up at night. It’s so much fun, and such a unique and cool experience. Your friends and family will be totes jelly and you can probably rub it in for a long time to come.