Central America’s Costa Rica is a nature-lover’s dream. One of the most ecologically diverse places on the planet, it’s no wonder that this interesting country is often high on the list for people planning a visit to the Americas. Whilst not an overly expensive destination, it has seen price increases as its popularity has risen. There are several ways that you can make a trip to Costa Rica more cost effective though, leaving you with more funds to explore and do more fun activities!
Here are some tips for visiting Costa Rica on a budget:
Eat Like the Locals Eat
As with anywhere in the world, restaurants that are mainly geared towards tourists are more expensive than everyday regular eateries, places where locals would go for a great meal. Known as sodas, these small restaurants might not look so fancy, but the food is tasty, filling, traditional, and cheap. Not only will you save money at mealtimes, but you’ll also get a better taste of the country’s typical fare and maybe make a new friend or two. The most popular dish in Costa Rica is called casados. A hearty dish of rice, beans, vegetables, and meat or fish, it is sure to fill your stomach whilst not emptying your wallet.
Be Smart with Accommodation
Compare accommodation deals before committing to anything, and make sure that you consider all types of accommodation in your search. There are some decent backpacker hostels in most touristic parts of the country, although, if you value your privacy more, you can also find some good deals on cheap hotel rooms, especially if you’re sharing with a friend and halve the nightly cost. Try and avoid packages, where possible, that include transport, accommodation, and a guide, as you are likely to pay more for your bed for the night than if you sourced your accommodation independently.
Use the Public Transport Systems
Whilst the road networks aren’t so great in Costa Rica, buses are reasonably comfortable and cheap. They are the most effective way of saving money when travelling around Costa Rica. Whilst you might have to transit through the capital of San Jose, or another major city, in order to be able to get around, with few direct services operating between many points of interest, with a bit of perseverance it’s not too difficult to get to grips with the bus system. Why waste money on private transfers when you can do it yourself?
Visiting some of Costa Rica’s incredible national parks are all but essential when travelling around the country. Indeed, the national parks are often a main reason why people visit in the first place. Whilst some operators may have you believe that it is impossible to enjoy the parks under your own steam, there are some that are actually really well set up for independent travellers, with excellent walking trails and nature spotting opportunities. All you need to do is a bit of research! Beyond the park admission fee, there’s often no need to spend more on guiding services when you can walk the trails on your own. Plus, you can go completely at your own pace too.
A trip to Costa Rica really doesn’t have to be so expensive!