Discover Secret Spots.
Calling all explorers - our off the beaten path vacations are for you! You’re not a tourist, you’re an adventurer, a traveler. Think rugged, wild, and remote destinations. With advice from the Costa Rica Experts, choose your own adventure, picking tours and experiences that call to you. It’s more than a vacation, it’s an opportunity to see as much as you can. Leave your devices at home - there are new places to explore and discoveries to be made. Our carefully selected hotel hideaways exemplify rustic charm and natural simplicity. Bring your sense of curiosity and adventure to your eco lodge, treetop bungalow, or safari tent camp.
Find a hidden waterfall, tucked into the beauty of the vibrant rainforest. Explore the mazes of mangrove waterways via kayak, watching the shore for caimans, shore birds, and the occasional monkey. Head into the cloud forest to try to spot the elusive Resplendent Quetzal. Visit the Rios Tropicales Lodge or Pacuare Lodge - where half the fun is just getting there by whitewater rafting! Forge your own path and discover the amazing Pura Vida of this beautiful little country.
Where can you go off-the-beaten-path in Costa Rica?
Off the beaten path destinations translate to unique experiences and accommodations. Enjoy the drive, flight, estuary cruise, or whatever method of transportation is necessary to reach your remote destination. Seclusion and distant destinations make dining options more predictable. Many off the beaten path hotels offer all-inclusive meal packages which generally help keep your overall budget in check.
Costa Rica’s Southern Mountains
Looking for an authentic Costa Rican experience, with amazing views and thrilling adventure? Then Costa Rica’s Southern Mountains might be the perfect destination for your getaway! Where the rolling, rugged highlands are bordered by towering peaks, guests will discover the delights of Hacienda AltaGracia. This is one of the most stunning and unique lodgings in Costa Rica. Horseback riding is one of the highlights of the Hacienda, offering travelers a chance to venture deep into the remote hills and discover a different side of Costa Rica, but you don’t need any equestrian experience to dive into the fun of AltaGracia! They also offer nearby hiking, whitewater rafting, zip-lining, and yoga! Set on 860 expansive acres, AltaGracia combines cowboy culture, southern hospitality, and Central America’s biggest spa to bring pampering to a new level.
Also resting in Costa Rica’s Southern highlands is the Santa Juana Lodge. One of the newest eco-lodges in the country, Santa Juana includes all meals at their El Mirador Restaurant, which specializes in the freshest possible ingredients for creating their vegetarian-friendly campesino cuisine. The most amazing feature of the lodge is the variety of activities. The Santa Juana Mountain can be explored via horseback, hike, or golf cart. The nearby town of Santa Juana is quaint, charming, and is a favorite tour. You can head to the River Rodeo to explore a secluded waterfall and go for a refreshing swim. Visit a coffee or sugar cane plantation, plant a tree, or try out fishing - the possibilities are endless!
Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula
For health and wellness, surfing, or yoga, there’s no better place to visit than Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. This is one of the world’s Blue Zones, where residents live longer and happier lives on average. Despite the glorious beaches, beaming sunshine, and being one of the healthiest places on Earth, Nicoya remains sparsely populated and off the normal visitor’s path. The majority of the area’s hotels rest along the dramatically-sculpted shoreline, leaving the center of the peninsula untouched and perfect for unfettered wilderness exploration. Surf hotels abound, giving Nicoya the ambiance of an Hemingway-esque tropical retreat: laid-back and ready for the next new experience!
Yoga practitioners will delight in some of the hotels we work with on the Nicoya Peninsula. At Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort, a 3-mile long sandy beach is the perfect draw for sun-lovers. Your visit includes three meals and one yoga class daily, taught by an expert instructor. Guests can choose to focus on either the challenging vinyasa style or restorative meditation. And what could be better after an intensive class in their open-air Bali-style studio than a treat from the fresh juice bar?
Learn More: A Costa Rica Blue Zone Retreat
Learn More: Best Beaches of Nicoya Peninsula
What are some must-see natural attractions in Costa Rica?
Our Pura Vida vacations highlight one of the biggest draws to Costa Rica - natural beauty. Arenal Volcano is one of the most recognized locations, but with 60 other volcanoes across the country (some dormant, some not) there are plenty of other places to visit. 25% of Costa Rica is protected forests or national parks, leaving plenty of untouched rainforest for anyone who just wants to explore. Feel free to substitute or add your favorite natural attractions, cultural tours, and destinations to our Costa Rica authentic vacations to create the right balance for your trip.
The cloud forests of Costa Rica are one of the most unique and fascinating draws to this tiny tropical country. Here in these high-altitude forests, where the cloud cover rests among the tree’s canopies, guests can spot some of the rarest bird species in the world. These forests are only 1% of global woodland, yet they feature an amazing array of plant and animal life that can often be seen nowhere else.
The waterfalls of Costa Rica are also a huge hit! They are by far the most frequently photographed attractions - there’s simply something about falling water that seems to fascinate. Looking for perfect pictures? Head to the Rio Celeste Waterfall in Tenorio Volcano National park, where the intense sky-blue of the river is sure to delight! Hoping to jump right into the pool? While swimming isn’t allowed near the Rio Celeste, a visit to Nauyaca and the two-tier falls there is perfect for a swim during the warm afternoons. It’s a favorite place for local picnickers as well!