Best Places for Solo Travel
Last Updated: Apr 17, 2012
Visiting Costa Rica’s golden beaches and verdant countryside on your own is an exciting and empowering experience. Solo travel allows you the freedom and flexibility to explore at your own leisure, and tweak the itinerary to your heart’s content. The country’s booming tourism industry, which boasts popular attractions and a vibrant social scene, offer you numerous destinations for going it alone.
White sands, amazing wildlife, and outdoor attractions make Manuel Antonio one of Costa Rica’s hotspots. As a solo traveler, you’ll love this beach town’s accessibility – just 2.5 hours from San Jose – and the assortment of organized tours that promise both fun and built-in companions, at least for the day. Don’t miss a waterfall rappelling adventure, and if you’re looking for some engaging social interaction, try a snorkeling and sunset cruise. You’ll have access to more than a dozen hostels and budget hotels, in addition to luxe beachfront lodgings.
Hippie Beach Town
With a laid-back, bohemian vibe and hopping night scene, Montezuma is a favorite among backpackers of all ages. A string of picturesque beaches urge travelers to mellow out and enjoy the area’s eclectic mix of activities, gourmet restaurants, and artsy shops. Montezuma’s stunning location on the Nicoya Peninsula promise tropical rainforest, pounding waterfalls and steady waves. Budget accommodations line the streets, and the town’s watering holes are a sure bet for meeting up with like-minded travelers.
If you’re a solo traveler looking for sophisticated dining and some of the country’s best nightlife, Jaco is an excellent option. Theme bars and dance halls attract a younger set, while local casinos draw an older crowd. Galleries, hotels and cafes line the well-marked streets in this booming beach town. Jaco is brimming with daytime amusements, from killer waves and sport fishing excursions, to canopy tours and bungee jumping. Located just over an hour from San Jose, you’ll appreciate the town’s selection of accommodations and welcoming atmosphere.
Known as the adventure capital of Costa Rica, Arenal packs extreme fun into every hour. Test your nerve on a Class II-IV whitewater rafting tour, or up the ante while spelunking the five million-year old Venado Caverns. A smoking Arenal Volcano looms over La Fortuna – a haven for solo travelers that’s packed with restaurants, shops and hotels. Arenal often ranks as the year’s top tourism destination, so you’ll have no trouble meeting people and filling your days with new and thrilling activities.
Cozied up to an aquamarine sea, Puerto Viejo offers a slice of authentic Caribbean culture. With its blend of Afro-Caribbean descendants, Rastafarian traditions are apparent in everything from the local music and handicrafts to the cuisine. The rich scents of coconut and jerk chicken will make your mouth water, and there’s no better desert than the artisan chocolate you’ll discover on an indigenous village tour. As a solo traveler, you’ll love the town’s easygoing atmosphere and inexpensive accommodations – grab a beachfront bed for less than $10 per night!