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7 Secret places in Costa Rica that need to be explored

Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes

7 Secret places in Costa Rica that need to be exploredCosta Rica is still full of secret places you’ll love to explore. As fascinating as the ‘entertainment park’ offered by a Fair Go casino, tourists are slowly making their way back to visiting countries like Costa Rica. But tourists are still looking to stay away from the crowds. So, finding some little-known spots in Costa Rica may be just the ticket.

Tourists visiting Costa Rica usually head to a few well-known tourist destinations. Most head to Manuel Antonio, Jaco, Arenal, Monteverde, Papagayo, and Tamarindo, where they will enjoy surfing, fishing, rafting, sloth-spotting, and many more activities.

Locals consider some places off the beaten track, like the Caribbean, Tortuguero, Santa Teresa, Drake Bay, and Isla del Coco, stopped being secret places many years ago.

Surprisingly, however, very few can find secret places in Costa Rica on the map even though they are not challenging to get to. Instead, they’re just off the beaten track. Below are some of those hidden gems.

1. Bajos del Toro

Close to the Juan Castro Blanco National Park and on the west side of Poas Volcano is Bajos del Toro. Here you will find loads of waterfalls, virgin cloud, and rainforests filled with an abundance of nature.

You’ll find the trails to be empty of tourists. The El Silencio Lodge is a wonderfully stylish place to stay, located on its own patch of jungle and waterfall delight. This trip is an eco-adventure, but you get to do it in style.

7 Secret places in Costa Rica that need to be explored

2. Puerto Viejo Saripiqui

Do not confuse this town with Puerto de Viejo Talamanca.  Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui is located in Costa Rica’s northern lowlands and doesn’t have beach vibes and surf culture like Puerto Viejo Talamanca. Instead, this is one of those secret places with unspoiled rainforest and jungle river life. However, it is still a sleepy little town with a fascinating history and is well worth visiting if you’re in for an adventure.

3. La Amistad International Park

Maybe you found La Amistad National Park on the map, but few tourists have paid a visit. The park is enormous and is managed by Costa Rica and Panama together, hence “international” in its name.   It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The park is well-known, but the area is all dense jungle inhabited by indigenous communities that are reachable only by river or hiking.

There are no lodges or hotels, so the only option is to stay with one of the indigenous communities close to the park. Here you will get to experience a Costa Rica that very few can.

Those looking for adventure could try making it to Alto Telire. This community is small and worth the visit, but it is a three-day hike or a short helicopter ride if you have the money.

4. Punta Burica

Punta Burica sits at the southern tip of Costa Rica’s mainland and is one of our elected secret places we want to tell you about. Located at the very end of a long thin peninsula, and is a surfer’s dream. However, not many people venture this far out. Getting there means you have to drive quite a ways along the beach. Camping is your only option in Punta Burica. But you do have some hotel options a little way up the coast at Punto Banco or Pavones, also quite remote, but if you need some home comforts, this is your best bet.

7 Secret places in Costa Rica that need to be explored

5. Playa Matapalo

Matapalo beach is practically unknown, unlike Cabo Matapalo, which, although remote, does get visitors. Playa Matapalo is accessible by following the coastal road between Quepos and Dominical. However, few stop and visit. For those who decide to visit, that’s a shame to find a small beach community and miles of uninterrupted sandy beaches lined with palm trees. Enjoy!

6. Playa Coyote

Totally off the beaten track is a beautiful spot on the Nicoya Peninsula,  between Santa Teresa and Punta Islita. Here you will find vast expanses of sand, a campsite and at least one place to get something to eat. Little by little, more people are slowly finding their way to Playa Coyote, but it is still pretty much a well-kept secret.

7. Laguna Don Manuel

Costa Rica doesn’t have much in the way of lakes. Not like, for example, Nicaragua, which is known as “The Land of Lakes and Volcanoes.” But it does have Laguna Don Manuel.  You can get to the Laguna don Manuel just off the “de la Muerte” road between Cartago and San Isidro easily.  However, you won’t find a vast expanse of water, so it is crucial to managing your expectations. Laguna Don Manuel is a small but charming lake where you can hike and camp amidst the pine trees and enjoy nature.

Avoiding the tourist spots

These are just a few hidden spots in Costa Rica where you can visit and be away from the main tourist destinations. Unfortunately, some of these places are unknown even to Costa Rica experts.

Soon, we’ll try to give you some more articles about secret places for you to enjoy.

People photo created by wayhomestudio –

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Ivo Henfling

Your West-side of San Jose real estate agent, covering Escazu and Santa Ana, Rohrmoser and Ciudad Colon. If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the Central Valley or looking for any property for sale in Escazu or Santa Ana, you need to contact Costa Rica real estate agent Ivo Henfling. Ivo has been selling Costa Rica real estate on the westside of San Jose, in the locations of Rohrmoser, Sabana, Escazu, Santa Ana and Ciudad Colon for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and those other areas. For Ivo, a deal is not a good one unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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