I think one of the most exciting aspects about this experience in Costa Rica has been exploring Costa Rica’s diverse travel destinations. Almost every weekend we go to a different part of the country. Now, I’ve been in all seven provinces at least once. Some places that I have been to include Jacó, Puerto Viejo, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio, Tamarindo, and Grecia. This may seem like a lot, but the great part is that we haven’t been spending extravagant amounts of money because there are pretty affordable ways to travel in Costa Rica!
The only way to travel in Costa Rica without a car is through buses. It a great option because all of the buses are affordable, usually costing 10 dollars or less. There are multiple bus stations in San Jose that go to all different parts of the country. Sometimes these buses are direct bus rides and other times they have stops along the way. Usually in the middle of each bus ride the driver will stop at a rest stop to get a snack or use the bathroom. The longest bus ride I have taken was 7 hours, but others were as short as 2-3 hours. I also try to sleep for majority of the bus rides. Because the rides are long I recommend to take the earlier buses! Another thing to note is that it is better to buy the bus tickets before the day of to ensure that you have a spot on that bus.
Traveling like this requires lighter packing. Usually the night before I leave for a weekend trip I plan out what outfits I think I will need for the weekend, or if I need a jacket or a bathing suit. I also go to grocery store before to get some snacks and food before ( I buy for for the bus ride and so I can buy less food while I’m away).
At every place we go to we stay at a hostel. A lot of the hostels I have stayed at have been great, some even including breakfast. One chain of hostels that has really relaxed vibes and good energy is called Selina. Selina has hostels all over Costa Rica, and people from all over the world stay at them. In some hostels I have stayed in common rooms with some people that I did not know and in others I have gotten private rooms with my friends that have 4-6 beds. I think traveling with my friends have made each trip even better!
Of course long bus rides aren’t always the most comfortable, but it gets us to some of the most beautiful places! I have seen extraordinary things, met amazing people, and have had an experience of a lifetime. Take advantage of any opportunity that you get to explore!!