Costa Rica Travel News – Two million visitors enjoy Costa Rica annually. Many of them can’t wait to return. While I’m sure those who stay in 5 star all inclusive resorts enjoy their stay in the country, they don’t really experience the country. There are a number of ways to save money and increase your cultural awareness and appreciation.
It’s possible to experience luxurious Costa Rica and it’s diversity on a budget! Many of the millions of visitors have enjoyed traveling and trying new foods and activities keeping the following tips in mind.
Look for unique hostels. Not all hostels house 20 people in a large dirty room with one bathroom. There are some that are built in restored mansions or in the side of mountains! The beautiful hostels only cost a few dollars more than the average ones and they are in every province! If you are staying for more than two weeks consider renting a villa or aparthotel for more privacy than hotel rooms at a fraction of the cost.
Between provinces you should take buses. You can get from San Jose to any other part of the country for only $10. For a short trip in such a small country, there’s no need to pay the companies that charge over $50! If you travel by taxi, make sure to either agree on a price before entering the car or ensure that the driver has and uses a price meter.
When it comes to food, try to avoid chain restaurants. You can eat at those back home. Here they are triple the price! Local restaurants, called sodas, will provide you an authentic full meal for $4. Trying local food is an integral part of really “seeing” the country. Another way to experience the food of Costa Rica is to attend a feria, or open-air farmers’ market. Ask for pejibaye and chorreadas, two must-try local foods.
Before leaving, I’m sure you will want some souvenirs. To save money and help small communities, buy crafts directly from artisans, cutting out the middlemen involved in supplying commercialized souvenir shops. The artisans are usually indigenous people who are poor. Support them in exchange for your take-home items. If you fall in love with Costa Rican coffee and want to bring some home, consider buying in bulk. Cafe Britt ships coffee to your home for free if you buy over a certain amount.