I was lusting for adventure – and all these small towns were making me feel blue. How Much Does a Patek Philippe Watchmaker Earn? I think that it’s nice to have a good mix of all those kinds of things: cities, small towns, countryside, beach and so on. This gorgeous shoreline with great surfing and incredible wildlife has lured expats for decades. Privacy Policy. 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There is  also horseback riding, fishing, surfing and snorkeling   along Montezuma’s sandy shores. The small towns are always my favourites. Ask your travel agent to build in a day trip (or a longer stay!) I had the small town blues last week. We want to make responsible travel choices and help you do the same. Ciudad Colon is really great, and we had excellent vegan food from a local soda right next to where that street art photo is, so I’m sure that you and Dale would love it. The café sells bags of  coffee coming from the famed Terrrazú region, so be sure to pick one up to bring back home. Recently, we received an email from Irene Z. in Connecticut: Hello, Travelling long-term can sometimes make it easy to lose perspective. How do you feel about travelling to small towns? I loathed Puerto Viejo (we went at high season – terrible idea) but many of the other small towns we saw were absolutely amazing! This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. From San Jose: There are 2 buses from San Jose. TouristLink members rank Montezuma, La Fortuna and Playas del Coco as the top towns & villages in Costa Rica. Mal Pais also boasts a couple of great restaurants, including Mary’s, a charming farm-to-table establishment set in the village’s rugged jungle atmosphere. Lazy beach town vibes and colourful ramshackle houses give real character to this small town. The arribadas only take place at certain times of the year, so make sure to check before setting a date to visit. This small beach town just down from Quepos and Manuel Antonio is where you’ll find surfers and yogis galore. They also have more advanced breaks for … Caribbean-style cooking, surfing, plentiful wildlife, and some of the most gorgeous beaches in the country are just a few of the reasons to visit. I love discovering small towns as much as big cities. Photography or text cannot be used without permission. For those wanting a quieter, more peaceful stay in Costa Rica, Playa Cocles may just be the perfect spot. The weekly farmers market, known as the feria, is the largest one in the Southern Zone, sellin… The town square is a popular place for grabbing freshly made fruit juices (I definitely recommend apple, orange and banana juice) and enjoying the sun. This tiny, quaint village is located within the larger district of Heredia in the Central Valley region of Costa Rica. These beach and mountain destinations are home to Costa Rica’s finest resorts, restaurants and adventure attractions, but there is much more of the country that is still out there to discover. While some may find Las Catalinas entirely too commercial, you shouldn’t rule out this Costa Rican village just yet. The weather is not too hot and never too cold. Posts; Archive; Beach Out and Touch Someone in Santa Teresa Costa Rica. :). It’s highly likely that you’ll also be able to see baby turtles hatching too. This was a great Saturday evening read after dinner. Look how beautiful! Also, Escazu is perfect for the retiree who wishes to buy land and construct their own house or is favoring buying over renting. It’s likely you’ve never heard of this small, tranquil village along the Pacific Ocean in the Guanacaste region, but you’ve probably heard of its neighbor to the north– Mal Pais connects to Playa El Carmen, which borders the booming surfer town of Santa Teresa. Often, future expats believe we can custom fit the climate to their request. Sarchí, Valverde Vega de Alajuela. Each province is unique, and there are things we love about all of them. Ciudad Colon looks very interesting, mainly for the vibrant street art there, I think I’d love it :). Why You Should Follow Patek Philippe on Instagram, How Chuck Lorre Achieved a Net Worth of $600 Million, How Criss Angel Achieved a Net Worth of $50 Million, How Jennifer Love Hewitt Achieved a Net Worth of $22 Million, How Henry Rollins Achieved a Net Worth of $6 Million. It’s famous for breaks like Ollie’s Point, Witch’s Rock (made famous in the movie Endless Summer 2), Salsa Brava (site of many national surf contests), and Little Hawaii. We will do the usual for the first few days (Arenal and Monteverde). It’s the perfect place for eco-tourists who also love their fair share of the ocean, as the village is nestled in between a beautiful jungle and a white-sand beach. She loves coffee, green Thai curry and hiking volcanoes. Puerto Viejo is hands down my favourite place to be in Costa Rica. Best Small Beach Town in Costa Rica. Located in the Alajuela province in the San José Highlands, it has just over 4,000 residents. We caught the tail end of low season in early November, so it wasn’t crowded at all but the weather was still good. We travel slow and write about sustainable travel. Costa Rica is administratively divided into seven provinces which are subdivided into 82 cantons, and these are further subdivided into districts.Cantons are the only administrative division in Costa Rica that possess local government in the form of municipalities.Each municipality has its own mayor and several representatives, all of them chosen via municipal elections every four years. Our house sit here became a home base as we travelled around, heading back to take care of the jungle dogs whenever we were needed. Snorkeling, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and sailing are the perfect beach activities in Playa Danta. The main attraction of Sarchí is its wonderful handicrafts: the colorful wagon typical of Costa Rica, which was declared an Intangible Heritage of Humanity by Unesco in 2005. Nicoya. It’s a fun environment for expats, tourists and Ticos alike! You will still have access to the abundance of restaurants, bars, surf shops and boutiques located in Puerto Viejo, but without all of the traffic and noise of the lively town. Read more about us. Costa Rica consists of seven provinces: Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limón, Puntarenas, and San José. Surfing should be in my veins. This might be one of the loveliest small towns in Costa Rica. There is plenty to do here: take a hike of Montezuma Falls and go for a refreshing swim afterwards; visit the Mariposario Butterfly Gardens featuring an average of of 10 different butterfly species on any given trip or take a yoga class at the popular Montezuma Yoga. Learn how your comment data is processed. The surrounding landscape is forest, sugarcane field, coffee plantation, and pasture. This small town gives off a distinct island vibe and is completely doable without a car. Since Luke’s leg injury, we’ve been shacking up in small towns across Panama and Costa Rica. Escazu is a small town where one can have a great retirement for a very low price. The town itself doesn’t have much going on but the decrepit old church, which looks as though it could fall down in the next gust of wind, is gorgeous. When traveling, cycling is my preferred transport and was nice to see you added that in there. Ciudad Colon sounds great and anywhere on the beach is always a winner for me. Life can’t always be big city lights and volcano boarding adventures, and quite frankly I wouldn’t want it to be either. In fifth place on our list of the best places to live in Costa Rica is Nicoya. It should not take you long to feel right at home in San Juan de Dios. Actually, they are convinced, theirs is the world’s best climate. You look lovely in that photograph! Thanks, Polly! Rob currently works as the Director of Business Development for the Namu Travel Group. The city has a small town feeling to it where everyone seems to know at least a few other people walking around. The best way to get around Playa Cocles is to rent a bike or scooter so you can easily get from the gorgeous beaches back to the charming village center. Clicking on these links will never cause you to pay an additional fee. Located in a valley, it boasts a moderate climate, a public hospital, good shopping, movie theater, a variety of restaurants, a thriving expat community, entertainment venues and assortment of recreational activities. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Rob had access to travel opportunities at a young age. Head to the Bikini Restaurant & Bar in Puerto Viejo for a delicious meal of pretty much anything– the restaurant serves amazing fresh sushi and curries, as well as pasta and pizzas. Tamarindo is one of the best beach towns in Costa Rica because of their stunning sunsets, plentiful restaurants, and several surf breaks for all levels. Best Small Beach Town in Costa Rica. Dominical is very close to Hacienda Baru Wildlife Refuge, so I’d definitely recommend heading up there for an adventurous day of exploring the jungle or even tree climbing. Turtles are extremely meditative. 5. Come to think of it, the small towns in Costa Rica have been some of the best places I’ve visited. Costa Ballena is a 65-mile stretch of picturesque coastline in southwestern Costa Rica known for its exotic wildlife and sandy beaches. Sounds perfect Wahhhh, I don’t wanna. The 5 Best Places to Surf in Costa Rica Thanks to consistent, high-quality waves and a variety of breaks, Costa Rica has been one of the world’s top surfing destinations for decades. Me too, Franca! You can also drink 2013’s best cup of coffee in San Isidro. Lazy beach town vibes and colourful ramshackle houses give real character to this small town. However, if you are planning on checking out Playa Flamingo, you better plan ahead– Las Catalinas does not allow any motorized vehicles onto its streets. If you’re traveling to Costa Rica, chances are you’ve probably heard of towns such as Manuel Antonio, Tamarindo or Arenal. Why you should visit Tamarindo: Tamarindo is the best beach town in the Guanacaste province in Costa Rica. Here are five of those awesome little places which you just can’t miss. The most popular beach destination on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast is Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. There are plenty of delicious restaurants in the village– head to Cafe Organico for some of the best vegetarian food in Costa Rica, but be sure to go on a Monday night, when the restaurant hosts its open mic night. Beach at Ylang Ylang Beach Resort While many beaches in Costa Rica feature dark sand, Montezuma, on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, has a long golden stretch called Playa Montezuma. National Geographic named Playa Guiones one of the … 1.5M ratings 277k ratings See, that’s what the app is perfect for. The Saturday morning farmer’s market is a great place to grab a local’s breakfast and some good veggies, and the mountain surroundings make it a pretty place to spend the afternoon too. Santiago de Puriscal holds a fond place in our hearts as it’s where we started our journey in Costa Rica. Playa Cocles is known for its amazing surf, but also for its Caribbean influences, most easily seen in the incredible cuisine. Charlie is a UK travel blogger who advocates sustainable travel and being more conscious when you travel. With an elevation of 1,736 meters above sea level, it offers views of the surrounding coffee plantations and a break from the hot weather in much of the country. Playa Tamarindo – one of the best surfing beach towns in Costa Rica. © Copyright Charlie on Travel. The variety is good. The local church also houses an important archaeological discovery: a stone ceremonial table which was most likely used in agricultural celebrations. While there are plenty of great restaurants in Las Catalinas, head to Surf Box in Playa Flamingo to experience a truly tropical meal. There is a stand-up paddleboard shop in town which is the perfect way to explore the clear Pacific waters. Charlie on Travel works with brands and organisations that share our values. The town itself is really tiny with only one or two sodas, a supermarket and an expensive but pretty delicious pizza restaurant. The downtown area has a charming, rural feel despite the fact that San Isidro is built inside the foothills of Braulio Carrillo, a stunning national park with plenty of activities to satisfy even the most adventurous nature-lover. Playa Danta, a gorgeous black-sand beach 15 minutes south of the popular Playa Flamingo, is home to the brand-new resort town Las Catalinas. For Costa Rica connoisseur Carolina A. Miranda, the laid-back town—and its made-for-beginners waves—is the perfect place to catch a break. It has decent infrastructure, lots of good restaurants, hostels and hotels and its own local airport, making it a very convenient beach town to visit. Irene. Have you got any favourites? The waters are very calm for Costa Rica, making it ideal for children to play at ease in the water. It is refreshing sometime to step out of the busy and chaotic city life and enjoy instead some more quite small towns where the sense of community is often stronger. From French Toast to an acai bowl topped with fresh fruit and granola, Surf Box is the perfect spot after a long day at the beach. On the other hand, residents of Atenas, Costa Rica believe their town has the best temperatures during the whole year. Sister Cities International took him to small town in the Rhine Valley of Germany and the mountains of Costa Rica on official, city sponsored exchange programs. If you’re traveling to Costa Rica, chances are you’ve probably heard of towns such as Manuel Antonio, Tamarindo or Arenal. A career in tourism seemed a natural fit.In 2003, Rob graduated from the University of Georgia and moved to Costa Rica, taking a job as a vacation sales specialist with then Costa Rican Vacations. Located on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, Tamarindo is one of the most developed and accessible beach towns in the region with paved roads and plenty of tourist facilities. Find information on towns & villages in Costa Rica as well as 6133 towns & villages in North America, 23166 towns & villages in the World. The town center is walkable and charming, with a mango tree-filled central park that is the focal point of civic life. But we are looking for the best beach option for the last 3 days. Patek Philippe Vs. Rolex: Who’s the Winner? This village of about 8,000 in the Central Valleyregion has been the site of an active expat community, the majority retirees, for several years. Puerto Viejo is hands down my favourite place to be in Costa Rica. I’d had my fill of sweet suburban houses, local farmer’s markets and small sodas – but hang on, what was I complaining about exactly? Get travel gems, tips and inspiration straight to your inbox. I love your photo of the church particularly. It is in the Guanacaste Province. Top 5 Nightlife Towns for a Costa Rica Guy’s Trip Previous Next When heading down to Costa Rica for a Costa Rica guy’s trip or bachelor party there are a multitude of activities for you and the boys to take part of during the day, but when people think Costa Rica for guys they think of the night life. Locals sometimes affectionately refer to San Isidro by its nickname, Pérez Zeledon, since it’s the main city in a district of that name. Rainforest meets marbled black and white-sand beaches in this charming little Caribbean beach town, located about 2 miles south of the buzzing Puerto Viejo. We’re Charlie and Luke — UK travel bloggers and eco-conscious backpackers. To help you decide on the best place to live in Costa Rica, we’ve put together a list of the top spot in each region. Tamarindo is a popular family destination. A short drive from San José or Naranjo, Zarcero is one of Costa Rica’s most picturesque towns. That’s definitely what happened to me last week when I was feeling blue about all the time we’ve spent in small towns, but I quickly realised that really I love the local vibe of small towns and am so lucky to be able to travel around them. I failed in this department when it came to us taking the big leap from Maine to Costa Rica. Each person has different wants and needs that will directly effect where one should consider relocating to here in Costa Rica. I'd like to look at the same kind of small towns in Costa Rica that offer good photo opportunities.… Right next to the capital of Costa Rica lies Escazu. Tamarindo has an excellent nightlife but not a great local culture. One of the most incredible travel experiences of my life happened in this small town: the turtle arribada. Find more information and enquire about opportunities and collaborations here. Tamarindo offers up a great and easy surf break, perfect for those wanting to learn. The main strip is full of restaurants and shops. It took Luke about 25 shots to get one that was good haha :D. Oh no, so sorry to hear that Puerto Viejo wasn’t so good in high season! Which small town is your favourite? Answer 1 of 10: My wife and I are going for our first trip to Costa Rica. Nuayaca Waterfall, Dominical, Costa Rica 5. Charlie on Travel may use affiliate links to recommend products or services. Go off the beaten path with these 5 Costa Rican villages that are quite under the radar. When she's not blogging, Charlie works in digital marketing. Less than an hour from the town of Liberia, Tamarindo is a small tropical paradise that can be easily explored by foot, taxis, rental cars and scooters. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Costa Rica isn't big enough for cities to be called as such, places are more like towns. I would say the most affluent ones are Escazu, Belen and Santa Ana. These on the west side of the central valley. https://fairtravelr.org. Updated: 10/4/20 | October 4th, 2020 Costa Rica is one of the most visited countries in Central America.American tourists have been flocking to the country for years, and it’s become a hot spot for retirees and expats due to its cheap living, great weather, amazing beaches, and friendly locals. Costa Rica has long been famous for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. There’s a line of al fresco sodas serving up typical food, including rice and beans, salads and yuca, opposite the street art painted walls. The restaurant features meat, vegetables, salad and herbs from their own farm (which includes a hydroponic greenhouse) and fish straight from the ocean. Those looking for more adventure can make the short drive to Playa Flamingo to find catamaran and ATV tours, as well as fishing and scuba diving. Puerto Jimenez, Osa Peninsula. The key towns along this coast are Dominical, Uvita and Ojochal. Now in his 10th year in Panama, he co-owns the business with four other partners. The landscape here consists of verdant rolling hills, coffee farms, sugar cane plantations, and lush forests. And you can be in San José, the capital, and it… The quaint beach town of Montezuma is definitely one of Costa Rica’s most underrated spots. It’s here where we learned to make coconut rice and beans in a vegan Caribbean cooking class, where we saw Costa Rica’s famous red-eyed tree frog for the first time, and where we cycled along the coast drinking pipa frias more times than either of us would care to count. This group left behind pottery and a stone idol, which is still standing in the town. His love of travel and helping others see the world helped him contribute to building Namu into a highly successful travel organization. The distinctive grey beach and aquamarine ocean are pretty enchanting, and there’s lots of laid-back eateries mingling in between expensive cafes in town. I'm a pretty experienced traveler, altho mostly in Europe and SEA. The region itself dates back to pre-Columbian times when it was occupied by an indigenous group. Located only a short 5-minute walk from the village center, visitors can drop in for a yoga class at only $14 per session. Zacero is a picturesque and quaint town on the scenic path towards Arenal from San José. I grew up in southern California, a few miles from the legendary breaks at Huntington Beach and Newport Beach, the sort of place where kids plan their lives around the morning surf report. Nearby, travelers can access the rainforest at Carara National Park or … Today many beach towns in Costa Rica are well established for those looking to relocate to towns with some of the same comforts of home in a tight-knit community with plenty of nature. The village’s undisturbed landscape is the perfect for spotting wildlife, and it’s incredibly close to Cabo Blanco, Costa Rica’s oldest nature reserve which is home to many aquatic species such as dolphins, sea turtles and even whales. In 2007 Rob moved to Panama City, Panama and ran the company's expanded Central America offerings there, now called Namu Travel. The result is a booming beach town that is incredibly safe for families and has all of the modern amenities of a resort, while still maintaining Costa Rica’s old-world charm through its overall design. Puerto Viejo de Limón. Glad to hear it! to one of these 5 charming villages. It is most popular for surfing but all types of families visit. The town, once a sleepy fishing village, is popular with bohemian types and is home to Romelia Wildlife Reserve, a turtle sanctuary and hatchery. Top 10 Expat Communities in Costa Rica There are many things to be considered when moving abroad. How to get to Tamarindo by bus. About an hour and a half from San Jose international airport, Jaco is one of the most well-known surf, beach, and party towns in Costa Rica. Just down the road from Santiago de Puriscal, Ciudad Colon is home to the Peace University, which is the reason behind it’s student-y style and arty vibe. 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