The Ultimate Guide To Surfing in Nosara

Tucked away on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Nosara has become increasingly popular with local and international travelers who are looking to ride waves and enjoy a laid-back surf atmosphere. With long stretches of white-sand beaches, fantastic waves, and surrounded by tropical forests, this relatively quiet beachside town ticks all the boxes. If you’re hoping to get down to business and stay far away from large crowds of tourists: Nosara is definitely. That’s why we’ve put together a guide to surfing in Nosara.

When to go, where to go, and what to do after you’ve unzipped your wetsuit, keep reading for some of our best tips!

In this guide, we'll take a look at:

  • 1. How to get to Nosara, Costa Rica
  • 2. The best time to visit Nosara, Costa Rica
  • 3. Where to stay near the beaches of Nosara, Costa Rica
  • 4. The best surf spots in Nosara
  • 5. Tamarindo vs. Nosara, Costa Rica: which is the best option for you?
  • 6. Experience Nosara, Costa Rica, in true Selina style!

How to get to Nosara, Costa Rica

Although it might not be one of Costa Rica’s most heavily-visited destinations, you’ll have no trouble reaching Nosara from wherever you might be in the country. Here are a few tips on how to get to Nosara, Costa Rica, depending on your budget and where you’re starting your trip.

Getting to Nosara from San Jose, Costa Rica
It’s very easy for travelers in San Jose to get to Nosara. If you’re flying into Costa Rica, chances are you’ll arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose (SJO) – this is the closest international airport to Nosara. Once you’ve landed in San Jose, you can either take a private shuttle or rent your own vehicle. Personally, I recommend hiring someone else to do the drive for you: the roads aren’t always in the best conditions when trying to reach Nosara – you might need a specialized 4×4 vehicle – so it’s best to let someone with more experience take care of it.

A one-way shuttle from San Jose to Nosara will set you back about 200 USD. These usually fit up to four people, so if you’re traveling with friends or family the cost will be much lower! The ride takes about 5 hours and goes across some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful landscapes. Keep your eyes peeled out the window for a glimpse of it all!

Getting to Nosara from Liberia, Costa Rica
Travelers can also fly directly into the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia (LIR), located in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica, and just 2.5 hours north of Nosara. This drive is much shorter than the one from San Jose, and a private shuttle should cost around 130 USD for four people.

Getting to Nosara from other destinations in Costa Rica
Although small, Nosara does have its own domestic airport with flights coming in from both San Jose and Liberia – to name a few. Travel time between San Jose and Nosara by plane is about 45 minutes. Check with the local airlines and local airports to see if flying is a good option for you depending on your budget and future travel plans!

The best time to visit Nosara, Costa Rica

Although surfing conditions are relatively consistent all throughout the year, the best time to surf in Nosara, Costa Rica, is from March to November. This coincides with the end of tourist season, which means lucky surfers can count on mostly empty beaches, better prices, and a much more relaxed atmosphere.

During this time, visitors will enjoy an average temperature between 26-28ºC (78-82ºF) and sporadic rainfall with September being the rainiest month of the year.

Where to stay near the beaches of Nosara, Costa Rica

Because moving around between beaches generally requires a 4×4 vehicle, your best shot at enjoying the best of Nosara’s surf conditions is by finding accommodation near one of the most popular beaches in town: Playa Guiones, Playa Nosara, and Playa Pelada.

If you’re looking for a hostel near Playa Guiones, in Nosara, Selina has different room options that accommodate to every budget: from luxurious suites to comfortable shared accommodation, you’ll never be too far away from the action. Located just 3.5 kilometers from Playa Guiones, 5 kilometers from Playa Nosara, and roughly 2 kilometers from Playa Pelada, Selina Nosara’s central location will be especially helpful when it comes to testing the water at all three of these magnificent beaches.

Plus, with on-site access to the popular Selina Surf Camp in Costa Rica, you also have access to private board and wetsuit rentals, as well as group and solo lessons for all-levels.

The best surf spots in Nosara

Home to some of the best surfing beaches in Costa Rica, Nosara is a much-needed and refreshing step away from the loud bustle of beach destinations like Tamarindo that have grown increasingly popular with tourists year-round. This hidden gem is still considered one of Costa Rica’s best kept secrets – and it’s no surprise that local surfers and eager enthusiasts want to keep it that way. If you’re looking for pristine surfing conditions and an authentic vibe, Nosara will win you over and over again.

Curious as to where you should start? No worries – I’ve got you covered! Here are some of our favorite spots for surfing in Nosara.

Playa Nosara
The least crowded of all of Nosara’s beaches, Playa Nosara is great for intermediate to experienced surfers. Playa Nosara has both a beach break (with some powerful barrels and high peaks) as well as a reef break (with shallow swells that veer off to the left).

Depending on where you’re at, Selina Nosara offers different surf lesson packages and guided surf tours you can book directly at reception. These packages include a great deal on accommodation, rentals, and even meals!

If you’d like to learn more about the surfing conditions at Playa Nosara, I suggest you check out this detailed Playa Nosara surf report.

Playa Pelada
Located north of Playa Nosara lies Playa Pelada. With a rocky reef located on the north side, surfing conditions here aren’t as consistent as they can be at the other beaches. However, when the waves are good, Playa Pelada can get quite crowded. With a choppy and rocky reef break, Playa Pelada is at its best during high tide.

The beach is more popular with other tourists who come to explore its caves, coves, and tide pools. If you’re looking for a break from surfing, I suggest you check out Playa Pelada’s blowhole: it’s perfect for a natural shower and the reef is great for a quick swim.

To learn more about Playa Pelada’s surf conditions, check out this handy Playa Pelada surf report.

Playa Guiones
This beautiful white-sand beach is, without a doubt, one of Nosara’s most popular spots. The surf conditions at Playa Guiones are consistent, making it a great year-round destination for wave riders looking to show off their skills and perfect their moves. The break at Playa Guiones is consistent both left and right over a sandy floor that’s perfect for everyone. Although the swells can get pretty big (up to 10 feet!), the waves at Playa Guiones are usually accommodating to beginners as well.

As such, it’s no surprise that a lot of the surf schools in town are based out of Playa Guiones. The Selina Surf Club, for example, has different surf packages available for visitors who want to soak up as much of the surfing experience as possible. From group lessons to guided tours and wellness classes, there’s a little something for everyone.

To stay on top of everything happening at Playa Guiones, I suggest you check out the Playa Guiones surf report.

Playa Ostional
Located further north, Playa Ostional is popular with surfers because of its consistent beach break and hollow waves. Surfers can enjoy great swells coming from all directions, but they’re best from the northwest, west, and southwest. Plus, experienced surfers can ride waves for up to 300 meters, making it one of the most consistent in the area. Playa Ostional is visited mostly by surfers looking for waves, but there are some surprise visitors: Olive Ridley Sea Turtles!

Check out the Playa Ostional surf report for more information about surfing conditions!

Playa Garza
This quiet, heaven-like beach is great for surfers looking to truly disconnect from the rest of the world. Mostly deserted, Playa Garza has both inside and outside reefs that break in both directions. However, the beach can be quite inconsistent. Playa Garza is best enjoyed at high tide, when waves can reach chest-high and are fun to ride.

Tamarindo vs. Nosara, Costa Rica: which is the best option for you?

Choosing a great surf destination can be tough, but it really all depends on what you’re hoping to get from your trip. When it comes to picking between Nosara or Tamarindo, the choice is ultimately whether or not you mind a higher influx of tourists.

While Tamarindo, Costa Rica, is more recognized for being a better party destination, the town of Nosara enjoys a relatively quiet popularity. This has made it the perfect destination for people who are merely there to enjoy the surfing conditions.

Surfing is possible in both Tamarindo and Nosara; however, the experience can also be different. While most places are walking distance in Tamarindo, moving around Nosara usually requires a car because of the terrain and the distances that need to be covered. However, if you stay at a popular surf hotel in Nosara, chances are you’ll have transportation readily available to take you where you need to go.

Experience Nosara, Costa Rica, in true Selina style!

With great options available for all-level surf enthusiasts, finding a place to stay in Nosara shouldn’t be difficult! Selina Costa Rica has countrywide accommodation that can be adapted to every need. From cozy community rooms to glammed-up teepees, private suites, and even small apartments, it’s up to you to choose your next stay!

The Selina hostel in Nosara is no different. Plus, with on-site amenities like an outdoor swimming pool, shared kitchen, private wellness area, and even a state of the art coworking space, you’ll have plenty of options to find the perfect balance between surf, work, and everything in between!

Once you’ve had your fill, why not explore the rest of this incredible country? From the stunning greenery of Manuel Antonio, to the buzz of Monteverde, the authentic charm of Puerto Viejo, and the urban landscape of San Jose, there’s plenty of excitement waiting for you in Costa Rica!

The 10 Best Things to Do in Isla Mujeres Mexico

If you’re traveling through Mexico or planning to visit sometime in the future, you’ve probably heard about the paradise island that is Isla Mujeres. Just a few kilometers from the coast of Cancun, this stunning island is a must-do for travelers looking to disconnect from the buzz of a big city and relax in nature. But what is Isla Mujeres like? And what are some of the best things to do in Isla Mujeres? Read on to find out!

In this guide, we'll take a look at:

  • 1. Enjoy Quality Beach Time
  • 2. Snorkel in the Crystal Clear & Warm Caribbean Waters
  • 3. Snorkel with Whale Sharks
  • 4. Visit the Underwater Museum
  • 5. Go Scuba Diving
  • 6. Explore the Island By Golf Cart
  • 7. Visit Punta Sur and Ixchel Temple
  • 8. Taste Traditional Mexican Food
  • 9. Visit a Turtle Farm
  • 10. FAQs

Enjoy Quality Beach Time

The beautiful island of Isla Mujeres is well-known among travelers and locals for its picture-perfect white-sand beaches with the clearest water you’ve ever seen. Lined with palm trees and perfect for a day of soaking up the sun, the beaches in Isla Mujeres are a beach bum’s dream. We suggest you head over to Playa Norte, on the northern tip of Isla Mujeres, for a day of relaxing on the sand with a good book in hand. Lined with beach chairs and just a few steps away from a row of mouthwatering local restaurants, Playa Norte is exactly what you see when you think of a Caribbean paradise.

Then, just a 10-minute walk from Playa Norte, the beautiful Playa Sol beckons visitors who are hoping to catch a first-row seat to Isla Mujeres’ stunning sunset. Grab a drink, sit by the water, and enjoy the changing colors of the sky as the sun begins to set.

Snorkel in the Crystal Clear & Warm Caribbean Waters

With its clear waters, Isla Mujeres is known for being one of the best destinations for ecotourism activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling. Surrounded by impressive reefs and a colorful collection of underwater sea life, snorkeling in Isla Mujeres is one of the best activities on the island.

It’s hard to name the best place to snorkel in Isla Mujeres, as there are many, but one of the top picks for some underwater fun is Garrafon Reef Park. Here, you can either explore the reef alongside a guide on your own – and there’s always something (or someone!) waiting for you beneath the surface. There are different packages you can choose from with different activities, so check out their website to pick the one that best suits your needs!

Snorkel with Whale Sharks

Between the beginning of June and mid-September, local and international visitors flock to Isla Mujeres (and the Caribbean coast of Mexico) for an experience unlike any other: swimming with the whale sharks. These incredible creatures can grow up to 12 meters (40 feet) long and rise to the surface on the coast of Isla Mujeres due to the warm summer temperatures to feed off of plankton and fish eggs.

If you’re hoping to go snorkeling with the whale sharks in Isla Mujeres, there are tons of different tour companies that will take you out to sea on one of their boats. These usually include a small breakfast, coffee, all the snorkeling equipment, and wetsuits. These tours usually cost around $125+ – if you see a tour for much cheaper, they might not be a legitimate company!

Visit the Underwater Museum

Just off the coast of Isla Mujeres, between the island and Cancun, the Cancun Underwater Museum of Art (MUSA) is a must-do activity for lovers of adventure, conservation, and art. The museum is made up of 500 subaquatic sculptures and installations created by British artist Jason De Caires and other Mexican contributors. Aside from being an incredible underwater sight, the museum also promotes wildlife preservation by acting as a fertile landscape to make up for previously lost reefs. Fish and other creatures have built their homes on and inside the statues – made from pH-neutral marine concrete – and continue to breed and grow safely.

Visits to Isla Mujeres’ underwater museum cost between $47USD for a glass-bottom boat tour and $140USD for a diving tour that doesn’t require visitors to be certified.

Go Scuba Diving

If you’re hoping to go scuba diving near Isla Mujeres, you’re in luck! The island’s azure waters are the perfect place to get certified for the first time or to continue your scuba diving journey. The island has a few spots dotted around that are great for year-round diving experiences brimming with mantas, sea turtles, whale sharks, and smaller types of creatures like colorful fish. Plus, there are options for both advanced and beginner divers to enjoy the sights.

Some of the best spots on Isla Mujeres for scuba diving include Manchones Reef, Media Luna, Hool Reef, and Bandera Reef. If you’re an advanced diver looking for a little more adventure, we also suggest checking out Sleeping Sharks Cave. Located away from the dive spots on the island, this mysterious cave is home to different species of sleeping sharks – hence its name – as well as sea turtles and manta rays.

Explore the Island By Golf Cart

Although there are many things to do in Isla Mujeres, it’s actually a very small island. Approximately 7 kilometers (4 miles) long, the best way to explore the island and its main attractions is by renting a golf cart and driving yourself around.

Golf cart rental in Isla Mujeres costs about $40USD for a full day and requires a valid driver’s license. You must sign an agreement before taking out the golf cart, and the rental company will keep your license until you return in the evening. Hiring a golf car in Isla Mujeres is definitely worth it for visiting hard-to-access spots and if you want to see as much as possible in one day of exploring. The streets of the island are quite narrow, which means hitting the road on a golf cart is the easiest, most relaxing, and fun way to dive headfirst into everything Isla Mujeres has to offer! The drive around the island only takes about an hour, which means you’ll have plenty of time to stop for photos, food, and souvenirs on your trip. Some of the best places to access on your golf cart are Playa Norte, the Tortugranja Turtle Farm, and Punta Sur. Plus, having a golf cart also means you can venture outside of the main town for a taste of the quiet Caribbean charm!

Visit Punta Sur and Ixchel Temple

Like the name says, Punta Sur is located on the southernmost tip of Isla Mujeres. The area also the highest part of the island, standing at 20 meters above sea level. With incredible views of seaside cliffs, crashing waves, and Mayan ruins, Punta Sur is a must-see on your list of things to do in Isla Mujeres. The only way to access Punta Sur is through Garrafon Reef Park, which means you must pay the entrance fee. Don’t worry, though, the ticket also includes other activities such as snorkeling and stand-up paddleboarding depending on the package you choose.

Punta Sur is also home to the remains of an ancient Mayan temple dedicated to Ixchel, goddess of the moon, happiness, and fertility. Although the remains have been damaged by time and the occasional hurricane, some of the structures have been partially restored for visitors to admire. Additionally, the Punta Sur lighthouse is also an excellent spot to snap that Instagram-worthy shot of your travels to Isla Mujeres.

Taste Traditional Mexican Food

No trip to Isla Mujeres would be complete without indulging the senses with some mouthwatering Mexican food. Although small, the island has a lot of options for every type of traveler to enjoy a delicious meal – even the pickiest eaters! First of all, it’s worth noting that Isla Mujeres, like most places in Mexico, is divided into colonias or districts. These are the different neighborhoods around the island and one of the ways locals might direct you if you ask for help.

With this in mind, some of the best places to eat on Isla Mujeres include: La Lomita, located on Avenida Juárez, known for its delicious black bean soup and traditional Mexican dishes at an affordable price; Taquería Medina, on Avenida Hidalgo, known for having the BEST tacos on the island (if we had to pick, we’d choose the tacos al pastor); and Reuben’s Restaurant, on Calle Vicente Guerrero, known for all of their mouthwatering seafood dishes, refreshing lemonade, and specialty margaritas.

If you’re hoping for a more authentic dining experience, we suggest you head over to the main square once the sun begins to set. At dusk, dozens of street food carts line around the square with everything from tacos to sweet marquesitas. The food is affordable, delicious, and it makes for a local experience unlike any other!

Visit a Turtle Farm

If you’re a fan of marine animals, a stop by La Tortugranja in Isla Mujeres is a must-do on any trip to the island. The turtle farm turned sanctuary is a government-owned institution dedicated to protecting, caring for, and breeding endangered sea turtles who are usually killed by poachers for their meat. The sanctuary also helps rehabilitate injured or sick animals – sometimes you’ll have a chance to see dolphins in there – and then releases them back into the wild for a new chance at life.

Visiting La Tortugranja – which translates to The Turtlefarm – is also a great way for traveling families to teach their kids about the importance of conservation and taking care of the planet. Educational, fun, and exciting, a visit to the famous Tortugranja on Isla Mujeres is a great way to get them excited about working toward protecting these beautiful creatures in the future.

FAQs

Where to stay in Isla Mujeres?
There are plenty of places to stay in Isla Mujeres. However, if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop that includes an outdoor pool, garden, on-site seafood restaurant, buzzing bar, and even a coworking space, your best choice is the Selina Hotel Isla Mujeres. Located just steps from Playa Norte, Selina has different accommodation options suited to every budget – from community rooms to suites and deluxe lofts – as well as a running list of events and wellness classes to make your stay on the island as good as can be. Traveling with a pet? Selina Isla Mujeres is also pet-friendly!

How to get to Isla Mujeres from Cancun?
In order to get to Isla Mujeres from Cancun, you need to take the Ultramar ferry that departs from Puerto Juarez, just a few minutes away from downtown Cancun. The ferry leaves every half hour between 5 AM and 9:30 PM. After that, they depart every hour until 11:30 PM. The crossing from Cancun to Isla Mujeres takes roughly 15 minutes. You can purchase a one-way ticket for about $8USD or a roundtrip ticket for about $15USD.

What is the best time to go to Isla Mujeres?
Although the weather is quite warm and sunny throughout the year, the best time to visit Isla Mujeres is between January and April. During these months, the skies will be mostly clear and temperatures will reach an average high of 29ºC/84ºF. This means it won’t be too hot, and you’ll have a chance to explore the island without suffering from too much heat and humidity. However, if you’re hoping to visit the island for a chance to swim with the whale sharks, the best time to visit Isla Mujeres is between June and September when the tours are running officially.

Is Isla Mujeres better than Cancun?
A lot of people wonder if Isla Mujeres is better than Cancun and the answer is: they’re both quite different. Cancun is a much larger city, and more widely visited by tourists from all around the world. This means it tends to be a lot more crowded, louder, and the traffic can be a little intense. Meanwhile, Isla Mujeres has still managed to preserve its tranquil Caribbean charm although it has grown in popularity. The island doesn’t have many cars, which means traffic is a lot easier to handle, and the nightclubs or bars don’t tend to be as intense as they are in downtown Cancun. All in all, deciding if one is “better” than the other depends on the type of experience you’re after. If you’re looking to party a little harder and stay in a big city, Cancun is right for you. However, if you want to disconnect for a few days and get in touch with nature, Isla Mujeres is calling your name.

The 10 Best Things to Do In Jaco, Costa Rica

If you’re hoping to visit Costa Rica, and you’ve been doing your research, it’s safe to say you’ve probably heard about a little surf haven called Jaco. Located on the Pacific Coast just south of San José, the town is well-known with locals and travelers for its year-round surf conditions and great party atmosphere, but what exactly is Jaco, Costa Rica, like? We’re about to tell you!

In this guide, we'll take a look at:

  • 1. Go surfing
  • 2. Jump on a rainforest waterfall tour
  • 3. Explore Jaco nature on an ATV tour
  • 4. Try stand-up paddle boarding
  • 5. Go on a hiking or zip-lining adventure
  • 6. Visit Playa Blanca
  • 7. Explore Tortuga Island
  • 8. Meet the crocodiles of Carara National Park
  • 9. Visit Manuel Antonio National Park
  • 10. Experience the nightlife in Jaco, Costa Rica
  • 11. FAQs

Go surfing

It’s no surprise that the first thing on our list of things to do in Jaco, Costa Rica, would be to grab a surfboard and head down to the beach! Known for its year-round conditions, practicing your surf skills in Jaco, Costa Rica, is one of the best ways to kickstart the experience at some of the top surf spots in Costa Rica.

With different beaches like Playa Jaco and Playa Hermosa just a few minutes away, both beginner and experienced surfers can enjoy pristine conditions that make any surf experience in Jaco absolutely unforgettable. Spots like Playa Hermosa, for example, are great for advanced surfers who are confident enough to tackle taller waves with tons of power. That’s why we consider that grabbing a surfboard and hitting the water is one of the best things to do in Playa Hermosa!

Jump on a rainforest waterfall tour

Costa Rica is well-known for its lush green landscapes and beautiful natural sights. Jaco is no exception: the surrounding area is great for nature lovers and adventurers who want to come up close and personal with local flora and fauna in their natural habitat.

Not far from the main town, Las Monas Rainforest is a sight to behold. Home to over 12 waterfalls, as well as a few monkeys, reptiles, and butterflies, trekking through the jungle and scaling the slippery waterfall rocks is one of the best things to do in Jaco, Costa Rica.

Craving more? Bijagual Waterfall, known as the highest waterfall in Costa Rica, is just 30 kilometers outside of Jaco. Standing at 600 meters tall, the waterfall roars deep within the serene landscape and falls to the turquoise waters below.

Explore Jaco nature on an ATV tour

Four wheels is always better than two – that’s why signing up for an ATV tour is one of the best Jaco, Costa Rica, activities you should add to your list. These tours are usually very popular around town because of the muddy, back roads that take you all the way up and around the mountain landscape. Plus, ATVs are also guaranteed to take you to places that aren’t easily accessible by foot or with a car, meaning you’ll have more opportunities to explore.

An ATV tour is perfect for adrenaline junkies who don’t necessarily want to rappel off waterfalls or dive straight into surfing in Jaco. Combine speed with mud, steep hills, rivers, and wild animals and you have an exciting day out in Jaco!

Try stand-up paddle boarding

Are you a fan of the water, but not a surf aficionado? Thankfully for you, Jaco also has other activities you can enjoy. One of these is stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). Also one of the best things to do in Jaco, Costa Rica, this is a much calmer option that doesn’t require as much skill. That said, it’s not necessarily easy either – so be prepared to tip over once or twice!

Some of the best beaches in Jaco to try your hand at SUP are Playa Herradura and Playa Mantas. While Playa Herradura is quite calm and perfect for people who also want to do a little fishing, Playa Manta has a little something extra: manta rays swimming around you. Stay by the shore if you’re just looking for a little fun in the sun, or head out further into the ocean if you’re hoping to see one of these marine creatures in all their glory.

Go on a hiking or zip-lining adventure

One of the adrenaline capitals of the world, Costa Rica has plenty of great things to do if you want to get your heart racing.

Let’s start with the milder of the two: hiking and trekking. With direct access to natural trails and mountains, there are a lot of places to go hiking near Jaco, Costa Rica. One of these trails will lead you to the Nauyaca Waterfalls. Located roughly 115 kilometers away from Jaco, these majestic waterfalls are surrounded by dense greenery and local wildlife. Reaching the Nauyaca Waterfalls requires a 4 kilometer trek directly through the jungle, so make sure you’re prepared for a walk. If you’re not up for the trek, you can also ask about the 4×4 trucks that will take you to the base of the waterfalls for a very reasonable price. Once there, entrance to the waterfalls costs about 8 USD per person.

If what you’re looking for involves a little more speed, there are also plenty of places to try your hand at zip-lining! Glide through the treetops as you fly past the ground below and enjoy a birds-eye view of Jaco’s impressive natural scenery from a completely new perspective.

Visit Playa Blanca

The only whitesand beach in the area, Playa Blanca might be a little hard to reach – but it’s definitely worth it. One of the most beautiful beaches in Jaco, Costa Rica, Playa Blanca is located a 20-minute drive from well-known Playa Jaco. Once there, you need to trek through Playa Mantas at low tide in order to reach it and enjoy its clean sands, palm tree lined shore, and azure waters.

Keep in mind that you need to buy a day pass in order to enter Playa Blanca. These can be purchased at Punta Leona resort where visitors can also find delicious meals, 3-star accommodation, and a massage center to heal those sore muscles. Alternatively, you can also bring your own food and water to enjoy by the water without having to leave your spot in the sun.

Explore Tortuga Island

A tropical paradise just 120 kilometres off the coast of Jaco lies Tortuga Island (or Turtle Island). With a prime location on the Gulf of Nicoya, Tortuga Island is a great tucked-away spot for snorkeling, kayaking, swimming, or simply lounging under the sun for a much-needed dose of total relaxation. Grab a pair of goggles and dive in to meet the angelfish, morays, needlefish and tons of other tropical residents who call Tortuga Island their home. Once you’ve had your fill of underwater exploration, hop on a kayak and circle the shore as you venture out further into the sea.

The catamaran journey from Jaco to Tortuga Island takes about 90 minutes and the tour can be done in a day. Personal coolers are not allowed on board, but the catamaran companies have all sorts of amenities available on board for guests to purchase throughout the day. This means all you really need to bring on board is your swimming gear, sunscreen, and a hat.

Meet the crocodiles of Carara National Park

You’ve probably heard of the infamous crocodile bridge in Costa Rica, right? High above the Rio Grande of Tarcoles, tourists gather on the edge of the bridge to take a peek at the giant beasts that lurk below.

Located about 25 kilometers from Jaco, Costa Rica, on the road between town and San Jose, the bridge is the perfect place to admire the crocodiles that lounge by the shore. The surrounding area is said to be home to over 2,000 crocodiles (some as large as 680 kilograms). The bridge is easy to recognize: keep an eye out for parked cars, tour buses, and a few souvenir shops dotted around.

Located just outside the entrance to Carara National Park, it’s worth making a quick stop by the river before heading inside the park for a day out in nature. Much less visited than many of the other National Parks in Costa Rica, Carara is a great way to interact with the country’s natural beauty and beat the crowds at the same time.

Visit Manuel Antonio National Park

Located an hour south of Jaco, Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Costa Rica. Perfect for birdwatching and monkey watching, the park is open Tuesday through Sunday from 7 AM to 4 PM.

Make your way through the park’s many trails as you go from the rainforest to the beach and keep your eyes peeled for many of Manuel Antonio’s residents lurking just above your head. From colorful birds to swinging monkeys, reptiles, and the occasional sloth, you’ll want to take your time as you explore the grounds.
Once you’ve made your way through the greenery, cool down with a quick dip in one of the park’s pristine beaches. Some of our favorite picks include Playa Espadilla Sur and Playa Manuel Antonio.

Happy trekking!

Experience the nightlife in Jaco, Costa Rica

Once the sun begins to set is when Jaco, Costa Rica, really comes to life. Also known for its lively party atmosphere, the town is brimming with clubs and bars where you can unwind after a long day spent outside or out in the water.

Some of the best things to do in Jaco, Costa Rica, at night include hitting up some of the late-night restaurants, dancing the night away at a popular club, or diving into a local pool party. If you’re looking to keep it simple, head over to Man Cave. Part sports bar, part part club, the venue is a great way to enjoy a night out without too much of the insanity that clubbing entails. For a great pool party we recommend you hit upn Jaco Blu: great DJs, fresh drinks, and a party atmosphere that stretches out well into the night. Lastly, if you’re looking for a good meal and a few drinks, we recommend you check out Graffiti Restro Café and Wine bar or The Green Room Café. While the first has a delicious blend of French and Costa Rican meals on the menu, the later caters to vegetarians.

As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Jaco, Costa Rica, that are great for every type of traveler to enjoy their time in this small beach haven. So whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, nature, or a little bit of everything, Jaco is a great destination to experience the magic of Costa Rica in all its glory!

FAQs

Where should I stay in Jaco, Costa Rica?
There are plenty of accommodation options on Jaco, Costa Rica, that are suitable for every budget and every style of traveler. However, if you’re looking for a place that combines local charm with an international vibe, we suggest you head over to Selina Hostel Jaco Costa Rica.

Selina has both private and community rooms available as well as a dedicated wellness area, a beachfront bar, a swimming pool, and a state of the art coworking space where you can catch up on emails, phone calls, and other pending projects.

How do I get to Jaco Costa Rica?
Getting to Jaco, Costa Rica, is quite simple. If you fly into San Jose you can make the 98-kilometer trip via shuttle, private car, or public bus. If you’re looking for a hostel in San Jose to stay the night, Selina is a perfect choice.

Shuttles depart twice a day: one at 8 AM and one at 2:30 PM. The drive takes roughly 3 hours and they’ll pick you up directly from your accommodation in San Jose for about 50 USD. Private car rental rental is also an option and will set you back about 30 USD for 24 hours. The last option, traveling by public bus, is also the cheapest. Tickets cost around 5 USD and operate every day from 7 AM to 7 PM in two-hour intervals.

What is the best time to go to Jaco, Costa Rica?
The best time to go to Jaco, Costa Rica, is between December and early April. During these months, the humidity is relatively low and the days are quite dry. The highest temperature recorded during this time is around 32ºC/91.4ºF, while the lowest temperature is about 17ºC/62.6ºF.

Why is Jaco, Costa Rica, worth visiting?
Due to its proximity to San Jose, the town of Jaco is a great place to escape the big city buzz and stay for a few days. Close to so many natural attractions, surrounded by great beaches, perfect for surf aficionados, and with a lively nightlife, Jaco, Costa Rica, ticks all the boxes most travelers hope for in one small destination.

How expensive is Jaco, Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is one of the more expensive destinations in Central America. With this in mind, you should plan to spend around 64 USD a day on accommodation, food, and other activities. However, it is definitely possible to spend much less depending on your travel style. Choosing community dorm rooms, cooking your own meals every now and then, and avoiding going out every night are just some of the ways you can make your stay much cheaper.

Your Guide to Yoga, Meditation & Wellness in Tulum

Once a sleepy seaside town, Tulum has become a top destination for wellness enthusiasts and yoga lovers from all over the world looking to disconnect from the buzz and indulge their mind, body, and soul with some time off. With some of the best yoga studios, retreats, and wellness centers located in Tulum, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to picking the perfect one to suit your needs!

If you’re looking for the perfect place to participate in a local temazcal or cacao ceremony, enjoy a quiet beachside retreat, or simply stretch into a few yoga poses during a couple of group classes, Tulum is the perfect destination for you. Read on to learn everything you need to know about yoga, meditation, and wellness in Tulum.

In this guide, we'll take a look at:

  • 1. Where to do yoga in Tulum
  • 2. Where to meditate in Tulum
  • 3. What is a temazcal ceremony?
  • 4. What are sacred cacao ceremonies?
  • 5. Selina's Top 5 Spiritual Spots in Tulum

Where to do yoga in Tulum

The best thing about choosing a yoga retreat in Tulum is that there are plenty of studios designed to fit every budget. Local spots like Sanará Tulum, Yaan Wellness Energy Healing Spa, and Nomade are just a few of the big-buzz names that continue to bring in visitors for a series of holistic and wellness treatments.

Whether you’re looking for an all-inclusive yoga experience or simply in the mood to take part in a few yoga classes at a Tulum beach, you’ll be sure to find something to fit your every mood. Keep in mind, however, that most studios by the beach tend to charge a premium for their now-considered prime location, so it might be a little more difficult to find a beachside Tulum yoga retreat if you’re traveling on a shoestring budget.

Selina is also well-known among travelers and locals for being the best yoga hostel in Tulum. With group yoga classes available as well as private massage therapies, essential oils workshops, and mindful breathing sessions, all guided by a team of holistic wellness professionals, it’s the ideal place to stay if you’re looking to connect with a like-minded community, enjoy the best of Tulum like a true local, and cleanse the body from all the fast-paced, day-to-day hecticness.

Where to meditate in Tulum

If you’re looking to expand your practice to include meditation as well as yoga in Tulum, there are tons of different options that vary depending on the type of meditation you’re looking for, your experience level, and your budget.

When it comes to choosing the best Tulum meditation retreat, you need to decide whether you’re looking for a private spiritual experience or if you’re thinking of participating in group meditation sessions. Places like Selina Tulum, for example, offer private meditation experiences for guests and visitors that include everything from guided breathwork and invigorating sound therapies to various types of mindfulness workshops and holistic massages. Meanwhile, spots like Maya Tulum Retreat & Spa have a specially designed oceanfront meditation labyrinth that allows for quiet thinking and looking within. Depending on the level of depth you’re hoping to achieve, either option could be exactly what you’re looking for in terms of going deep within to deal with any past trauma or current stress.

What is a temazcal ceremony?

If you’ve been looking into the different wellness options in Tulum, chances are you’ve read a thing or two about temazcal ceremonies. But, what exactly is a temazcal ceremony? And what does it mean to take part in one?

The typical temazcal ceremony takes place inside of a Mexican-style sweat lodge that’s shaped like an igloo. Dating back to almost one thousand years ago, they’re led by a shaman – the name given to a spiritual leader – who guides participants through a special meditation session. During a temazcal ceremony, the shaman will throw water and herbs on hot stones to produce steam. The effect, similar to a sauna, is meant to cleanse participants and help them become more aware of their inner consciousness. Traditional chants and prayers are also involved during the ceremony.

Most people who take part in temazcal ceremonies admit to feeling spiritually and physically cleansed after leaving the dome. And, given the different types of herbs and natural ingredients that are involved in the ceremony, it’s no surprise that this is the case for almost everyone. Studies have also shown that some of the benefits of participating in a temazcal ceremony include detoxifying the body, cleansing the respiratory system, increasing blood flow, improving endurance, lowering the risk of dementia, reducing fatigue, and releasing many of the mental burdens that continue to plague the mind.

If you’re planning to take part in a temazcal ceremony, most people suggest that women wear a light dress and a bathing suit underneath. If you’re a man, your go-to temazcal outfit should be swimming trunks (or shorts) and a light t-shirt. Because you’ll be sweating a lot during the ceremony, it’s best to avoid wearing any synthetic fabrics or anything that will cause added discomfort in combination with the heat and humidity.

Whether you’re the spiritual kind or not, you should make the most of the occasion and definitely go to a temazcal ceremony while in Tulum. These events are truly unlike any other, which means having the chance to participate is an adventure all on its own! Plus, it’ll make for an incredible story to tell your friends and family once you’re back home.

What are sacred cacao ceremonies?

Now that we’ve discussed temazcal, we can turn our attention to another staple of any spiritual visit to Tulum: the sacred cacao ceremony in Tulum.

Cacao ceremonies are another style of sacred healing practiced by indigenous cultures from all around the world. Much like a temazcal ceremony, these are led by a practiced shaman in order to help participants re-align their energy, heal from the inside, set intentions, and find spiritual clarity. During a cacao ceremony, guests gather around a ceremonial circle and say their names out loud along with an intention they’d like to set. Once that’s done, the ceremonial cacao is poured into cups and passed around to each person. The cacao is then honored and blessed before participants drink it. Lastly, depending on whoever is in charge, there are different exercises that can take place: from breathwork and meditation to dancing, sound journeys, and beyond. All of these are meant to amplify the intentions set by each of the participants at the beginning of the ceremony.

If you decide to participate in a cacao ceremony while in Tulum, you’ll be glad to know that it has many spiritual and physical benefits. In most cases, it’s been said that taking part in a cacao ceremony helps to open your heart, develop untapped potential and creativity, enhance your energy levels, bring peace from within, clear your mind, and heighten your meditation practice.

Cacao ceremonies have been present in ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures for centuries. Back then, cacao was considered a ritualistic plant that could only be used by the elite and the sacred during special religious ceremonies. For example, it’s been said that the drink was used during sacrificial rituals to help “lift the spirits” of those who were sentenced to die. Additionally, it was also used for medicinal purposes to help heal patients suffering from fatigue and fever. Today, many people still believe in the use of cacao for medicinal and spiritual purposes, hence the ever-growing popularity of cacao ceremonies in Latin America.

Selina’s Top 5 Spiritual Spots in Tulum

From ancient pyramids to dedicated hotels that organize cacao ceremonies, these are our top 5 picks for spiritual spots in Tulum that you can’t skip.

1. Ancient Mayan ruins & pyramids for a sunrise meditation
There are so many ancient Mayan pyramids dotted around the country that it might be hard to only pick a few. However, one thing’s for sure: the best way to see Tulum’s ruins is at sunrise. Once there, take a moment to close your eyes and cleanse your mind of any unnecessary thoughts. Listen to the sounds of the waves as they crash below, and feel the ground at your feet. The experience, combined with the serenity of the location, makes for the perfect quick meditation session you might be craving.

2. Nomade Tulum for a special cacao ceremony
Well-known for being one of the best places for a cacao ceremony in Tulum, Nomade hosts a unique ceremony every Friday at 7 PM. A safe space for guests to open their hearts and look deep within themselves, participants are given the opportunity to sit back, relax, and connect with other like-minded souls on a road to self-love and self-acceptance.

3. Holistika for a Temazcal ceremony
Moving on to one of the best places for temazcal in Tulum, Holistika’s ceremony gathers all the best features of the ceremony in a beautiful location. The boutique hotel refers to its temazcal ceremony as a “rebirth” and an “opportunity to cleanse the body and spirit” from everything that plagues it. Visit their website to book a private experience on-site at their stunning facilities.

4. Ahau Tulum Yoga & Spa for a meditation retreat
Take a moment to breathe in and unwind at Ahau Tulum’s oceanfront yoga and meditation studio! Whether you’d like to participate in a group session or book a private class, the views that overlook the Tulum shore – and include some spectacular sunrises – can’t be beaten. If you’re hoping to combine meditation and yoga with a little something extra, you can look into their relaxing spa treatments or shamanic drum circles for an added treat.

5. Selina Tulum for daily yoga classes
If what you’re craving is a dose of yoga in Tulum, Selina Tulum offers daily wellness classes that are suitable for all levels. From early morning lessons starting at 8:45 AM to sunset classes at 5 PM and special fitness sessions at 10 AM, you can test the waters a few different times before settling for the practice you enjoy most. Plus, if you sign up for the Luna rewards program, you can join in on these classes for free!

Whether you’re hoping to explore Mayan ruins, take part in an ancient ceremony, or simply flow like water during a yoga class, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Tulum’s wellness scene and step away from the beaten path. Follow this guide for a non-touristy Tulum experience that will leave a lasting impression that’ll keep you coming back for more time after time.

Coliving in Tulum: a digital nomad’s dream

Picture this: you wake up to the sound of crashing waves right outside your window and the sun dancing through the curtains. There’s no traffic outside, no blaring car horns, and your quick on-the-go breakfast has been replaced by a nutritious bowl of fresh fruity goodness and seafront views.

This isn’t a dream anymore: it’s become my day to day lifestyle after settling down as a digital nomad in Tulum. Like other digital nomads I’ve met on the road, I’m finally living out that much-talked-about fantasy of creating a life I love from wherever my wanderlust takes me. From big cities to remote jungle locations and beachside paradises, I’m always on the hunt for the perfect place to fuel my creativity.

Tucked away from the bustle, Selina Hostel Tulum is a quiet retreat that’s ideal for relaxation, inspiration, and the perfect dose of communal living. My room, hidden behind a row of palm trees, has become a safe haven and a nest of originality during my first of many long-stay stopovers in this tiny paradise.

Waking up in Tulum is unlike anything else. Previously I found mornings to be the most difficult time of day. I was unable to get out of bed in the morning because I was uninspired to live the same monotonous day all over again. I dreaded the morning commute, and actually thinking about it, office life just wasn’t for me.

Selina CoLive

A month-by-month rental program starting from just $300/month. What’s included in the Selina CoLive package? Accommodation | Unlimited use of cowork | Free daily wellness class | Restaurant discounts and more!

Now, button-downs have been replaced by wetsuits and my commute has taken on a whole new appearance: bare feet, surfboard, sunscreen, and a fresh towel. Once I’ve had my fill of ocean water – because my surf skills still leave much to be desired – my next stop is the Selina Tulum coworking space. It’s amazing how after so many years of working, I’ve finally managed to find the perfect balance between “playtime” and “work time”. This new work-life balance means that I suddenly enjoy what I do all over again. My creativity and my productivity have been enhanced, and I’ve even bagged a few new clients due to the global network of people I’m living with.

Living in shared accommodation has also shaken up other aspects of my daily routine. From quick breakfasts – or no breakfast – to a room full of people from around the world, from evenings alone on the couch to nights under the stars surrounded by strangers who have quickly become family. Digital nomads, weekend travelers passing by, and locals who have found a place of their own: everyone is living out their own personal fantasy.

This new style of living isn’t actually so new. A quick google search just taught me that the term was coined in 1997 to describe people that work while traveling and travel while working- people have been living this way for over 20 years! Before I took the plunge, I found the idea pretty intimidating. Now, I realise how liberating it is to live a life with less commitment, less ties, and less bureaucracy. I choose my next destination whenever it feels right, and I never thought I would hear myself saying something like that until I tried it.

My life was becoming so fast-paced that I forgot about how easy it is to get satisfaction from the little things: how your toes feel in the sand, how the waves come and go as they invite you into the water, taking a break when I decide, discovering endless opportunities to connect with someone new, and the tacos. It’s all about the tacos!

Are you interested in shaking up your WFH routine and making Selina your long term base? Click here to find out more.

How Digital Nomads Are Working Remotely From Paradise (And Still Getting Things Done)

If you’ve been working from home for the past few months, you may understand that getting focused – and staying focused – is a near-impossible task. The workspace feels uncomfortable, there’s no one to bounce ideas off of, and routine eats away at your creativity. However, freelancers and digital nomads around the world have discovered a way to shake things up – and we want to let you in on the secret.

Meet Selina CoLive: a subscription package that provides continuous month-after-month accommodation in beautiful locations across the globe. This new product from Selina, an innovative global hospitality network, allows guests to live, explore, and work indefinitely from some of the most picturesque places around the world. From buzzing metropolitan cities to destinations completely off the beaten path, Selina’s got you!

“To me, Selina CoLive is synonymous with endless possibilities”, says Julia, who has known the brand for three years and is currently CoLiving in Oaxaca. “They have pretty much everything I need on a day to day basis: the cowork is complete with high-speed internet, the restaurant always has delicious food, and I’m surrounded by like-minded people embracing an entirely new coliving experience! Not only have I found a space to call my own, but I’ve found the motivation to grow my design business since moving here.”

Through Selina CoLive, people like Julia have the chance to shake things up and enjoy a new community-oriented lifestyle. The monthly subscription cuts out added living costs such as utilities or hidden deposits and once you’ve signed up, you can also live in up to 3 locations around the world per month! From sunny Playa del Carmen to the bustle of Mexico City, the colorful streets of San Miguel de Allende, and the azure waters of Tulum, it’s about tailoring the package to suit your needs.

Selina CoLive

A month-by-month rental program starting from just $300/month. What’s included in the Selina CoLive package? Accommodation | Unlimited use of cowork | Free daily wellness class | Restaurant discounts and more!

“I never thought I’d have the chance to live abroad like this, but here I am!” says David, who’s been coliving in Mexico for the past four months. “I’ve fallen in love with Sayulita and my CoLive subscription gives me the chance to absorb all of it while also connecting with different people from all over the world. This is more than just a stay: it’s a total lifestyle.”

Freelancers have also chosen Selina as their base thanks to the added perks that come with the CoLive subscription: access to high-speed internet, comfortable workspaces, a free daily wellness class, and on-site discounts. Plus, from community dorm rooms that offer privacy, to beautifully-designed micro rooms and suites, it’s easy to find a style that fits your budget and your lifestyle.

“I’ve never felt this driven to get things done”, says Julia, “because I’d always been forced to work alone, sitting at my dining room table, with no one else to celebrate even the smallest accomplishment. This is different! Everyone here is working towards growing their businesses and creating a life we truly love.”

The Selina CoLive experience allows people from all walks of life to meet, interact, and form long-lasting professional and personal relationships. And, with being a digital nomad, which can sometimes feel very lonely, it’s a breath of fresh air being able to share time, space, and creativity with others.

So, if you’ve been feeling stuck lately, this might be the perfect time to pack up and hit the road on a totally different adventure. Learn more about Selina CoLive, and give yourself the gift of productivity and motivation, here.

Selina CoLive

A month-by-month rental program starting from just $300/month. What’s included in the Selina CoLive package? Accommodation | Unlimited use of cowork | Free daily wellness class | Restaurant discounts and more!

The 9 Best Things To Do In Lima, Peru

The most diverse country in South America, Perú has something for everyone. From ancient Inca ruins to alpine mountain ranges that rival the beauty of Patagonia and a desert oasis with just waiting to be explored- Perú has something for everyone.

In this guide, we'll take a look at:

  • 1. Visit Miraflores Neighborhood
  • 2. Visit The City’s “cat Park” (Kennedy Park)
  • 3. Hop On A (Free) City Tour
  • 4. Plan A Trip To Huacachina
  • 5. Go Out For A Dose Of Culture
  • 6. Visit The City’s Markets
  • 7. Go On A Food Adventure
  • 8. Watch The Light Show At La Reserva Park
  • 9. Get Buzzed On Pisco Sours
  • 10. Bonus: Other Important Things To Know About Traveling In Lima, Peru

Lima, the country’s buzzing capital, is the perfect starting point for travelers looking to explore this incredible destination. And foodies? Boy, you’re in for a treat! The food scene in Perú, and particularly Lima, is ever-evolving, and it continues to grow thanks to newly recognized restaurants and the chefs that call this city home.

Lima offers big city vibes in a chill coastal environment, and it’s the best of both worlds for travelers looking to experience everything they can with a short amount of time. Plus, the eclectic mix of beach and city also makes it easy to hide away when the hustle gets too much.

By now you’re probably wondering what to do in Lima while you’re there. No worries, you know we’ve got your back!

Here is a quick rundown of our favorite things to do in Lima, Perú!

1. Visit Miraflores Neighborhood

First on our list of things to do in Lima is a stop by the trendy Miraflores neighborhood.

Some of the best hotels in Lima are located in Miraflores, an affluent neighborhood that overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is packed with chain and boutique hotels and hostels. The area is also surrounded by plenty of restaurants, bars and shops. Start off by walking down to Larcomar, an upscale shopping centre, for a strong coffee and delicious sweet treat at Tanta, an award-winning restaurant in Lima that overlooks the beach.

Once you’ve finished your morning treat, head over to the cliffside along the Malecón. You’ll soon reach El Parque del Amor. Legend has it that this park has romantical powers that can help even the loneliest of travelers score big with their sweetheart. If you’re willing to try anything, take a picture in front of El Beso (The Kiss) – an unmissable sculpture – for good luck in all your future relationships.

Looking for a place to rest your tired feet? Selina Miraflores is a home away from home that welcomes travelers worldwide for an authentic experience in the heart of Lima. With a top-notch coworking space suited for digital nomads, a cozy movie room, pet friendly accommodation, and an activity-packed tour desk, Selina’s charm will win you over from the moment you step foot inside.

2. Visit The City’s “cat Park” (Kennedy Park)

Once you’ve placed your love life in the hands of destiny, the next best thing to do in Lima is wander over to Kennedy Park, also known as the city’s finest “cat park”, and meet the little four-legged friends that roam freely throughout the premises. If you’re a fan of cats, this will basically feel like heaven on earth! Pet them, take selfies, and fall in love with these whiskered pals. The city government has been taking care of them for years and most cats, except for newcomers, are regularly vet checked and have been properly sterilized.

If all this walking and cat-petting has left you hungry, walk across the avenue to one of Lima’s oldest and most famous sandwich shops: La Lucha Sangucheria. An institution for locals and a top place to eat in Lima for travelers, this fast food joint is usually packed, but turnover is fast and you won’t have to wait too long for a table.

3. Hop On A (Free) City Tour

Next on our list of things to do in Lima is the always-popular city tour. Depending on your budget the city has plenty of tour operators and companies eager to show you the best of town. Make sure you research exactly what you want to do and who you want to do it with: Lima is huge and there’s always the chance that you won’t be seeing what you want to see because you picked the wrong group to go with.

One of the most popular destinations on these tours is the old district of Lima. It’s the place where all important government and historical buildings are located, and it’s usually a hotspot for travelers who are looking to learn more about the architecture, politics and history of the country.

If you’re still keen on seeing more of Miraflores, a free walking tour could also be ideal when it comes to what to do in Lima. These are usually donation-based and, since they’re led by younger locals and students, they tend to be a lot more personal and engaging than other tours in the city.

4. Plan A Trip To Huacachina

If your itinerary doesn’t include heading south, then another thing to do in Lima is take a day-trip to the desert oasis of Huacachina. The sand-drenched town is three hours south of Lima and can easily be done in one day if you plan accordingly. When boarding your transport, make sure you get a seat on the right hand side of the bus or car as the views of the coastline are breathtaking. Once you’ve departed the city, you’ll arrive in Huacachina around mid-morning. There, you’ll have the chance to take a walk around the watering hole and grab a coffee at my personal favorite: Wild Olive Trattoria.

For incredible panoramic views over the sand dunes and a birdeye’s view of the desert oasis, walk up the ridge of the sand dunes. Be warned, though: It’s a somewhat tough hike that takes approximately 15 – 30 minutes. Aside from the epic views you’ll be rewarded with once the climb is done, heading downhill is both fast and very fun as you slip, jump and slide back into town. If you have time and money, sign up for a dune-buggy tour and jet out across the sand dunes. You’ll get a chance to sandboard down a few hills and you’ll also get a full sense of the sheer size of the sand dunes.

Head back to Lima after the sunset over the dunes, and make sure you pack a change of clothes so you can ditch your sandy ones.

5. Go Out For A Dose Of Culture

If culture’s what you’re here for, there are plenty of things to do in Lima that involve diving into the city’s history, art and architecture.

A visit to Larco Museum is a must, and it should be at the top of your list of things to do in Lima. Located inside a former mansion, this museum is home to thousands of pre-Columbian artifacts. The museum’s winning display? A large collection of erotic pottery that would leave your grandma on the floor.

Once you’ve ticked off this kinky-yet-cultural experience, the Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI) is a great next stop. Not only does the MALI have a great collection of Colonial art, but it also houses contemporary pieces from local artists. This includes photography, pottery, jewelry, and paintings. Make sure you have a few hours to spend here: the museum itself is huge.

If you’re into the obscure, we also recommend a visit to the San Francisco de Lima Basilica and Convent’s catacombs. Used as a burial ground until 1808, it’s the burial site of more than 250,000 bodies, and it is creepy, but it’s also one of the best things to do in Lima. Tours are offered daily, but make sure you’re there early in order to avoid the long lines of curious travelers looking to get their spook on.

Cleanse your cultural palette by visiting one of the city’s many beautiful churches. The city center has plenty of these to choose from, and they’re all equally gorgeous and impressive. From the Catedral de Lima (Lima Cathedral) to the Church of San Francisco and Church of La Merced, these buildings are home to some unique colonial artwork, and their stories are unmatched.

6. Visit The City’s Markets

Shopping ‘til you drop in Lima is absolutely possible. Aside from the stores you can find worldwide, the city also has a wide array of local markets where travelers can find unique gems to take home with them. From fuzzy alpaca sweaters to leather sandals and keychains, Lima’s markets are a must-do for anyone who’s struggling to find the perfect Perú souvenir for their friends and family back home.

The Inca Market, for example, is a great one-stop shop to get your fill of trinkets, handcrafted objects and Peruvian textiles. Remember to wear your best haggling pants – without insulting the seller – and try to knock down the price of whatever you’re buying. Some shopkeepers love the game, and they’ll be sure to let you know when you’ve overstepped.

A visit to the Mercado Central is also at the top of my favorite things to do in Lima. It’s a lot less “touristy” than the rest, and you’ll get a real sense of local Lima life when you step through the door. Rumor has it that, if you can’t find what you’re looking for at the Mercado Central, it probably doesn’t exist in Lima. There, you’ll see everything from potato-only stalls to fresh fruit to seafood that’s still kicking about in a bucket.

As with everything, make sure you keep an eye on your belongings and that you carry around cash. Some of these places don’t take cards, and you’ll be disappointed to find out that your shopping experience can be deterred simply because you didn’t stop by an ATM before your visit.

7. Go On A Food Adventure

Peru’s gastronomy has grown to be one of the best and most famous in South America, and the country’s diverse landscape has made it easier to grow produce that is now enjoyed all around the world. Home of quinoa, and of over 3,000 varieties of potatoes, Peru is a true foodie – and carb lover’s – heaven.

Ceviche is one of Peru’s main dishes, and trying this seafood sensation is one of the best things to do in Lima. Being by the coastline, Lima’s ceviche is almost guaranteed to be fresh – and you really can’t go wrong with that! Barra Maretazo, located in Miraflores, serves up a great selection of ceviche dishes made from either fish, octopus or both. They’re impossible to pass up, so make sure you’re ready to unbutton your jeans if need be.

For those of you with a sweet tooth, like yours truly, check out Manolo, another popular restaurant that’s made a name for itself thanks to their deep-fried churros and accompanying chocolate sauce.

Now, depending on your budget, Lima has plenty of five-star dining experiences. These culinary affairs are usually some of the best things to do in Lima, and they’re well-worth the extra penny, even if it’s just to tell your friends you’ve dined at one of the city’s five-star restaurants. Netflix’s popular Chef’s Table took viewers to Central, one of Lima’s hotspots. Their 16-course degustation takes diners on a tasting tour of Perú, and is designed around the elevation of the area where each main ingredient comes. From -10m clams to 3,800m potatoes, people learn about, smell, taste and experience the very best of Perú’s local produce. It is, without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Lima.

8. Watch The Light Show At La Reserva Park

Once the sun starts to set, a visit to Parque La Reserva should be at the top of everyone’s list of things to do in Lima. There you’ll find the Magic Water Circuit in Lima, known as the largest electronic water fountain display in the world.

The lights, music, and water display is definitely a must-see in the city, and you’ll spend hours just walking around the park and interacting with some of the light exhibits you find along the way.

Once you see the crowd starting to gather, make sure you head over to the main fountain for the show. Grab a good spot and keep your eyes peeled for all the shapes, colors and images you’ll see displayed on the water. It’s, without a doubt, a magical way to spend the evening.

9. Get Buzzed On Pisco Sours

A little party never killed nobody, and Lima definitely knows it. Home to the delicious and tangy pisco sour, Lima has plenty of bars where you can get your fill – and your buzz.

The spirit, made from distilled fermented grape juice, is the country’s drink of choice, so much so that they even have a special Pisco Sour Day (celebrated on the first Saturday of February, just so you know). Pisco sours are made by combining pisco, lime juice, syrup, egg whites and Angostura bitters, and serving them over ice. Don’t let the egg white put you off: these drinks are delicious. They’re also very sneaky, so be wary of how many you’re drinking.

Bonus: Other Important Things To Know About Traveling In Lima, Peru

Where to stay in Lima, Peru:
The best hotels in Lima, Peru are located in Miraflores. The area is affluent, safe and a great place to stay in Lima. Selina has two apartment blocks in Miraflores with community rooms, private rooms and spacious apartments. For those working on the road or needing to catch up on emails while on their holiday, there’s a lively coworking space with hot desks for hire on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Transportation:
There is no train network in Lima. Public buses can be used, but Uber is a cheap, safe, and reliable option. Plus, if you’re coming from the airport, there’s a shuttle bus that will drop you off directly to Miraflores; this is a cheap and frequently-used safe option for travelers and locals alike.

Currency:
Peru’s currency is Peruian Soles. Credit cards are not widely used, especially in regional areas, and most people expect to be paid in cash. ATMs are easy to find and money is easy to withdraw. No one ever has change, so make sure you break up larger notes wherever possible.

Mobile Data:
These days, it’s easy to stay connected by getting a local SIM card with data. Booking Ubers and navigating Lima is so much easier when you have a phone and online map handy. Claro and Movistar have great short term SIM plans for 3, 7, 15 and 30 days, and apps like Whatsapp, Facebook and even Instagram are free to use without draining your newly purchased package.

Onward travel:
Lima is the international gateway to Machu Picchu and other main cities such as Huaraz, Huacachina and Arequipa. Most people fly to Cusco to visit the Inca Ruins, but long-term travelers also do so overland on the efficient bus network. We used Cruz del Sur throughout Perú, and both the economy and VIP class seats were the best we’ve experienced in South America.

Best Areas In Central America For Solo Travelers

So, you’ve made up your mind to travel alone but can’t quite decide on where? This piece will help you explore the best places to travel solo across Central America. We’ll elaborate on the best spots to broaden your horizons, safely learn about new and unique cultures, and experience a whole host of regional treasures.

Want to cover jungles, beaches, and volcanoes in one trip? Then you’ll love all that Central America has to offer. Going solo may feel a bit intimidating at first, but solo travelers often report that aside from enhancing their experience, doing so makes them feel more relaxed and makes it easier to soak up the day-to-day realities of somewhere new.

Once you experience authentic Central American energy, it’ll be difficult to resist going back for more. Don’t believe us? Here’s a list of the best places to visit solo from 7 different countries.

In this guide, we'll take a look at:

  • 1. Belize
  • 2. Things to Do in Belize
  • 3. El Salvador
  • 4. Things to Do at El Salvador
  • 5. Honduras
  • 6. Things to Do in Honduras
  • 7. Guatemala
  • 8. Things to Do in Guatemala
  • 9. Costa Rica
  • 10. Things to Do in Costa Rica

Belize

Surrounded by the famous Belize barrier reef, Mayan ruins, and flourishing green jungles, Belize is the ultimate travel destination if you love nature and history. It’s one of the best places to travel solo, with endless adventures awaiting your arrival.

Things to Do in Belize

There are many things to do in Belize, but here are a few that can help you make the most of your solo trip:

First, It Was Snorkeling

If diving is your kind of recreational activity, San Pedro is the place to be. Other diving destinations include Ambergris Caye, which is famous for snorkeling in Belize, Shark Ray Alley, and the Great Blue Hole, however San Pedro is the largest, most popular island for scuba diving in Belize – I visited Ambergis Caye, as I found the thought of full-on scuba to be a little bit intimidating. The water was full of diverse aquatic life, and I got the benefit of enjoying it with a little lighter gear!

Soaking upthe Local Culture

The next day I headed into Dangriga Town and Hopkins Village, where I received a warm welcome from the locals. They helped me hop on a quick bus to the Mayan centers, rumored to be among the best places to travel solo. When I was inquiring about the best parts to see they told me about the inclusive trips to archeological sites such as Altun Ha, Cahal Pech, and Caracol, where guides help you to stay safe, and unearth tales hidden in the Mayan Ruins in Belize. Amongthe friendly tour guides, and happy travelers engaging in group activities, there was plenty of company available if I had wanted it. Personally, I found the relaxing bus rides allowed me to grab a few minutes of “me time” in-between destinations and enjoy some meditation along the way.

Time for Some R&R At The Best Beaches In Belize

Due to its sandy locales Belize has long attracted beach fanatics, and being a lover of sea and sand myself, I was particularly drawn to Caye Caulker. Divided by a narrow channel, Caye Caulker, Belize provides the perfect scenario to meet fellow travelers and after a few days keeping relatively to myself, I decided I was ready for a bit of socializing! Thanks to its exclusive geography (an island kind of herds people together) and the energetic bar, I felt totally comfortable to chat with new people. I found myself in a very welcoming and inclusive environment, interacting with people in a casual setting while enjoying the beauty of the landscape and sunny weather.

Best Places to Stay In Belize – Cities & Towns

If you prefer the hustle and bustle of the city, then that’s where you should stay. Central Belize City has a lot to offer when it comes to the local culture and mouth-watering cuisines.
You could also stay in San Ignacio, a town in western Belize, which is popular among visitors thanks to its historical value derived from the Mayan Ruins abandoned back in the 9th century.
On the other hand, if you’re a water bug like me, San Pedro would be ideal for you. Notably, the town of Ambergris Caye, where you’ll find the best views of the water no matter where you stay. I loved it there.

When it comes to the best places to stay in Belize, Selina offers culture-enriched hotels and resorts that are ideal for solo travelers. The solo and group-stay accommodations cater to a diverse array of travelers needs.

El Salvador

As the smallest country in Central America, El Salvador is nothing short of a wonder. If you are a keen explorer of beautiful landscapes with smoking volcanoes and pristine beaches, you’ll soon realise that for you, El Salvador is the best place to travel solo!

Things to Do at El Salvador

Below, you can find the best places to visit in El Salvador along with the list of things to do while you stay there.

More Mayan Ruins

The most impressive Mayan ruin in El Salvador is Tazumal, which was restored during the 1940s, and has since attracted visitors from all over the world. It was the center for trade during the Mayan era and there’s a small museum at the site that displays all the artifacts from that time.

You can also take a road trip to explore other surrounding archaeological sites such as San Andres and Joya de Ceren.

Go Surfing

El Tunco, El Salvador, is a world-class surfing destination, which attracts surfers from all around the globe. There, you can enjoy surfing magnificent waves in the early hours and later watch the stunning sunset on the beautiful stretch of sandy beach.

Best Places to Visit in El Salvador

Apart from beaches and volcanoes, you can also visit the surrounding towns, experience the rich culture, and indulge in some of El Salvador’s best restaurants.

Here are a few places that should impress you:

Suchitoto, El Salvador

Situated in the mountains, Suchitoto is a small town that overlooks a huge man-made lake known as “Lago Suchitlan, home to multiple migratory birds. It provides a fantastic opportunity to indulge in activities with the natives – Nahuat, and learn about their culture and history.

Parque National Cerro Verde

Volcanoes such as Izalco and Santa Ana are a beautiful and distinctive feature of El Salvador’s landscape. Not only are they best for hiking, but they also offer breathtaking aerial views of the villages at their foot like the village of Ruta de las Flores – so don’t forget your hiking shoes!

In all honesty, I could have spent much more time here than I did and I would definitely come back for a longer beach vacation. However, this time, that wasn’t the plan, and before long I was off to Honduras.

Honduras

When counting down the best places to travel solo in Central America, your list can’t be complete without the country of Honduras. Here you will come across abundant wildlife and vast natural parks – and the fact that it’s a lot more affordable than other destinations doesn’t hurt either.

Here is our pick of some of the best places to visit In Honduras;

Things to Do in Honduras

If you are a little lost on which activities to pursue during your stay at Honduras, have a look at the ones listed out below:

Ride a Zip Line Through Gracias

Get a breath-taking, bird’s eye view of the landscape with a thrilling zip-line ride through the forests, taking in the dense canopy that surrounds you. This activity should rank high up on your to-do list.

Go For Snorkeling

Your trip isn’t complete without snorkeling, and Parque Nacional Jeannette Kawas is the place to experience Honduras’ underwater world! Here you get to see howler monkeys in the nearby forests while you snorkel off the white sandy beach.

Best Places to Visit in Honduras

If you are interested in the history of the region, visiting the Copan Ruins is a must! The remnants of the ancient Mayan City are laden with ancient tunnels that can teach you about the ways of the civilizations that inhabited this region long before you stepped foot on it.

As for indulging in nature, you should visit Mary’s Place, Roatan. There are multiple dives where you can swim among the gorgeous coral formations of the Go Blue Bay Islands.

Also, the Lago de Yojoa – country’s largest lake, is hands down worth a visit. Known as the ‘hidden oasis,’ it is situated in the depression formed by the surrounding volcanoes and features some fantastic restaurants on its banks.

Where To Stay In Honduras?

The prices per night for the hotels and resorts here can reach well over $500. However, there are other options that are more affordable, like group-stay accommodations. Honduras can accommodate every type of traveler – be it a backpacker on a budget, or a tourist who’s willing to pay for the luxuries.

Guatemala

Situated south of Mexico, this country is home to many ancient Mayan sites, volcanoes, and dense rainforests.

Here is a long list of best places in Guatemala along with some exciting things that can make your visit a trip to remember:

Things to Do In Guatemala

Wondering what you can do in Guatemala? Look no further:

Take a Trip to Antigua Market

Antigua’s excursions include a visit to its famous market, which is colorful, chaotic, and full of beautiful local trinkets. The open-air market also sells fruits, vegetables and homemade crafts – this is the place where every traveler must go to experience the hustle of the locals.

Visit the Beaches at Monterrico

The beach of Monterrico is situated very close to Guatemala and Antigua – here you can catch some sun and hit the waves too if you like.

Best Places To Visit In Guatemala

There are many historical sites to discover in Guatemala. The lake of Atitlan has three volcanoes, and offers the best spots to watch mesmerizing sunsets. However, it’s not all about solitude and serenity. Nearby in the village of Panajachel, you’ll find many restaurants and bars that offer an exciting nightlife to the party-goers. Furthermore, the Semuc Champey, which consists of a 1000-foot long bridge, is an attractive tourist destination where you can take a candle-lit tour through Kamba and swim in its turquoise pools…. But these fantastic lakes and volcanoes in Antigua, Guatemala, aren’t the only thing worth your time.

The best places to visit in Guatemala are scattered throughout the region and are yours to discover – although these are the ones that are best for solo travelers. There are many additional remote spots to be explored, but that’s for another blog!

Where To Stay In Guatemala?

The hotels here vary from rustic, eco-friendly lodges to glorious 5-star infrastructures – so no matter what your tastes are, you’ll find comfortable lodging here. If you are looking for economical choices, plan your stay with Selina at our resorts situated in the prime locations of Antigua and Atitlan. We offer different types of accommodations for solo travel tours and even group tours. Guests love the fact that they can take advantage of the multiple shared spaces to be around others and engage with travelers if they choose. It is an enriching experience to be able to trade travel stories while relaxing on our grounds, at the bar, or getting some locally-sourced eats at our on-site restaurants.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is also one of the most popular destinations in Central America with its gorgeous beaches, wildlife, delicious food, and many adventures for solo travelers.

Below, you can find the best places in Costa Rica, along with some ideas on what activities you might try there.

Things to Do in Costa Rica

Add another dimension to your stay with these unmissable activities in Costa Rica:

Visit the La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Here you can see reptiles, hummingbirds, big cats, flowers, fish, butterflies and plenty of other attractions all in one place.

Go for Fishing

You’ll find a wide variety of fish here – Marlin, Wahoo, Snapper, and Sailfish, to name a few. You could also plan your fishing excursions as a multi-day activity.

Discover the Tree Tops

The Rainmaker Walkway was the first one to be built in Central America, and it is still considered one of the most picturesque aerial walkways in the region. It makes for a thrilling and rewarding adventure for solo travelers, allowing them to walk along a swaying bridge in the middle of the rainforest.

The Best Places in Costa Rica

Montverde

If you are fond of hiking, this is a beautiful hiking base situated in a forest cloud. While there, don’t forget to ask for a sample of the delicious coffee they serve!

Tortuguero National Park

A visit to the Tortuguero National Park is a must! The ride up the river will take you through the heart of the forest where you may have the chance to spot a green turtle – an endangered species unique to the region.

Puerto Viejo

If you happen to be a daring surfer, only then should you visit the city of Puerto Viejo – a beach wonderland located on the Caribbean Coast, home to some of the strongest tides in the country.

Where To Stay In Costa Rica?

If you are thinking about places to stay in Costa Rica, many hotels offer standard Wi-Fi, free breakfast deals, and a self-catering facility. You can also look for Selina properties – we offer accommodation in some of the most prime locations in the country, including Jaco, Monteverde, Puerto Viejo, San Jose, and more.

Some FAQs

What Is The Safest Country To Visit In Central America?

Costa Rica is considered to be the safest country in Central America for tourists.

Is Costa Rica Safer Than Mexico?

Yes, it is rated higher than Mexico for safety concerns.

Is Central America Cheap?

Yes, it is affordable for travelers as the daily suggested budget is $30 to $50.

Is Panama Safer Than Costa Rica?

Panama is generally safer than most U.S. cities, and very similar to Costa Rica.

Is Panama Safe For Solo Female Travellers?

Apart from some casual catcalling, Panama is generally safe for solo female travelers.

Is Guatemala Safe For Solo Female Travellers?

Yes, Guatemala is safe for solo female travelers as the locals tend to mind their own business and leave the travelers alone to enjoy and roam about.

The 13 Best Things To Do In Costa Rica

Costa Rica travel has something for everyone. There’s no denying that whatever your travel style, this country has exactly what you need to embark on an unforgettable adventure marked by adrenaline, outdoor exploration, and urban discoveries. However, no matter where you go, there’s no escaping Costa Rica’s untouched beauty and nature-based activities!

In this guide, we'll take a look at:

  • 1. Exploring Manuel Antonio National Park
  • 2. Trekking up Arenal Volcano
  • 3. Discovering Monteverde’s Cloud Forest Reserve
  • 4. Catching Waves in Nosara
  • 5. Spotting Crocodiles on Río Tárcoles
  • 6. Visiting Poas National Park
  • 7. Zip-lining in Monteverde
  • 8. Chasing After La Fortuna Waterfall
  • 9. Checking out Río Celeste & Tenorio Volcano National Park
  • 10. Sunbathing on Tortuga Island
  • 11. Whitewater Rafting on Río Pacuare
  • 12. Spotting Whales Off the Coast
  • 13. A Walking Tour of San José

Need to unwind? Costa Rica’s overflowing with secluded, picturesque spots perfect for reconnecting with your body, mind, and soul on the ultimate wellness break.
Catching waves more your thing? Costa Rica’s a world-renowned surf destination thanks to swell from both the Pacific and Caribbean coastlines. Nature-buff? As well as being home to 5% of the world’s wildlife species, it’s also one of the leading countries around the world for sustainable tourism.

From zip-lining through the jungles of Monteverde to hiking the impressive Arenal Volcano and spotting whales off the coast in Santa Teresa, here are thirteen things to do in Costa Rica that you simply can’t miss.

1. Exploring Manuel Antonio National Park

If you’re thinking of where to go in Costa Rica, look no further than Manuel Antonio National Park. Overflowing with biodiversity, white-sand beaches, and great jungle walks, the park is one of Costa Rica’s most-visited attractions for a reason: it’s basically paradise on earth. Although Manuel Antonio National Park is the smallest in the country, nothing compares to the native flora and fauna that call this place home. Keep your eyes peeled for 2 and 3-fingered sloths hanging from the trees, howler monkeys, deer, and all sorts of reptiles making their way through the lush jungle. In order to experience Manuel Antonio National Park to the fullest, I recommend jumping on a guided tour that will take you to all the best spots in the park. There are a few hostels located near Manuel Antonio Beach within the park, which means you can also stay close to the action if you’re planning on spending a few days in this nature haven.

Entrance fee: $16USD for adults, children under 12 don’t pay
Opening hours: Open Tuesday-Sunday from 7 AM to 4 PM
Best time to go: January-February to avoid heavy rainfall
How to get there: Take a bus from Quepos for under $1
Perfect for: Nature & wildlife enthusiasts

2. Trekking up Arenal Volcano

If flora and fauna aren’t your thing but you still want to experience the natural beauty of Costa Rica attractions, how about getting up close and personal with the country’s steamy side? Sixty dormant volcanoes and six active ones are dotted throughout the country. The crown jewel? The well-known Arenal volcano. Reaching the top only requires a comfortable hike, and the views from up above are absolutely breathtaking. Plus, there are also plenty of group tours that can take you around the park with expert local guides to help you navigate the terrain easily. A visit to Arenal Volcano is, without a doubt, one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica.

Entrance fee: $15USD for adult foreigners and $5USD for children
Opening hours: Open daily from 8 AM to 4 PM
Best time to go: December – April, during the dry season
How to get there: Take a bus from La Fortuna bus station for $5USD
Perfect for: Adventure lovers, nature enthusiasts

3. Discovering Monteverde’s Cloud Forest Reserve

One of 12 in the world, visiting Monteverde’s cloud forest is one of the best things to do in Costa Rica. With over 10,500 hectares, the reserve is teeming with local flora and fauna that changes depending on the landscape and climate; there are four different zones throughout the reserve, each with a small ecosystem of its own. In terms of exploring the reserve, there are different loops that visitors can walk through in order to admire the natural beauty of the reserve, which means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to spot white-faced monkeys, birds, and reptiles. Just remember to bring a rain jacket- the weather can be pretty wet at any time of the year! I also recommend hiring a guide if you want to spot all the wildlife along the way. Locals have become experts at spotting animals hiding in the treetops that are almost impossible to catch without a trained eye (or a scope)!

Entrance fee: $20USD for adult foreigners, children under 6 don’t pay
Opening hours: Open daily from 7 AM – 4 PM
Best time to go: Avoid national holidays to stay away from crowds
How to get there: Take a local bus from town for $2USD
Perfect for: Nature & wildlife enthusiasts

4. Catching Waves in Nosara

Surfers, rejoice! One of the best things to do in Costa Rica is heading to the beach for a day of catching waves alongside locals and travelers in Nosara. The great thing about surfing in Nosara is that the waves at spots like Playa Guiones are suitable for beginner and intermediate surfers, which means there’s no need to be intimidated if it’s your first time on the board! With clean left and right waves and year-round swell, Nosara is one of the top places to visit in Costa Rica for great surfing conditions no matter the season. Playa Guiones is also protected by locals from any gray and black water dumping, making the water extremely clean; and, with no buildings around the beachfront, this unique surf experience in Costa Rica is as natural as it gets.

Surf lessons & rentals: Group lessons are available starting from $65USD. Board rentals are also available starting from $20USD
Best time to go: December – April
How to get there: Depending on where you’re staying, you can either rent an ATV, ride your bicycle, or simply walk. Traveling between beaches is a little harder if you don’t have a vehicle, so choose your accommodation wisely!
Where to stay: With a prime location between Playa Pelada and Playa Guiones, the Selina hostel in Nosara, Costa Rica, is your best choice if you’re hoping to surf at either beach.
Perfect for: All-level surfers looking for thrills

5. Spotting Crocodiles on Río Tárcoles

On the way from San Jose to Jaco, there is a famous section of the Río Tárcoles that’s become famous with travelers for the scaly residents that enjoy sunbathing along the water. One of the best things to do in Costa Rica, a quick pit stop on the bridge above Río Tárcoles is a must for any crocodile lovers out there. With some of them chilling by the water – and others sneakily floating around – these crocs have become some of the region’s most famous locals. The best side to take a look is to the left of the bridge – when you’re coming in from San Jose – so park the car and wander over carefully to avoid stepping off into the busy road. But, whatever you do, remember not to feed the crocs! These guys have bite, so it’s best to simply watch from afar and let them go about their business.

Entrance fee: No fee, just make sure you’re on a taxi or bus that will make the stop
Best time to go: The crocodiles are there year-round, but it’s best to visit during low tide
How to get there: Travel by car from San José to Jaco
Perfect for: Animal lovers

6. Visiting Poas National Park

Easily accessible on a day-trip from San José, a visit to Poas Volcano and Poas National Park is one of the best things to do in Costa Rica if you’re only spending time close to the capital or your Costa Rica vacation is coming to an end. Home to the most acidic crater lake in the world, which gives the highly-toxic water an almost unreal turquoise color, Poas National Park is perfect for travelers who want to get some time out in nature and away from the bustle of San José. The park is also home to the widely talked about Poas Volcano – one of the most visited in the country. Considered to be the largest active crater in the world, the landmark is iconic with both locals and travelers who come to Costa Rica in search of biodiversity and stunning landscapes. It’s very important to note that tickets must be booked in advance if you’re visiting the park solo. If you’d like to avoid the hassle, simply jump on a tour and let them take care of the process for you.

Entrance fee: $15USD
Opening hours: Open daily from 8 AM – 3:30 PM
Best time to go: December – April during the dry season
How to get there: Travel by bus or car from San José for $3USD
Perfect for: Outdoor lovers and trekkers

7. Zip-lining in Monteverde

A day out that’s perfectly suited for adrenaline junkies, Monteverde is the country’s top destination for travelers hoping to get their heart racing with a dose of zip-lining deep within the Costa Rican jungle. Legend has it that Monteverde is actually the birthplace of the sport, which locals say they invented as a quick and easy way to deliver lunch to workers. True story or not, there’s no doubt that Monteverde is one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica to enjoy its most exciting adventures: from zip-lining to bungee jumping, this oasis truly has it all!

Entrance fee: Depending on the park, tickets start from $30USD
Opening hours: Depending on the park, opening hours and days can change
Best time to go: Best enjoyed during the dry season
How to get there: Use private transport from Monteverde
Perfect for: Adrenaline junkies & thrill-seekers

8. Chasing After La Fortuna Waterfall

The town of La Fortuna might be small, but there’s no doubt that it’s one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica if you’re looking for a nature-themed getaway. Located just outside of town, La Fortuna Waterfall is the perfect place for your adventure dreams to come together. With zip-lining available, as well as swimming in the pool that forms below, the incredible landmark is visited by locals and international travelers throughout the year. There are about 500 steps to reach the bottom of the waterfall – make sure you have walking shoes on since the walk can get very wet – but the way down is rewarded with incredible natural scenery and peeks at the waterfall rushing with power. Just make sure you save up enough energy for the climb back up!

Entrance fee: $18USD for adult foreigners and $5USD for children
Opening hours: Open daily from 7:30 AM – 4 PM
Best time to go: Swimming in the pool is easier during the dry season (December-April)
How to get there: Take a bus from La Fortuna bus station for $5USD
Perfect for: Nature lovers and thrill-seekers

9. Checking out Río Celeste & Tenorio Volcano National Park

Legend has it that this gorgeous river, located within the Tenorio Volcano National Park, got its turquoise color after God dipped his brush in the water while he was painting the sky. There are plenty of tours available, and the trek to the waterfall usually takes about an hour during which you’ll be constantly surrounded by a green jungle landscape and its accompanying wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for the monkeys jumping above your head! Seeing the river might be one of the best things to do in Costa Rica, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Once you make it to the waterfall, continue the trek through the park to visit the Blue Lagoon and the borbollones. Unfortunately, no swimming is allowed within the national park, so you’ll have to watch the water from afar and follow strict guidance from park employees to stay behind the fence at all times.

Entrance fee: $12USD for adults and $5USD for children
Opening hours: Open daily from 8 AM – 4 PM
Best time to go: June-July when the rain has stopped
How to get there: Book a private taxi from Tamarindo for $30-40USD
Perfect for: Nature lovers

10. Sunbathing on Tortuga Island

Located on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, Tortuga Island is a beach lover’s paradise. One of the best places to visit in Costa Rica, this stunning island has something for everyone, whether you prefer lounging on the beach or staying active. In order to enjoy the best of this stunning place, you’ll need to take a boat trip out to Tortuga Island. Once there, you can enjoy white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters that are perfect for snorkeling and exploring the area’s underwater world. There are also kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, jet skis, and pedal boats available to rent. Most tours also offer fresh lunch once on the island, which means you’ll be all set and your only worry will be where to soak up the sun. Make sure you bring extra water, though! The days can be hot and you don’t want to run out once there.

Entrance fee: Tours are available starting from $85USD
Best time to go: December – April makes for the best snorkeling conditions
How to get there: You’ll need to take a boat
Perfect for: Beach bums and water sport lovers

11. Whitewater Rafting on Río Pacuare

Not for the faint of heart, rafting on Río Pacuare, in Puerto Viejo, is one of the best things to do in Costa Rica if you’re all about adrenaline. Famous for its pristine beauty, the river is surrounded by lush green scenery and the sounds of wildlife deep within. The river itself is about 108 kilometers long and is world-famous for being one of the best places to go rafting in Costa Rica. The rapids make for a great adventure down the river, with a difficulty class that ranges between III and IV, and shouldn’t be attempted by anyone under the age of 12. Plus, the best part is you’ll be rewarded with nice calm waters – perfectly suitable for swimming – once the hard part is over.

Entrance fee: Tour prices depend on the company you choose. Some tours start at $100USD
Best time to go: For more action, go between May – December during the rainy season
How to get there: Tour companies offer pick-up and drop-off at your convenience
Perfect for: Adrenaline junkies

12. Spotting Whales Off the Coast

Like something straight out of a nature documentary, humpback whales can be easily spotted off the coast in Costa Rica, where they come to breed and raise their young. Humpback whales from two different regions travel to Costa Rica throughout the year: one group travels from the north (Alaska and California) and another group comes from the south (Antarctica). Although it’s possible to spot whales all along the coast, most of them tend to stick around the Southern Pacific, making this the most popular destination to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures, and one of the best things to do in Costa Rica if you’re hoping to connect with its natural inhabitants.

Entrance fee: Different tours are available, starting from $65USD
Best time to go: July – September & December – March
How to get there: Depending on where you stay, transport can be arranged to the boat
Perfect for: Wildlife and animal lovers

13. A Walking Tour of San José

City slickers need not to worry: San José, the country’s capital, also has plenty to offer while shying away from the nature-based aspect of most Costa Rica vacations. While most people tend to shy away from the city, a stay in San José means interacting with the locals and getting to know more about the country’s past. If you’re looking for a hostel in San Jose Costa Rica, Selina is a perfect choice. Located in the historic barrio Otoya, it’s close to all the major attractions the city has to offer.

The walking tours in San José are usually led by young, passionate locals who are eager to show visitors everything there is to see in San José: from historical monuments and some of the top Costa Rica attractions to hidden gem restaurants and great shopping spots. It’s the perfect way to see the city through a local’s eyes, which makes the visit all the more interesting and personal.

Entrance fee: Although free walking tours are available, donations are encouraged
Best time to go: Year-round
How to get there: Most tours have specific meeting points that are walking distance from your accommodation
Perfect for: History buffs and urban explorers

As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Costa Rica that are suited for every type of traveler, and you don’t have to go far in order to enjoy them.

Travel options like Selina offer group and private tours that can take you directly to the source of the fun, which means you won’t have to wander around town looking for the perfect option: it’s right outside your door! Plus, with accommodation options suited for every budget – like glam teepees and private apartments, just to name a few – you don’t have to sacrifice comfort while sticking within your means.

Ultimate Weekend in Brighton: Best Things to Do

Brighton might be a small city, but it certainly packs a punch. It’s an easy escape to the coast for Londoners and it’s quickly becoming a popular destination for travelers worldwide. Offering quirky culture, seaside recreation, and plenty of entertainment for visitors, here’s the ultimate weekend guide to Brighton.

In this guide, we'll take a look at:

  • 1. Best things to do in Brighton in a weekend
  • 2. How to Get to Brighton
  • 3. Where to stay in Brighton
  • 4. Brighton FAQ

Best things to do in Brighton in a weekend

Brighton Palace Pier

The Brighton Palace Pier is tough; it’s been standing for over a century. I mean, that’s pretty impressive. Though it has changed throughout the decades, the pier has still retained much of its vintage flair and wrought-iron details.

At the Brighton Palace Pier, enjoy modern rides and games along with an eye-grabbing rainbow carousel and a variety of restaurants, sweet kiosks, and drinks.

It has a lively feeling and it’s definitely a place to go when you want to feel good. Enjoying a pistachio ice cream while soaking up the views of Brighton is certainly an experience worth having on the pier.

Opening hours: Gates are open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily.
Entrance: Free

Coffee at Marwood Bar & Coffeehouse

A place which truly showcases the quirky and edgy vibes of Brighton, slurp down superb specialty coffee, tea, and cakes at Marwood Bar & Coffeehouse. Walk into a hidden treasure of eclectic trinkets with mannequin parts, posters galore, a fake shark head. . .and then you’ll just have to visit to find out the rest.

Plus, in true Brighton fashion, there’s also a music venue upstairs and colorful outdoor seating in a tucked away alley.

Their cappuccino is brilliant with thoughtful latte art to sum it up. Plus, they serve some pretty delicious brownies to go with the coffee.

Opening Hours:

Monday – 8am – 7pm
Tuesday – 8am – 11pm
Wednesday – 8am – 11pm
Thursday – 8am – 11pm
Friday – 8am – 11pm
Saturday – 9am – 11pm
Sunday – 10am – 7pm

Check out their menu here.

LGBTQ+ Walking Tour ‘Piers & Queers’

Brighton has long been recognized as the Gay Capital of the UK with rainbow flags scattered throughout the city, a huge gay pride festival every year, and queer-friendly nightclubs; those are just the highlights.

If you’re intrigued to learn more about how Brighton became the city it is today, book the LGBTQ+ ‘Piers & Queers’ walking tour, taking you through the city as you discover 200 years of history in under two hours.

The tour lasts 90 minutes and starts at Regency Square. There is limited capacity with only a maximum of 10 people per tour, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Tour Hours: Most Wednesdays – Sundays 1pm, on request
Price: £35 per person

The Lanes

Brighton is packed full of character and charm, and The Lanes are a prime example. Wander through The Lanes of Brighton and discover quaint cafés, vinyl record stores, art galleries, vintage shops, and cozy bookstores all nestled among the walls of 16th century architecture.

One of the best experiences I’ve had at The Lanes was stumbling on a record store and scoring a vintage vinyl of Elvis Presley’s ’68 Comeback Special—My favorite! I celebrated my wonderful victory with pints at a cozy beer garden around the corner.

You can easily spend an entire afternoon exploring these streets, making pit stops at small shops and beer gardens along the way. It’s certainly one of the best things to do in Brighton.

Brighton Beach

Soak up some sun or walk along the shoreline at Brighton Beach. Located next to the pier, this lovely pebbled beach is a great spot for sunbathing, gathering with friends, or looking for seashells. Plus, bars and clubs keep the waterfront lively well into the night.

Though it may not always be ideal weather to slip into your swimsuit, it’s still a popular meeting spot for friends, families, and lovers. It’s nice to come and get some sun, stare out at the water, and immerse yourself with the good company.

Royal Pavilion

Once a royal residence for the Prince of Wales, this palace is striking with its white onion domes and minarets, built over 200 years ago. Visitors are welcome to tour the interior and learn more about the fascinating history of the Brighton Palace. Discover the intricate ceilings and chandeliers of the Music Room, explore a 19th century royal kitchen, get a close look at the prince’s treasures, and so much more.

Opening hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily.
Entrance: £15.50 for adults, £9.50 for children 5-18, £7.75 for Brighton & Hove residents
Pro tip: Arrive early to avoid crowds as it can get busy during the afternoons.

The Preston Park Rockery

Venture out of Brighton’s city centre and head to the city’s most beautiful park called the Preston Park Rockery, also known as the Rock Gardens. The park is so loved that it was even named the Best Park in England in 2016. However, it’s still quite the hidden gem; a lot of tourists still don’t know about this delightful hideaway.

So, what’s so special about the Rock Gardens? This small two-acre park is the largest municipal rock garden in the UK and is filled with ponds and rock paths, along with 25,000 English bluebells, making it a garden of biodiversity with a variety of insects and birds.

It’s a dream to come and wander around the rock paths, discovering cosy spots to sit and soak up Brighton’s nature. An afternoon here should certainly be on your Brighton bucket list.

The Preston Park Rockery is open all day, every day and entrance is free. You can walk or take the train to London Road Brighton Station.

Catch the sunset at Brighton Beach

Catching the sunset at Brighton Beach is one of the best things to do in Brighton. Play cards, tell stories, and soak up the ambiance while you watch the sun setting over the English Channel. You can even invite your new travel buddies from Selina to join!

Remember to check the sunset times while you are visiting. In summer, the sun sets in Brighton around 9pm most days.

How to Get to Brighton

From London: The best way to get to Brighton from London is by train. The main operators to Brighton are Thameslink and Southern. Conveniently, there are trains about every 10 minutes.

London Victoria to Brighton – 52 minutes direct
London Bridge to Brighton – 58 minutes direct
London St. Pancras to Brighton – 1 hour 16 minutes direct
Its close distance and frequent train times make a weekend in Brighton an ideal trip from London.

From Europe: You can either take a train into the UK via Eurostar or book a flight.

By train: Take the Eurostar to London St. Pancras and then transfer over to a direct train to Brighton from the same station.

By plane: The best airport to fly into when traveling to Brighton is London Gatwick. It’s an easy 30-minute train ride into the city.

Where to stay in Brighton

Selina is a travel hub for creative locals, digital nomads, and wanderers from around the globe. Their quirky-cool Brighton location offers a variety of accommodation options from stylish ensuites to comfortable community rooms with private curtains and storage.

Selina isn’t just like a regular hotel or hostel! With a room for every budget, they attract a diverse crowd so whether you’re staying productive at the cowork or having a beer at the bar, it’s a great base for getting to know like-minded people. On-site features include a gorgeous sea view restaurant, comfortable co-work spaces, a quirky bar, a late-night venue, and even a cozy movie room!

Brighton FAQ

What can you do for free in Brighton? There are plenty of free things to do in Brighton. Walk along Brighton Beach, visit the Brighton Palace Pier, or wander The Lanes or Preston Park Rockery.

What is there to see in Brighton? Brighton is a popular destination in England. The Royal Pavilion, Brighton Beach, Brighton Palace Pier with rides, restaurants, and entertainment, plus the colorful Hove Beach Huts are just a few of the things to see in Brighton.

How far is Brighton from London? London Victoria to Brighton takes approximately 52 minutes.

Where can I go in Brighton at night? Visit bars and nightclubs along the beach, go on a fun-filled pub crawl, watch the sunset, or catch a show at the Brighton Music Hall.

Is Brighton worth visiting? Absolutely, yes! From its quirky culture and interesting architecture to its lovely beach and pier, Brighton is an amazing city to visit in England.