Top 25 Things to Do in La Fortuna Costa Rica

Ready for an epic adventure? La Fortuna Costa Rica is the perfect place to experience the thrill of waterfall jumping or try your hand at canyoning. Extreme sports get tons of attention here, but La Fortuna is also the ideal escape for those who long for a relaxing break. Part peaceful getaway, part adrenaline junkie paradise, it’s an incredible place to experience life at your own pace.

  • 1. A Quick Introduction to La Fortuna
  • 2. Get Familiar with Arenal National Park
  • 3. Climb a Live Volcano
  • 4. Enjoy Endless Hiking Trails
  • 5. Go Mountain Biking
  • 6. Check Out the Hanging Bridges
  • 7. Discover Lake Arenal
  • 8. See the Jungle from Above
  • 9. See How Coffee is Grown
  • 10. Go on a Safari Float
  • 11. Try Your Hand at Canyoning
  • 12. See Selvatura Park
  • 13. Relax at Arenal Hot Springs
  • 14. Experience the Jungle at Night
  • 15. Go Underground
  • 16. Jump from Waterfalls
  • 17. Go Horseback Riding
  • 18. Ride a Sky Tram
  • 19. Take a Side Trip to Tortuguero National Park
  • 20. Experience the Thrill of Whitewater Rafting
  • 21. Try Whitewater Tubing
  • 22. Safari by Kayak or Raft
  • 23. Satisfy Cravings with a Chocolate Tour
  • 24. Take Flight on a Zip Line
  • 25. Feast on Local Fare
  • 26. Treat Yourself to a Massage
  • 27. How to Get To La Fortuna
  • 28. Best Time to Visit La Fortuna
  • 29. FAQs

A Quick Introduction to La Fortuna

La Fortuna may be a small town with a quiet atmosphere, but don’t let the peaceful surroundings fool you. Whether you’re a dedicated adrenaline junkie or if you’re simply hoping to unwind and enjoy Costa Rica’s laid-back side, you’ll find that there are tons of unusual things to do in La Fortuna.

So, why make this community your home while vacationing or traveling the world digital nomad style? Staying In La Fortuna gives you endless opportunities for trekking through exotic landscapes and experiencing the rush of whitewater adventures. It’s also the perfect place for reenergizing yourself with spa treatments and long, lazy soaks in natural hot springs..

These are just a few ways to make the most of your trip. Here’s our list of 25 of the best things to do in La Fortuna.

Get Familiar with Arenal National Park

Arenal National Park is second to none! With a live volcano, a massive lake, curious monkeys, and more than 500 bird species, it’s the perfect place to experience La Fortuna’s wild, natural beauty. There are quite a few things to do in Arenal Costa Rica, so consider setting a day aside to explore.

Climb a Live Volcano

If your plans include climbing Arenal volcano, you’re in for the adventure of a lifetime. Your Arenal volcano tour will start around 5:30 a.m., and you’ll stop at bases that offer sweeping views of La Fortuna and the surrounding area. Don’t worry – the route is beautiful and you’ll feel perfectly safe! Guided Arenal volcano climbing tours stop short of the summit as hot gas and steam make the active caldera unsafe to enter.

Selina La Fortuna

Selina La Fortuna is at the heart of this agricultural town, surrounded by restaurants, hotels, cultural hotspots, and sweeping views of the Arenal Volcano. This natural haven offers something for everyone, so whether you’re looking for adrenaline-induced adventure or want to enjoy the outdoors at your own pace- we’ll help you experience the best of Costa Rica!

Enjoy Endless Hiking Trails

Lace up your boots and stretch your legs, because there’s no shortage of hiking in Arenal national park and the surrounding area. Try a La Fortuna waterfall hike that winds through lush jungle landscapes. For something completely unique, take a guided Arenal volcano hike tour. Here, you’ll cross fields of black lava rocks and deep canyons before making your way to the Arenal Observatory for an amazing view of the valley below.

Go Mountain Biking

Come face to face with Costa Rican wildlife as you pedal through lush landscapes, eventually making your way to the shore of Lake Arenal, the perfect spot to unwind with a relaxing swim! Most mountain bike tours are beginner-friendly, with plenty of flat terrain and a few short hills.

Check Out the Hanging Bridges

The arenal hanging bridges tour winds its way through a beautiful nature preserve. Fourteen bridges mean views of lush canyons, and well-maintained trails lead the way to La Fortuna waterfall. A short hike takes you to a crystal-clear pool, where you’re welcome to enjoy a refreshing swim!

Discover Lake Arenal

For jaw-dropping views of Lake Arenal National Park from the water, head for Costa Rica’s largest lake. Located just 10 miles from La Fortuna, Lake Arenal Costa Rica covers 33 square miles plus, it’s a hub for all things water-related. Whether it’s kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding or renting a pedal board if you’re up for an unusual adventure, we’ve got you covered…

See the Jungle from Above

La Fortuna is home to the best canopy tour Costa Rica has to offer, complete with spectacular sights and the sounds of birds calling. High in the treetops, you’ll make your way from one platform to another, encountering wildlife as you go. No special skills are required for this Arenal canopy adventure since every tour begins with instructions for safe navigation.

See How Coffee is Grown

If java is your lifeblood, you’ll have a whole new appreciation for it after experiencing a Costa Rica coffee tour. Besides an up-close encounter with the plants that make these delicious beans possible, you’ll learn about the history of coffee, its role in Costa Rican culture, and of course, tasting is part of the tour too!

Go on a Safari Float

Guided safari floats take you deep into the jungle, where you’ll see sleepy sloths and curious monkeys peeking out from hiding spots among the trees. If you’re lucky, you may even catch sleepy iguanas, river turtles, and crocodiles posing for photos along the river’s edge.

Try Your Hand at Canyoning

Get the ultimate adrenaline rush! Canyoning La Fortuna Costa Rica is all about steep rappels and thrilling zipline rides, plus a scenic 4×4 trek. You’ll get wet and dirty on this adventure, but don’t worry: You can hop into dry clothes in private change rooms once your tour comes to an end. Canyoning is an unforgettable experience, topping the list of the most exciting things to do in La Fortuna.

See Selvatura Park

Experience the unique beauty of Costa Rica’s cloud forest with a side trip to Selvatura Park, located near Monteverde. With 850 acres to explore, it features butterfly and hummingbird gardens, hanging bridges, zipline canopy tours and more.

Relax at Arenal Hot Springs

For natural hot springs, La Fortuna is next to impossible to beat. While there are many different hot springs to experience throughout the area, Baldi Hot Springs is among the best. Here, crystalline waterfalls plunge into 25 warm, pure thermal water pools. Meals and light refreshments are available in case you’d like to spend all day floating in dreamy blue water.

Don’t worry if you’re a little short on time. Many tours and packages end with a visit to a La Fortuna hot springs resort – perfect for relaxing at the end of an adventurous day, and one of the best things to do in Arenal Costa Rica!

Experience the Jungle at Night

After dark, the jungle takes on a whole new life. Guided tours bring nature lovers face to face with nocturnal wildlife. Try the Peñas Blancas Nocturnal Safari Float for an up-close look at monkeys, long-nosed bats, caimans, and more.

Go Underground

Be on the lookout for bats and other cave-dwelling creatures as you cool off with an excursion to Venado caves, where massive stalactites and stalagmites wait around every turn. The caverns stretch for about 2,700 meters, winding their way through the dry remains of ancient seabed and underground rivers. Be sure to put a Costa Rica cave tour on your itinerary if you’re looking for unusual things to do in La Fortuna. Top tip: packing swimwear and a change of clothing is a must.

Jump from Waterfalls

Experience an extreme adrenaline rush with a La Fortuna waterfall tour that includes multiple leaps into secret swimming holes. The adventure begins with a heart-pounding rappel down the face of a 140-foot rainforest waterfall and a drop into a deep pool of crystal-clear water. There’s nothing else like it!

Go Horseback Riding

Saddle up and see the landscape from a different vantage point. Some tours include only horseback riding La Fortuna, and others are complete packages that include zip line adventures, relaxing hot springs experiences, and more. If you’re interested in places that are tough to access by foot, be sure to put a horseback ride on your list of things to do in Arenal Costa Rica.

Ride a Sky Tram

Discover a unique way to get in touch with the nature that surrounds La Fortuna Costa Rica: Take in soaring volcanic vistas and see the jungle from above. The Arenal Sky Tram treats you to treetop views from the comfort of an open-air gondola.

Take a Side Trip to Tortuguero National Park

Unforgettable wildlife encounters make Costa Rica’s Tortuguero National Park a must-visit for nature lovers. Easygoing sloths, mischievous monkeys, colorful toucans, and river-dwelling crocodiles are just a few of the animals waiting to greet you. Plus, if you visit between July and October, you’ll encounter sea turtles nesting on the park’s pristine beaches.

Experience the Thrill of Whitewater Rafting

La Fortuna white water rafting is an unforgettably extreme experience. Guides and safety equipment are part of the package, and most tours give you the opportunity to stop for refreshments and a swim. Depending on the season, you may encounter rapids between classes 1 and 4.

Try Whitewater Tubing

Not a fan of paddling? No problem. You can experience the rush of whitewater rafting while riding on your own inflatable tube. This guided adventure takes place on the Balsa River, where ledges and holes create class 1 & 2 rapids that provide a bouncy ride through gorgeous surroundings.

Safari by Kayak or Raft

Kayaking La Fortuna Costa Rica is like nothing else. As you slowly make your way down the Peñas Blancas River, you’ll encounter an array of animals including sloths, monkeys, toucans, and long-legged herons. Other kayak adventures are available at Lake Arenal and on whitewater rapids.

Satisfy Cravings with a Chocolate Tour

This is where the magic happens: On a La Fortuna chocolate tour, you’ll see how bitter cacao is transformed into sweet, delicious goodness, plus you’ll have the opportunity to try your hand at blending chocolatey treats for yourself. Delicious samples are part of the package.

For a guilt-free experience, try an excursion that pairs an activity like whitewater rafting or a La Fortuna waterfall hike with a chocolate tour. If a day of laid-back fun is on your list, look for a tour that combines coffee and chocolate with or without other included activities. Both are among the most popular things to do in La Fortuna.

Take Flight on a Zip Line

Mount Arenal zip line tours are like nothing else on earth. You’ll have your pick of several including Sky Limit, which combines a full range of challenging activities into one heart-pounding adventure. Soar high above the ground on the zipline, scream through the trees on the Tarzan swing, tiptoe across narrow rope bridges, and more. Many popular tour packages combine ziplining with other activities, so you can pack plenty of excitement into a single day.

Feast on Local Fare

From little roadside stands to the best restaurants in La Fortuna Costa Rica, there are tons of delicious options to tempt your taste buds. In all, La Fortuna is home to more than 100 restaurants that offer everything from high-end cuisine to local specialties such as gallo pinto, casados, and arroz con pollo.

Treat Yourself to a Massage

If a relaxing Swedish massage is your idea of the perfect way to unwind after a day of exciting activities, you won’t be disappointed. La Fortuna day spas offer a full range of services that leave you feeling refreshed and ready for whatever lies ahead.

How to Get To La Fortuna

La Fortuna is located in the northwest region of Costa Rica, at the base of Mount Arenal. Many travelers arrive here by way of San Jose, which is just a three-hour drive away. Buses and shuttles run from San Jose to La Fortuna several times each day. Rental cars are an option, as well.

You can also get to La Fortuna from Punta Arenas, Tilaran, or Monte Verde. There are quite a few options for ground travel, and for those who want to save time, national flights into the Arenal / La Fortuna airport are available.

Best Time to Visit La Fortuna

When to visit La Fortuna? We’re glad you asked. While the rainy season has its upsides, most people prefer to come during the dry season, which starts in December and runs through April. This is also the busiest time of year.

If you’re hoping for a combination of good weather and smaller crowds, consider visiting La Fortuna during the shoulder season, which runs from May through mid-August. It rains more during these months but there’s also some sun on most days and the freshly watered landscape is an incredible sight.

FAQs

Q: What is there to do in La Fortuna?

A: There are plenty of things to do in La Fortuna Costa Rica, so there’s never a dull moment: Explore the jungles, try extreme sports like canyoning, take a canopy tour, or climb Mount Arenal. Check out our complete list for 25 suggestions.

Q: How far is La Fortuna from Arenal Volcano?

A: It’s about 10 miles from La Fortuna to the Arenal Volcano entrance.

Q: What can you do at Arenal National Park?

A: Climb Arenal volcano, hike short trails that lead to lava fields and lookout points, or simply enjoy the lush natural surroundings, where you can encounter birds and wildlife.

Q: How long is the La Fortuna waterfall hike?

A: The La Fortuna waterfall hike and swim experience takes about 2 hours. There’s a hanging bridge to cross and 500 steps down to the waterfall’s pool.

Where to Stay: Hotels in La Fortuna

When it comes to Hotels, La Fortuna offers lots of options. Those looking for a luxurious experience will enjoy five-star hotels that offer spas and fine dining. Adventurers in search of a comfortable getaway have plenty of budget-friendly choices too!

At Selina La Fortuna, there are options for everyone, all in stunning surroundings: Get closer to nature in one of our unique teepees, feel at home in a comfy suite, or share a community room with fellow adventurers. Chill by the pool, sip your morning coffee on one of the terraces, and treat yourself to wellness activities like yoga and sound therapy. There’s plenty of coworking space in case productivity is part of your plan, plus there’s an onsite bar where cold beer and cocktails pave the way for relaxation.

With so many things to do in La Fortuna, it’s easy to create the perfect itinerary. Still planning? Check out other Costa Rica experiences. Beautiful beaches and world-class surfing await around Nosara, Jaco, Tamarindo, and Santa Teresa. Manuel Antonio is a getaway every nature lover ought to take at least once. If you’re looking for something completely different, you’ll love the way Puerto Viejo puts you in touch with Costa Rica’s Caribbean side. Whether you’re a thrill seeker, a nature lover, or a combination of the two, this is the perfect place to be.

Selina La Fortuna

Selina La Fortuna is at the heart of this agricultural town, surrounded by restaurants, hotels, cultural hotspots, and sweeping views of the Arenal Volcano. This natural haven offers something for everyone, so whether you’re looking for adrenaline-induced adventure or want to enjoy the outdoors at your own pace- we’ll help you experience the best of Costa Rica!

The Best Online Courses To Take While You’re Stuck At Home

Let’s face it: times like these are lacking motivation.

Whether you’re stuck on a project while you work from home, or you can’t find the drive to get off the couch, it’s safe to say that most people around the world are in the exact same boat. Mornings start late, lunch breaks happen four times a day, and evenings turn into a Netflix marathon that drags on until your eyes can’t handle it.

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

  • 1. Sign up for free online classes, just for fun!
  • 2. Learn how to code using some of the best online courses for web development
  • 3. Prepare for future travels with some free online language lessons
  • 4. Strum along with online music lessons
  • 5. Taste the world with some cooking lessons online
  • 6. Learn how to capture the best moments with an online digital photography course

All this time at home is the perfect opportunity to dive inside the world of online learning and online educational platforms. While these options have been around for a few years, there’s been a significant increase in the number of students enrolled and in the type of courses offered. Let’s call this a “silver lining” – and, boy, do we need those!

These online learning platforms have become a staple in the world of many digital nomads, and they’ve helped cement the idea that working or learning from afar – no matter how far that is – has more upsides than most people think.

So, why not make the most of all this free time at home by learning something new? How about maybe even becoming a nomad yourself? Because, let’s be honest, this is the perfect time to maximize on various skills that might make you a more desirable remote worker once all this blows over.

Sounds good, right? I thought it would. Here are a few options you can check out, depending on what you’re in the mood for.

 

Sign up for free online classes, just for fun!

No matter what the little kid inside your head keeps saying, learning can be done for fun! This rings especially true when your days are spent going from the bedroom to the living to the kitchen and back. Exercise your brain and get the ball rolling by enrolling in some of the best online courses out there.

Websites like Coursera, Udemy, EdX, to name a few, have become increasingly popular platforms for students to learn about – and I’m not exaggerating – whatever they like. With thousands of online courses available, most of them accredited to some of the top universities in the world, people worldwide can tune in to lectures about Greek mythologysuperheroes and their impact on pop culturelearning how to learnand even the science of beer.

Another great choice for these trying times? A course that teaches you to be happy! Yale’s most popular class, The Science of Well-Being, takes students on a journey within themselves, and lectures them about the true meaning of joy, the mind games the brain plays that lead them to believe they’re unhappy, and how to build a more productive lifestyle. This class has been lauded as one of the best online courses out there, and the lessons seem fitting for a moment like this.

Now, for all you die-hard scholars out there, there are also tons of online classes that could prove helpful in order to further advance your career. Whether you’re looking to learn more about marketing, data analytics, business and finance or healthcare management, there’s a 99% chance you’ll find a course that will teach you something new about the field you work in. Broadening your knowledge might even give you bonus points when applying for your next job or returning to your previous position after the quarantine ends.

Plus, the other great thing about these online courses is that they’ll also help push you in the right direction if you’ve been looking for new ways to finally live out the coveted digital nomad fantasy! They’re a great way to expand your horizons, broaden your knowledge, and increase your chances of switching up that 9-5 for a career on the roadAll in all, by improving your skills during lockdown, you’re basically preparing yourself for a work-travel lifestyle that’s looking better and better by the minute.

Learn how to code using some of the best online courses for web development

If you’ve been wanting to give coding a try, now might be the perfect chance. There are currently hundreds and hundreds of online resources aimed at helping the average person code up a storm. One of the best online courses you can take? CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science. Taught by Harvard University, the online class is a basic introduction to the “art of programming”, designed for coders and non-coders alike. According to experts, this is one of the best courses you can take in terms of cost (it’s free!) and the information you receive.

Signing up for an online coding academy is also a great way of loading up on some extra knowledge that can open the doors for a career change in the future. Nowadays, most coders and web developers have the incredible opportunity of working from wherever they want. Wouldn’t you want to spend the rest of your days working remotely from dreamy locations like MonteverdeMedellín or Maderas?

Plus, learning the basics on your own will make hands-on coding camp experiences, like the Selina Coding Bootcamp in sunny Panama, all the more worth it. This three-month experience is dedicated to learning all the necessary skills to become a full-stack web developer. Working alongside a coding specialist, you’ll also put your knowledge to the test by partnering up with local NGOs and business owners to help them improve their presence online. Not only do you have the opportunity to do good, but you’ll also leave camp with a hefty portfolio to showcase your talents.

Prepare for future travels with some free online language lessons

When life goes back to normal, a lot of people out there will be looking for ways to shake off the quarantine blues. A 2-week trip abroad, a short road trip to a nearby town, a full-on 6 month excursion…the possibilities will seem endless! In order to be prepared for an international getaway, why not take the time to learn a new language? It’s a win-win! You’ll be expanding your knowledge and, at the same time, you’ll also learn how to order that extra-large cocktail you’re dreaming of sipping by the beach.

Apps like Duolingo are perfect for beginner learners, plus they’re also easy to access, and have tons of fun challenges that will keep you busy and on-track. Their mascot will be sure to let you know when you’re slipping, and with so much free time, there’s no excuse if you don’t complete your daily lesson.

Another great platform is HelloTalk. Not only does the language app put you in touch with a native speaker, but you also have the opportunity to connect with someone new outside of your living room. In times like these, even virtual connections are a godsend.

Strum along with online music lessons

If finding solace in academic learning isn’t for you, how about a more practical experience? With concert halls and music venues shutting down, all this quietness might seem deafening. But have no fear, online music lessons are here.

For all you future and stay-at-home rockstars, Fender is giving away three months of free online guitar lessonsThe coronavirus lockdown seems like the ideal time to get back into that old hobby, and what better way than do it while you learn from one of the biggest names in the business?

If guitars aren’t your thing, I suggest heading over to YouTube. The video platform has long been a space for musicians to share simple tutorials with viewers worldwide. Chances are, whether you’re looking to learn the piano, the flute, or the ukulele, there’s a longtime pro out there with a step by step guide ready to help you do it.

While I can’t promise these will make you a professional musician, I can promise they’ll help you pass the time and get those creative juices flowing. Just try and be weary of your neighbors. They’re locked at home too, and they don’t necessarily want a symphony of noise while they go about their day.

Taste the world with some cooking lessons online

Now, moving forward with hands-on learning, if there’s one thing everyone should know for a period of self-isolation it’s how to cook a decent meal. While pasta and junk food might seem like a good idea for the first few days, rest assured even the most delicious bowl of tomato sauce and cheese won’t cut it forever. Luckily, chefs and restaurants have come to the rescue!
One place to start? The Borough Market Community on Facebook. Created by London’s famous Borough Market, the new page was created for people who wanted to learn how to cook while stuck at home – much like yourself. There you’ll find recipes, tips, and videos that will teach you how to prepare delicious and easy meals at home. They’ve also started to stream live cooking classes, so grab a bowl, a spoon and get stirring!

With so many restaurants closing down for the time being, chefs are also making the most of their free time and giving the people what they crave. Food personalities like Massimo Bottura and Antoni Porowski have taken to Instagram to share quick tips and tasty homemade recipes with their followers.

Learn how to capture the best moments with an online digital photography course

We’re all looking forward to the day when travel bans are lifted and it’s once again safe to go about our adventures. When that day comes, you’re going to want to be prepared for it. So, why not take up photography and videography as a quarantine hobby? You might leave the house a pro!

Online platforms like SkillShare offer some of the best online digital photography courses out there. Made for beginner, intermediate and even professional photographers, these online classes teach everything from framing to editing, and they’re packed with top tips that will help take your passion to the next level. Want to know the best part? Some of them are free! All you need is a camera – or your phoneif you’re into that – and a desire to tell a story.

Plus, who knows? A few months of testing and learning could lead to a very coveted spot in the Selina Film ResidencyTravel, create and stay, all for free? Yes, please! The program offers photographers and filmmakers the chance to stay for free at any of the Selina locations in exchange for content. If you believe your inspiration peaks while you’re on the road and you’re constantly on the hunt for new adventures, this is the perfect chance to bring incredible stories to life!

Quarantine days might seem endless, but I recommend them turning them on their head with a little help from the internet. There are so many different resources out there to try – more than could ever fit into a list – and this is definitely the perfect moment to do so.

Broaden your horizons, try out that thing you’ve always wanted to try, and take time to grow yourself for yourself. Who knows? You might even discover a new career path in the midst of it all.

Selina Madalena 4,4

It’s windy. The cool breeze of the ocean. It gives, a sense of beauty, in motion. All is flowing, rushing and tide-And I sit in wonder, dreaming beside.

Four Ways To Enjoy Culture Online During Self-Isolation

Although the situation worldwide might have forced most museums, galleries, and theaters to shut down temporarily, that doesn’t mean the fun has to end. And although looking for culture online is nothing truly “groundbreaking”, it’s a fact that more and more of these venues have discovered new ways to share a unique experience with users all around the world. Places like the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Royal Opera House in London, and the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, to name a few, have joined forces with online platforms to make part of their collections available to users online. They’ve all gone digital!

  • 1. Love art? Enjoy an online museum tour...
  • 2. Craving music? Livestream a concert or show...
  • 3. Missing the classics? Watch opera and ballet online...
  • 4. Cabin fever? Enjoy these wildlife & outdoor cameras...

Got no plans for the day? Looking for a way to unwind and disconnect? It’s OK to take a break if life is getting too much, and what better way to do so than by appreciating some of the world’s finest works of art?! Just sit back, relax, and plug into the world of live concert streaming and online museum tours!

Here are four ways to enjoy culture online, all from the comfort of your living room during these tough times of self-isolation.

Love art? Enjoy an online museum tour…
Visiting a museum at this time is out of the question. Like I said, most of them have closed their doors and are keeping employees and visitors safe by urging them to stay at home. Now, although this might seem like the end for all you culture lovers out there, I’m here to say: “ There’s still hope!”

How, you ask? In the form of the now-popular online museum! Big names like Art Basel and the Museum of Modern Art are encouraging people to interact with their exhibits and the artwork online. Through new virtual rooms, interactive magazines, and various forms of social media content, these two museums have become pioneers in creating new ways to help people enjoy and interact with culture online. No crowds, no lines, and no crazy ticket prices. Let’s call this a win in the face of adversity.

Want more? You’ve got it! Step inside the Guggenheim Museum in New York without leaving your seat, and marvel at its architecture while you virtually explore some of the exhibits. Once you’re done, pop over to the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, also located in the Big Apple, for a look at their online experience. Zoom in, zoom out, click here, and click there. Once you’re satisfied, travel south to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, and continue your journey down to the Museu de Arte de São Paulo in Brazil.

If all this traveling has made you thirsty, put on the kettle as you settle in for a journey across the pond to The National Gallery in London. Also, while you’re here, why not hop on over to the Musée du Louvre in Paris? The world is your oyster! And, thankfully, the options are never-ending…

Another benefit to exploring museums and culture online is that you’re allowed to dig even deeper. The Google Arts & Culture tool, for example, lets you get up close and personal with many famous works of art. How close? Really, really, close. Click on your favorite piece and get an in depth look at the brush strokes, the colors, and all the teeny-tiny details you might have missed in person. This almost beats the real thing, don’t you think?

Craving music? Livestream a concert or show…
Not only have museums shut their doors, but so have most music venues. Festivals, concerts and more have all been postponed due to the coronavirus, but musicians and organizers are getting creative and finding more ways to share music culture online.

The Selina International Music Summit, or SIMS, for example, has gone fully digital to give listeners what they need: a good dose of music. With daily performance streams available via Facebook Live, the SIMS team is keeping spirits high during these tough times. Stay home, stay connected, and embark on a musical journey with artists performing live from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, the UK, Tel Aviv, and more! Plus, participate in panels, workshops, and editorials hosted from around the globe.

Other big names in the music industry are also taking to social media to put on stripped back shows for their followers. Keep your eyes peeled for the many announcements that have started to pour in, and check out some of your favorites’ profiles for the chance to take part in a very special performance.

You know what they say: the show must go on.

Missing the classics? Watch opera and ballet online…
If you’re a fan of the old school, you’ll be happy to know that the Metropolitan Opera has your back during these trying times. How? With an opera streaming repertoire that’s available for free every night! Watch these special performances in your comfiest sweatpants – or don your best “opera night” attire – and enjoy classics like Die Walküre or Il Barbiere di Siviglia without ever leaving the couch.

Fans of the ballet will also be delighted to know that the Royal Opera House in London will host Facebook “Watch Parties” every Wednesday for aficionados looking to learn more about famous performances and behind the scenes stories. Plus, they’ll also screen select performances for free via their social media channels.

Cabin fever? Enjoy these wildlife & outdoor cameras…
And now, if you ask me, the toughest part about self-isolation is being away from nature itself. A quick walk down to the park was always a great way to release tension. But, how can you do that now if you’re confined to staying inside the four walls of your apartment? Wildlife cameras might be the way out!

Depending on what you’re into, wildlife reserves worldwide are giving viewers a sneak peek into the daily shenanigans of their animals. If you have a thing for gorillas in the wild, the GRACE Center in Kasugho, DRC, is here to help you live out the dream of watching them closely from a very safe distance. Meanwhile, South Africa’s Tembe Elephant Park, located on the border with Mozambique, offers a unique look at these gentle giants going about their day, as well as leopards, warthogs and more. Keep the volume up for a symphony of chirps, growls and splashes!

If you’re dreaming of warm climates and crystal-clear waters, take a trip to the Caribbean with the Cayman Reef Cam. Think of this as your private virtual aquarium with fish galore, untouched reefs, and curious critters. The best part? You don’t need to hold your breath to see them! All these and more are available to stream 24/7, and they’re a great way to keep you from going stir crazy for the next couple of days.

Another cure for your outdoor withdrawal? Google Street View! And, trust me, this option is a lot better than it sounds for exploring culture online.

If your dreams of visiting Machu Picchu got a little side-tracked, why not jump on Google and tour the grounds while you wait for the real deal? Or how about a quick stop at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City? Or a walk along the shore at Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro? The great thing about traveling online is that you can go around the world in the time it takes to brew a cup of coffee. And, although these might not be the real deal, they are the perfect inspiration fuel for all of the adventures soon to come.

Best Way to Get From Medellin to Cartagena

Colombia’s best cities of Medellin & Cartagena are full of fascinating contrasts. That’s why when you pitch up in either of these towns, the thought of finding out what the other one offers becomes almost inevitable.

  • 1. How far is Medellin to Cartagena?
  • 2. How to Travel from Medellin to Cartagena-By Bus
  • 3. By Plane
  • 4. Car rental
  • 5. FAQs

Fittingly nicknamed “La Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera” (Spanish for the City of Eternal Spring), the reborn city of Medellin is chiseled between two ridges of the Andes mountains. Its “paradisal,” year-round summery weather, the smoke-swathed street stalls serving empanada with chili sauce, and its vibrant nightlife are among other reasons why this city is unmissable.

On the other hand, Cartagena de Indias is a beachside gem nested on Colombia’s Caribbean sea. This is an exceptionally charming colonial city with ice-cream colored ancient buildings and cobblestone streets. This romantic, beachside gem has now become a must-visit destination for most Americans and Canadians due to its rich history and tropical flavors.

Cartagena has a modern tourist part, too. The neighborhood of Bocagrande (15 minutes from the old town) is reminiscent reminds me of Miami with its high-rise buildings and hotel chains.

So, here’s the big question, how do you travel from Medellin to Cartagena? In this post, I’ve detailed three popular options, including from overnight buses and to dirt cheap flights.

 

How far is Medellin to Cartagena?

The distance from Medellin to Cartagena varies depending on the route that you choose. The shortest distance between the two cities by road is 628.8 kilometers (390.7 miles), assuming that you take Route 25. On a good day, a journey via this highway takes about 12 hours.

You could also travel via Route 45, which is the longest highway in Colombia. Getting from Medellin to Cartagena through this route is a distance of 940.7 kilometers (585 miles), and it takes approximately 16 hours.

 

How to Travel from Medellin to Cartagena

By Bus

In most tourist destinations, traveling by bus offers a great deal of cost savings, but that’s not the case in Colombia.

As you’ll soon find out, taking a bus to Cartagena from Medellin isn’t always the most affordable option. However, I can tell you it’s by far the best idea if you want to avoid the hassle of airline security, repacking, and weighing bags. Again, this is the way to go if you don’t feel confident enough to drive yourself to Cartagena.

Which buses go to Cartagena from Medellin?

Espresso Brasilia and Rapido Ochoa are the biggest bus companies servicing this route. These two buses have most of the amenities that one would consider good-to-have for a long road trip. You’ll likely get a bus with reclining seats, air conditioning, toilet, and charger sockets. Some of the coaches will also have Wi-Fi, although I can’t vouch for its reliability.

I’ve used both of these buses on different Caribbean routes. In my experience, Espresso Brasilia is always ahead of Rapido Ochoa Company in terms of services and amenities. However, Rapido Ochoa buses are usually slightly cheaper. So, if you’re looking to save some pesos whenever possible, this bus might interest you.

Where to take the bus to Cartagena from Medellin?

In Medellin city, Cartagena-bound Espresso Brasilia and Rapido Ochoa buses operate from Terminal del Norte (North Terminal). This bus station is located at Carrera 64C # 78-580, Medellin. You can reach it by taking Line A of the metro that goes to the Caribe station. At the Caribe metro station, take any of the bridges from either side of the station and the North Terminal will be right ahead.

Taking a taxi to North Terminal bus station, Medellin

Another alternative is to take a taxi to the station. Yellow cabs are ubiquitous in Medellin, and you can find them almost anywhere in the metro area. They are also relatively cheap compared to taxis in North America and Europe and are safe both day and night.

All the yellow cabs in Medellin are metered, and they charge 100 pesos (~ 0.031 USD) for every 78 meters. The minimum fare is 5600 pesos (~ 1.72 USD).

Once you get in the taxi, ask the driver to turn ON the taximeter (that is, if it’s not ON) by saying “activar el taxímetro.” Most of the drivers that I’ve encountered always put on a smile and willingly do so. If the driver isn’t willing to turn the meter ON, do yourself a favor and get another cab. I found this Taxi Fare Calculator that may help in estimating how much you’ll be charged.

Getting from Selina to Terminal del Norte

Selina is among the best places to be when soaking up the attractions, idyllic climate, and local flavors of Medellin. When you are not roaming the city and its neighborhoods, your stay in this hostel will be jam-packed with everything from practicing yoga on the balcony to photography workshops, guided meditation, and other locally-inspired wellness activities.

For digital nomads who want to stay at the top of their projects on the road, Selina also offers co-working spaces with free Wi-Fi, a particularly good find especially in South America where the internet isn’t always secure.

Selina is not your typical hostel when it comes to accommodation, either. Here, you’ll have all options from a one-bedroom apartment for two to community rooms where you can bunk up in groups of up to 20 friends.

Selina is located at Provenza Poblado. A taxi ride from the hostel to Terminal del Norte takes around 25 minutes. Explore their availability and current rates here.

Booking your Bus Ticket at North Terminal Bus Station

Inside the North Terminal bus station, you’ll find lots of ticket windows belonging to different bus companies. Ask anyone from security to direct you to the ticketing window of the bus that you wish to travel with; Espresso Brasilia or Rapido Ochoa.

Tip: early booking allows you to choose a seat, especially far from the toilets.

Both of these have a couple of direct buses that go to Cartagena from Medellin daily. At the time of writing this guide, Espresso Brasilia’s timetable is as follows;

• 6:30 AM
• 8:30 AM
• 11:00 AM
• 4:30 PM
• 6:30 PM
• 6:32 PM
• 9:30 PM
• 9:35 PM
• 10:30 PM

This departure schedule changes with the season and depending on demand. That’s why I highly recommend double-checking with espressobrasilia.com or Red Bus to see whether they have a bus that matches your travel plans.

The Medellin to Cartagena bus takes at least 14 hours, 5 minutes to reach its final destination on a good day. However, I’ve been stuck in these buses for up to 16 hours on several occasions when there was traffic on this mountainous route. That’s why I’d advise working with a flexible timeline to cater for any eventualities.

Whether you choose the daytime bus or night bus is more of a personal preference. I prefer traveling at night as there’s less traffic. Sleeping on the bus also saves you the money you’d have spent on a hotel room.

Traveling to Cartagena from Medellin by bus in the daydaytime bus also has its positive side, though. If you’re lucky to get a seat by the window, you’ll be able to take in all the beautiful sceneryies and connect to the environment throughout your day-long road trip.

How much is a bus to Cartagena from Medellin?

The bus fare from Medellin to Cartagena varies slightly depending on the bus company and the type of bus. When writing this, Espresso Brasilia charges 155,000 pesos (~ 47.49 USD) for their premium bus.

Tips when traveling to Cartagena from Medellin by bus at night

• Wear pants and a sweater as it gets frigid. A blanket might come in handy too.
• Grab a neck pillow to add some comfort.
• Carry earplugs if loud music disturbs your sleep.
• The toilets on the bus don’t have toilet paper. Be sure to carry your own.

Where will the bus drop you at Cartagena?

At Cartagena, you’ll be dropped off at Terminal del Transporte. From the bus station, just flag down a yellow taxi for a ride to anywhere around the city.

I should mention, however, that unlike the cabs in Medellin, the city taxis in Cartagena are not metered. Therefore, although there are legally set taxi fares, some drivers don’t follow them and will want to overcharge you whether you are a tourist or native.

To be on the safe side, agree on the cost of the ride before hopping into the taxi. As of 2019, the minimum taxi fare in Cartagena was 7000 pesos (~ 2.13 USD).

 

By Plane

Getting from Medellin to Cartagena by plane is more often than not the best option, not only in terms of speed but in cost too. This is because domestic flights in Colombia tend to compete favorably with long-haul buses.

Usually, a one-way air ticket starts at around 214,503 pesos (~ 65 USD). However, don’t be surprised if you find a direct flight from Medellin to Cartagena at 66,000 pesos (~ 20 USD) when there’s a sale.

A direct flight from Medellin to Cartagena takes approximately 1 hour 5 minutes.

Major Operating Airlines

Three major airlines offer direct Medellin to Cartagena flights; Viva Air, Avianca, and LATAM. I’ve not experienced or heard about any bad experiences with any of these airlines. So, I think you are free to go with any flight company that fits your travel time and budget.

Word of caution if you’re eyeing Viva Air: this airline is super strict when it comes to printing out boarding passes in time. Again, they only allow a maximum of 5 kilograms for hand luggage. If you are taking more than that, ensure that you have a flexible budget as you may be charged for the extra kilograms.

How to get to the airport

Medellin has two major airports. The first is Jose Maria Cordova Airport (MDE), located in the municipality of Rionegro, around 35 minutes from Medellin city center (by car). This is where most planes flying to Cartagena take off. The second one is the Enrique Olaya Herrera Airport (EOH).

The easiest way to get to MDE airport from Medellin is to take a taxi or a colectivo. Yellow cabs are slightly pricier than colectivos, but they’re super easy to catch as they are scattered everywhere around the city. They’ll also be your only option when rushing to catch an early morning flight or when arriving late. As of 2019, these taxis charge a fixed rate of 65,000 pesos (~ 20 USD) for airport trips.

If you have some time to spare and would like to save some pesos, your best bet is the colectivos. This is a shared white taxi that most locals and experienced travelers use to get to and from the airport.

To take a colectivo to Jose Maria Cordovo Airport from Medellin, you’ll first need to get to the San Diego shopping mall, located in La Candelaria along Avenida El Poblado. Here, you’ll see the colectivos in Texaco parking lot outside the San Diego mall. If you’re unsure of where the shopping mall is, get a taxi at El Poblado for around 7000 pesos (~ 2.13 US).

The colectivos require four people, but they generally leave every 30 minutes. The cost from Texaco to MDE airport is 15,000 pesos (~ 4.5 USD).

In total, you’ll spend around 22000 pesos (~ 6.6 USD) and at least 1 hour using a colectivo from Medellin city center to MDE airport. To be on the safe side, you should factor in at least 2 hours for transportation to the airport.

Arriving at Cartagena

At Cartagena, you’ll arrive at Rafael Nunez International Airport (CTG), which is located around 4.75 kilometers (2.95 miles) from Cartagena city center. Once you exit the airport, you’ll find lots of taxis waiting. They are your best option here and often have a fixed rate to your destination.

 

Car rental

Of course, if buses can get to Cartagena from Medellin, a rental car can too. Actually, renting a car makes it super easy to move from one Caribbean beach town to the other. There are a few caveats, though.

First, the roads between these two cities are insanely curvy and full of slow-moving trucks. Secondly, people there, especially motorcyclists, drive like maniacs!.

Again, if you are not used to driving in foreign countries, you are very likely to get lost a couple of times between these two cities. There are also a lot of police stops along the way, which is both a curse and a blessing. Police are particularly ‘attracted’ to foreigners. In most cases, all they’ll want to see is what’s in your bags.

If you are still interested in driving a rental car from Medellin to Cartagena, you’ll find lots of car rental options around the city.

Most people tend to go with Hertz as it’s the leading internationally recognized car rental agency in Medellin. It’s located at Cra 43A #Sur 69.

There a few other local car rental agencies that offer even better services, including Global Car Rent (located at Cl.10 #43e36) and Six Rent a Car that has its offices at Cra 43A #43-38.

The cost of renting a car in Medellin often varies depending on how far out you intend to book it, the popularity of your target vehicle, and demand. Overall, the average price of renting a car in Medellin is 112,067 pesos (~ 33 USD).

What you’ll need to rent a car in Medellin

• Passport
• Driving license
• International Driving Permit
• Credit card
• Deposit (varies with car model)
• Insurance (American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and VISA work there)

Tips when renting a car in Medellin?

• Check the condition of the tires and whether there is a spare tire (roads in Columbia aren’t the best).
• Check the vehicle for any dents and take photos. Let the agent note them in the agreement form too.
• Understand the mileage requirements and adhere to them.
• You’ll get your vehicle with a full tank. Be sure to take it back, refilled. The agency may charge a premium to get it refilled.

Getting to Selina from Cartagena city

Selina Cartagena is a hotspot for travelers who want a heavenly treat of the Colombian Caribbean coast. This hostel is located within a stone’s throw of the 500-year-old port city walls in Getsemani’s historic neighborhood.

From Rafael Nunez International Airport (CTG) airport (also known as Cartagena airport), they are just 15 minutes away. A taxi ride will cost you around 8.5 USD.

If you are arriving by bus, Selina is around 14 kilometers (8.6 miles) from Cartagena transportation terminal and about 5.6 USD by taxi.

 

FAQs

What is Medellin known for?

Medellin is known for its music, nightlife, museums, friendly locals (known as paisas), and endless entertainment options. It’s also nicknamed the City of Eternal Spring due to its ever-perfect weather.

Is Medellin safe?

Yes- although Medellin was once known as the most dangerous place to live in Colombia, this up-and-coming tourist destination is now lauded as being twice as safer as New Orleans. To boost your safety in this city, I’d recommend using ATMs in shopping malls and grocery stores. At any cost, avoid the ATMs on the streets, especially those with few people. Secondly, don’t go flashing money, cameras, and jewelry around. This may attract unwanted attention.

Is there Uber in Medellin?

No. Uber recently exited the Colombian market after a recent court ruling against its operations. However, yellow taxis make almost 50% of the vehicles on the road. Beat and Didi are possible alternatives to Uber too.

How far is Cartagena from Medellin?

The distance from Medellin to Cartagena is 628.8 kilometers (390.7 miles) by road and 461 kilometers (287 miles) by air.

Best Ways to Get from Cancun Airport to Tulum

Previously a sleepy fishing village lying in the unspoiled jungle of the Yucatan Peninsula, Tulum is now a dreamy paradise for holidaymakers and history buffs from around the world. This sizzling hot yoga city gets its allure from its 1000+-year-old Mayan ruins, thousands of cenotes and white sandy beaches lined up with clubs and cabana lodgings. Tulum is also crazily popular for its street food, especially cochinita pibil taco- a classic dish consisting of pork marinated in achiote and bitter orange juice.

  • 1. How far is Tulum from Cancun?
  • 2. How to Get from Cancun to Tulum
  • 3. How to get to Selina Tulum from Tulum Centro
  • 4. Cancun to Tulum by Airport Shuttle
  • 5. Taxi to Tulum from Cancun
  • 6. Renting a car from Cancun Airport to Tulum
  • 7. Moving from Cancun to Tulum by Helicopter
  • 8. FAQs

If this gem is at top of your agenda, you’ll first need to catch a flight to Cancun International Airport (CUN), and then move from Cancun to Tulum. Cancun is a big airport that receives direct flights from around the world. So, whether you are coming from Europe, Canada, or South and North America, there’s a good chance that you’ll get a flight right into the heart of the Caribbean coastline.

There are 2 other airports near Tulum, one in Chetumal and the other one in Cozumel. However, I would recommend Cancun airport to Tulum since it’s the most convenient. I believe it’s cheaper too.

 

How far is Tulum from Cancun?

The distance from Cancun to Tulum is about 118 kilometers (73 miles). These 2 cities are connected by Highway 307, and it’s a pretty straight drive from Cancun airport to Tulum. The journey by road takes 1.5 to slightly over 2 hours, depending on traffic and climatic conditions.

 

How to Get from Cancun to Tulum

As Riviera Maya continues to attract tourists around the world with its scenic ruins and fun-filled beaches and cenotes, a lot of players have popped up to make transportation easy. I’ve put together a list of the best ways of getting to Tulum from Cancun. From VIP bus rides to helicopter transfers and low budget options- I’ve got you!

By ADO Bus

ADO (read AHH-day-OH) bus company is the most popular service provider throughout southern Mexico. People prefer to get around by bus because they are reasonably priced and incredibly comfortable. By comfort, I mean, you’ll get a bus with reclining seats, air conditioning, and one bathroom at the very least!

Taking the bus from Cancun to Tulum will not only save you a good amount of money (compared to a shuttle), but I would also recommend it if you are traveling with several bags.

Airplane take off

The ADO bus is the only bus that operates right inside this airport. That’s to say it’ll be your only option if you prefer public transportation from Cancun airport to Tulum.

This bus company offers several direct trips from Cancun airport to Tulum every day from all 4 terminals. At the time of writing this, ADO buses depart from the airport at 10:45 am, 12:05 pm, 2:55 pm, 7:40 am, AND 9:35 pm. Keep in mind that departure times are subject to change. So, it’s in your best interest to visit ado.com.mx and see whether they have a bus that matches your arrival time at the airport.

A one-way ticket on the Ado bus Cancun to Tulum will cost you 262 pesos (~ 13.70 USD), and the road trip takes roughly 2 hours and 5 minutes.

Taking a Connecting ADO Bus at Playa del Carmen

What if you arrive either earlier or after the scheduled departure times? Well, in that case, the next best option is to board an ADO bus to Playa del Carmen and then take another one bound for Tulum.

The relatively undiscovered town of Playa del Carmen is approximately 52 kilometers (32 miles) from Cancun Airport. A direct drive through Highway 307 takes about 45 minutes, and the current cost for a one-way ticket is 208 pesos (~ 11 USD).

At Playa del Carmen, the bus will take you right at the ADO bus terminal, which is located on 5th Avenue at the corner of Juarez Avenue. Here, you’ll need to purchase a ticket for another ADO bus to Tulum.

Cargo and passenger white van on the road of fuzzy yellow flowers and grass in front and trees, mountains and sky behind

Don’t even worry about missing a bus to Tulum from Carmen, by the way. ADO has over 30 buses servicing Playa del Carmen and Tulum daily, and the buses depart every 30 minutes. There are basic restaurants around the bus terminal should you want to grab a meal before your bus leaves.

The journey by bus from Playa del Carmen to Tulum takes 50 minutes to 1 hour, and the trip costs approximately 70 pesos (~ 3.73).

Want a cheaper bus from Playa del Carmen?

At Playa del Carmen, there is an option to take a completely different bus other than ADO. Your next best option here will be the Mayab bus company. The terminal at Playa del Carmen is located on 5th Avenue just a few blocks from the ADO bus station just a short walk away..

Mayab is a second class bus mostly used by the locals for commuting short distances so you should expect several more stops in small towns along the way. It’s way cheaper than the luxurious ADO buses, and if you’re lucky, you could get one with a working air conditioner. Unfortunately, pretty much all of them don’t have toilets.

Other than the cost factor, another reason why you’d want to take the Mayab bus is its flexibility- it can drop you anywhere you ask along the highway. Depending on where you are going, this could be a much better option in comparison to taking an ADO bus to the terminal at Tulum, and then a taxi or colectivo back to a point where Mayab could have dropped you.

Where will the ADO bus drop you off at Tulum?

The Cancun to Tulum bus will take you to Tulum Centro, where ADO has a bus station at 77780 Tulum. They also have another terminal on the intersection that leads to the Tulum ruins, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll be dropped off at this station.

Luckily, Tulum Centro is well serviced by taxis. You’ll find them scattered all around the town, and they can take you almost anywhere. They are also very safe both day and night. Keep in mind, though, that taxis at Tulum are not metered. So, for the love of God, be sure to agree on the cost before hopping on. Again, remember to pay in pesos as the drivers here are notorious for giving tourists terrible exchange rates for the US dollar.

 

How to get to Selina Tulum from Tulum Centro

Perched at the beachfront and a walking distance to the beach, Selina Los Lirios Tulum will put your right at the center of the ancient Mexican tradition. They offer the perfect environment for interacting and connecting with other holidaymakers, fun seekers, and history enthusiasts. The accommodation facilities focus on giving you a unique sleep experience- from bunking up with friends to sleeping under the stars in bamboo teepees!

SelinaLos Lirios Tulum is located just 8.6 kilometers from Tulum Centro. After alighting at the bus station, grab a taxi for around 189 pesos (~10 USD), and you’ll be there in 20 minutes or so. Selina Los Lirios is a popular spot, so pretty much any taxi driver around Tulum should be able to take you there.

 

Cancun to Tulum by Airport Shuttle

If you are traveling solo, booking a private car from Cancun might be the least convenient option for you, that is if you’re planning to save some dollars wherever possible. However, a private vehicle makes a lot of sense if you are traveling as a group since the cost is per vehicle, not per person. Splitting the entire cost among a few folks might actually be more effective than taking a taxi, although it rarely gets cheaper than the ADO bus Cancun to Tulum.

Private airport transfer Cancun to Tulum is all about convenience. You don’t need to worry about whether or not your arrival time at the airport will be in line with the ADO bus’s departure schedule. The stress of lugging your bags to the bus is also eliminated because the driver will be waiting to receive you right at the exit.

Again, since your entire travel from Cancun to Tulum is taken care of, there’s no worrying about where to grab any connecting bus, taxi, or collectivo for your next leg since the shuttle will take you right to your hotel. In most cases, the driver can also make a brief stop at a restaurant or a grocery shop along the way. This usually comes at a small fee, but you’ll find it handy if you are just from a long haul flight.

The cost for an airport transfer shuttle from Cancun to Tulum ranges from 602 pesos (~32 USD) to 1880 pesos (~100 USD) (or even more) depending on the season and the company.

That being said, you’d be wise to compare several options online and even book before traveling to Cancun airport. You could also fly first and book a shuttle once you arrive at the airport. The catch, however, is that you may not get a good deal as you’d with a prearranged transportation service. Check out Happy Shuttle Cancun to Tulum if you are looking for recommendations on this means of transport.

 

Taxi to Tulum from Cancun

How much is a taxi from Cancun to Tulum?

Now, before telling you how much, I need to mention that ‘regular’ taxis are not allowed inside Cancun airport. By regular, I mean the typical city taxis that you just flag down and hop on for a ride.

The taxis that you’ll find inside Cancun airport are more or less private transportation companies that pay to operate from inside the airport. For that reason, their rates can be insanely high, especially for a last-minute purchase. That’s why I only recommend them for emergencies.

A taxi from Cancun to Tulum can charge up to 2000 pesos (~ 106.41 USD), depending on the season. You’ll first need to buy your ticket from the booths inside Terminals 2 and 3 before heading to take the cab parked right outside the exit gates of these terminals. The travel time from Cancun to Tulum remains the same, though, and will take roughly 1.5 hours to 2 hours.

Important notes when taking Cancun Airport taxi to Tulum

• In Terminal 2, taxis are available for booking from 7:00 am to 11:30 pm. In Terminal 3, taxis offer a 24-hour service.
• Taxis at Cancun airport don’t accept payments through credit cards. They will only take cash. If you don’t have Mexican pesos on you, there’s a Money Exchange booth at terminal 3 (closes at 9 pm) and another one at terminal 2 (closes at 10 pm). It’s also safe to use any bank-affiliated ATM at the airport, but you need to ensure that it dispenses pesos, not dollars. These ATMs tend to give a slightly better exchange rate than the booths, by the way.
• Most of the taxis at Cancun airport accommodate 4 passengers, although there are some with a capacity of 3 only.
• Last-minute taxi fare can be up to 5 times higher than a prearranged deal.

 

Renting a car from Cancun Airport to Tulum

Renting a car and driving yourself to Tulum is hands down the best way to explore all that Riviera Maya offers. If your schedule is tight, driving makes it possible to cover a lot of ground in less time. On the other hand, if you have all the time on your side, a rental car will allow you to change your itinerary on the fly, and this could add more fun to your trip. Actually, this makes a lot of sense since many beaches and charming villages are just a good distance from Highway 307.

Now, there are lots of car rental companies at Cancun Airport. Some of these are franchises of international chains that you’ve probably used before, including Thrifty and Hertz. You might feel safer going with these. In my experience, though, local agencies tend to offer much more competitive prices and relatively better services.

What is the cost of renting a car in Cancun Airport, Mexico?

Unlike most parts of northern USA, Europe, and Australia that I have been to, car rentals in Mexico are unbelievably cheap. During the low season (from the day after Easter to mid-December), the cost of renting a car online in Mexico can be as little as 57 pesos (~ 3 USD) a day for a sedan. I’ve also heard of car rentals that get as low as 18 pesos (~ 1 USD), so shop around. When the season is at its peak (from December 20 to Easter week), these rates get to between 376 pesos (~ 20 USD) and 752 pesos (~ 40 USD) depending on the type of vehicle.

Now, while the prices above seem like a real steal, they may double (or even triple) when you present yourself to collect the car. The first thing that you are very likely to be told is to purchase Mexican Liability Insurance. This one is pretty cheap and costs 225-376 pesos (~ 12-20 USD), and I highly advise that you take it just in case you bumped into another car.

You could decline this coverage, though. Actually, most people do. However, in case you refuse, most rental companies will require a credit card hold of at least 2500 USD or its equivalent in pesos.

Essential tips when renting a car in Cancun airport

• Car rental rates will be slightly higher at the airport than offsite rentals. However, airport rentals simplify the process and save a lot of time, which makes the small premium worth it.
• Print all the agreement documents and present them as you take that car to ensure that you are not short-changed.
• Take photos or a video of all markings and dents on the car and let the agent note them on the form before driving off. This will prevent the likelihood of paying for existing damages as you return the vehicle. Believe me- this is a common landmine when renting a car anywhere in Mexico!
• If possible, get an off-roading vehicle to withstand all terrains.
• Be ready to be pulled over by police on roadblocks- all the police will do is check your license, car rental papers, and probably search the vehicle for any illegal items.

Driving a rental car from Cancun to Tulum and Tips

Driving to Tulum in a rental car is relatively easy if you are an experienced driver. The 2 towns are connected by Highway 307, which eliminates all confusion. From the airport, you’ll find lots of signs directing you to the highway, after which you’ll need to turn right and make a straight shot to Tulum.

Highway 307 is not a true highway per se, but a 4-lane straight road in good condition and constantly being maintained. The ride from Cancun to Tulum will take you around 90 minutes.

Keep in mind that there are at least 3 police checkpoints on highway 307. So, have your license and car rental papers within reach. You also don’t want to have any alcohol smell in your breath when you get pulled over.

Additional tips and notes when driving in Mexico

• Similar to the US and Europe, driving is on the right side.
• Check for speed limits and stay within them. Speed limits are in kilometers per hour (KM/H). 100 kmh will be about 62 mph.
• Always carry a copy of your insurance and car rental agreement.
• Ensure that you have a valid driver’s license. Having a copy of your passport might also help a lot.

 

Moving from Cancun to Tulum by Helicopter

Now, if money is no object and you’d rather not spend another 120 minutes ‘stuck in a car’, you definitely qualify for executive VIP transportation. There are several helicopter transfer service providers at Cancun International Airport ready to fly you to most parts of the Riviera Maya.

This is, by far, the best way to get to Tulum from Cancun Airport. The scenic tour as you overfly the beautiful color combinations of the Caribbean Sea and the Mexican jungle and beaches is breathtaking.

At Tulum, helicopters land at Tulum Naval Base. A special permit is required at least 48 hours before. So, don’t be surprised if you are asked to make a down payment when reserving your ride.

The total cost for a helicopter transfer from Cancun Airport to Tulum will vary between service providers but expect to part with at least 950 USD per hour. You’ll also need to pay 377-565 pesos (~ 20-30 USD) in airport tax. Transportation from Cancun Airport to Tulum by a helicopter takes roughly 30 minutes.

 

FAQs

How long is the bus ride from Cancun to Tulum?

The ADO bus takes approximately 2 hours and 5 minutes from Cancun to Tulum on a straight shot ride. If you are taking a connecting bus at Playa del Carmen, you should factor in around 30 minutes to the travel time.

How much is a taxi from Cancun to Tulum?

Cancun Airport taxis charge up to 2000 pesos (~ 106) to Tulum from Cancun airport.

What is the travel time from Cancun to Tulum?

The travel time from Cancun to Tulum will depend on your means of transportation. The ADO bus takes slightly over 2 hours. Taxis, shuttles, and private transfers may take around 90 minutes, depending on traffic. A helicopter ride will take 30 minutes to 45 minutes.

How far is it from Cancun airport to Tulum?

The distance between these 2 cities is around 118 kilometers (73 miles) by road.

Tulum Ruins Complete Travel Guide (Best Tips and Things to Avoid)

Perched in a lush green jungle atop the limestone cliffs of the Caribbean, the Tulum ruins are a spectacular must-see site when visiting Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

  • 1. Where are the Tulum Ruins?
  • 2. So, who built Tulum?
  • 3. Important Historical Spots to See in Tulum
  • 4. How to Get to Tulum Ruins
  • 5. What to wear to Tulum ruins
  • 6. 5 Important Tips for Visiting Tulum Ruins (Do's & Don'ts)
  • 7. Other Mexican/Mayan Ruins near Tulum
  • 8. FAQs

This is the only Mayan city built along the Riviera Maya coastline on the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s also among a few other post-classic Mexican settlements that were protected by a wall.

Want to knock these ruins off your bucket list? Here are some essential tips on how to enjoy their rich history and gorgeous views without missing out on anything.

Where are the Tulum Ruins?

The Tulum Mexico Ruins are located in Riviera Maya in the state of Quintana Roo. They are about 100 miles (62.2 kilometers) south of Playa del Carmen (30-40 mins drive) and 80 miles from Cancun. I’ve driven a rental car twice from Cancun to Tulum ruins and it took me roughly 1 hour 10 mins.

Tulum is a bustling tourist destination, so don’t be surprised if you meet people from all over the world here.

History of the Tulum Ruins

Archaeologists believe that the Tulum Mexico Mayan ruins were first inhabited around A.D 564, reaching its most popular point around 1200 and 1521 AD when civilization was at its peak.

It’s interesting to note that Tulum isn’t the original name for this city. It was named so by two European explorers; John Lloyd Stephens and Frederic Catherwood, way back in 1848.

In native Yucatec language, the word Tulum means a “wall” or a “fence.” Either way, it’s easy to see where the explorers derived the name of this city from. The original wall was 400m long, 170m wide, and 3 to 5 meters high.

The Mayans called it Zama

During its existence, researchers suggest that this city was called Zama (pronounced zam-MAH), another Yucatan word that translates to “city of the dawning sun.” There is no solid evidence for this name, however, it makes a lot of sense since this city faced the rising sun and was, therefore, among the first places to receive sunlight in the vast Maya kingdom.

So, who built Tulum?

It’s commonly assumed that as Tulum is a major city in the Maya kingdom, it was constructed by the Mayans, and after visiting myself, I can see why. However, if you have a keen eye for detail, you’ll soon realize that the buildings in Zama don’t only display Mayan characteristics, they also display a mix of different architectural designs too. Researchers suggest that there were a number of different inhabitants over this town’s 7 centuries of existence who either brought with them new designs or built onto the existing ones, thereby transforming Tulum into what it is today.

What ruined Tulum?

Archaeologists suggest that the Spaniards wiped out the Mayan population by introducing Old World diseases. However, even after the conquest, it was not until 70 years later that the settlements were completely abandoned.

Tulum was one of the last cities that the Maya built and inhabited. This could explain why they have been able to retain their charm several centuries down the line. They are also among the best-preserved ruins in Mexico.

Important Historical Spots to See in Tulum

El Castillo

El Castillo (the Castle) is a must! Not only is it the tallest building at the ruins but the most prominent one too. Plus, the location near the sea offers incredible views of the coast. However, for the Mayans, El Castillo is believed to have been used as a lighthouse to guide merchant boat captains as they sailed through the bay at dusk. It’s thought that if the captains could see daylight through the two windows of this building, they wouldn’t hit the reef beneath the water.

Temple of the Descending God

This intricately designed structure is one of the most beautiful buildings in Tulum, located in the eastern part of the city on the left-hand side of the El Castillo. It is believed to have been built to honor a strange Venus deity known as the Mayan bee deity Ah Macehcabob or Xuk Ek. The temple has a sculpture of a figure falling from the sky with his legs up and hands pointed downwards.

Temple of the Frescoes

Directly in front of El Castillo, the Temple of the Frescoes is one of the best-preserved and the most spectacular buildings at the Tulum Ruins. This is a two-story structure that the Mayans used to track the movements of the sun. What you’ll find so interesting here are the remains of stucco paintings still in their original colors. You’ll find stones of black, green, yellow, and red in the backroom of the first floor.

Other sights

Templo de la Serie Inicial (Temple of the Initial Series)

This building is located south of the El Castillo and although not much is known about it, the Templo de la Serie Inicial remains an imposing structure among archaeologists. This is where John Lloyd Stevens discovered the Tulum Stella 1– a popular limestone pillar that dates back to 564 AD and can now be found in London’s British Museum.

The Kukulcan group

This is a group of small buildings located north of El Castillo. The most outstanding structure in this group is the Templo del Dios del Viento, a temple with a circular base, traditionally dedicated to Quetzalcoatl or Ehecatl- the god of the winds.

The House of the Columns

The 6 columns of this L-shaped building make it very easy for you to understand where it derived its name. It’s also called El Palacio (the Palace) as it’s believed to have housed the Mayan leaders. Although the weather has taken a significant toll on this building, its ruins are still very impressive and imposing today.

Swimming at Tulum’s Secret Beach

The Mayans knew exactly where to build Tulum. Actually, this was the only ancient city that was built along the coast. Its secluded beach is what makes it so special in my opinion, and the reason why you should visit this place at least once in your lifetime.

For most tourists, relaxing on the stunningly clean, white sandy beach right below the El Castillo creates the perfect climax after milling around the ruins, so double-check to ensure that you’ve packed your swimwear! A view of the fortress from the water also sparks the imagination of how Zama city looked close to 1000 years ago.

You can access Tulum ruins beach via a wooden staircase. The beach is open from 10 AM, and it’s relatively empty until 11 AM. I’d recommend going there as early as possible as it gets overcrowded.

Best Time to Visit Mayan Ruins near Tulum

The opening hours for Tulum Ruins are 8 AM to 5:00 PM every day from Monday through Sunday. Keep in mind, though, that this is one of the most popular attractions in the Yucatan Peninsula. On its busiest days, this site receives close to 2,000 visitors daily, which makes the visits super hectic.

Do yourself a favor and be among the first people to enter in the morning if you don’t want to elbow your way through the masses. Alternatively, you can wait and visit the site in the evening when the crowds have subsided. Note that the latest you can go through the gates is 4:30 PM.

How much does it cost to enter Tulum Ruins?

Tulum ruins admission is 60 pesos (~ 3-4 USD). If you wish, you can hire a guide to take you around the ruins for around 600 pesos (~ 30 USD).

I think visiting Tulum ruins without a tour guide is also possible since each site has an English and Spanish sign to help you understand what you are seeing. In fact, compared to other Mexican sites, I would say Tulum ruins has among the best board signage systems, which is great for visitors traveling on a budget.

If you plan to drive yourself to the site, you’ll need to leave your car at the shopping center’s parking lot which is walking distance from the main entrance. The car parking fee will be another 120 pesos (~ 6 USD).

From the parking lot, you can choose to walk to the ruins entrance, which will take you 10-15 minutes. For those who’d like to preserve that energy for swimming, there is a folkloric train to take you from the highway to the gates for another 20 pesos (~ 1 USD).

Of course, there’s no way you are going to leave your camera on this trip. That will be an extra 30 pesos (~ 1.6 USD)!

How to Get to Tulum Ruins

From Selina Tulum to the Ruins

The trick to avoiding the wave of tourists that overcrowd Tulum ruins is by getting at the entrance as early as 8 AM. In that case, I would recommend spending the night at Selina Los Lirios, which is only 7.2 kilometers away (around a 20-minute drive). Selina offers beachfront accommodation with pretty much all the amenities you’d ask for, from free self-parking to free Wi-Fi, food, and drinks.

From Tulum

There are endless options to get to the ruins from Tulum;

Check a tour– in my opinion, this is a hassle-free option, especially if you want to tour several of the Mayan ruins near Tulum. The cost will depend on the sites and activities included in the package but expect to part with at least 850 pesos (~ 45 USD). The best part about a tour is that you’ll be picked right where you are at the hotel zone to the site and back.

Take a taxi– a taxi ride from anywhere around Tulum town to the ruins will cost you about 70 pesos (~ 4 USD). These taxis are also readily available to take you from the ruins to Tulum town.

Take a collectivo– this is by far the cheapest means and therefore, the best if you want to save on your trip. Collectivos drive by at any time and will pick you anywhere along the main highway. They charge around 20 pesos (~ 1 USD) from Tulum town to Tulum ruins intersection. From the intersection, the entrance to the ruins is about 800 meters. You can either walk or take a tram for another 20 pesos (~ 1 USD).

Rent a bike– if you wish to add a little bit of excitement to your trip, why not rent a bike? This is a common way of getting around the Mayan Ruins of Tulum Cozumel Mexico, plus, there are lots of bike rental shops in Tulum town and along the main highway. Prices are around the same everywhere, 90-150 pesos (~ 5-8 USD) per day.

From Playa del Carmen to Tulum Ruins

Take a bus- if you are traveling to Tulum ruins from Playa del Carmen with a lot of luggage, say 2 or more bags, the ADO bus will be your best bet. These buses make the trip much more comfortable since they have air conditioning and entertainment options.

The ADO bus terminal is located on 5th Avenue and Benito Juarez. The buses depart every 30 minutes from 7:20 AM to 12:30 PM every day and charge about 70 pesos (~ 4 USD) each way. Note that the bus may or may not drop you at the intersection of the ruins. In case the latter happens, you want to be ready to take a collectivo or taxi from Tulum town to the ruins.

Again, you can buy a roundtrip ADO bus ticket, but I would not do it unless I’m sure to stick to its schedule.

Grab a collectivo– at 40 pesos (~ 2 USD) per person, collectivos from Playa del Carmen to Tulum ruins offer a cheaper option compared to ADO bus. What’s more, there’s a guarantee that you’ll be dropped on the intersection to the ruins. At Carmen, you’ll find a bunch of collectivos hanging around Calle 2 between 15th Avenue and 20th Avenue.

Take a tour– if you are anything like me and prefer the convenience of having all the logistics done for you, booking a tour from Playa del Carmen to Tulum ruins is a great option for you. A 10-hour round trip with Selina starts from 1200 pesos (~ 64 USD). This price covers your insurance cover, Tulum ruins entrance fee, a stopover at the Gran cenote, buffet lunch at a local restaurant, and an exploration of the Coba village ruins. Click here to view tour details and reservations.

Taxi– taxis from Playa del Carmen to Tulum charge around 650 pesos (~ 35 USD) and take 45-58 minutes. The cost is going to be significantly higher than taking a collectivo. However, since they charge by the ride (not per person), the price won’t be so bad if you are traveling as a group.

Taxis are almost everywhere at Playa del Carmen, and pretty much all of them know how to get you to Tulum ruins. You’ll also find these taxis ready to take you right from the ruins to Playa del Carmen. Importantly, be sure where you want to be dropped at Carmen on your return trip.

Traveling from Cancun to Tulum Ruins

Cancun International Airport will be your best option if you plan to travel to the Tulum ruins by plane. This airport is located 118 kilometers away via Playa del Carmel and Akumal. From Cancun, you can;

Take an airport taxi– this is the most convenient option as taxis are available 24/7. The journey to Tulum ruins from Cancun airport takes around an hour and a half and costs around 1700 pesos (~ 90 USD). Taxis offer the convenience of driving you to your hotel or directly to the ruins at Tulum.

Take a bus– you can grab an ADO bus right outside any of the 4 terminals of Cancun airport. Once you’ve collected your baggage and gone through the customs check, head over to the exit doors and turn right. You should see several car rentals and tour booths. The ADO bus booth should be right in front of you too. ADO buses at Cancun airport make multiple departures to Tulum and charge 262 pesos (~ 14 USD). At the time of writing this, they depart at 10:45 AM, 12:05 PM, 2:55 PM, 7:40 PM, and 9:35 PM. Verify the departures at ado.com.

Tulum Ruins vs. Chichen Itza

The ruins at Tulum and Chichen Itza are among the busiest tourist destinations in the Yucatan Peninsula and a must for anyone who is intrigued by mysteries. In my opinion, whether you choose to visit Chichen Itza or Tulum ruins will depend on the following two things:

First, where are you currently staying? If you are in Playa del Carmen, Tulum is less than an hour away while Chichen Itza is a 3 hours drive. From Valladolid, Chichen Itza is closer.

Second, if you want to dig deeper into the history of the Mayans, Tulum is the place to go. Sure, this site is much smaller than Chichen Itza, but the history behind each of its structures and its location goes way beyond that of the pyramids of Chichen Itza. On the other hand, if you’ve ever wanted to ‘Instagram’ one of the Seven Wonders of the World, you need to visit Chichen Itza.

What to wear to Tulum ruins

There’s no dress code for visiting Tulum, but what you wear can make or break your trip. Keep in mind that February, July, August, and November can get very hot. So, as a rule of thumb, wear light-colored and lightweight clothing.

You’ll also need comfortable sneakers and socks since there will be a lot of walking around the site. Most folks also swear by the Tulum ruins beach so how about taking your bathing suit?

What should you pack for Tulum?

Your perfect packing list for Tulum will depend on how long you’ll be staying there and your personal lifestyle. All in all, here are my recommendations of what to pack for Tulum ruins and beach:

• A good amount of 10-20 pesos for tips, change, and fare.
• Bug spray- necessary if going around vegetation.
• Lots of sunscreen (preferably natural)
• Portable bio-friendly detergent for washing clothes. It eliminates the need for over-packing.
• A flashlight with red light, especially if you’ll be walking along the beach at night.
• SPF 45 chapstick for cracked lips.
• Hand sanitizer.
• Printouts of all your vital information, including hotel confirmation, tours, and car rental.
• Spray-in hair detangler if swimming in salty water wreaks havoc on your hair.

5 Important Tips for Visiting Tulum Ruins (Do’s & Don’ts)

Arrive early

Unlike a few years back when Tulum ruins used to be practically empty (relatively), you have to fight your way through the crowds today, especially around noon. Your best chance these days is to arrive right before the gates are opened. Note that even before 8 AM, you’ll very likely find a queue of tourists, but you’ll still have an hour or so to capture Insta-worthy photos before the tour buses troop in.

Buy tickets at the entrance only

Do not buy tickets from the information booths along the road that leads to the gates as they aren’t authentic. Purchase your tickets at the gate only.

Carry gallons of water

Given its location along the Caribbean coastline, the odds are it will be hot and humid during your visit. Also, you are very likely to stay exposed throughout your visit, as there are no shades around the ruins. So, bring loads of drinking water to stay hydrated.

Bring pesos (lots of it!)

You’ll want pesos for almost everything, from taxi fares to meals. Ensure you get enough of these either at the bank or ATM before heading to the ruins and beaches. Although some taxi drivers and locals will take or even exchange dollars, be ready to get ripped off big time.

Respect the wildlife and local flora

While visiting the Tulum ruins and its beaches, you’ll likely spot different exotic wild animals and plants. As tempting as they may be, avoid touching the animals or plucking the flowers.

Other Mexican/Mayan Ruins near Tulum

The Yucatan Peninsula is home to a host of ancient Mayan cities waiting for you to discover them. Besides Tulum ruins, here is a list of other ruins near Tulum worth adding to your bucket list;

• Chichen Itza
• Coba
• Xel Ha
• Muyil Ruins
• Ek Balam

FAQs

Can you climb the ruins in Tulum?

Some time ago, visitors were allowed to climb the structures in Tulum as much as they wanted. However, as these ruins continue to attract thousands of visitors every day, pretty much all of them have been roped off.

How far are the ruins from Tulum center?

The ruins are approximately 4.1 kilometers (2.5 miles) from Tulum town center.

How long does it take to see Tulum ruins?

It takes 30-45 minutes to go through the Tulum ruins. If you want to spice up your visit by diving, swimming, and snorkeling in the azure waters of the Caribbean, I recommend setting aside at least 2 hours.

Can you swim at Tulum Ruins?

Yes, you can. Actually, the admission fees at Tulum are usually inclusive of swimming or just relaxing at the beach.

What is the distance from Puerto Morelos to Tulum ruins?

Puerto Morelos to Tulum ruins is approximately 95 kilometers (59 miles) via Cancun and Akumal on highway 307. A direct drive between the 2 towns takes around 1 hour 15 minutes.

How long does it take to move from Grand Bahia Principe Coba to Tulum ruins?

Grand Bahia Principe Coba is around 24 kilometers (14.9 miles) north of Tulum or 20-24 minutes drive.

How to Choose the Right Travel Job For You

Let’s cut to the chase: digital nomads lead a pretty sweet life. Work or travel? That’s a thing of the past! It’s all about the work and travel lifestyle now.

  • 1. Where to find jobs that allow you to travel
  • 2. What are some travel jobs you can do online?
  • 3. Writing jobs for the word wizards…
  • 4. Travel jobs for the photography buffs…
  • 5. Travel jobs for the social media mavens…
  • 6. Traveling jobs for the design experts…
  • 7. Nomad jobs for the “people person”….
  • 8. Travel jobs for the techies...
  • 9. How much do these travel jobs pay?
  • 10. Popular Destinations for Digital Nomads
  • 11. Finding your groove with work and travel

There are plenty of travel jobs out there right now that’ll let you live out your digital nomad fantasy and, at the same time, make enough money to actually earn a living.

By now, you probably have a million questions running through your head. How do I find these travel jobs? What exactly can I do online? Are there really online jobs that pay well? Where will I live while I’m on the road? Well, lucky for you, I’m here with answers. So sit down, relax and feast your eyes on this: your digital nomad journey starts now.

 

Where to find jobs that allow you to travel

Finding a job that allows you to work and travel isn’t as hard as it sounds. The digital nomad lifestyle is not some dream concocted by people who want to laze around all day, no matter what your parents and friends keep telling you.

Whether you’re looking for places that trade work for accommodation, or you want a long-term traveling job, there are plenty of options to choose from. From social media management to teaching online and becoming a virtual assistant – more on all of this later – chances are there’s a job out there and it’s waiting for you to make the first click.

The first thing you need to know is where to look for work. The Internet has opened up so many doors, and it’s become a lot easier to research travel jobs and find the right fit. Websites like Upwork and Fiverr are aimed at people who are just getting started and want to dip their toes in the water before deciding to jump the gun. While these sites don’t necessarily pay well all the time, and there are always people competing with the lowest bid, they can be the perfect starting point to take on a little extra work before diving head-first and getting a full-time travel job.

On the other hand, sites like Indeed, We Work Remotely and FlexJobs are all perfect for more experienced nomads looking for long-term work on a contract basis. And, believe it or not, Facebook has also become a great platform for digital nomads and freelancers to find steady travel jobs. There are tons of groups out there aimed at people all over the world who are looking for their big break in fields like design, writing and even tech. Find a group, introduce yourself, and watch the comments roll in about companies looking for a candidate like you!

 

What are some travel jobs you can do online?

The great thing about work and travel is that there are still plenty of opportunities to stay on the career path you’ve created for yourself. Don’t worry about sacrificing your passions or choosing a monotonous job that will have you click-clacking away for hours on end. In this world, you can have it all. That’s the thing about traveling jobs: they evolve and grow just like you do.

 

Writing jobs for the word wizards…

If writing is your passion, you’re in luck! Freelance writers are some of the most flexible people out there, and it doesn’t take much to find freelance travel writing jobs that let you work from here, there, and everywhere! In fact, some companies even advise their employees to take off, live a new adventure, and then submit content about it. Sounds like a dream, right?

In addition to travel writing jobs, word wizards can also find plenty of work in proofreading, copywriting and copyediting, and SEO. Most of these positions are usually location independent, have very lenient work hours, and all you need is a laptop – or, if you’re like me, just a tablet – and a somewhat steady WiFi connection.

In my case, travel writing has taken me to some pretty cool, far away places. I’ve lived in Cambodia for a few years, and traveled through Central America for months at a time collecting stories and creating content. As a digital nomad, my writing jobs have also given me the opportunity to work from wherever, whenever I can. I’ve written blogs from a beach in Mexico, edited manuscripts while on a two-week excursion through Portugal, and produced social media content while sipping on mulled wine at a Christmas market in Prague. All this to say that, if you have a passion for writing, there’s a travel job out there with your name on it.

 

Travel jobs for the photography buffs…

Photographers and videographers are also in the lucky group of digital nomads that don’t have to stick to strict work hours. A lot of these visual creators take their jobs on the road with them, and it’s proving to be a step in the right direction and a dose of new inspiration. While finding steady clients with these kinds of travel jobs might seem difficult, there are always hotels and other businesses looking for a photographer to help them spruce up their content.

Also, if your thing is photo and video editing, having a laptop is usually more than enough to get a steady stream of clients asking for touch-ups and quick clips. The possibilities are endless, so click away!

 

Travel jobs for the social media mavens…

Nowadays, everyone is a self-proclaimed “social media expert”, but if your passion really lies within social media marketing and affiliate marketing, this might be the travel job for you! Learning how to monetize a social media account takes discipline, dedication, and a lot of street smarts. Social media influencers and marketers wear many hats at once: they’re the face, the voice, the brains and the brawn behind the whole operation.

If your thing is Instagram and Facebook ads, writing witty captions with just the right #hashtags, communicating with brands constantly, and taking some Insta-worthy photos, you might want to try and use those skills for more than just a few likes.

If, on the other hand, you feel more comfortable with a behind the scenes approach, there are also countless brands and influencers out there looking for an expert to help them make the most of their business ventures.

 

Traveling jobs for the design experts…

Designers also have a ton of freedom when it comes to choosing travel jobs. They can usually work from anywhere as long as their laptop is with them, and they can choose their own hours to get sh*t done. Most designers I know are night owls, which means they’ll be up from 5 pm to 3 am getting something finished…and they won’t even bat an eyelid!

Web design has also become HUGE, and there are tons of companies out there looking for a bright mind who can bring new life to their dull, old website. This, in hand with some UX experience, will have the clients rolling in.

 

Nomad jobs for the “people person”….

If your thing is being with people, an online job might seem counterintuitive…but that’s not necessarily the case. Virtual assistants, for one, need to have a knack for people, great communication skills, and a passion for organization, all from the comfort of their bedroom, the beach, or a bustling rooftop bar.

On the other hand, online teaching has also gained popularity within the English-speaking community worldwide. Although some platforms tend to be more selective – they prefer American or Canadian accents because of the neutrality – it’s not hard to find work and get paid well for it. These jobs, however, do require a somewhat professional setting, and have set hour blocks where students can request a lesson.

 

Travel jobs for the techies…

The tech industry has always been a step ahead of the game when it comes to travel jobs. For example, most people who work in IT support usually do so remotely from many countries around the world, away from an office setting. The only downside is that these jobs tend to be more hour-dependent, and you can’t just frolic around the world as you please. But, hey! A little stability never hurts.

Other traveling jobs in the tech industry include project leads, software developers, engineers, and “architects”.

These are just some of the many, many jobs that allow you to travel and work from wherever; and, what’s even better, is that more and more people are coming up with new and exciting ideas to keep their life on the road and still earn some money. I’ve seen online counseling services, online exotic dancers, and even people renting their clothes online! Plus, don’t forget, travel and lifestyle influencers are bigger today than they ever were. The sky really is the limit!

 

How much do these travel jobs pay?

Let’s crack another myth: It’s not hard to find online jobs that pay well. That being said, it’s also not necessarily easy to do so. You can’t come into the digital nomad world and expect to earn crazy numbers before putting in some work and making the right connections.

According to recent studies, 1 in 5 digital nomads can make up to $100k a year working remotely. To break it down even further, 18% of them reported making more than $100k, while 22% of them said they made anywhere between $50k and $99k a year. Compared to the average worker, that’s almost twice as much! Basically, it’s time to say goodbye to the rumor that all digital nomads are “broke af”.

It’s also been reported that illustrators can make up to $4k a month and if you’re a freelance writer or blogger, some nomads have reported making up to $3k a month. Plus, if you work in tech or marketing, these numbers could easily keep growing.

See? This is the moment you tell your parents that you’re not going to starve if you opt for the nomad lifestyle. Go on, I’ll wait.

 

Popular Destinations for Digital Nomads

Digital nomads are slowly taking over the world, and traveling jobs are becoming increasingly popular. You can find them from Guatemala to the United Kingdom, and it doesn’t seem like geography is slowing them down.

On average, digital nomads change locations up to several times a year. I mean, most travel jobs are flexible enough that you can change locations weekly or even daily if you felt like doing so. However, I wouldn’t go too crazy: stability is also a huge part of succeeding at managing both work and travel without losing your sanity.

So, what goes into choosing the perfect location for your new remote career? Easy: good WiFi and cheap living costs. You don’t want to be spending more on housing than you would back home, and you really don’t want to live in a place where an unreliable internet connection could cost you valuable clients. Thankfully, more and more places are welcoming digital nomads with open arms and, because of this, more and more nomad-friendly businesses and brands, like Selina, are popping up worldwide.

Cities like Bangkok (Thailand) and Bali (Indonesia) have attracted many digital nomads because of how easy it is to find good housing, cheap food, and good internet connections. On the other side of the world, cities like Buenos Aires (Argentina), Medellín (Colombia), Mexico City (Mexico) and Antigua (Guatemala), are also great nomad destinations with plenty of options to choose from when it comes to accommodation, coworking spaces and great vibes.

How do you choose between all these incredible, dream-like locations? That’s a topic for another time.

 

Finding your groove with work and travel

Once you have a better idea of the travel jobs that speak to you the most, and where in the world you want to be based out of, it’s time to find the perfect place to get it done.

That’s where Selina comes in.

Selina is proud to be the first real home for digital nomads. Here, the idea of putting your work life on hold because you’re on the road simply doesn’t exist. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. But all play and no work makes Jack a broke boy. That’s why Selina believes in mixing work and travel: because it’s essentially impossible to survive without one or the other. We know that a life without travel is incomplete, but they also understand that a life without work isn’t sustainable.

Recently, we’ve come up with different ways to keep digital nomads on the road for longer, while also giving them opportunities to do what they love.

Last year, Seliana started a work and travel program aimed at photographers and videographers. The Selina Film Residency calls for passionate storytellers who can produce striking content in exchange for free accommodation and delicious meals. The residency times vary, but they’re all aimed at helping creators who want to explore more and live the Selina lifestyle while keeping busy and working away.

Selina has also set up a coding course – in some truly stunning locations – that help people just like you find travel jobs and get set the course for their future work and travel lifestyle. The course is built around the idea of getting real-world, hands-on experience led by a coding specialist who will show students the ropes of this highly popular and in-demand skill. This incredible experience also goes hand in hand with the Selina principle of giving back, and all attendants work alongside local NGOs and businesses to improve their online presence and, in the end, leave a lasting impact.

A home built for digital nomads, most travelers who pass through Selina would never think of leaving their travel jobs behind, or giving up work and travel for the dull life of a cubicle and screen. Why choose one when you can have both? At Selina, you don’t have to.

Travel jobs come in all shapes and sizes. While some let you work anytime, some need you to be on call during certain hours. While some don’t require a constant internet connection, some wouldn’t work without WiFi. While some are numbers-oriented, some are all about letting your creativity shine. It doesn’t matter how you work and travel, and it doesn’t matter how many travelers’ careers you’ve tried your hand at: all that matters is that your work and play lifestyle is giving you exactly what you crave.

A Guide to Guatape: The Most Colourful Town in Colombia

So, let me start by saying that Medellin is nothing like the dark days of the 90’s, and if you think this city is anything like a scene from Narcos, then you couldn’t be more mistaken. Medellin, which was once known for violence and danger, is now recognized to be one of the most sought after destinations to travel to. This beautiful destination, nicknamed the city of ‘Eternal Spring’ has reinvented itself, offering much more than just its rich history, finger-licking good food, and pleasant people. Medellin is branding itself as the next art and design capital of South America!

  • 1. About Guatape
  • 2. Where To Stay in Medellin
  • 3. Day trip to Guatape Medellin
  • 4. Medellin to Guatape - 2 ways of doing it and getting there
  • 5. What to do in Guatape

About Guatape

I have always been the type to go with the flow, and in this case, it was a good thing because once I arrived at Selina, I soon discovered the many tours and trips available, including a Guatape day tour. While I can go on and on about the beautiful street art and murals in Medellin which depict the history of Columbia, or the endless amount of places to wine and dine, the highlight of my trip was definitely the day trip to Guatape, Columbia’s most colorful town. Initially I was hoping to do the chunk of my travelling solo, but I met a really cool girl on the tour, and we ended up doing the majority of the trip together!

Where To Stay in Medellin

Medellin is a big city and choosing which area to stay in can get a bit overwhelming. Some of the popular places to stay in Medellin are El Poblado, Belen, and Envigado.

Belen is a popular neighborhood in Medellin, home to foreign middle and upper class residents. It’s a safe destination for tourists, with a growing number of trendy restaurants and an industrial feel to it, making it the perfect destination for those looking for a hip and trendy neighborhood to explore.

Another popular area is Envigado. It is known for its sense of calm and community, and is perhaps one of the most welcoming neighborhoods in Medellin. This makes it the ideal spot for those travelling as a family.

Lastly, one of the most popular neighbourhoods – which is where I stayed – is El Poblado. If you’re looking for a safe destination that still has a lot to offer such as cafes, renowned restaurants, and unbelievable nightlife, then I would definitely recommend staying in El Poblado.

Since I was travelling solo I was very particular about the type of accommodation I was looking for and I spent a lot of time researching my options. I wanted to find places that would facilitate meeting new people, while still offering a sense of luxury. It was when I came across the description “the digital nomad hotel,” I knew my hunt for the perfect place to stay was coming to a successful end.

Since I run an ecommerce store on the side, getting 1-2 hours of work per day is really important to me. Selina offers co-working spaces with meeting rooms, which I was able to make great use of. Plus, I met a lot of interesting people with very unique businesses along the way.

If working while traveling isn’t your thing, Selina also offers everything from photography workshops to morning yoga classes and meditation evenings. They have weekly programs with different events too, so you’ll never get bored.

Day trip to Guatape Medellin

As I mentioned earlier Guatape was the highlight of my trip. After spending a few hours wandering the area, it became clear to me how it earned its reputation as the most colorful town in the world. When walking through the streets of Guatape, I felt as if I was walking through a story book; every building was a work of art. Plus, the city’s residents paint their houses and shops in breathtakingly bright colors explaining their family history or the history of their businesses.

Medellin to Guatape – 2 ways of doing it and getting there

  1. Guided tours Guatape
    A lot of people choose to join Medellin day trips to Guatepe which are incredibly easy to arrange. These Medellin Guatape day tours typically include a visit to El Penon, lunch in Guatape, and perhaps a boat ride on the lake.
  2. DIY (what I did)
    If you like to go at your own pace then this option is definitely worth checking out. The challenge of how to get to Guatape from Medellin is easily solved by calling an Uber or taking public transit; it depends on how you like to travel as well as your budget. I used Uber because they are very cheap for the distance travelled, but people have told me that public transport is also straight forward.

What to do in Guatape

I personally really liked Selina’s Guatape tour because of the selection of stops. I do however, prefer to go at my own pace, so I decided to go on a self-guided tour using their itinerary. Check with your hotel to see if there are any packages, as there are a lot of guided tours available that include various different activities.

First stop: Climb El Penon – The Rock

View of The Rock El Penol near the town of Guatape, Antioquia in Colombia.

You will hear El Penon de Guatape, El Penol, El Piedra, Piedra de Penol used interchangeably when referring to the rock; to reduce confusion, I’ll refer to it here as El Penon.

After climbing El Penon, it’s safe to say that the view from Medellin to Guatape definitely lived up to the hype. There are 740 steps from the bottom to the top, and the final few steps will cost you an extra 2,000 COP to climb (if the section is open). I recommend stopping to take pictures on the climb up, because on the climb down the view is quite obstructed.

view over the lakes of Guatape near Medellin, Colombia

Once I was done taking in all the views from El Penon in El Piedra, it was time to make my way over to Guatape. From this stop, there are three different ways to get there:

1) Take a taxi for about 5,000 COP/ person, which can be found at the ticket booth.
2) Walk to the bus stop and take the next bus for 1,500 COP.
3) Walk for about an hour. The road is simple, and easy to follow on a map.

Second Stop: Visit the colourful city of Guatape, Columbia

The weather in Guatape is typically warm, and when the sun is out I can’t think of a more photogenic and colorful town. Whether you’re wandering the streets with a camera in hand, taking in breathtaking art, people-watching in the main square or drinking coffee from fine china in one of the local coffee shops, you’re bound to enjoy your time there. This miraculous town and it’s zocalos are a must-see during your Guatape trip.

Guatape, Colombia – March 27, 2018: Tourists walking by Colorful colonial houses on a cobblestone street in Guatape, Antioquia in Colombia.

On the tour, you’ll have the option of grabbing lunch in one of the Guatape restaurants, but being the foodie I am, I was on the search for authentic street food. The locals suggested an area of town called Cuatro Esquinas- I still drool thinking about the homemade cheese empanadas. Just ask a local and they’ll gladly direct you!


Third Stop: Guatape Boat Tour on the Lake

Aside from the majestic views after rock climbing Guatape’s most renowned landmark, you’ll also see the different islands as well as  the remnants of the old towns of El Penol before it submerged in the 1970s. If you book a guided tour then you’ll likely have a boat trip included in your package, however if you are DIY-ing it like me, you’ll find boat operators on Calle 32.  I booked an organized boat trip, but I could have rented a kayak instead as an alternative.

Other Worthwhile Guatape Activities:

I stuck to the items listed above because given that it was a day trip, I was limited on time, and those were the things I wanted to see most.  There are however, plenty of other Guatape activities to enjoy, especially if you are going for the weekend. If you are planning a longer trip, make sure to pre-book activities in advance as weekends tend to be busier. Below are a few others for you to consider.

Take a Guatape Hike on the Countryside

I was told by some of the Selina staff that hiking Guatape is the ideal way to enjoy the view while getting some exercise in as well. I’m not much of a hiker but there are tons of blogs out there that go into a lot of depth about the various hiking trails Guatape has to offer. 

Engage in some sports

If you’re looking to take the pace up a notch, you may want to try a  local sport. That way, you’ll take in the tropical views while hang-gliding, mountain biking, jet skiing or even kitesurfing. 

Book a day-trip to San Rafael

If you’re up for a swim and exploring unbeaten paths towards secret waterfalls, then setting aside some time for a trip to San Rafael may be worth your while. This town is located about an hour out of Guatape. 

All in all, I’m left with nothing short of incredible experiences from my time exploring both Medellin and Guatape. I look forward to planning my next stay at Selina in another one of their gorgeous destinations around the world- the local knowledge that they provided really enhanced my stay.  If you’re a digital nomad with an itch for affordable luxury, or travelling while working and have an interest in meeting people from all around, then you’ll love what this beautifully-designed destination has in store!

Costa Rica Surf Spots: Your Guide to the Best Surfing in Costa Rica

Famous for coffee, gorgeous green jungles, and astonishing wildlife, Costa Rica also happens to be a world-class destination for surfers. This beautiful Central American nation boasts more than 1,000 kilometers of coastline on its Pacific side and another 200+ kilometers of coastline on its Caribbean shore, much of which is great for surfing.

  • 1. About Costa Rica: Why It’s the Perfect Destination for Your Next Surf Trip
  • 2. The Weather in Costa Rica
  • 3. Best Beaches & Surf Towns in Costa Rica
  • 4. Surf Tamarindo Year-Round
  • 5. Surf Santa Teresa for Beautiful Scenery
  • 6. Surf Jaco for Reliable Sets
  • 7. Surf Maneul Antonio for a Laid-Back Experience
  • 8. More Amazing Costa Rica Surf Spots
  • 9. FAQs: The Best Time to Surf Costa Rica & More

There are tons of excellent surf spots to choose from all along both of Costa Rica’s coasts, and a few of these locations definitely stand out. In this guide, we’re offering our take on some specific areas that have a reputation for offering the best surfing in Costa Rica including Tamarindo, Santa Teresa, Jaco, and Manuel Antonio.

We’ll dive into the surf scene shortly, but first, let’s have a look at why Costa Rica ought to be on your surf + travel bucket list.

 

About Costa Rica: Why It’s the Perfect Destination for Your Next Surf Trip

Quality waves and beautiful weather make Costa Rica surf heaven. With friendly towns complete with accommodations tailored to meet the needs of adventurers, this destination has a reputation as one of the happiest places in the world – and one of the best places to surf!

Many Costa Rica surf beaches have surprisingly short lineups, although a few of the most popular beaches can be crowded at times – think top Australian, Hawaiian, and Californian surf spots. Should you feel like getting off the beaten path, you’ll find that there are plenty of less popular beaches with great waves. Plus, many local surf guides are happy to show you exactly where to go for an authentic, less congested experience.

If you’re a beginner just building confidence, you’ll find lots of beaches with fun bumps to ride. Experts will appreciate the world-class breaks at famous destinations including Ollie’s Point, Pavones, and Witches Rock.

Everyone enjoys Costa Rica’s amazing food and its chilled-out atmosphere. As world-class vacation destinations go, this also happens to be among the more affordable choices. Last, but not least, there are plenty of hotels and all-inclusive surf camps in Costa Rica, as well as luxury villas, self-catering apartments, and more. Whether you’re in for a short visit or a longer stay, there’s no shortage of places waiting to be your home away from home.

 

The Weather in Costa Rica

Costa Rica offers a tropical climate with two main seasons: Dry and wet. Temperatures are warm all year-round and even many rainy days offer several hours of sunshine or cooler overcast weather that’s ideal for hitting the beach.

The Caribbean coast is hot and humid with a good chance of rain year-round, although drier conditions prevail during September and October.

In general, The Pacific coast dry season typically lasts from December through April, with shoulder months on either side. If increased potential for rain doesn’t bother you and you’d like to take advantage of the off season, you’ll find that the northern region between Malpais and Tamarindo offers the most consistent surf conditions throughout the entire year.

Check out our guide to the best time to visit Costa Rica for additional details about Costa Rica’s climate.

 

Best Beaches & Surf Towns in Costa Rica

Since Costa Rica boasts more than 300 beaches, just about everyone has a different set of favorites. Still, there are quite a few destinations that stand out from the rest. Check out our short list of the best surf towns in Costa Rica, along with a quick guide to favorite surf spots at each destination.

The main surf areas in Costa Rica are:

  • Tamarindo
  • Santa Teresa
  • Jaco
  • Manuel Antonio

 

Surf Tamarindo Year-Round

Tamarindo surf is some of the best in Guanacaste, and this area holds claim to fame as one of the best places to surf in Costa Rica altogether. Check out some (or all) of the following spots if this is your chosen destination.

Tamarindo Surf for Beginners:

Tamarindo beach

Casitas

Playa Grande

Pico Grande

Pico Pequeño

Tamarindo Surf for Intermediate:

Tamarindo beach

El Estero

Casitas

Playa Langosta

Playa Grande

Pico Grande

Pico Pequeño

urf for Experts:

Tamarindo beach

El Estero

Casitas

Playa Langosta

Playa Grande

Pico Grande

Pico Pequeño

The Tamarindo beach break is often ideal for beginners and intermediate surfers, but it can be a lot of fun for those with more experience on days when the waves are bigger.

Type of break: Beach
Type of ocean floor: Sand

El Estero is a river mouth break with a strong rip current depending on tides, so it’s definitely not for beginners. It’s a fast break and it can get pretty crowded when conditions are good. You’ll find El Estero to the right of the main Tamarindo beach break.

Type of break: Beach break
Type of ocean floor: Sand

Casitas is another good Tamarindo surf spot. This break is situated to the north of the mouth of the Tamarindo river, and it’s best accessed with some help from one of the little ferry boats, which charge about a dollar to get you safely across. In case you’re considering paddling across the river mouth on your own, think twice as there are crocodiles in the river.

Type of break: Rivermouth break & Beach break
Type of ocean floor: Sand

Playa Langosta is another great spot for intermediate and experienced surfers, plus, a local guide can help you find your way here from the road that leaves Tamarindo. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll see two main breaks. Racetrack breaks to the right and gets its name from the need to “race” past a cluster of jagged rocks. The main rivermouth peak break is to the left. It’s safer as there aren’t rocks but it’s still a fun, challenging ride. This spot is out of the way, but it can be busy at times.

Type of break: Beach break & Rock break
Type of ocean floor: Sand and rocks

Check out Playa Grande for excellent multi-level waves to suit beginners through experts.

Type of break: Beach break
Type of ocean floor: Sand

Pico Grande and Pico Pequeño are two more great surf spots near Tamarindo, with plenty of good breaks for surfers with some experience. Newer surfers can usually pick up some smaller breaks along the edges, particularly at Pico Pequeño.

Type of break: Beach break / Reef break
Type of ocean floor: Sand, Rock, and Reef

Average conditions: Most Tamarindo Costa Rica surf spots are at their best between mid and high tide. Breaks come in different sizes and most days, it’s possible to find waves to suit your level.

 What to expect: Tamarindo surf spots are famous for clean breaks, regular sets, and waves that range from small and easygoing to large and powerful. Most spots are at their best during incoming mid to high tide.

There’s something for everyone here. Whether you’re an expert or just considering surf lessons Tamarindo is a fantastic place for a getaway. Surf schools, board rentals, and lots of great side adventures make Tamarindo a paradise for surfers of all levels.

Where to stay: There are excellent surfer-centered accommodations in Tamarindo within easy reach of all the best surf spots, but Selina in Tamarindo is the ideal place to stay for all things ocean. Besides surf camp and a surf school, it’s perfect for other adventures including diving, snorkeling, catamaran trips, and more.

 

Surf Santa Teresa for Beautiful Scenery

One of the best surf towns in Costa Rica, Santa Teresa offers white sandy beaches with gorgeous blue water that’s always warm. With the jungle as your backdrop, you’ll feel as if you’ve slipped away to paradise. Try these Santa Teresa Costa Rica surf spots if this is your destination.

Santa Teresa Surf for Beginners:

La Lora

Playa Hermosa

Playa Carmen

Santa Teresa Surf for Intermediate:

La Lora

Playa Hermosa

Playa Carmen

Malpais

Santa Teresa Surf for Experts:

Suck Rock

La Lora

Playa hermosa

Playa Carmen

Malpais

Suck Rock is a famous beach with some massive breaks rumored to reach up to 20 feet at times. You’ll want to see this for yourself even if you’re not experienced enough to actually ride these waves. Hands down, this is one of the best surf spots in Costa Rica, with some rides covering 100 meters or more.

Type of break: Reef break & Point break
Type of ocean floor: Rocky reef

La Lora is near Suck Rock, and it’s the ideal spot for taking long, dreamy rides on waves well-suited for every skill level. Stunning surroundings make this a great hangout for non-surfing members of your group, too. It’s a big, beautiful stretch of sand that easily qualifies among the best places to surf in Costa Rica – in fact, there are often surf competitions here.

Type of break: Beach break
Type of ocean floor: Sand

Playa Hermosa has a point break and a nice wide beach break, so you have your choice of where to ride. Although there are some rocks, the rip current isn’t normally bad. This spot isn’t as popular as some others. If you’d rather not wait in the lineup, you might want to give this one a try.

Type of break: Beach break & Point break
Type of ocean floor: Sand and a few rocks

Playa Carmen is also known as Playa El Carmen. You’ll want to be on the lookout for some rocky spots and rip tides but with help from an instructor, even novices can easily enjoy some nice breaks here. Those with experience will have fun, too. The beach scene here is a ton of fun, with food, businesses, and other diversions to enjoy between breaks.

Type of break: Beach break
Type of ocean floor: Sand and a few rocks

Malpais is technically separate from Santa Teresa as it’s further south, but it’s definitely a great place to go if you’re looking for point breaks. It’s not well-suited to beginners, but can be an experienced surfer’s dream when conditions are just right.

Type of break: Beach break, Reef breaks, Point breaks
Type of ocean floor: Sand and Reef

Average conditions: Santa Teresa surf is at its best during the hours surrounding low tides, as the breaks are often faster and more fun to ride.

What to expect: Santa Teresa surfing is mostly about riding fast waves and catching world-class breaks. While there are definitely some fun spots for beginners here, this area is among the best for experts. There are quite a few surf spots in Santa Teresa, but not all of them have well-known names. Hook up with a local guide or take a guided trip to experience the very best surf Santa Teresa has to offer.

Where to stay: Choose accommodations closer to the north side of Santa Teresa if Playa Hermosa and Suck Rock are your chosen spots. Opt for south Santa Teresa accommodations for faster access to Playa Carmen, Malpais, and all points between.

 

Surf Jaco for Reliable Sets

Jaco Costa Rica surf is varied, with more than just a little something to suit every level. In fact, it’s got some of the best surfing in Costa Rica, which attracts waveriders from all over the world. Check out these Jaco surf spots while you’re there.

Jaco Surf for Beginners:

Playa Esterillos

Esterillo Oeste

Playa Agujas

Playa Jaco

Playa Hermosa

Jaco Surf for Intermediate:

Playa Esterillos

Esterillo Este

Esterillo Oeste

Playa Agujas

Playa Jaco

Playa Herradura

Playa Hermosa

Jaco Surf for Experts:

Playa Esterillos

Esterillo Este

Esterillo Oeste

Esterillo Centro

Playa Escondida

Playa Agujas

Playa Jaco

Playa Herradura

Playa Hermosa

Playa Esterillos is a gorgeous golden beach that’s divided into three distinct zones. Its length alone makes it one of the best surfing beaches in Costa Rica. Don’t forget to stay on the lookout for stingrays and crocodiles!

Type of break: Beach break
Type of ocean floor: Sand with a few rocks

Esterillos Este has fast, strong waves and a sandy bottom that produces nice breaks when the tide is on its way in. It’s often uncrowded.

Type of break: Beach break
Type of ocean floor: Sand with a few rocks

Esterillos Oeste is a favorite with beginners for its easy going waves. Come at mid-tide for the best experience.

Type of break: Beach break
Type of ocean floor: Sand with a few rocks

 

Esterillos Centro is great for experienced surfers, with breaks to the left and right, and good long rides that average 50 to 150 meters (they can be up to 300 meters long when conditions are just right!). Mid-tide is the best time to ride here.

Type of break: Beach break
Type of ocean floor: Sand with a few rocks

Playa Escondida features a coral reef that produces fast, powerful waves which are often described as being world class. The bottom is sharp, the breaks are big, and the spot is best left to veteran surfers. This spot is only accessible by boat but it gets crowded fast when the waves are right.

Type of break: Peak & Submerged reef
Type of ocean floor: Sand, uneven reef, and sharp rocks

Playa Agujas isn’t as busy as some other surf spots around Jaco, making it the perfect getaway for anyone who wants a break from crowded beaches. This is a nice point break that’s at its best from mid- to high tide.

Type of break: Beach break & Point break
Type of ocean floor: Sand and rock

Playa Jaco has a sandy bottom and it’s well-known for producing consistent breaks year-round. Low tide produces nice whitewater for beginning surfers, while the best waves for more seasoned individuals arrive around two hours before high tide.

Type of break: Beach break
Type of ocean floor: Sand

Playa Herradura has fantastic swells for intermediate surfers and experts alike, but it’s not exactly beginner-friendly. A favorite spot with locals, it’s accessed via boat, or by paddling out to the small island where the breaks begin. There are tons of rocks here, so extreme caution is advised. You may be best off with a local guide, even if you’ve been surfing forever.

Type of break: Reef break
Type of ocean floor: Rocky reef

Playa Hermosa offers world-class waves as well as beginner-friendly sets. It’s a very popular place for visitors to enjoy surf lessons in Jaco. The beach here is about 8 kilometers long, with lots of sandbars that produce a variety of excellent breaks.

Type of break: Beach break
Type of ocean floor: Sand

Average conditions: You’ll find a nice variety of conditions here with plenty of opportunities to enjoy long, fun rides.

What to expect: The waves at Jaco range from exposed breaks with offshore winds to shallow, low-tide sets that are nice for beginners. Experts looking for faster action and thundering lefts and rights should plan to surf at high tide.

There’s a great mix of surf beaches at Jaco, so ask a local guide or your surf instructor what they’d recommend based on your personal wants. The named breaks are just the tip of the iceberg here; there are tons of places to hop in the water and ride to your heart’s content.

Where to stay: Choose surfer-friendly accommodations in Jaco. You’ll have your pick of suites, standard rooms, group-friendly community rooms, and more.

 

Surf Maneul Antonio for a Laid-Back Experience

If you’re coming to Manuel Antonio surfing is a must. Here are a few named spots to try.

Manuel Antonio Surf for Beginners:

Playitas

Playa el Rey

Playa Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio Surf for Intermediate:

Playitas

Playa el Rey

Playa Manuel Antonio

Mar Y Sombre

Caldera

Manuel Antonio Surf for Experts:

Playitas

Playa el Rey

Playa Manuel Antonio

Mar Y Sombre

Caldera

Playitas: This is a great spot for everyone. Although seasoned surfers will find few challenges, beginners will have plenty of fun riding easygoing waves, particularly between March and October. Do watch for crocodiles here!

Type of break: Beach break
Type of ocean floor: Rocks and sand

Playa el Rey: Big swells with breaks left and right make this a fantastic place for nearly any surfer to spend the day. Come at mid to high tide for the best waves.

Type of break: Beach break
Type of ocean floor: Rocks and sand

Playa Manuel Antonio: Gentle waves make this one of the best Costa Rica surf spots for beginners and intermediate surfers. Experts can pick up fun rides too, when the surf forecast calls for larger waves.

Type of break: Beach break
Type of ocean floor: Rocks and sand

Mar y Sombra: If you’re looking for a fantastic ride, come to Mar Y Sombra. Although it’s often crowded, this spot is among the best for intermediate to advanced surfers who long for tubular waves and strong swells. Mid to high tide is the best time to come.

Type of break: Beach break
Type of ocean floor: Rocks and sand

Caldera: Don’t mind getting dirty? Looking for some fantastic wedging barrels? Caldera is usually crowded, but it’s a fun place to challenge yourself. The pounding closeouts stir up the bottom, so the water is often sandy and dirty. Beginners will enjoy watching more experienced riders catch these waves.

Type of break: Beach break
Type of ocean floor: Rocks, dirt, and sand

Average conditions: Warm water, fairly small lineups, and a variety of waves, including some of the best beginner surfing Costa Rica has to offer. Intermediate surfers and experts enjoy themselves here, too. May-November is the best time to surf Costa Rica when Manuel Antonio is your destination.

What to expect: Much of the surfing at Playa Manuel Antonio takes place off beautiful, sun-kissed beaches with easygoing waves and clean breaks that appeal to beginners, intermediate surfers, and experts who don’t mind enjoying a more relaxed ride.

Two exceptions are Boca Damas and Boca Quepos, where veteran surfers can often find fast breaks and hollow waves. As with many other Costa Rica surf spots, you’ll want to be on the lookout for crocodiles.

Where to stay: There are quite a few options including Manuel Antonio accommodations that cater to surfers and adventurers of every stripe. Lush jungle surroundings make this an amazing place for the ultimate getaway. Be sure to tour Manuel Antonio national park while you’re here.

 

More Amazing Costa Rica Surf Spots

Looking for more incredible places to try your luck? Here are a few more sites that made it onto our list of the best surf spots in Costa Rica. They’re located near other popular Costa Rica surf spots, but take a bit more effort to access. Most of them can only be reached only by boat so local surf guides and surf schools are your best bet for getting to these world-class spots.

Witch’s Rock: Located at Guanacaste’s Santa Rosa National Park, Witches Rock surfing is usually excellent. The break gets its name from Roca Bruja, a massive volcanic rock named after a legend that says the rock was cursed by a witch. This is one spell you’ll probably be happy to live with, so long as you’re an experienced surfer.

Type of break: Beach break
Type of ocean floor: Sand

Ollie’s Point: Fast and furious! Hollow waves and fun rides are the main draw here. While the rides themselves aren’t terribly difficult, the rocky bottom makes this spot suitable for experienced surfers only. It’s located in Santa Rosa National Park, and is accessible only by boat.

Type of break: Point break
Type of ocean floor: Rocky

Pavones: Nicknamed the “world’s second-longest left hand wave,” Pavones offers rides that last up to a minute. This point break has a seabed of boulders and sand beneath, and is best for intermediate and advanced surfers. Come between March and November. These months are often mentioned as the best time to surf Costa Rica in general, and this period is ideal for surfing Pavones.

Type of break: Point break
Type of ocean floor: Boulders and sand

Salsa Brava: Been surfing for a while? Want to experience Costa Rica surf Caribbean-style? Head to Puerto Viejo, Limon, for a thrilling right-hand barrel wave that rises up off a sharp coral reef. This is one of the best Costa Rica surf spots for experts who are looking for a little something different.

Type of break: Reef break
Type of ocean floor: Reef and coral

Boca Damas: If you’re planning to surf Manuel Antonio, consider a side trip to Boca Damas. Located at Playa Isla Damas and accessible only via boat, this is one of the best surfing beaches in Costa Rica for those who want something totally unique. Powerful waves, hollow rights, and consistent, reliable conditions make this an incredible destination. Look out for crocodiles, rips, and powerful currents.

Type of break: Beach break with good peaks
Type of ocean floor: Sand

FAQs: The Best Time to Surf Costa Rica & More

Q: Is Costa Rica known for surfing?

A: Yes – in fact, Costa Rica has some world-class breaks and there are some pretty intense surf competitions held here. There are plenty of waves for new and intermediate surfers, too, and outstanding surf camps where you’ll feel right at home.

Q: Where are the best waves in Costa Rica?

A: It depends on the season, but in general, you’ll find excellent waves around Santa Teresa, Tamarindo, and Jaco. Check out our Costa Rica surf guide for complete details.

Q: What’s the best time of year to surf in Costa Rica?

A: You can find good breaks all year here, but May to September is the best time to surf in Costa Rica.

Q: What surf levels are Costa Rica breaks best for?

A: Whether you’re advanced, intermediate or a complete beginner surfing Costa Rica is for you. Certain spots such as Witch’s Rock at Santa Rosa National Park in Guanacaste are best left to experienced surfers, while Tamarindo’s Playa Grande and Playa Tamarindo are two of the best Costa Rica surfing beaches for beginners as well as those who’ve spent years catching breaks.

Q: Are there sharks in Costa Rica?

A: Yes, there are sharks in Costa Rica. Black tip sharks, white tip reef sharks, hammerheads, bull sharks, and nurse sharks are common here just as they are at most other world-class surf destinations.

Q: What is the best beach town in Costa Rica?

A: It depends on what you’re looking for! Jaco, Tamarindo, and Quepos (the gateway to Manuel Antonio national park) are a few of the best places to hit the beach in Costa Rica.

Q: Do you need a wetsuit in Costa Rica?

A: It’s up to you! The water is warm year-round, so many surfers opt to hit the waves without a wetsuit. If you’re going to spend much time around Witch’s Rock where the water is a little cooler, you might want a spring suit or a vest. If you’re planning to surf Costa Rica between December and April, bring a wetsuit in case of upwelling, which can drop water temps down into the low 60sF. Last but not least, a wetsuit can make those dawn patrol sessions a lot more comfortable.

Q: What are the best conditions for surfing?

A: The best conditions for surfing depend on your skill level and they type of breaks you prefer, as well as whether you’d rather surf in the sun or stay a little cooler during the rainy season. In general, Costa Rica surf conditions vary depending on whether you head for the Pacific coast or the Caribbean coast. Be sure to check out our complete guide for all the details.

Q: Where can I surf in Tamarindo?

A: There are plenty of great surf spots in Tamarindo including the Tamarindo Beach Break, El Estero, Casitas, Playa Langosta, Playa Grande, and more. Check out our guide for details on Tamarindo surf spots for beginners and experts alike.

Q: What is the most populated city in Costa Rica?

A: San Jose is the largest, most populated city in Costa Rica, as well as the nation’s capital.

Q: How many airports are in San Jose Costa Rica?

A: There are two international airports in San Jose – Juan Santamaria International Airport and Tobias Bolanos International Airport.

Q: What’s the average cost of surf trips in Costa Rica?

A: It all depends on where you’d like to go, how long you’d like to stay, and whether you need lessons and/or a board rental. There are a few short stays available for under $100, many great multi-day packages for under $500, several more between $500 and $1,000, and quite a few that come in at over $1,000. Whatever your budget and desired destination, it’s possible to experience the legendary Costa Rica surf!

Q: Where can I surf in Costa Rica for beginners?

A: We all have to start somewhere! You’ll find beginner-friendly surf lessons Costa Rica wide. You can take just a few lessons and learn the basics or you can extend your stay and continue learning. In case it’s been a while and you want to brush up on your skills, you can easily find the instruction you need. As for specific surf spots, you’ll find beginner-friendly waves at Santa Teresa, Jaco, Manuel Antonio, and Tamarindo, to name just a few.

Q: Is there anything special I should put on my packing list?

A: We recommend plenty of reef-safe sunscreen, plenty of surf-friendly swimwear & a few rash guards, and of course, your favorite board and accessories like extra leashes and wax, unless you’re good with skipping the baggage worries and going for a rental. Costa Rica surf towns are friendly, warm, and casual, so bring comfy clothes you feel good about relaxing in.

If you’re thinking about planning the ultimate Costa Rica surf trip, let Selina help. We’re as serious about surfing as you are – and if you’re new to the sport or need a refresher, we’re dedicated to helping you learn. We offer surf club locations near some of the best Costa Rica surf spots, and our guides are eager to show you where to catch the best waves. If you need to rent a surfboard or if you’d like to try stand up paddle boarding, you’ll find plenty of great equipment available in our Costa Rica surfboard rental locations. Traveling outside Costa Rica? Be sure to check in with Selina. We offer surf packages, rentals, lessons, and more at many of our 60+ locations around the globe.

Things to Do in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

After arriving in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica you’ll feel your worries melt away with every step towards the ocean. The bohemian-inspired Caribbean surf town is so different and full of life that you’ll want to drop your bags at the curb and dig into the local culture immediately. I know I did!

  • 1. About Puerto Viejo De Talamanca, Costa Rica
  • 2. Things To Do In Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
  • 3. Where To Stay In The Centre Of It All - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
  • 4. Frequently Asked Questions

Once I checked into my accommodations, the first thing I wanted to do was walk towards the sound of reggae music I could hear gently drifting in through my bedroom window. It wasn’t long before I found myself strolling towards the beach at sunset catching sight of a friendly group of travelers sparking up a bonfire, laughing and dancing, while the ocean rolled on in the background. As I continued along the shore and their laughter begin to fade into the “beachier” sounds that surrounded me, I found myself enchanted by the coastal winds and invigorating blend of the young and vibrant culture here.

Over the next few days, I learned more about the history of the town and tried out a variety of local attractions with some of the friends I met along the way. As relaxing as Puerto Viejo can be, I am far too curious to spend the majority of my stay (anywhere) lying down. With this mentality, I set out to explore it all!… and it was totally worth it.

About Puerto Viejo De Talamanca, Costa Rica

If you’re wondering where Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica is on the map, here’s the answer:

This coastal Afro-Caribbean town dominated by lush-green rainforest, gorgeous beaches, cultural souvenirs, and plenty of wildlife, is situated in Southeast Costa Rica. It offers everything you need to escape the stressful city life, sit back, and relax. From here, many of the popular attractions are only a thirty minute drive away, which is relatively short compared to other regions in Costa Rica that require you to drive for 3 to 4 hours to find something to do. Depending on where you stay, the concierge at your Puerto Viejo Costa Rican hotel will also help you to find the best sights and experiences around you. I can only provide you with my experiences after all, and new activities pop-up all the time!

Things To Do In Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Here, the beautiful coastal terrain allows tourists to do a lot – from relaxing or surfing on the beach, to exploring the unique wildlife, and visiting the local markets. Check out my things-to-do highlights reel below.

(But first – here are a few tips I scored from the locals…)

Where To Party In Puerto Viejo? / What Is Nightlife Like In Puerto Viejo?

Follow the music, and you’ll find your way to a party. DJs and bands takeover at The Lazy Mon on the weekends – or you could visit Tex Mex, Salsa Brava, or Root Reggae for good party time.

What To Eat In Puerto Viejo?

The towns here are home to people from all around the world, that’s why you’ll be able to find a variety of cuisine being served in Puerto Viejo restaurants. For a more local feel, try their unique Caribbean cuisine at La NENA.

Ride The Tide At Puerto Viejo’s Beautiful Beaches

There are plenty of white sand beaches in Puerto Viejo, and that’s where most visitors go – but if you are looking for something that’s off the beaten path and a little different, head on towards the black sand beach called Playa Negra.

Playa Negra is known for its surf-able waves, and it’s about 1.5 km away from the main town of Puerto Viejo. Even if you don’t enjoy surfing, the beach is a show-stopper because of its unique appearance and the fact that there are barely any visitors here. It was nice to have more waves to myself than I would in more typical tourist spots.

But if white sand beaches are your thing, Puerto Viejo has many of them as well – the most famous amongst them are:

  • Playa Chiquita – a tropical beach that allows you to swim in its warm, still waters.
  • Playa Cocles beach–a surfing spot with consistent swells and a wide sandy beach, very popular with surf fanatics. Check out the hotels in Playa Cocles, Costa Rica if you like the idea of being close to catch those early waves like I do. They have budget-friendly accommodations so you can stay closer to the beach and save on renting bikes or catching cabs for every session.
  • Salsa Brava – a spot that features Costa Rica’s most powerful wave break. It has attracted thousands of surfers from all around the world and still serves as one of the main attractions in Costa Rica. I was a little too intimidated to try this one, but if you’re confident on the surf, I’m told it’s a must-see.

If you’re interested in discovering some of these locations and want to stay right on the beach, Puerto Viejo beach hotels offer some of the best spaces to feel warm sparkling white sand beneath the soles of your feet without going far. Selina is one of them and offers surf lessons to help you get better acquainted with the ocean, and perhaps ignite a new passion.

And Then… It Was Time To Snorkel!

Peeling myself away from one beach and traveling to the next, I found myself in the small town of Cahuita, just 15 minutes away to the north of Puerto Viejo. Speaking to a few people I had met at the hotel the night before I was told that it was the ultimate destination for snorkeling within 100 miles.

They informed me that Cahuita National Park was home to over 120 types of fish and 35 unique coral species. When we got there, the locals handed me a Cahuita National Park map to guide the way through the gigantic area.

Here I discovered that there actually are Hotels in Cahuita National Park that grant you easy access to loads of other activities within the park itself. I personally chose not to do this as I didn’t want to restrict myself to this place exclusively and preferred to be at a hotel in the town of Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica where it’s less remote and I could get a more immersive experience.

HorseBack Riding Through The Rainforest

Two days later, back in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, I decided to investigate tours that take you horseback riding through the rainforest. Overall, I’d say it was a pretty illuminating experience. On the trek, our guides taught us about the history and significance of all the plant and animal species that call it their home. My advice for you if you are taking this trek would be to make sure you dress appropriately and bring some water. The weather was super hot, and – well, rainforesty…. and there were moments when it got to be a lot. I would still recommend the experience though as it gave an informative cross-section of the local ecosystem.

 

The Famous Puerto Viejo Chocolate Tour

As a self-professed chocoholic, there was absolutely no WAY I was missing this tour. Featuring the famous cacao forest, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca has its very own chocolate factory tour where you get to learn how local chocolatiers make chocolate bars from locally sourced cacao. They will even let you taste all of the decadent flavors they create! This makes it a paradise for chocolate lovers like me, and has long attracted people from all over the world. It’s also not a bad place to get souvenirs if you are heading home after your stay here, or stock up on some treats to enjoy at your next destination.

Jaguar Rescue Center

After some rest and a couple of beach days back at my hotel I was ready for my next adventure and I decided after my sciency horseback riding trek, I was ready for a little cuteness. A rehabilitation center for injured and endangered animal species, the Jaguar Rescue Centre in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, has recently opened its sanctuary to margays, parrots, sloths and many other animals. The tour was everything I had hoped, and let me get close to the animals. Cuter still – our guide told us stories about how each animal was rescued and their plans for re-releasing them into the wild.

Tortuguero National Park

This exotic destination is one I didn’t quite make it to as it is accessible only by plane or boat, and if you choose the boat, the trip to the park will take you right through the heart of the jungle. You can also choose to stay at the Tortuguero National Park hotels for a day or two so you can take the Tortuguero National Park day tours and experience its unique geography. It remains on my bucket list for next time!

Where To Stay In The Centre Of It All – Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

The Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica real estate offers many newly built modern hotels alongside ones with a more antique and cultural touch to them. The rooms here range from about US$10 to US$60 – so you can find a hotel for your budget and your needs quickly.

Amongst other hotels in Puerto Viejo and its neighboring areas, Selina Puerto Viejo Costa Rican hotels provide different accommodation options that cater to individuals, couples, and travel groups in a variety of ways. We offer 2-bedroom apartments, suites, studio apartments, community bedrooms, and many more options to our guests.

If you’re a nature enthusiast and prefer a more eco-friendly stay, have a look at our famous teepees that allow you to stay outdoors and in touch with nature while also providing a warm space for two people.

Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the most common inquiries we get related to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica.

Where To Surf In Puerto Viejo?

This town offers many beautiful beaches with different types of swells – making them the perfect destination for surfers. Surfing Playa Cocles and Playa Negra are two main tourist activities that thousands of people take part in all year round.

Is Puerto Viejo Safe?

If you’re not leaving your belongings unattended at the beach, you’re pretty much good to go.

How To Get From Puerto Viejo To San Jose Airport?

Since many tourists come from San Jose, there are plenty of ways to travel to-and-fro from Puerto Viejo from there. You can either drive, catch a bus or shuttle service, or book a private transfer as well.

What To Do In Puerto Viejo When It Rains?

Puerto Viejo Costa Rican weather is pretty consistent, but if it rains fear not – the rainy weather is the perfect time to get a chocolate facial or visit to the local art galleries. Better yet, laze around in your room if you feel like it, looking out to the roaring clouds and enjoy a hot cup of Costa Rican coffee.

How To Get To Tortuguero?

There are only two ways: either by an airplane from San Jose or by road and a boat ride combined. We recommend the road trip that will take you 20 miles towards Tortuguero. Then, you’ll embark on a magnificent boat ride through the jungle to get to the stunning Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica.

What Does Tortuguero Mean In English?

Tortuguero can be translated into English as ‘Land of Turtles.’

Selina Puerto Viejo

Our accommodations offer enriched experiences that blend Puerto Viejo’s culture and modern comforts. Our mission to inspire connections between different communities in the world drives us to provide our guests with safe, convenient, and reliable lodging so they can focus on having the experience of a lifetime. Whether you want to laze around in your beautifully decorated room or an eco-friendly tepee, go on adventures or explore the wildlife, all can be quickly arranged with Selina Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica.