Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Costa Rica backpacking sugggestions?


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B Mat
(bam228) - F
Costa Rica backpacking sugggestions? on 04/29/2008 14:34:22 MDT Print View

I will be backpacking in Costa Rica with two buddies of mine for ten days in May. Is Corcovado worth going to for like 5 days or is it not that much different than the other national parks. Which coast is better to check out Caribbean side or Pacific? And finally, what would be a good itinerary to follow on this trip. We seem to be overwhelmed by all that Costa Rica has to offer and we need help narrowing our destinations. We would really appreciate any help we could get! Thanks!

Keith Hultman
(helios) - F

Locale: Missouri
Corcovado on 04/29/2008 15:47:31 MDT Print View

Sounds like a fun trip. I've been to Corcovado. We were not backpacking, but we did hike into the park and take a lot of day hikes. It has a high concentration of large animals (tapers, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, lots of scarlet macaws) so that is good. It was the dry season, in January, so I'm not sure what May is like. We also visited a dry forest (Palo Verde) and a cloud forest (San Luis), and of the three my favorite by far was the cloud forest. Again this was the dry season so that may have been why the cloud forests mist and cool air appealed to me...

There is plenty to do in Corcovado for 5 days though. Where else are you going?

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: Costa Rica backpacking sugggestions? on 04/30/2008 00:18:01 MDT Print View

I spent 2 months in costa rica about ten years ago. I didn't backpack either but took numerous dayhikes. Corcovado was by far my favorite place. And that's saying something as every where I went to in costa rica was incredibly beautiful. At the time it was the most unspoilt park in Costa Rica. Next on my list was Monte Verde. These two would give you coastal rain forest and mountain cloud forest for 2 very different environments. Both have backpacking possibilities. And given you only have 10 days you won't have time to see much more of the country.

On the Caribbean side Tortuguero was nice. But only for a canal row boat ride. It's a fairly small and wet place so not much else to do. Plus in May the Caribbean will most likely be under constant rain. You'll get rain everywhere but it should only last a couple of hours on the pacific side. The rest of the Caribbean side was infested with pot selling white folks, so not really what I was looking for.

Also since you'll be there in the rainy season definitely ask for discounts. Most will drop prices by a noticeable margin without much haggling.

Edited by nschmald on 04/30/2008 00:23:34 MDT.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Costa Rica backpacking sugggestions? on 04/30/2008 10:55:49 MDT Print View

I'd go for Tapanti N.P., along the Rio Macho. Take your fishing pole.

B Mat
(bam228) - F
north pacific region in costa rica? on 04/30/2008 15:05:27 MDT Print View

Since it is the rainy season - do you think Corcovado may have too much rainfall and instead we should explore more along the north pacific side (I'm assuming this is the drier part of the country?) We are very flexible and willing to do anything in order to have a good time. I know there are a a number of national parks in the north. Do you know anything about that part of the country? Especially Playa Grande and the coast region?

B Mat
(bam228) - F
places to stay in Costa Rica on 05/09/2008 13:07:48 MDT Print View

Anyone know of any nice cheap places to stay in Monteverde/Arenal, and the Pacific side of Costa Rica. I plan on backpacking going up north to Arenal and heading west to the north pacific and following it down to Mauel Antonio National Park. Any recommendations on hostels along this route? I appreciate your help in advance. Thanks!

Edited by bam228 on 05/09/2008 13:09:10 MDT.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: places to stay in Costa Rica on 05/09/2008 14:14:34 MDT Print View

If you are going to the Arenal volcano you may want to treat yourself to a stay at the Arenal Observatory Lodge. It's definitely not a hostel but is a unique experience that may be worth the extra expense to you. The rooms have huge windows that face the volcano. I will never forget lying in bed watching the volcano, fighting to stay awake because I didn't what to miss any of the spectacle. The place is close enough to the volcano that you wonder how long they can remain at that location.

B Mat
(bam228) - F
north pacific hostels/places to stay - Costa Rica on 05/09/2008 14:37:24 MDT Print View

Great, thanks! I checked out their website and it looks amazing. Not even that expensive too. Does anyone know of cheap places to stay in the north pacific part of Costa Rica?