Thinking about Costa Rica for our honeymoon...

It’ll be mid-November. We don’t want to do a big tour: we want to stay in one place, probably on a beach, and travel out from there to have adventures. I imagine us staying at our home base for several days, but also going out several days for sightseeing, hiking, zip-lining, kayaking, etc.

Where should we stay? When you went to Costa Rica, where did you stay? Did you have access to all that fun stuff?


Perhaps the weekday demographic has a little more to say on the topic.

The Arenal volcano area in central CR is wonderful - a variety of price points, and easy access to ziplines, rain-forest walking tours, volcano tours and spa stuff, etc…beautiful. For the beach part, we were on the Pacific side, at Tamarindo - beautiful beaches and a variety of price points for places to stay and food.

My wife just did research online to find the types of places and price points we were interested in for our family. Pretty straightforward.

We stayed in Liberia, but that has no beach per se (we were working for the touristic complex in Península Papagayo); there are many beach locations in Guanacaste with good hotels. The Arenal area is easily reachable from there. Pretty much everything I got to visit was in the NW quarter of the country, but that was quite a lot of diverse stuff to see and do.

You may want to spend at least one night in a different location (I second Arenal in case you were wondering); many hotels will be happy to let you leave most of your stuff there and take an overnight bag, and that way you don’t need to hurry your visit. Check with the long-stay hotel in advance.

Moved to IMHO from Cafe Society.

For beaches definitely Pacific coast, I recommend Jaco for more modern amenities and honeymoon idyllic scenery, Montezuma was cool too but more a rough adventure to get there, it’s also more of a hippy/backpacker commune but it’s gentrifying.

Turrailba was supposed to be the main base for the other things you wanted as I recall.

I was a cheap backpacker when I went, and that was 7 years ago, so I have no good advice on honeymoon accommodations.

My husband and I honeymooned in Nosara. This is a tiny beach town on the Souther coast accessible by rutted dirt roads and/or 10-seater prop plane (they only paved the runway 2 years ago).

You will find a number of reputable surf schools and the Nosara Yoga Institute. Several good/cheap local eateries, and A couple small hotels and rental condos. No construction is allowed within 100 feet of the beach, its a mile long unspoiled beach with soft sandy bottom and bath-warm water. The beach break, soft bottom, and warm water make it ideal for beginner surfers. Our surf school (Safari Surf School) helped us organize our hotel flights and 4-wheeler rental, zip line tour, and other optional activities.

There’s a significant US expat community, of the sort that likes to live at the end of a 4 hour long dirt road with surf schools and yoga studios. :slight_smile:

We had a wonderful time. I can’t recommend it enough - check tripadvisor for more info/reviews.

Edited: Jaco… I’m not a fan. If I wanted a corporate mega resorts I can find them closer to home.

We got back from our Costa Rica honeymoon in June. We spent the first 4 days in the Arenal area (La Fortuna) - we went horseback riding, ziplining, white water rafting, etc., and then spent the next 4 in Papagayo relaxing on the beach at a resort. Our resort (Hilton Papagayo) was absolutely awesome, but it was a little too protected by the bay (i.e. no waves).

If you’re thinking about breaking your trip up like we did, I’m happy to give more recommendations. But if you’re staying on the ocean, you really won’t want to travel that far inland for your adventures (there should be similar options near the coast). The one thing you might want to come in for is the ziplining - the Arenal area has awesome options up in the rainforest.

We were there on our honeymoon. Gosh, it was nearly twenty years ago now that I think about it.


We had a few days in San Jose to explore the capital. Then a few days in the mountains of Monte Verde Cloud forest. After that we were in Manual Antonio national park along the coast and then to Tabacon hot springs.

I highly recommend Costa Rica as a honeymoon destination. All the places mentioned are beautiful and romantic. Nothing beats watching ten different hummingbirds at a feeder while sitting in a hot spring at the foot of a volcano. Costa Rica is very small but very diverse. It’s fairly easy to get around on local transportation quite cheaply. We did a lot of nature watching, took a water rafting trip and a late night tour of Monte Verde. The beaches at Manny Anny were quite pleasant. We spent a few hours on one just watching the butterflies and laughing at the antics of the monkeys in the trees.

The capital is nothing special and probably easily skippable. We were only there because we had a great deal at $20 a night for a really upscale hotel. We did get to see a volcano and the fantastic Lankester Botanical Gardens:

I understand there are a lot of nude resorts there too…

My family had a wonderful time in Quepos/Manuel Antonio, but I think you would be hard pressed to find any place along the Pacific Coast in that country that is not astoundingly beautiful. We were based at a relative’s in Uvita, which is similarly beautiful, but a but more off of the beaten track than you may want to be on your Honeymoon. Just be ready for lots of dirt roads if you go to the southwest area. And be prepared for some “exciting” drives through some narrow mountain roads!

Oh just be prepared for lots of dirt roads and/or roads with huge potholes in them anywhere… scariest drive of my life took place in Costa Rica (when we got where we were going, they told us the road had officially been closed shortly after we’d entered it). Neither the climate, nor the construction techniques, are conductive to well-paved roads.

So yeah, if you’re driving, 4WD is not being pushed on you “just because”, it really is as needed as the wheels themselves.

That’s true in many areas: you’re better of with a 4-wheeler / quad bike / whatever you call it where you are, than a non4WD car or any low clearance vehicle. Once you’re out of the capitol, you can seriously break an axle.

I HIGHLY recommend Nature Aiir over long, frightening drives. Short frightening drives might be doable. :slight_smile: