While suntanning in front of the sea in a beach chair will never go out of style and will never cease to be pleasant, “rural tourism” has become increasingly more popular among tourists. The connection with nature and tradition is not only cheaper and more comfortable, but it offers unique experiences to learn about and enjoy Costa Rica.
Rural areas of our country hide legendary customs and national treasures that few know about, which is why we went out to find good options for rural tourism so that you can discover Costa Rica in a different way. If you know more good options, please do not hesitate to tell us a couple to add to the list:
This lodge is located in the Finca Nueva Zelandia of Quebrada Grande of Liberia, Guanacaste. It costs C20,000-30,000 ($40-60) per person. The lodge offers cabins for those that want lodging in four rooms with private bathrooms and hot water (total capacity of 12 people). It has a restaurant on-site. The lodge hosts hiking and horseback riding trips by primary and secondary forests and pastures to the volcanoes Cocoa and Rincon de la Vieja.
Practice milking in the dairy, visit hot springs, experience routes that you share with the neighbors and learn about their daily tasks such as the making of breads and cheese and the caring of orchids.
Hike to the Celeste River
This river is located in the Pilon of Bijagua in Upala, Alajuela. The hiking area opens at 8:30 a.m., and costs $80 per person (applies to groups of 2 people minimum, there are special prices for larger groups). There is a guided tour through the Tenorio Volcano National Park, visits to the majestic river which has a sky-blue color and is considered one of the principle natural wonders of Costa Rica. You can hike through paths, visit the viewpoint and the lagoon of the Celeste River, appreciate the area of bubbling water and the hot springs. Visit the nearby farms to learn about the planting, harvesting, crushing, washing, drying, roasting, and grounding of coffee – tasting included. Visit an artisan family to learn more about the Bijagua Basin and its inhabitants. The cost of the tour covers one night of lodging, three meals, one snack, the mentioned activities, and a guide.
Nacientes de Palmichal Rural Inn
The inn is located in Nacientes de Palmichael of Acosta, San Jose, one kilometer east of the Escuela San Pablo Palmichal. It opens at 7:30 a.m. The cost ranges from C20,000-27,5000 ($40-55) per person. The inn offers lodging with rooms equipped with their own bathrooms and private showers, hot water, spacious dressers with a beautiful wood trim, and special touches that will definitely make you enjoy your stay. The dining room features a regional cuisine, which is prepared from local agricultural products. Noteworthy is that the infrastructure of the kitchen is 100% typical, with its mud stove and firewood kitchen. They have orchards for the production and sale of organic vegetables. They will give you a coffee plantation tour with Mr. Manuel and Mrs. Mery, which will tell you humorous anecdotes of Costa Rican peasant life and the day-to-day work of the past.
You will be given a brief introduction to the subject of bio-digesters and the environmental and economic benefits of it, as well as its operation and maintenance. You will also be taught about artisan cheese production and be given the opportunity to milk the cows. During the journey, you may travel the butterfly path.
Discovering the Cangreja
It is located in Mastatal, Puriscal, San Jose, and opens at 10:30 a.m. It costs $60 (applies to groups with a minimum of 2 people, there is a special price for larger groups). In Mastatal you will be given a welcoming to the place, a walk through the family farm (crops and dairy). You will be given a waterfall tour in which you will discover paths that lead up to it. You can appreciate the interesting species of flora and fauna. There will be a tour of the Cangreja National Park, a hike through the paths, and a visit to some surrounding orchards. There will be free time to share with couples, friends, or relatives in which you can watch the sunset from a hammock or have a picnic in the park. One night of lodging is offered in the Villas Mastatal, three meals, and one snack to go.
Bribripa Cultural Center
This center is located 400 meters east of the school of Salitre, in Buenos Aires, Puntarenas. It opens at 7:00 a.m. The minimum cost for a group of two people is C47,500 ($95) per person. Thereafter, up to a group of 5 people, the same amount will be charged per person; of 6-10 people, the sum of C40,000 ($80) will be charged per person; and for eleven people, C38,000 ($76). The cost consists of a stay of two nights and three days. They offer an opportunity to have a unique adventure experience in an indigenous community. You will be able to participate in dances and songs, visit sacred sites, eat traditional food, try medicinal plants, and chat with the owners in order to learn the bribri language. There will be cultural activity tours to a sugar mill and natural pools. You can also visit the natural savannas of the community. If you wish, you can participate in different projects in the community as part of a volunteer program. The cost includes lodging, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
Los Trapiches Plantation
The plantation is located in Santa Gertrudis Sur, Gracia, Alajuela. It is open everyday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and costs C3,000 ($6) for people older than 12 years, C2,5000 ($5) for senior citizens, and C2,000 ($4) for children under 12 years. Children from 0-3 years old are free. There are green zones, pools, and spaces to camp (only for groups from organizations and businesses). Pets are allowed.
Special: Every Sunday they open the sugar mill in which they prepare candy and sweet tapas, in company of the folklore story teller, Manuel ‘Manolo’ Rojas.