The Complete Guide to Camping in Costa Rica: 6 Must-Visit Camping Sites

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    If you’re a nature nut who lives for camping near that perfect view, there’s no better place to go than Costa Rica. Here are six must-see camping sites for your next visit to the land of Pura Vida.

    Tips for your adventure

    Nothing can derail your camping vacation quite like unpreparedness. It’s better to arrive with everything you need to maximize your time in the tropics. The last thing you want is to ruin the gorgeous scenery with an unexpected mishap. 

    First, understand that camping in Costa Rica isn’t the same as in the United States. That’s why you should ensure you book all travel arrangements through a reputable company. Also, be aware that leaving valuables (or even food) at your site is considered highly unsafe, even for a short time.

    You should also make sure you’re prepared with adequate shelter. The tropical sun is searingly hot, so at the very least, you should have plenty of UV protection, including a UV reflective tent and umbrella. Nights are wet, so waterproof clothing and shelter are a must.

    Speaking of the heat, you absolutely must pack adequate water. A hammock can also be an excellent way to catch a cool nap in the shade.

    Sleeping off the ground is wise because of ants. Insects, in general, can be a significant issue while camping. Use airtight food containers and come with bug spray.

    You can stock up on these essentials and much more from retailers like Self Reliance Outfitters. This one-stop-shop for all your Costa Rica camping necessities offers affordable prices and the supplies you need to make your camping trip to the coast a memorable one. 

    Now that you’re stocked up on the essentials, here are the six camping sites you should cross off your camping bucket list. 

    Cahuita National Park

    Located in the province of Limon, you can experience coral reefs, mangrove forests, surfing, beaches, and hiking in Cahuita National Park. The plant and animal life is striking as well. You can avoid the rainy season by camping in March, April, September, or October.

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    Santa Rosa

    Santa Rosa is located within a national park, and it’s perfect for inexperienced campers because of the abundance of freshwater. Because of water availability, visiting in the summer months is safer if you’re a fun-in-the-sun style hiker. In addition to natural beauty, don’t forget to visit the local museums for a lesson in the area’s rich history. 

    Gandoca Manzanillo

    If you love animals, this camping destination is the place for you. Located in a wildlife preserve, it’s also just a few miles from the Panamanian border, so be sure to plan a day trip to explore another beautiful Central American country.

    Rincón de la Vieja

    Rincon de la Vieja is one of the most diverse campgrounds in Costa Rica. You can explore a breathtakingly blue volcanic lagoon, waterfalls, and even hot mud pits, among other natural wonders. 

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    La Carpinteria

    Located in the Union de Cartago, this campground is probably the most similar to its American counterparts. If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure with a few more creature comforts, consider booking one of the cabins here.

    Laguna Manuel

    Last but not least, Laguna Manuel is located in the Costa Rican mountains, and while it’s further from the shore, there is a serene lake. The vegetation is still markedly different from that in North America, and it’s much quieter than many other sites around the country.

    Add Costa Rica camping to your bucket list

    Whether you’re an avid camper or have just been bitten by the travel bug, camping in Costa Rica is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is not to be missed.

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