I recently spent 7 magical days in Costa Rica and had the most wonderful experience. I'll have several planned blog posts dedicated to my trip within the next week, but I wanted to share a cost break down of my trip first. Money can be a touchy subject for some, but I wanted to share my trip costs because I know that interested travelers are curious. This will give you an idea on how much these types of trips can cost. I hope this helps someone to see that a trip they're dreaming of may actually be within their budget, especially if you save up for it and do your research.
Before planning this trip, I researched the average cost of accommodations, food, and activities so that I could plan accordingly. This trip could have been significantly more expensive if I made different choices or it could have been quite a bit less. Costs can vary greatly depending on what activities you choose, where you choose to eat, your flight cost and/or where you choose to stay. Please keep this in mind!
I've stayed in hostels before and I knew I'd be spending hardly any time in a room, so I opted for the cheapest options available. One night I "splurged" on a tree-top accommodation because I knew it'd be such a unique experience and that was definitely worth every penny(blog post coming soon). I ate at local 'sodas' for cheap yet delicious food! I skipped out on ziplining & other activities that I've already done and I took the local bus across the country for $6. Everyone's interests, priorities, and budgets are different. You just have to decide what exactly is worth paying for to you. The best thing about traveling is that inexpensive options like taking the public bus and eating locally usually offer you the most authentic cultural experience & best value for your money. I hope this breakdown gives you an idea on how much a trip to a place like Costa Rica can cost you! It's such a beautiful place with even more beautiful people. I definitely recommend visiting if you have a love for nature's beauty, true adventure, beautiful beaches, animals, and a pure life(PURAVIDA)!
Flight | Total: $189
Houston to San Jose Roundtrip - $189.00
(I would have only paid $76 if I purchased my ticket a week prior! Procrastination kills!)
Accommodations | Total: $139
Airbnb in San Jose - $25.00
STAY IN HOSTELS(SHARED ROOMS) FOR THE CHEAPEST ACCOMODATION. CHECK OUT HOSTELWORLD.COM
Hostel in Arenal - $34.00($17/night)
Hostel in Puerto Viejo - $28.00($14/night)
Treetop Airbnb in Puerto Viejo Limon - $69.00
Transportation | Total: $63.55
Ubers in San Jose to & From Airport - $19.30
Uber to & From the farmers market - $6.67
ubers can be 1/2 price of taxis.
Public buses between cities are dirt cheap as opposed to private transport.
Uber to the bus station - $5.28
Public Bus from San Jose - $7.00
24hr Bike Rental in Puerto Viejo - $5.00
Bike Rental Arenal - $10.00
Bus from Puerto Viejo center to Cahuita - $6.30
Gas Money for ride from Puerto Viejo to San Jose - $4.00
Activities | Total $287.20
Puerto Viejo Surf Lessons - $57.20
Thai Massage on Beach(LOL) - $55.00
Entry to La Fortuna waterfall - $8.00
Whitewater rafting + Transport from Arenal to Puerto Viejo + Lunch - $79.00
Two Volcanoes Tour(Volcano Hikes + Waterfall + Hot Springs + Volcanic Mud Mask + Hanging Bridges + Lunch + Local Drink + Transport) - $88.00
Food & Drinks | Total: $131.00
Day 1 Total - $10.00
Day 2 Total - $12.00
Day 3 Total - $20.00
Eat at 'Sodas'- small, Authentic local RESTAURANTS. $4-$6 a meal!
Buy cheap, yummy fruit at local markets & stalls!
Day 4 Total - $10.00
Day 5 Total - $ 16.00
Day 6 Total - $14.00
Day 7 Total - $12.00
Water Bottles - $10.00
Airport food - $12.00
+ ATM Fees - $15.00
Grand Total - $809.75
Overall, I was pleased with the amount that I spent. I didn't exactly set a budget but I tried to opt for the most inexpensive options. I could have budgeted a bit more, but there were some things that I didn't want to pass up on. It's all about figuring out what's of value to you! I researched similar trips with popular tour groups like EF College Break(who I traveled to Europe with) and my trip was less than 1/3rd of their cost so I feel like I did a pretty good job of saving in the areas that I could without missing out on fun. The experiences I had were worth every penny!
Of course, Costa Rica is inexpensive in comparison to America and many other travel destinations. However, it's known to be an expensive Central American country to travel in. So you can look into visiting other countries in the region like Nicaragua and Guatemala at nearly a portion of the cost for similar experiences. If you're interested in traveling, don't shy away because you assume that you'll need to spend thousands of dollars. Be sure to research so that you can see what's possible for your budget. You might be surprised!