Solo travel is one of the best ways to push yourself outside your comfort zone. Whether you are new to solo travel or have been solo traveling all over the world, Costa Rica is one of the best places to travel on your own.
My hope is that this guide has everything you need to know about staying safe in Costa Rica as a solo traveler! Furthermore, you'll need to know more about the best things to do in Costa Rica on your own.
Plus, I've included some easy ways you can meet other travelers when you visit Costa Rica.
Learn more from the rest of our Costa Rica series…
- Navigate Costa Rican airports like a local
- Find the best areas to stay
- Stay at a Costa Rica hostels that won’t disappoint
- Don’t miss out on these local spots—the best places to go in Costa Rica
- Add these exciting things to do to your trip plan
- Make time for a few guided tours during your adventure
- Spend the night out enjoying Costa Rica’s nightlife
- Want to simplify your planning? Follow this 5-day itinerary or 7-day trip plan
- Get our tips on budget travel in Costa Rica
- Discover the best advice for backpackers going to Costa Rica
- Remember, camping in Costa Rica is also a great option!
- Dive into our snorkeling guide—essential tips and advice before you go
Is Costa Rica safe for solo travel?
Costa Rica is one of the safer countries for solo travel, even if you are a solo female traveler.
If you want to prepare yourself for solo travel in Costa Rica, know where you're going ahead of time and share your itinerary with friends and family. Try to stay in well-populated areas unless you are with a tour group.
You can download maps to your phone. That way if you lose cell service and need to find your way back to where you're staying, you'll still have access to directions!
If you have time, I would recommend learning a few common Spanish phrases for directions and help. Knowing just a couple of Spanish words will be helpful if you get lost and need to communicate with some of the local people to find your way.
Many friendly people in Costa Rica are willing to help. But, if you ever do feel uncomfortable in a situation, trust your instincts and get somewhere you feel safer.
More in Our Costa Rica Series
- Unique 7-day Costa Rica itinerary
- Where to go in Costa Rica: Spots you won’t want to miss
- Tips & tricks in this comprehensive Costa Rica solo travel guide
- Where to stay in Costa Rica: Top 8 tourist-friendly areas
- 7 hostels in Costa Rica that you’ll love staying at
- Discover 15 of the best things to do in Costa Rica
- Top Costa Rican tours available in 2023
Can you solo travel to Costa Rica as a woman?
The short answer is yes! Whether you've solo traveled before as a woman, Costa Rica is one of the best places to start traveling solo in both the Latin American region and the entire world.
The reason why it's one of the best places to travel solo is because of many different factors that make Costa Rica super beginner-friendly. While Spanish is Costa Rica's official language, English is widely used and understood through tourism.
There's also a large community of English-speaking travelers and digital nomads. This makes it easy for you to find connections and meet new friends.
While theft and robberies occur in Costa Rica, the country is considered very safe given the large volume of tourists that visit each month.
If you're traveling alone as a single female traveler, maintain frequent communications with a friend or family member so they can know your locations and check up with you! Also, make sure you stay in tourist-friendly regions and always buddy up if you're traveling to the other areas of the country.
Best things to do in Costa Rica as a solo traveler
Now that we know how to stay safe in Costa Rica as a solo traveler, let's look at the best things to do in the country!
5. Walk Around the Cities and Towns
One of the best ways to feel comfortable in a new place as a solo traveler is to walk around where you are staying.
You will likely fly into San José, so spending a few days in the capital city is a great way to get accustomed to the country. There are many restaurants, shops, historic sites, and bars for you to enjoy.
However, San José is far from the only good city to stay in when you go to Costa Rica solo. There are plenty of other places to stay as a solo traveler, and you should explore them when you visit.
If you want more of a beach town on the coast, you should visit Santa Teresa or Puerto Viejo. Or, if you want some nature, stay in Tortuguero, home to lots of nesting turtles. Another cool place to consider is Corcovado, home to Corcovado National Park, the country's largest national park.
4. Shop at the San José Central Market
If you stay in San José, you should put visiting the San José Central Market on your itinerary. The market is full of fresh produce, coffee, handmade crafts, traditional snacks, and plenty of other goodies.
Staying in a hostel or another place with a kitchen? You can grab some food from this popular market and take it home to cook. Not only will this save you money compared to eating out, but it's an excellent way to experience the city like a local.
3. Visit a National Park
Costa Rica has some of the most breathtaking national parks in the world. As you explore them, you'll see many wildlife, volcanos, waterfalls, and lakes.
Here are just some of the amazing national parks you can visit in Costa Rica:
- Tortuguero National Park
- Corcovado National Park
- Arenal Volcano National Park
- Ballena Marine National Park
- Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
- Piedras Blancas National Park
You can visit the national parks on your own or join a tour group if that would make you feel safer. If you are staying in a hostel, you can find another traveler or a group to visit national parks with.
2. Visit an Animal Sanctuary
One of the highlights of visiting Costa Rica is the wildlife. Although you could venture into the wilderness alone, there is another excellent way to see the animals!
Animal sanctuaries are a safe place for injured animals and animals who lose their homes to deforestation, and they're a great way to experience the wildlife in a very safe environment.
Many animal sanctuaries in Costa Rica focus on monkeys since they are a huge part of Costa Rica's wildlife population. But, some places help other animals, too, like sloths, owls, turtles, and more.
During your visit to an animal sanctuary, you can learn about the animals, conservation, and ways to help the wildlife. It's a great educational travel opportunity that you'll come away from feeling warm and fuzzy inside! Because who doesn't love spending the day with animals?
1. Take Surfing Lessons
Finally, surfing lessons are a great way to enjoy Costa Rica's beaches. You can take a group lesson or have a personal instructor, so you won't be all alone.
Or, if you are an experienced surfer, you can rent some gear and catch some waves on your own. Just make sure other people are around, as you do not want to be on the beach alone if anything goes wrong.
For even more exciting activities, get ideas from our blog about 15 things to do in Costa Rica that are perfect for any traveler, including solo travelers!
How to meet other solo travelers in Costa Rica
Solo travel is becoming more and more popular, so you'll have no issue meeting other solo travelers no matter where you are. You'll run into many travelers, solo or not, in a country like Costa Rica.
Stay in a hostel and talk to locals
A great way to meet fellow solo travelers is to stay in hostels. Costa Rica has a ton of safe and fun hostels, and they are all over the country.
Another great way to meet people, even some locals, is by starting conversations in coffee shops, bars, and restaurants! Most people, especially other people by themselves, love having conversations with solo travelers. You can learn a lot about the area and what to do by talking to others.
Enjoy Costa Rica's nightlife
Costa Rica is known to have amazing restaurants, bars, and clubs. If you're looking to experience a memorable night out and get the chance to meet other travelers, then Costa Rican nightlife should be on your itinerary!
Each city and area in Costa Rica has a variety of options when it comes to venues that offer a good time. However, it's important to note that partying is more popular on weekends. Expect to find a lot of locals enjoying the evening, drinking and dancing once they're done their work week.
If you're a solo traveler and a woman, you're in luck! Many places offer women discounts, and some even drink for free up to a certain hour. Just remember to stay safe while partying. You should definitely let friends know where you're going and have them check in on you, never leave your drinks unattended, and stay in crowded areas!
Join a group tour
Finally, you can join a tour group with other travelers who want to explore and learn about Costa Rica. There are so many tours to choose from depending on what you are interested in.
Costa Rica is well known for adventure and beautiful nature, so those are what many of the tours focus on. You can also find more common tours like walking tours, food tours, and bar crawls. No matter what kind of adventure you are looking for, you can find all the best tours in Costa Rica here.
Enjoy Solo Traveling in Costa Rica!
Costa Rica is one of the best places to travel solo. If you're traveling by yourself in Costa Rica, you'll definitely need to prepare a travel plan to stay organized. Why don't you give Pilot a try?