Being a solo female traveler in a foreign country can be extremely intimidating. There are a million potential problems that pop up when you’re going somewhere you’ve never been before.
As a solo female traveler, it’s especially easy to be afraid. It seems that there are news stories daily that warn against the dangers of solo female traveling because of one story or another. It’s enough to make anyone want to lock their door and throw away the key.
The truth of the matter is that crime can happen anywhere at any time. If you’re afraid to travel solo as a woman, it’s time to consider what’s worse: staying stuck in the safety of your same old routine or the fear of the unknown. That’s why we recommend exploring solo female travel in Costa Rica with Blue Osa; a yoga vacation is an opportunity to spread your wings and discover a new destination with endless journeys (and make potential friends along the way.)
“The unknown is not what to be afraid of, it’s only when the unknown becomes known that one can decide whether to be afraid or not.”
― Markus Peterson
Is Costa Rica Safe for Solo Female Travelers?
No one can tell you what it will be like to travel to a new country, because every individual experience is unique. In general, however, traveling through Costa Rica as a solo female traveler is very laid back and safe.
Of course, there are areas in Costa Rica that have higher rates of crime than others. Big cities or big beach resort areas draw more thieves. But, since Blue Osa is literally in the middle of the rainforest, we’re lucky to very rarely have issues with this.
Like any travel to a country you’re not very familiar with, it’s a good idea to do some research.
Having a travel plan in place, knowing where to stay, and deciding on your “must see” spots are a few ways that you can enhance your trip and avoid negative situations.
Read on to discover the best tips for solo female travel in Costa Rica.
Tips For Solo Female Travel In Costa Rica
If you’re bumming around in a new place, how to get around and where to stay are the two most important things to figure out. Once you book your bus tickets, rent your motor bike or secure the number for a taxi service,, you’ll have better peace of mind knowing how to get to the spots you want to see. Here’s how to ensure safe and simple Costa Rica solo female travel:
1. Transportation – Bus and Flights
Taxi services, shuttle companies, and Costa Rican airlines make it easy to travel around the country. Plus, if you’re on a budget, prices are very reasonable.
Costa Rican airlines like Sansa and Skyway average ticket prices of around $100 to travel domestically. Plus, if you’ve never experienced a 14-passenger plane, you’re in for a treat. These small domestic planes are quite an experience.
For ground transportation, Interbus or Gray Line are great options. If you’re traveling from San Jose to the Osa Peninsula (where Blue Osa is located!), check out Transportes Blanco Lobo. The trip from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez takes about 8 hours, but don’t worry. You will make many stops along the way for stretching, eating, and using the bathroom.
Before your solo female travel in Costa Rica, do your research into shuttles, taxis, or bus services so you have a plan once you arrive. Especially if you are in bigger Costa Rican cities like San Jose (and are traveling to Costa Rican alone), there is always the potential to get scammed by getting charged too much, taken to the wrong area, etc. Have a plan in place before you arrive, get the name of a trusted shuttle/taxi, and know how you’re going to get where you want to go and your trip will go much more smoothly.
Where To Stay in Costa Rica – Hostels vs. Hotels
Ahh the age-old question: is it better to stay in hotels or hostels? What is more cost-effective? What will provide the best experience for Costa Rica solo travel? Is Costa Rica safe for solo female travelers when it comes to choosing the best place to stay? Bottom line: There are safe and reliable options everywhere, it’s all about finding what’s most comfortable for you.
The answers, of course, rely on the needs and wants of each individual person, the specific place that you want to stay, and the types of experiences you want to have. There are pros and cons to staying in hostels as well as staying in hotels. If you’re traveling to Costa Rica alone, this may also be a factor.
If you have a limited budget, hostels are an excellent choice. In general, they tend to be cheaper than hotels because they often offer fewer amenities and shared sleeping/living spaces. When you’re visiting Costa Rica as a solo female traveler, hostels are also an excellent way to meet fellow travelers. The dorm-living can be a fun, fast way to make new friends quickly.
Not into dorm-sleeping? Don’t knock hostels quite yet. There are plenty of options for those that want a bit more privacy, too. Private hostel rooms are also available at many places. Some are even the same price as the shared rooms! When you stay in a private room in a hostel, you’ll still have access to the shared spaces for cooking and living, and have instant access to a cool community of travelers.
There are many benefits to staying in a hotel instead of a hostel. However, the range of hotels to choose from can be overwhelming; it’s hard to know where to look and how to find the best value.
If you’re on a solo trip to Costa Rica, maybe you’re craving your space. When you choose a hotel, there is more privacy, generally more amenities (like a private bathroom!), and breakfast may be included depending on where you go. But, keep in mind, budget hotels tend to have less opportunities to connect with fellow travelers and they tend to be more expensive in general.
The Middle Path
There are so many different options to choose from when it comes to traveling and places to stay, but we have a solution.
When you choose to stay at a retreat, you get a place to stay, delicious meals served to you daily, activities/excursions planned for you, as well as an instant community of new friends. When you book a retreat, you have a point of contact to help you set up the minor details, too. It’s a win-win-win! This is one of the safest solo female travel options in Costa Rica to consider.
What To Do Alone In Costa Rica
When you’re traveling solo in Costa Rica, you may be at a loss for things to do. This is why we’ve compiled a mini list of fun things to do as a solo traveler. Whether you’re looking for adventure, connection with new people, or extra time alone, you can find exactly what you need.
Solo female travel in Costa Rica is the perfect time to learn how to surf some waves.
Costa Rica is home to some of the most famous surf spots and surfers in the world, but don’t let that intimidate you. There are plenty of beaches that offer excellent conditions for beginning surfers.
If you’re a newbie, shelling out a bit of money for a good lesson is invaluable. Generally, when you pay for some lessons, they don’t end the lesson until you get up on a wave. It’s an incredible feeling when you do, so treat yo’ self and go surf!
There are many ways to see Costa Rica, but kayaking has to be one of the best.
Explore the mangroves and wildlife in an intimate way. Have more control than a boat AND get some exercise while you’re at it.
All around, a kayak tour is a fun way to get out, get in touch with nature, and doing it solo can be fun, too.
Solo female travel to Costa Rica can be fairly chill and safe, but if you’re wanting to go on a hike, it’s really recommended to have a guide.
There are mind-blowingly beautiful sights, but also wildlife that you’ve never seen before (and probably never even heard of before!).
Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. This is a big reason why going with a guide who knows about different animals, insects, et cetera, is the best way to tour the jungle.
Looking to brush up on your Spanish skills? Traveling to a Spanish-speaking country is the perfect opportunity to do so. There are plenty of language schools that offer lessons where you can pay per week or per month.
Better yet, there are plenty of locals looking to learn English as well. A language exchange opportunity can be found on websites like WorkAway.com or MeetUp.com. Plus, you may just make new friends!
And, of course, yoga retreats in Costa Rica! If you’re traveling to Costa Rica alone, finding a retreat, like we mentioned above, is a great way to meet new people.
There are retreats for everything in Costa Rica: surf retreats, eco retreats, writing retreats…you name it, and Costa Rica probably has it.
Can a Solo Female Travel in Costa Rica?
Going to Costa Rica as a solo female traveler can be fun, safe, and easy if you do a bit of planning beforehand. Staying conscious of your environment, whether you’re at a touristy beach or deep in the rainforest, is important for any traveler.
Armed with some prior knowledge, some Spanish-speaking skills, and an open heart, there’s no doubt that your solo trip to Costa Rica will bring memories that last a lifetime.
About the author
Lara is the current garden volunteer at Blue Osa. She is originally from Minnesota and spent the last three years in Colorado. She has decided to spend a year abroad focusing on travel, yoga & gardening.