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Costa Rica For The Solo Female Traveler

Costa Rica For The Solo Female Traveler: What You Need To Know

Traveling as 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 horrible 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.

“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 It Safe For Women To Travel Solo In Costa Rica

Is It Safe For Women To Travel Solo In Costa Rica?

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.

Is it safe for a solo female traveler in Costa Rica?

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 traveling as a single person in Costa Rica.

Tips For The Solo Female Traveler 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 have bus tickets booked, a motor bike rented, or the number for a taxi service, you’ll have better peace of mind knowing how to get to the spots you want to see.

Transportation – Bus & Flights

travel in costa rica as a single person

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 trip to 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?

the single traveler - is it safe?

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?

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 for staying in hostels as well as staying in hotels. If you’re traveling to Costa Rica alone, this may also be a factor.

Hostels

If you have a limited budget, hostels are an excellent choice. In general, they tend to be cheaper than hotels because they often offer less amenities and shared sleeping/living spaces. When you’re traveling to Costa Rica alone, 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.

Hotels

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.

solo traveler staying in a hotel blue osa

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.

If you want the ease and comfort of a hotel but the community of a hostel, a retreat is an excellent option.!

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!

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.

Surf lessons

A solo trip to 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!

costa-rica-yoga-surf

Kayak tours

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 traveler in costa rica. Is it safe?

Hikes

Solo 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.

Costa rica adventure tour

Learn Spanish

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!

Retreats

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.

Final Thoughts

Solo travel 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.

P.S. Have more questions/concerns about traveling solo to Costa Rica? Check out Blue Osa’s Frequently Asked Questions page for more tips and tricks!

solo female traveler in Costa Rica is it safe?

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.

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