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

Costa Rica For The Solo Female Traveler

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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38 Comments on “Costa Rica For The Solo Female Traveler: What You Need To Know”

  1. Hi Lara, my eighteen year old daughter wants to take a bus (by herself) from Puntarenas to San Jose. Is it safe? (She is bilingual). I want her to hire a private driver (I offered to pay for it), but she thinks I am being -horrir of horrors- “protective”! What fo you think?

  2. Hi energetic young lady,

    I am quite envious of you as to how can you enjoy so much in Costa Rica all alone and that too with so much of energy?
    Well, I guess it is the love associated with travelling which gives “wow” feelings
    Enjoy to the core
    Thanks for the post as it will help me to make schedule if I were to ever plan my trip here well

  3. This was very inspiring. I’m planning my first solo trip away from the hubby and my daughters. This will be my first time traveling out of the country! I have agoraphobia and ptsd so I’ve been really anxious about traveling alone. But reading this gave me a lot of hope. =) Thank you!

  4. Thanks for this posting. I am very impressed with it,
    sure this is one of the best articles.
    The article that is mentioned in the blog is good.
    we getting nice information through this blog. It’s very helpful.

  5. Brave Girl. Very inspired for a new travel blogger like me. Tks for making this article. Looking for more from you in the future.

  6. Looking forward to my first solo trip to costa rica! Its time to rediscover myself. Thank you for your encouragement and information. I really look forward to learning to surf and explore costa rica. I’m scared and nervous, but realize the adventure is definitely past my comfort zone. “one two three….leap!” Any other suggestions, please feel free to email me. Thx!

  7. I love traveling solo! Do you have any particular suggestions for Costa Rica in terms of the outdoorsy activities? I’m very comfortable being alone in cities (safety in numbers) but wonder how to safely go hiking solo, visit the hot springs, etc. Did you go on any group tours?

  8. I so enjoyed reading your post! I solo traveled for years around the US before I took the plunge, and traveled alone for the first time to Costa Rica several years ago. I don’t regret it for a minute, and now live here! One question I got a lot of my first trip that I found a little unnerving, came from fellow travelers, but mostly from staff at the hotel at which I was staying. “Did you come here by yourself?” Looking back, for safety’s sake, I probably shouldn’t have been so honest with my answers; however, I have never felt unsafe in this country for one second–no matter where I am. I would recommend solo traveling to anyone, but especially females. It’s a great self-esteem booster, builds confidence and increases independence.

  9. I did a lot of traveling alone around Europe for over 2 years in my mid-twenties. I would stop and pick up work at a hostel, etc. and stay for a while before moving on. It was a great experience…lonely at times, great at others…and ya, I had to deal with being harassed on occasion, too, but unfortunately, that’s the reality that women deal with almost anywhere. Now, I am getting ready to visit Costa Rica as a single mom with my two boys. We went to Belize two years ago and had a great adventure and felt safe, although in hindsight, there is always a thing or two you’d do differently. I am very excited about our trip to CR. I wish I spoke Spanish, but the three of us are going to start studying some basics.

  10. I am going to Costa Rica (Osa Peninsula) in 2 weeks for the first time and I’m Going solo. Your article was not only very informative it reconfirmed my decision to go alone. I am going to share your article with everyone that have been telling me not to go alone. Thank you so much!

  11. Hello I planned a trip to go to Costa Rica in July to see my friend who will be abroad apparently she will be to busy during the day and I don’t want to wait around alone so I’m going to embrace the trip and do my own thing but where do I start I am scared

  12. I am going to Costa Rica by myself, for two weeks, in February. I’m not nervous about going alone but I’m debating about renting a car by myself. I know it’s really expensive and hard to drive in some areas. Plus there is theft of belongings locked up in car.
    Do you think I should just stick to busses, shuttles and flights?
    Didn’t want to hassle with that but renting a car may not be worth it.

  13. Hello

    Im travelling to Costa Rica alone in Feb for 4 weeks. Needless to say am fairly anxious and hoping I will meet lots of people along the way. I’m unsure where to start my trip, ideally start on a nice beach somewhere for 4-5 days before becoming adventurous and exploring. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. hey! im in the same situation! will b there end of january till thefebruary aprox…. where are you starting out? i am a surfer so will probably be heading to good surfing spots it would be awsome to meet up 🙂

  14. I have already booked my travel 12 Days feb 1st- solo to Costa Rica, first time there…. so much I want to see and tentatively booked for dif area hotels from Tortuguero to north of SanJose at the volcanoes— have not solidified Anything ….trans, hotel( except first night in SanJose). Ect….except my flight is paid—- is this silly/ dangerous

    1. Hello LInde,
      This will be my first trip to Costa Rica and my first solo. After reading “Blueosa” great experience, I felt assured …
      I read your entry and it sounds very similar to what I’m planning.
      I will not rent a car. If I book the hotels how easy is to get around. Already know to get from airport SJO to San Jose by public bus. I read about the “gray line” trans… How was your experience,?

    2. Oh wow…I just booked my first solo flight last week to Costa Rica and leaving my husband and two teenagers at home. I’m going there from Feb. 1st to Feb. 15…I saw your post and thought…oh wow, another solo traveler going at the same time as me and maybe we can connect so our lonely days are a lot less but then I saw where you were going…I am planning to go to the South Pacific (Manuel Antonio or Uvita)…at least I know there will be other solo travelers during that time…I am excited but also scared.

  15. I will be traveling Solo to Costa Rica in a few days, very nervous but at the same time excited. Thank you for your post I am feeling better.

  16. Thank you for your article. I am traveling to Costa Rica leaving in three weeks and will be there for a week. I am 53, and started traveling alone a few years ago. My first solo trip was to Italy, last year to Ireland and Costa Rica this year. The experiences have allowed me to grow in ways I did not think possible. I have conquered my fear of heights, I have overcome sea sickness and am planning more adventures. Unfortunately I do not have the funds or the time to see Blue Osa, but will keep in mind for future trips.

  17. Hi, thank you for your interesting and motivating article. I would like to go to cr in November for 3 weeks. Im female and i dont know if i should rent a car BY myself or travelling by Bus. What would you recommend for a woman? Im a bit scared of the streets and Rent a car by myself. Did you rent a car?

  18. Hiya

    I’m headed to CR the end of August. Are there any specific places I should visit? I also will be traveling the majority of the time solo. I will be staying near/round Heredia, Costa Rica. Thanks for the inspiring post. AR

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