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Trip Report

2 weeks in the wildlife haven of Costa Rica

2 weeks of exploring the beautiful wildlife, beaches, jungles and mountains of Costa Rica

  • Main High Street+ 5
  • Monteverde
  • View from hostel
  • 2 weeks in the wildlife haven of Costa Rica
About Me:I'm Phoebe from England, I live in a small county called Rutland in the East Midlands and I went to University of Leeds to study Fashion Design. I'm 23 years old and I have travelled many parts of the world, but there is still so much that... read more

North AmericaCosta Rica5 days / April 2022

Highs & Lows

The Friday night Reggae Bar party in Cahuita!

Cost of accommodation

Itinerary Overview

Myself and my friend from University flew into San Jose and spent one night there to rest as we were very jet-lagged. The next day we then caught the bus to La Fortuna and spent 3 nights there to explore the surrounding nature; the Arenal Volcano, the incredible animals and insects, hot springs, waterfalls and local fruits. We then headed to Monteverde which was an incredibly beautiful journey, we spent two nights there and did the Extremo zip-lining and the cloud forest tour, and spent the evenings watching the vibrant sunsets. We then headed to the Caribbean coast, firstly to the small town of Cahuita where we relaxed and enjoyed beers and rice and beans on the beach, listening to reggae and mingling with locals. After that, we travelled just half an hour down the road to Puerto Viejo which is a busier Caribbean town with far more tourists. There are lots of beautiful beaches around this area, plentiful of delicious food to try and of course the chocolate made by the indigenous BriBri people, which is definitely worth doing a tour. 

  • 2 Nights: Monteverde
    Mountains, adrenaline and the Cloud Forest
  • 3 Nights: Cahuita
    Wildlife, Surfing and Caribbean Culture
Monteverde - Mountains, adrenaline and the Cloud Forest

Monteverde Mountains, adrenaline and the Cloud Forest

Monteverde - Mountains, adrenaline and the Cloud Forest - null
Monteverde - Mountains, adrenaline and the Cloud Forest - View from hostel
View from hostel
Monteverde - Mountains, adrenaline and the Cloud Forest - Mirador Valle Escondido Preserve
Mirador Valle Escondido Preserve

Monteverde is a beautiful mountainous town in central Costa Rica, in the Puntarenas Province. There are so many activities to do here but we stuck to just two due to budget and lack of time. We stayed in a little hostel called Coati Place which had very simple bedrooms and facilities, but the balconies were a lovely place to eat dinner, read a book and take in the scenery. On the first day we did the Extremo Zip-Line Park which was by far the highlight of my whole trip through Central America. There are about 13 zip lines all through the gorgeous valley, and at the end there is a Tarzan swing if you like adrenaline. It is a 80m free fall and then you swing into the valley! I could not recommend it enough. We then visited the Cloud Forest Preserve on the second day which is a collection of bridges that are in the canopy of the forest. The views and natural scenery are incredible. Another highlight for me was watching the sunset from the Mirador just outside of town, this can be found on maps under 'Mirador Valle Escondido Preserve'. It is a great place to take a few beers and sit with friends. In terms of food, my favourite places to eat were Taco Taco Taqueria which did amazing tacos, and a tiny local place called Soda El Rinconcito de la Empanada. 

Cahuita - Wildlife, Surfing and Caribbean Culture

Cahuita Wildlife, Surfing and Caribbean Culture

Cahuita - Wildlife, Surfing and Caribbean Culture - Surfing on Playa Negra
Surfing on Playa Negra
Cahuita - Wildlife, Surfing and Caribbean Culture - null
Cahuita - Wildlife, Surfing and Caribbean Culture - Playa Blanca2+
Playa Blanca

Cahuita is a small town on the Caribbean coast. If you enjoy surfing, chilling out and listening to reggae then this is the perfect place. On our first day we explored the Parque Nacional Cahuita, which is a lovely park to explore and take a picnic. There are guides that can show you around and help you to see more sloths and share their knowledge about the wildlife and nature, and the beautiful Playa Blanco runs alongside the park where you can go for a swim. On our second day we did surfing lessons on Playa Negra which is known for being a great place if you are a beginner. Our instructor was a delight and he gave us fresh fruit from the trees during our break, and got us standing on our boards within a few minutes of being in the sea. Another place to visit nearby are the BriBri Waterfalls if you fancy a fresh-water swim. In terms of food and drink, we enjoyed El Cangrejo Loco which had a lovely atmosphere in the evenings and for local food we loved Coco’s and Ricky’s Bar, and the whole town seems to enjoy coming here to watch sports matches so there was a great atmosphere. Our last night was a Friday night, we were told about the Reggae Bar party and so we decided to go. Every Friday the town comes together and puts on a barbecue at this small bar on the beach, a different reggae band plays each week, and everyone is up dancing from about 9pm until 3am! We had such a fun night dancing and getting to know the locals, and eating the delicious food, especially the jerk chicken. It was a great way to see this little towns get-togethers.

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    Stayed longer in Cahuita
  • Restaurant recommendations?

    Definitely try 'Soda El Rinconcito de la Empanada' for authentic Costa Rican home-made food
  • Tips you would give a friend?

    Hire pedal bikes in Cahuita
  • Packing tips?

    Mosquito repellent
  • Transportation Tips?

    From Monteverde to Cahuita, you have to go back to San Jose again to change buses
  • Booking details?

    Use HostelWorld, Booking.com or Air BnB for Cahuita


  • We stayed at Coati Place Hostel which was a very simple hostel but with a beautiful view and a lovely owner. I was on a very strict budget and this was the cheapest place, however there are many beautiful cabins/hotels in Monteverde if you have a higher budget.

  • Myself and my friend stayed at Cabinas Jenny which you can find on Air BnB. It was a complex with a couple of rooms, each with their own little kitchen and a balcony overlooking the sea. It was lovely and we fell asleep to the sound of the ocean every night.