Popular Topics

Trip Report

Exploring the beaches and jungles of Costa Rica

Volunteering in the jungle and relaxing at the beaches!

by tzAbout Me:Hi everyone! I am a grad student living in Colorado. I have traveled quite extensively and am excited to share a little bit about my travels as well as learn more about the world from you all. In my spare time you can find me doing anythin... read more

North AmericaCosta Rica19 days / June - July 2019

Highs & Lows

The beaches are not to be missed

Watch out for the insects in the jungle

Itinerary Overview

My trip started in San José and I was headed to Platanillo. To get there, I flew into San José airport and took a bus for about 3 hours to Platanillo. It was in a great location because I was able to take weekend trips to to the beach and to national parks, but it was quite remote. Platanillo is definitely not a destination town or somewhere I would recommend to travel to unless you are staying at cascada Elysiana or have a particular place in mind. I found Cascada Elysiana through workaway as a place where you could work in exchange for stay. The work was light and included cooking for the guests, cleaning, and gardening. You can also stay there as as a guest in any of their glamping tents and enjoy the waterfalls and do yoga on the yoga deck. There are also lots of hikes you can do!

Uvita is a small beach town. We had heard of it from the locals and knew we had to go there for our weekend off! The bus system was really excellent and we were able to hop on a super clean bus  for about 1.5 hrs till we got to Domincial. This is where we stayed the night but we spent our days lounging on the beach in Uvita sipping from fresh coconuts and taking dips in the warm clear water. I highly recommend bringing some food as it wasn’t super close to restaurants and we got pretty hungry. The sun was also super strong so definitely don’t lay out too long like I did or you’ll get quite burnt! We stayed in a cool little hostel that was a surfers hostel. It was close to the ocean in Dominical so we could walk there for sunset. It rained really hard on us one of the days so watch the weather! 

For another weekend off from volunteer work, we went to see the national park Manuel Antonio Nacional Park. Again we hopped on the bus from Platanillo for about 2 hours and arrived in Aguirre where we stayed at a cheap hostel that was on the same route that the shuttle to the national  park passed by. I highly recommend doing this as it made it so easy to go to the park the next day! When we got to the park they made sure that we had no food with us so eat before you go! They don’t want you to feed the animals. We walked through the park all day and it was so stunning. We saw sloths, monkeys, green frogs and crabs on the beaches. We walked through the jungle and to viewpoints overlooking the beach. It was incredible. Afterwards we went out to eat in the town and then returned to our hostel to hangout for the night. 


  • 15 Nights: Platanillo
  • 2 Nights: Uvita
  • 2 Nights: Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    Less time in Platanillo. I wish I traveled to the Caribbean side of the country instead!

  • Anything go wrong during the trip?

    It was a pretty seamless trip!

  • How was the food?

    Eat local fresh foods. The juices are great and the fresh coconuts are the best!

  • What tips would you give a friend?

    Lots of loose clothing and sun protection!

  • Packing tips?

    Pack light :)

  • Transportation Tips?

    The buses are actually really clean and reliable and are a great way to get around

  • Any surprises?

    Lots of insects

  • Booking details?

    If you are travelling from North America you can get such cheap flights if you book early!