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Written by Richard Cole on June 24, 2020 Share on

Top Underrated Locations in Costa Rica

Costa Rica. Even the name of the country itself rolls off the tongue so deliciously that you’re sure you’re going to have an explosion of sensual experiences whilst there. There’s a promise of adventure. Of colorful cultures. Of culinary excitement. Of picturesque sights and sounds. Yes, it really is one of the countries that rank high in our travel lists. And if you’re reading this article right, then chances are, it’s on your list too.

However, before you even think of signing up for a tour from an agency like the online travel agency MustGo, please read our article first. We are going to share with you our personal favorites in this country—the locations that we believe are hidden gems that make them even more exciting to visit compared to the well-trodden path of tourist-packed spots. Excited? Then let’s get started!


Costa Rica is a huge surfer’s destination, and even if you don’t enjoy surfing yourself, we believe that you must visit one of its top surfing spots at least once in order to complete your journey.

If you’re a surfer, however, then you probably know that nothing beats the feeling of both serenity and exhilaration when you’re one with the waves and there’s nobody but good company around. That’s what the playas of Guanacaste provide. Secret surfer’s havens with good waves and no crowds.

You should definitely check out Playa Negra and Playa Avellanas while in Guanacaste. It’s just half-an-hour away from Tamarindo, that’s why it’s baffling how so few only visit these beaches.

Santa Teresa

Another secret surfing spot is the Santa Teresa in the Nicoya Peninsula. What we love best about this spot is that it offers consistent swells all-year-round! Hence, regardless of whenever you visit it, you’re sure to be able to enjoy the waves.

But that’s not all there is to experience in Santa Teresa. It offers other exciting activities as well, like horseback riding and ATV tours.

What we really recommend, though, is to check out their restaurants. There are a lot of pretty good ones to taste and explore in this area. We encourage you to explore their local cuisine!


Let’s face it, though, what if you’re not really into surfing? Are there any beaches where you can just lie down in a hammock, sip on an ice-cold drink, and enjoy picturesque sights? That’s what the beaches in Puntarenas offer us.

In particular, you should definitely visit Playa Dominical. In fact, it’s the perfect romantic getaway! The scenery even doubles in beauty come sunset. Plus, there’s a lot of really excellent restaurants there as well. And if you somehow grow tired of the beach, then Puntarenas also offers equally stunning waterfalls you can explore nearby.

Playa Hermosa Wildlife Refuge

Speaking of exploring nature, here’s a place that those who want immersing into rainforests will love. Playa Hermosa is a wildlife refuge located on a protected turtle nesting beach. But it’s not just the turtles that are worth a look at.

If you go to Playa Hermosa Wildlife Refuge, don’t forget to bring your binoculars. It’s a great spot for bird watching. Depending on the season you visit them and the hour of the day that you go exploring, you can expect to see a lot of colorful macaws and toucans in their natural habitat. It’s really a great experience that we recommend to anyone.

Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge

Here’s another great spot for birdwatching but we’re not just sharing it with you for the birds. We’re featuring this location for its hidden gem: The Valley of Waterfalls. There are almost a dozen different waterfalls within the area alone and you can climb their peaks, rappel down from them, jump from them, even sleep within them. They’re really magical.

If you do decide to visit the Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge, then make sure to wear rugged and reliable clothing and footwear. Nothing will ruin the experience more than blisters because you weren’t well equipped.

San Gerardo de Rivas

Finally, if you really want to go all extreme, then it doesn’t get any better than hiking up Chirripo, the highest peak in Costa Rica. In order to do that, though, then you’d want to get to San Gerardo de Rivas first, the gateway before you do climb the peak.

What we love best about San Gerardo de Rivas, though, is that it offers a ton of equally exciting activities. And you won’t be sharing them with big crowds since most of the people who visit it are going to climb Chirripo anyway.

And that’s it! We hope you have enjoyed our list. If so, you can also pack up your family car for the road trip of your life across this country. We’re sure that there are still a lot of spots in Costa Rica that we have yet to discover, but that’s what’s great about this country. It always offers something new.

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