Remote Costa Rica – The Original Social Distancing Destinations
A term we’ve all come to know all too well in recent weeks, social-distancing doesn’t always need to conjure up negative images. Sometimes, as is the case for Costa Rica’s remotest destinations, it can mean sensational nature-infused adventure vacations in blissful quiet, away from the tourist crowds, the hustle of cities and the endless connectivity.
Thinking of ways to restore your adventurous soul when all this COVID-mayhem is over?
Here are some of the most delightfully remote destinations in Costa Rica for adventure-seekers, families and honeymooning couples who still want to indulge in a myriad of activities whilst keeping away from the crowds.
Home to the Pacuare River, one of the best whitewater adventure hubs on earth, Turrialba is one of the most rewarding yet least-visited destinations in Costa Rica. Interestingly enough, it’s not even that far from the capital, San Jose, yet is often overlooked in favor of more Insta-famous regions. This Central Valley hub boasts some of the most glorious rural landscapes in the country, the fertility of the soil and lusciousness of the valleys making it a huge agricultural powerhouse. Devoid of major overcrowding but, instead, offering a wealth of river-based adventurous fun, this a remote destination for true adrenaline-seekers.
Where to stay: Pacuare Lodge
Anyone who’s enjoyed one of our adventure vacations in Costa Rica will surely be familiar with Pacuare Lodge, one of the world’s most astonishing eco-lodges. This incredibly unique luxury treehouse is set on over 20,000 acres of protected wilderness, right on the banks of the Pacuare River. Accessible only by 4WD, helicopter or rafting kayak, The Pacuare is the ideal spot to get away from it all – all-inclusive deals mean you get to raft, kayak, hike, canyon, swing from treetops and so much more, every single day. An in-house, award-winning wellness spa and exquisite cuisine seal the deal: the best of Costa Rica, in the middle of the superlative Costa Rican jungle? Yes please!
Love the sound of this area and want to know more? Check out our favorite accommodation options in Turrialba.
One of three amazing peninsulas in Costa Rica, the Osa is found on the south-western coast and is undoubtedly the wildest, remotest and most astonishing of the three. Most of the peninsula is made up of the Corcovado National Park (sound familiar?) considered one of the most bio-diverse on earth and home to over half the flora and fauna species found all over the country. Reaching this post is time consuming at the best of times, let alone during the dry-season when the park is only accessible by plane. It’s this very isolation, coupled with intense wilderness experiences, that make the Osa a social distancing dream.
Where to Stay: Lapas Rio Ecolodge
Lapas Rio is an absolute dream, with jaw-dropping elevated family-sized bungalows making you feel as if you’re the only one in the Osa for miles and miles. The only connectivity is with the pristine Corcovado nature and if you think that won’t entice the kids to come along for the remote Costa Rican adventure of a lifetime, just tell them they’ll have no time to miss Minecraft when howler monkeys, sloths and toucans beckon them from the balcony.
Dubbed the most biologically-intense corner of our planet by National Geographic, Uvita is home to the world-famous Marino Ballena National Park, the whale-tale-shaped promontory that is, through no small coincidence, Costa Rica’s prime whale-watching destination. Half-way between the beach hub of Quepos and the Osa Peninsula on the southern Pacific coast, Uvita itself is not all that remote nor isolated, although the sheer expansiveness of the protected wilderness here, and options for luxury lodges off the beaten path, are numerous. This is the perfect place if you want to hide away from the rest of the world for a few days whilst still being close to all the Pacific coast action.
Where to Stay: Vista Celestial
Want to spend your days indulging in private jacuzzi soaks, intimate yoga classes, strolls along deserted but resplendent beaches and soaking up awe-inspiring coastal views from your own private terrace? Then this heavenly lodge may be just your thing. Home to just five exquisite bungalows framed by rain and cloud forests, Vista Celestial – which means heavenly views – is the kind of place no-one forgets in a hurry. Options for adventure activities abound so you can be as active or as sloth-like as you like!
Love the sound of Uvita but looking for a more affordable option? See our pick of the best Uvita lodges.
The Caribbean coast’s equivalent of Corcovado, Tortuguero is even harder to reach but is just as exceptional. The turtle-nesting capital of Costa Rica, Tortuguero is a unique national park, comprising mangroves, lagoons and canals home to an astonishing array of unique wildlife. Lodges here are reached by boat, excursions are made on canoes and kayaks and Wi-Fi – although offered in some places – is not even worthy of a mention. Yes, you’ll give up most luxuries when you visit Tortuguero but if it’s divine social distancing you’re after, coupled with sightings of rare manatees, crocodiles, turtles, jaguars, sloths and endless families of monkeys and exotic birds, you simply won’t find a better place.
Where to Stay: Tortuga Lodge
One of the more affordable Tortuguero options, Tortuga is a no-frills, riverfront lodge that offers everything you need for an extraordinary adventure. With an open-air restaurant rated among the best in the region, a hammock room, saltwater pool, amazing river views from every angle and enough room options to suit both families and honeymooning couples, this is one of the most comprehensive accommodation options in Tortuguero.
Costa Rica National Parks that are ideal for an ‘anti-social adventure day’
Whilst we understand that some visitors crave entire weeks spent off-the-beaten-path in Costa Rica, we find that the majority simply wish to experience unplugged days interspersed with days in more sociable, bustling hubs. If you happen to be more the latter, rather then the former, here are some of the best yet least-visited national parks in the country that aren’t too far off the tourist-trail.
Rincon de la Vieja National Park – One of our most popular activity options from Tamarindo, on the north-western Pacific coast, is to this gem of a place. Rincon covers an area roughly equivalent to 53 square miles and is home to two of Costa Rica’s most incredible volcanoes (Rincon de la Vieja and Santa Maria) and a resulting dramatic landscape comprising almost three dozen rivers as well as waterfalls, natural hot springs, mud baths and some of the most unspoiled wilderness in the country. As the Guanacaste region’s popularity increases, thanks primarily to the expansion of the northern Liberia International Airport, expect this place to soon be as visited and commercialized as Arenal but, for now, it remains a sublime, remote and unplugged paradise.
Poas Volcano National Park – Surprisingly lesser-visited despite its proximity to San Jose, Poas Volcano boasts the world’s most active crater and undoubtedly one of its most picturesque. The last, somewhat minor eruption occurred in September 2019 and given this crater’s propensity to bubble at regular intervals, 99% of trails are closed to the public. There is one hiking trail that offers spectacular crate views, however, yet because it’s only worthwhile to hike up when the weather is impeccable, many tourists simply bypass it. If you’re lucky enough to catch this 8885-ft-peak with crystal-clear skies, you’ll be in for a spectacular treat.
Santa Rosa National Park – Easier to reach than Tortuguero and lesser-visited than Ostional on the Nicoya Peninsula, Santa Rosa is our secret turtle-spotting destination when our clients want to get off the beaten path for a day. Right on the north-western tip of Costa Rica and just south of the border with Panama, this superb, small yet super rewarding national park is a hidden treasure, brimming with wildlife, awesome volcano views and some of the most idyllic yet unknown beaches along the entire Pacific coast. Absolutely glorious!
Our Adventure Vacations in Costa Rica take social distancing to brand new levels and take you to some of the most remote and unspoiled corners of our magnificent country. Give us a call when you’re ready to start planning your next unforgettable adventure down our spellbinding neck of the woods.