Contrary to a lot of myths Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful and most expensive countries to travel in Central America. That being, it is still possible to tour around the country on a tight budget. So if you are planning to travel without breaking your pocket and skimping the fun vibe you need to follow these tips.
- You can book a tour later
Contradictory to everything you’ve learned about trip planning you don’t have to book early when going to Costa Rica. As you see, big tour companies can easily put websites on the internet and offer discounts to hook tourists. Subsequently you will think that this is the best offer you can get but wait. You can actually contact local hotels and make direct bookings. You can even ask them if they know of tour companies who can offer a cheaper rate and you will be surprised with what you’ll find out.
- Renting a car
Renting a car and driving around the city will give you a better experience and more luxury of time than going with tour companies. For example, a tour from San Jose to La Fortuna to see the volcano and relax in a hot spring would cost $130. A cheaper way is to rent a car and enjoy the view at your own pace while driving to La Fortuna. Visit some local hot springs for only $12 and eat dinner in local places for only $10 a meal.
- You can haggle
Booking with small tour companies gives you a chance to ask for discounts. Lucky for you Costa Ricans do not like confrontation and would prefer giving reasonable discounts instead of being declined by tourists. Sometimes they would offer a cheaper price so long as you take your business like meals elsewhere. You can take this offer and dine in a local place of your choice. You can still save this way.
- Eat at the Sodas
No, these are not soda drinks. Soda is the term that refers to local food spots. Most of the stalls here don’t look so fancy but their food is really good and cheap. Most meals usually cost around $5 and it already includes rice, beans, salad, and a piece of graciously cooked meat.
- Bring your own alcohol
Alcohol in Costa Rica is really expensive. So if you want to have a good drinking spree after your day tour, make sure you bring your own alcohol. In fact, you can carry with you as much as 5 liters of alcohol so long as you don’t mind the hassle. If you insist on buying alcohol in Costa Rica, we suggest that you go to mini-stores rather than supermarkets. Surprisingly smaller stores have cheaper alcohol than their bigger counterparts. You can also purchase alcohol from duty-free shops upon arrival in the airport.