We frequently get asked if Costa Rica is a good place to go on your honeymoon. Our answer? A resounding yes! The country is packed with diverse and beautiful landscapes, exotic wildlife, romantic and secluded accommodations, and plenty of high-octane adventure activities to keep you entertained. From the sleepy treetops of the Osa Peninsula to the vibrant restaurant scene in Nosara, to the laid-back Caribbean vibe in Puerto Viejo, there is something here for every couple. There’s no way you’ll get bored! Plus, Costa Rica is perfectly situated beneath North America, so it’s convenient to get to, only three hours from Miami or Houston, and usually nine to twelve hours including connections from most of the rest of the United States and Canada. There’s no significant time change from North America (only a couple of hours, max), so you won’t have to adjust your schedule much when you land. It’s an ideal location if you have limited vacation time for your honeymoon and don’t want to spend more than a day traveling each way to get to further flung destinations, like the Maldives, French Polynesia or Southeast Asia.
How expensive is a honeymoon in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is quite affordable for a honeymoon compared to other adventurous beach destinations including Hawaii & St. Lucia. Your dollar will stretch further here, and you’ll get to enjoy similar warm tropical waters, luxury accommodation, high-quality dining and romantic couples’ activities as you would in more expensive destinations – just with a lower price tag! Depending on what sort of trip you’re looking for, honeymoon pricing can start as low as USD $900 for a seven-night trip, excluding flights. A more mid-range honeymoon will cost somewhere in the range of $3,000-$3,500, while a typical, more luxurious honeymoon that includes high-end accommodations (honeymoon suites, private plunge pools), activities, and romantic extras starts around $4,500 in Costa Rica.
Now that you’ve decided on Costa Rica as your honeymoon destination, it’s time to start planning the fun stuff. Like we said, you won’t get bored, so let’s get to it. Here, in no particular order, are our top activity recommendations for couples in Costa Rica.
1. Catch a sunrise on the Caribbean Coast
In your day to day, sunrises usually mean blaring alarm clocks and chilly winter days, but on your honeymoon, they’re magical. Set your alarm, grab a coffee, and head out to greet the sunrise at least once while you’re away. Our favorite place to catch a sunrise is on Costa Rica’s Caribbean side where the sun rises over the ocean horizon. Tortuguero or the beaches around Puerto Viejo allow for an unobstructed view of the horizon, and as a bonus, since these areas are generally less busy than beaches on the Pacific side, you’re likely to have the beach all to yourself.
The practical stuff: The sun rises in Costa Rica between 5:30 and 6 am year-round, but a quick Google search will tell you the exact time on the date you want to watch it. Plan to arrive to the beach 20 minutes early to find a comfy place and settle in, and don’t forget insect repellent. The predawn hours are prime feeding time for sand flies and while they’re tiny, their bite packs a punch if you get nipped.
2. Retreat to the rainforest
After months or maybe years of wedding planning stress –especially COVID wedding planning stress – you may want to just hole up in a secluded hideaway together for a few days. Where better to get away from the hustle and bustle of busy schedules and to-do lists than a remote jungle lodge in the heart of the rainforest? Luckily, Costa Rica has a treasure trove of secluded lodges to escape to. From the thick lowland rainforests of Tortuguero and the Osa Peninsula to the cloud forests of Bajos del Toro and Monteverde, options abound.
The practical stuff: In many cases, there may not be restaurants nearby, so many rainforest lodges include meals in your nightly rate. Some offer a-la-carte menus and others are buffet style, so if you’re a picky eater, you may want to confirm what the options are before booking. If you want to get straight to a jungle lodge upon touchdown, there are a few options with close proximity to Costa Rica’s international airports. About an hour and a half from San José’s international airport, we love El Silencio Lodge in the cloud forests near Bajos del Toro, or the luxurious Pacuare Lodge in the Pacuare River Gorge. An hour and 40 minutes from Liberia, Origins Lodge is an ultra-luxe escape in the north, nestled next to Tenorio National Park.
3. Splurge on a room with a private plunge pool
Imagine: after a day spent chasing waterfalls or hiking through primary rainforest, you return to your room to enjoy a sunset, drink in hand, from your own private pool. A plunge pool room is one luxury that is worth the splurge for a couple of nights, and in Costa Rica, depending on the location and the season, prices start as low as USD $300 per night, with more luxurious locales in high season going for more than USD $1500 per night. Find one that might work for you here: 25 Dreamy Hotels with Plunge Pools in Central America.
The practical stuff: If you are really interested in a plunge pool but not sure how to make it worth with your budget, try choosing a less touristy location (Santa Teresa instead of Manuel Antonio). If your dates are flexible, travel in low season (May through November). You can also save money by choosing a midrange or budget hotel for part of your stay and splurging for your beach stay. For example, when you’re in Arenal hiking, zip lining & exploring all day, you won’t get a ton of use out of a plunge pool anyway, so you’re better off to save the money and put it towards your beach stay where you have less planned and can laze around and enjoy the room.
4. Include downtime
Speaking of lazing around, it might be tempting to fill your itinerary to the max, especially if you’ve never been to Costa Rica before. There’s so much to see and do, but if you miss scheduling downtime into your trip, you’ll feel like you need a vacation from your vacation. Instead, leave ample time to lounge, connect with one another, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings together. Revel in the magnificent views, enjoy strolls down the beach hand in hand. Your honeymoon is the perfect time for a lazy afternoon nap by the pool or a late morning with breakfast in bed. Take advantage!
The practical stuff: Pick three or four activities to schedule in advance, then add things along the way if you find yourselves with too much time to kill. Remember that Costa Rica is spread out, and even when it looks like it should only take you an hour and a half to get from Point A to Point B on Google Maps, there are other factors that the software doesn’t account for – bumpy, potholed roads, low-lying fog, construction, and other obstacles that may slow you down, particularly if you’re driving yourself. Anytime you take a domestic flight or transfer from one location to another, you should plan for a minimum of three hours on the go. To avoid getting overwhelmed with time on the road, keep the number of destinations you visit to two locations on a seven-day Costa Rica honeymoon, and three locations on a ten-day honeymoon.
5. Sunrise hot air balloon ride in Arenal
Hot air ballooning may be a bucket list item for you, but even if it’s not, it’s an experience you won’t forget! Start your day before dawn, driving out to the launch site to watch your balloon pilot inflate the balloon in the pre-dawn glow, and then take off to cruise the skies above the rainforest canopy, pineapple plantations and towering volcanoes. As you fly above the landscape, sip mimosas, and watch as sky turns pink and the sun appears on the horizon. This is an adventure for the romantic in all of us.
The practical stuff: If you’re not an early riser, this might not be the excursion for you. The transfer departs around 4 am from the La Fortuna area, not only so you can catch the sunrise, but also because the very early morning hours are when the winds are typically calmest and most predictable. It’s the safest time to fly.
6. Soak in the hot springs
In the Arenal area, you’ll find one of Costa Rica’s most popular – and romantic – tourist attractions, the natural hot springs, geothermically heated and fed by underground volcanic rivers. If you really want to indulge, book a stay at Nayara Springs, where you can soak in your very own in-room hot springs. If that’s out of the budget for this trip, check out Tabacon, Baldi, Ecotermales, or another one of the eleven hot springs in the area. Read more about the best Arenal hot springs for couples here.
The practical stuff: Most of the popular hot springs are family-friendly, so you may want to avoid them during the day and visit when things have calmed down at night. The dinner & entrance packages are reasonably priced, and make for a nice evening. Tour companies run group tours to various springs (except for Tabacon), and while they are convenient with transportation included, they may not be a great fit for a couple looking for a more intimate, romantic experience. There is something decidedly unmagical about being herded out of the springs onto a bus with a large group. You’re better off to arrange a taxi, so you can come and go at your leisure.
7. Wake up on a coffee farm
Nestled in the hills above San José, only 20 minutes from the international airport, Finca Rosa Blanca rests on a 35-acre shade-grown coffee plantation. If you’re a coffee lover, this unique experience is an amazing way to kick off your honeymoon. Wake up to breathtaking views overlooking the Central Valley and enjoy your morning coffee from the balcony, then tour the farm to learn about coffee production and enjoy a cupping & coffee tasting with an expert. You’ll sip two different roasts and learn how to evaluate aroma and flavor profiles.
The practical stuff: Finca Rosa Blanca is an ideal first or last stop in Costa Rica. Not only does it allow you to avoid busy San José, but there’s something truly magical about pulling up to Finca Rosa Blanca’s statuesque white façade, with the views of the city and Irazú Volcano in the distance. If you’re departing on an early day tour the following day (whitewater rafting, for example), most tour companies do not pick up at Finca Rosa Blanca so you’ll need to make your way back to Rostipollos near the international airport for your morning pickup.
8. Hike to a waterfall
Who says you can’t go chasing waterfalls? They’re picturesque, majestic, and romantic, often made even more magical by the little rainbows glancing off the thundering spray. Costa Rica is home to more than 30 of these natural wonders, many of which are easily reachable via well-maintained hiking trails. Some of the most spectacular falls attract large volumes of visitors daily – La Fortuna Waterfall, Nauyaca and Los Llanos. Others are more difficult to access, and far off the tourist trail. The most remote waterfalls, located deep in the forest at the end of jungle paths promise the most romantic and secluded experiences for adventure seekers hoping to avoid the crowds.
The practical stuff: Most waterfalls have an entrance fee (from $5 to $25), whether they’re located in a national park or on private land. If you’re visiting a popular waterfall but want to beat the crowds, head out first thing in the morning as soon as the falls have opened. The biggest crowds start to arrive around 10 am and the flow of visitors often stays steady through 2 or 3 pm.
9. Sail off into the sunset
There’s no doubt that sunset is one of the most romantic times of day, and chances are you may have heard about the breathtaking sunsets that can be enjoyed from Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. Make the most of everyone’s favorite time of day and book a sunset cruise or catamaran sail. If you’re looking for an even more memorable experience, schedule a half-day deep sea or inshore fishing trip, then, once the sun disappears beneath the waves, cruise back to shore to have a chef whip up a gourmet meal with your catch of the day.
The practical stuff: There are sunset cruises and catamaran cruises available in most touristy regions along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. You’ll find shared cruises in most of the northern areas – Las Catalinas, Tamarindo, Nosara – and in the main Central Pacific areas – Jacó and Manuel Antonio. Shared cruises normally cost $85-100 per person, including round trip transportation from your hotel. If you want more privacy, charter cruises can also be booked nearly anywhere, usually starting from $500 for a small boat. Prices can range up to several thousands for a large boat with a full crew.
10. Get a jolt of adrenaline
Science proves that there is actually something to those thrill-seeking dates – studies show that adrenaline rushes are closely linked to sexual attraction, so a heart-pumping adventure fits right in with the romance theme. Costa Rica’s got nearly every adventure activity you can think of, from A to Zipline. Get a thrill zip lining in Arenal or Monteverde, rappel down the face of an active waterfall, go whitewater rafting along the Pacuare River, or take an ATV ride along beaches and down jungle trails. There’s plenty of excitement to be had here, no matter what region of Costa Rica you’re going to.
The practical stuff: Most adventurous activities are clustered around Arenal and Monteverde in inland Costa Rica so if an adrenaline rush is a high priority for you, make sure to book a few days inland. The best zip lining can be found in either Arenal or Monteverde, while the best whitewater rafting is on the Sarapiquí and Pacuare Rivers, just northeast of San José. ATVing is common throughout Costa Rica, though not in protected regions like the Osa Peninsula or Tortuguero, and you can find horseback riding tours nearly anywhere.
Now that you've got an idea of activities in Costa Rica, read more about planning a honeymoon in our Costa Rica honeymoon guide.