Travel to Costa Rica to backpack, study, intern, volunteer, work or live as a digital nomad, expat or emigrant?

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Intro: life and experiences in Costa Rica

Backpacking in Costa Rica

  • Costa Rica is visited both by backpackers on a few weeks' vacation and by world travelers taking a longer trip Central and South America. The country is a fairly complete travel country with relatively small distances.
  • Characteristics: many traveling nationalities, extremely beautiful nature, safety for Central American standards.

Traveling in Costa Rica

  • A trip through Costa Rica is a journey through the wonders of nature, anyone who was not already a nature lover will become one there. Costa Rica is also a great destination as a first introduction to Central America.
  • City spotting:  Liberia, Puerto Viejo, Samara, San Jose, Turrialba.
  • Activity spotting: surfing on the Pacific or Caribbean coast, rafting down the Pacuaré and Reventazón rivers, visiting coffee plantations.
  • Nature spotting: Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Parque Nacional Tortuguero, Vulcán Arenal.
  • Animal spotting: Costa Rica is home to a great variety of wildlife: howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, jaguars, iguanas, turtles, crocodiles, toucans, tropical poison frogs, whales.

Study in Costa Rica

  • Studies: basically all subjects and forms of education can be found, especially in the capital city of San Jose.
  • Study cities: in San Jose you will find public universities and several private educational institutions.
  • Learning Spanish: San Jose, Turrialba.

Internships in Costa Rica

  • Internships: internships can be found in various sectors of society. The tourism sector has the most offerings. Certainly also opportunities around conservation, social welfare, agriculture, health care and in education
  • Internship cities: Liberia, San Jose, Turrialba.
  • Characteristics: The work culture is sometimes more focused on tomorrow than today, but if you speak reasonable Spanish you can learn a lot and get something done too.

Volunteer in Costa Rica

  • Volunteer projects: especially in the social sectors and nature conservation.
  • Animal projects: protection of sea turtles, parrots, howler monkeys and coral reefs, among others.
  • Characteristics: volunteering possible from 1 or 2 weeks to several months.

Working in Costa Rica

  • Jobs: temporary work is limited in hospitality and tourism, such as at diving schools and in the travel sector.
  • Characteristics: take into account the mañana work culture, make sure you have a good basic knowledge of Spanish and adjust to working for food and lodging.

Working as a digital nomad in Costa Rica

  • Favorite locations: Liberia Manuel antonio, Puerto Viejo, Samara, Santa Teresa, Tamarindo.
  • Features: expect faltering wifi, regularly slow internet and varying value for money. Certainly digital nomad accommodation can sometimes be pricier than you might expect from this relatively inexpensive country.

Living in Costa Rica

  • Language: English is spoken in the better-known places and locations. In the smaller, remote villages, you won't get far with your English. Living in Costa Rica starts with learning Spanish.
  • Quality of life: quality of life is quite high, somewhat more expensive than other Central American countries but still relatively low cost of living, beautiful nature, pleasant weather.
  • Characteristics: welcoming population (though you remain a gringo for a long time), some mañana mentality, does suffer somewhat from Central American perils (security, refugee flows, natural disasters), fairly easy housing.
  • Health care: is reasonably well taken care of in the big cities outside it gets trickier quickly. See also: Insurance and health care in Costa Rica: from travel to health insurance and emigration to expat insurance or get advice on insurance policies that provide adequate coverage for proper care and also repatriation in case of emergency.
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Travel, living and working in Costa Rica - WorldSupporter Theme
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Dit gerecht heeft mijn hart gestolen. Mijn lievelings eten in mijn gast gezin in Costa Rica. Dit gerecht is Mexicaans maar wordt overal in latijns amerika gegeten. Soort tomatensoep met avocado kaas en kip. Als ik dit gerecht zie denk ik aan Costa Rica en mijn gast gezin. Reeds heb ik dit voor vrien...


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After 5 months there has come an end to my time in Central America, these past few months have been filled with travelling, meeting new people, volunteering, and above all learning. I have learned so much about new cultures, new languages and most of all; myself. I have had the opportunity to experi...


Sergio, a baby black howler monkey in the Jaguar Rescue Centre

Favorite tips and suggestions related to Costa Rica
Gallo Pinto

Nu ik toch bezig ben, ik ben net verhuisd en daar hoort natuurlijk ook bij dat ik vanaf nu zelf moet koken! Mijn favoriete eten in Costa Rica was Gallo Pinto, een gerecht dat 's ochtend wordt gegeten, en wat mijn host family elke ochtend voor me neerzette. En hier is het recept! Ik heb het al &eacut...


Menno en ik gaan aankomende april terug naar waar alles begon! Beide hebben een fulltime baan maar vinden het belangrijk voor onszelf en voor onze stichting om terug te gaan naar Costa Rica om nieuwe projecten te starten en oude te evalueren. Tijdens onze terugkomst staan er veel events op de planni...


Dit gerecht heeft mijn hart gestolen. Mijn lievelings eten in mijn gast gezin in Costa Rica. Dit gerecht is Mexicaans maar wordt overal in latijns amerika gegeten. Soort tomatensoep met avocado kaas en kip. Als ik dit gerecht zie denk ik aan Costa Rica en mijn gast gezin. Reeds heb ik dit voor vrien...


Kan je spaans spreken en heb je zin om (weer) een tijdje op pad te zijn en tegelijkertijd onderdeel te zijn van Casa de Lis, een hotel (met hostel vibes) in Costa Rica? Casa de Lis ligt in de Turrialba omgeving, ten oosten van San Jose (ongeveer 1,5 uur). Het ligt in een mooie vallei en de plek is w...

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