Welcome to Costa Rica!
This tropical paradise accounts for only 0.03 percent of the earth's surface and contains nearly 6 percent of the world's biodiversity!
A country where monkeys, jaguars, and panthers can be found throughout the rainforest. Costa Rica is a hub for sustainability and green lifestyle for both expats and locals.
Get to explore Costa Rica’s diversity as we venture deep into the rainforest around Arenal Volcano followed by adventure and relaxation at the beautiful beaches in Manuel Antonio.
There is no better place to open your mind, take a break and learn about yourself than in the beaches and rainforests of Costa Rica. Discover why Time Magazine calls it the happiest country in the world.
Duration: 9 days, 8 nights
Start: Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) -- San Jose, Costa Rica
To ensure included transportation: plan to arrive before 1:00 pm on Day 1.
Finish: Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) -- San Jose, Costa Rica
To ensure included transportation: plan to depart after 1:30 pm on Day 9.
Airfare booking details will be sent after registration – please wait to book your flight until you receive further instructions.
Travelers are responsible for international airfare to and from Costa Rica
Experience the best that Costa Rica has to offer by combining both of our best selling Costa Rica trips!
Spend half your trip soaking in the sun at the beaches of Manuel Antonio and the other half in the lush and lively rainforests.
This is the best way to see everything Costa Rica has to offer.
-Age requirement: 21+
-Group size: 18 max, average 15
-Physical rating: Moderate. Some activities might include moderate physical activity like hiking, walking, etc.
Travel connects us. Community keeps us connected.
Once you come on a trip, you become part of our Travel Community forever.
From U30X Alumni resources (and a secret group) after your trip, to custom Facebook groups before your trip, to meetups around the world, you will have the opportunity to meet and stay connected to other like-minded adventurers.
More than 70% of our travelers come solo but they all leave with friends.
Whether you have joined us on a trip or are looking for a group of like-minded people, we welcome you to the Under30Experiences Travel Community.
Travel can be unpredictable. Our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience.
While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into it and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Breakfasts will be enjoyed at our eco-lodge in the rainforest and at our boutique hotel in Manuel Antonio. In the rainforest most of the food will be grown right on the permaculture farm where you'll be staying.
Eat like a local with delicious Costa Rican dishes such as gallo pinto and some of the best fruit in the world.
Sample Breakfast Menu:
Sample Dinner Menu:
We do our best to accommodate dietary restrictions. Most meals can be modified for special requests and food allergies.
You will be traveling by private and public ground transportation throughout your trip.
You will be staying in shared boutique hotel rooms and hotel bungalows for the duration of the trip
Laundry is available at some hotels for an additional fee. Ask your Trip Leader for details.
Accommodations may vary but will be the same quality.
Solo travelers are paired with someone of the same gender.
Private room options are available upon request subject to hotel availability (for an extra charge).
Travel insurance is mandatory in order to participate on any of our trips.
When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all travelers must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please ensure that all the activities you plan on participating in are covered by your travel insurance. For World Nomads, the “Explorer Plan” will cover all of the included activities on U30X trips.
If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt or credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Our suggested travel insurance vendor is World Nomads.
All Under30Experiences trips are accompanied by experienced Trip Leaders.
The goal of the Trip Leader is to facilitate an awesome experience and help our travelers have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.
You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
Please be eco-friendly
We recommend using a travel backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.
Below includes our staff picks of the best items on the market that we travel with! All products selected are 3 ounces or less to comply with TSA carry-on size and organically inspired when possible.
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you Under30Experiences will earn a small commission if you make a purchase.
Guidelines for U.S. Passport Holders
Make sure you have an updated passport with you. Your passport must be valid for 60 days after your trip. Under30Experiences recommends that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after your trip. Please consult the U.S. Department of State with any more questions.
Make sure there is no damage to your passport. Conditions that may constitute damage requiring you to replace your passport include water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing or torn out visa pages, a hole punch, or other injuries.
The tap water in Costa Rica is safe to drink. Please bring a reusable water bottle and join us in our efforts to be environmentally friendly and keep Costa Rica beautiful.
Our suggested travel insurance vendor is World Nomads and has a minimum of $200,000 USD coverage.
Please consult with your doctor before traveling in regards to physical activity and vaccinations.
No inoculations are required to enter Costa Rica from the United States but the Center for Disease Control suggests vaccinating for Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Required vaccines should go through CDC, recommended vaccines should be through your doctor.
If you are traveling to Costa Rica from South America you will be required to present proof of Yellow Fever Vaccine.
Mosquito borne viruses exist in most of Latin America. Please cover exposed skin and use mosquito repellent.
Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities. For legal reasons our Trip Leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc.
The official currency of Costa Rica is the Costa Rican Colon (CRC)
Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to additional expenses such as snacks, alcoholic drinks, souvenirs, and optional activities.
We suggest bringing at least USD $500 in cash for the duration of the trip
Please be advised that US Dollar notes that are slightly torn, heavily marked, or faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than $100USD.
All businesses accept USD so you do not need to convert to Costa Rican Colones before arriving.
If you’d like a better exchange rate call your bank and order Colones before your trip.
In Costa Rica, a 23% charge is added on to almost every meal (13% tax, 10% tip).
Further tipping for wait staff is appropriate in the case of excellent service. When in doubt, ask your Trip Leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Remember to call your bank and credit card company to let them know you will be traveling overseas.
For an up-to-date exchange rate, download the app XE
Always carry a copy of your travel insurance, health insurance and passport with you. A photo of these items on your phone is also a good backup.
Keep your passport and any valuables locked in the safe at the hotel.
Don’t leave valuables unattended.
Leave flashy jewelry at home.
US Citizens please consider registering with US State Department's “SMART Traveler Program” who can contact your family in case of emergency.
Uber works at the San Jose Airport and is the safest way to call a taxi. If you miss the shuttle, use the free-wifi to call an Uber.
Although La Fortuna and Manuel Antonio are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any town at night. We recommend staying in small groups, taking taxis to and from restaurants, and during night time activities. Taxis are the safest and easiest way to avoid any issues one might encounter on the streets after dark.
Taxis can be organized from reception of your hotel. Also, take the address of the hotel with you.
The average temperature in Manuel Antonio is 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 75-80 at night.
The average temperature in La Fortuna is 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 65-75 at night.
Please expect showers and thunderstorms most days that pass through the forests.
Dry Season of November - May
Green Season of May - November
Pura Vida is a lifestyle in Costa Rica that literally translates to "Pure Life". It's also a very common phrase that means hello, thank you, and much more.
Costa Rica is a very eco-conscious country. Please do not disturb the natural environment by feeding animals, removing shells, or littering.
Smoking is prohibited in public areas.
To say "you're welcome" we use “con gusto” instead of “de nada”.
Please bring cash with you. It will be helpful to have at least USD $300 in cash.
Surf Lessons: USD $60 per person
This is a “must do!” Learn the Art of Surfing in one of the most popular surf towns of the Central Pacific Coast. Surfing lessons take place on the Manuel Antonio main beach every day. Our surf lessons are for people looking to develop their surf skills and those who just want to have fun.
Salsa Lessons: USD $10 per person (cash only)
Learn the art of latin dancing as your private group instructor walks you step-by-step through mastering the latin rhythm while enjoying great music.
Secret Beach Hike: Free!
Hike 1.5 miles one way to Under30’s favorite secret beach. Enjoy a half day adventure swimming and sunbathing in an untouched jungle paradise.
La Feria in Quepos (Farmers' market): Free!
Throughout the year, a weekly Farmers’ Market is held in Quepos along the waterfront. You’ll find an abundance of fresh, local produce for good prices. You’ll also find free-range eggs, cheese, and freshly-baked breads and cakes.
Farmers set up every Friday mid-afternoon and sell their products until noon on Saturday.
Sky Trek – Ultimate Zip Lines: USD $84 per person
Sky Trek is a thrilling zip line circuit that’s located in Monteverde and La Fortuna. Your tour will start riding an open-air gondola from the ground to the heights where you’ll be dropped off at an observation area for fantastic views. From this area, you will start riding themost thrilling zip line in the country stretching across canyons and in between treetops.
Horseback Riding Tour: USD $55 per person
Depart on horseback from our stables and behold unforgettable views of over 60,000 hectares of rainforest, Lake Arenal, Arenal Volcano, Cerro Chato. This is a great way to take in the Ranch and surrounding landscape!
Lake Arenal Kayak Tour: USD $55 per person
Head out to the shores of Lake Arenal where adventure and relaxation await! Kayak towards Arenal Volcano, explore the abundance of life within the many inlets you pass along the way, and feel refreshed as you jump into the lake for a swim.
Hot springs: USD $8 per person
Thanks to Arenal Volcano’s geothermal activity, there are plenty of natural hot springs throughout the area. Warm and soothing, these springs offer visitors an ideal way to relax after a day spent exploring.
Hiking in Arenal Observatory Lodge: USD $10 per person
Explore rainforest, waterfalls, streams, 11 kilometers (7 miles) of trails, and see an amazing wealth of wildlife. Arenal Observatory Lodge is a renowned destination for bird watching in Costa Rica, with more than 500 species of birds noted so far in our forest.
La Fortuna Waterfall: USD $15 per person
The Fortuna River waterfall is located in a biological reserve with an area of 210 acres of transition pre-montane tropical wet forest, part of the Arenal Volcano National Park and is located at 520 meters over the sea level, where there are sources of our mountains and the waters of the Fortuna River.
White Water Rafting (Class III - IV): USD $89 per person
Bring on the adrenaline and navigate class III - IV rapids on the Sarapiqui river! This is the perfect Costa Rica rafting trip for adventurous paddlers! Whether you are a first-timer or a rafting expert, this rafting trip will guarantee to get your adrenaline pumping!
While your Trip Leader will assist you with optional activities available, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of the Under30Experiences itinerary. We offer no guarantees on the safety or standard of the activity.
Respect the people around you and the environment in which you’re traveling. This includes, but is not limited to fellow travelers, Trip Leaders, the local community, nature, wildlife, and yourself.
Do your best to keep yourself and fellow travelers out of harm’s way.
It’s important to obey local laws and customs while on our trips. This includes, but is not limited to wearing appropriate clothing while visiting certain communities, refraining from taking photos of people without asking, avoiding the use of illegal drugs, having weapons, and soliciting prostitution. If you’re not sure about something, take time to educate yourself, or ask.
Travel involves contact with new cultures. When confronted with a different way of living than you’re used to, do your best to understand that neither way is better or worse. They’re simply different ways of life.
Know your limits! This applies to physical ability, emotional space, social situations, and alcohol consumption. If you can’t participate in something, be upfront about it. If you need a break from people, take it. Stop drinking before you get too drunk.
Trip Leaders are working in the travelers’ best interest. If they say something or ask you not to do something it’s not because they’re tyrants, but because they want you to have a good time!
Lying or withholding information about any physical or mental condition that might affect your ability to participate in any of the activities may be grounds for removal from your trip with no refund.
Hostel Recommendation in San Jose
Hotel & Hostel Recommendations in Manuel Antonio
Check out these popular posts on Travel Hacking from our Award Winning Blog!
To avoid missing out on special offers and community updates from Under30Experiences, get our newsletter here.
U30X is such an amazing travel community. Once your trip is over, the experience is not. They keep in touch with their alumni & provide platforms for travel questions, personal development, & community connections in your own backyard! If you're a young person looking to travel I highly recommend U30X!
There are not enough ways for me to describe how amazing this company is. After my first trip I always told people, it wasn't about the location, but the experience that u30x gave me. I have some of the best experiences of my life with u30x, and now a passion for travel. Also, their alumni community and groups are awesome too!
Traveling with U30X has been life changing for me. I've made lifelong friends with both travelers and staff. I can't come up with enough good things to say about the company, the people, and the experiences I've had!
Just returned from my second trip with Under30Experiences. My first trip was to the Costa Rica rainforest. My most recent trip was to Iceland. Both trips were such an amazing experience. I loved learning about Iceland and its origins. I enjoy the small groups and I made some great new friends! Recommend them for anyone wanting to travel alone or with a couple of friends.
I was so scared to travel abroad alone and then I came across their website and they made international travel so easy! And the people I’ve met on the trips are some amazing individuals! I’ve done 6 of their trips and plan on continuing to do even more!!
My Hike the Inca Trail trip was beyond amazing, and I couldn't have asked for anything more from a trip. Our leaders made us all feel instantly comfortable, and the group was fantastic. The trip was well planned and the hike was unforgettable. Memories to last a lifetime.