Welcome to Costa Rica!
Our experienced Trip Leaders take you to some of the best beaches in the world, introduce you to a unique to a cultural experience, and let you choose plenty of other adventures like off-the-beaten-path hikes, surfing, & much more.
Enjoy this Central American oasis and discover why Time Magazine calls Costa Rica the happiest country in the world.
Duration: 5 days & 4 nights
Start: Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) -- San Jose, Costa Rica
To ensure included transportation: plan to arrive Day 1 by 1:00 pm.
Finish: Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) -- San Jose, Costa Rica
To ensure included transportation: plan to depart Day 5 after 1:30 pm.
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.
Transportation and optional activities are not included.
Get to know our community on our most affordable experience!
Go where the locals go, dodge the touristy attractions, and spend time on some of the best beaches Costa Rica has to offer.
Whether you're looking for an active adventure, or a laid back vacation, this trip offers something for all travelers interested in Costa Rica.
-Age requirement: 21+
-Group size: 16 max, average 15
-Physical rating: Moderate. Some activities include physical activity like hiking.
Travel connects us. Community keeps us connected.
Before your trip you'll have the opportunity to join a custom Facebook Group and connect with others members of your group. Many travelers meet in the airport, or for pre-trip drinks if they are from the same city. Others coordinate plans to stay in a country after their trip.
During your adventure, our Trip Leaders do their best to foster an open, supportive environment, where people feel safe to truly be themselves.
After your trip, you'll be an official U30X Alumni, and part of our larger online Travel Community where you'll have access to our network of thousands of past travelers. We are constantly hosting meetups that range from simple happy hours, to hikes, to outdoor movie nights.
More than 70% of our travelers come solo, but they all leave with friends.
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.
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 ground transportation, public bus and taxi throughout your trip.
Some optional activities like salsa lessons do not include transportation.
You will be staying in shared boutique hotel rooms in the heart of Manuel Antonio for the duration of your trip. The hotel is a short bus ride away from one of the best beaches in Costa Rica.
Laundry is available at the hotel 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 in 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 $200,000 USD 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.
We recommend using either Wanderwell or World Nomads to purchase your policy. The Wanderwell “Preferred Plan” or the World Nomads “Explorer Plan” will cover all included activities on U30X trips. Wanderwell donates at least one percent of your insurance purchase to Explore Austin, a sustainable youth outdoor education program, via 1% for the Planet, selected by Under30Experiences.
If you have travel insurance with your credit card we require proof of purchase of the trip in the form of a receipt or credit card statement on a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage, and emergency contact telephone number.
With the increased concern surrounding the spread of the coronavirus we've implemented a temporary cancellation policy that you can reference on our FAQs.
Give us at least 30 days notice and you can switch your trip for free, or we'll hold your Experience Credits for future use.
If you have an emergency cancellation that is less than 30 days before your trip, please refer to your travel insurance company as they may cover you for some expenses. We are not able to transfer trips or hold experience credits within 30 days of the trip because we have already secured reservations on your behalf.
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.
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.
We highly recommend packing active gear as we'll be exploring hidden beaches, hiking to waterfalls, and staying active throughout the trip.
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 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 regarding 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.
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.
We suggest bringing $300 USD in cash to be used at establishments that do not accept credit cards.
This is not a total cash amount that you should expect to spend on your trip. Please consider your own spending habits for additional expenses such as snacks, souvenirs, and optional activities.
The official currency of Costa Rica is the Costa Rican Colon (CRC)
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 XE Currency Exchange App.
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 $100.
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, please be in touch with your Trip Leader and use the free-wifi to call an Uber to meet the group.
Although Manuel Antonio & Quepos are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering around any town at night. We recommend staying in small groups when possible.
Make sure you have the address of your hotel in the event that you're separated from your Trip Leader.
Average temperature in Manuel Antonio is 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 75-80 at night. Please expect showers and thunderstorms most days that pass through the tropical forest.
Dry Season: November-May
Green Season: 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" Costa Ricans use “con gusto” instead of “de nada”.
While tipping isn’t customary, it is certainly appreciated especially when you have received great service. Be sure to tip in the local currency (colones) to ensure the recipient does not have to pay additional fees when exchanging. Here are some common guidelines to follow:
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:
Accommodation Recommendations in Manuel Antonio:
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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.