Where we stayed in Costa Rica

A list of the campgrounds, homes, hostels and hotels we stayed in during our time in Costa Rica from April to July 2014/

Canas CastillaLa Cruz, Guanacaste: 4/11/14 – 4/12/14, Camping at Finca Cañas Castilla – PROS: Beautiful working farm, nice hikes on property, monkeys play all day in the trees above you, clean bathrooms and showers, kitchen sink area for washing dishes, great family-style dinners available every night.  This was one of our favorite camping spots of the entire Adventure. – CONS: No internet – 5 USD/person/night – GPS: 11.121801 N, 85.593925 W – NOTE: We are pretty sure electric is available if you need it but we didn’t ask

Casa Rural Aroms de CampoRincon de la Vieja, Guanacaste: 4/13/14 – 4/16/14, Camped in a field below Casa Rural Aroma de Campo – PROS: Close to entrance of the park, small swimming pool, clean bathrooms, plenty of space to spread out, free wifi, honesty beer and soda available, laundry service available – CONS: Where we were told to camp is pretty far from all the amenities, water for cleaning/dishes is not convenient, wifi only works by kitchen (and our usb modem didn’t work), shower is freezing and there is no shower head, the entire camping area is pretty much on an angle – 7 USD/person/night – GPS: 10.729501 N, 85.395420 W

Santa Rosa, Guanacaste: 4/17/14, Camped in the parking lot of Lake Arenal Brewery – PROS: Craft brewery (!), beautiful views of Lake Arenal, clean bathrooms, electric hookup, fast free wifi, free drinking water, swimming pool and tennis courts – CONS: No showers are readily available but JP (the owner) will work something out for you if you really want a shower – FREE! – GPS: 10.522381 N, 84.966545 W – UPDATE: Friends went here towards the end of May and were asked for 20 USD to camp…

Arenal, Alajuela: 4/18/14, Campground across the road from the entrance to Arenal National Park – PROS: convenient access for the National Park, lots of farm animals around – CONS: bathrooms are pretty grimy, we were told there were showers but never found them, things get started pretty early on the farm so be prepared for an early wake-up call – 5 USD/person/night – GPS: 10.462665 N, 84.739866 W

El Castillo, Alajuela: 4/19/14, Dry camping on the shores of Lake Arenal – PROS: Amazing view of Arenal Volcano, decent brick oven pizza just up the road, super quiet – CONS: None – FREE – GPS: 10.431421 N, 84.758835 W – NOTE: In retrospect we preferred this spot to the “campground” across from the Arenal National Park and would have preferred a couple nights here instead of just one.

Santa Elena, Puntarenas: 4/20/14 – 4/22/14, Camped in the parking lot of Pension Santa Elena – PROS: Centraly located in Santa Elena, clean bathrooms, electric hookup, fast free wifi, free coffee, hot showers (towels are available at no extra charge), well stocked camp kitchen – CONS: Loud as you are basically parked on the street, music selection is terrible – 14 USD/vehicle – GPS: 10.317428 N, 84.823443 W – NOTE: The owner (rather rudely) informed us on our first night that he doesn’t really want people camping in their vehicles as he doesn’t make any money from us and he needs the space in his busy parking lot. As we had prepaid for three nights he let us stay but we would not recommend staying here for more than a night, if at all.

Monteverde, Puntarenas: 4/23/14 – 4/24/14, Camping in the camping area of La Colina Lodge – PROS: Located right in  Monteverde, super friendly owners, clean bathrooms, free fast wifi, hot showers, beautiful grounds with organic vegetable garden – CONS: No camp kitchen – 8 USD/person/night – GPS: 10.302740 N, 84.809646 W – NOTE: Electric hookup is available for an additional 2 USD/person/night but we didn’t use it

Orosi, Cartago – 4/25/14, After a long driving day and sunset rapidly approaching, we pulled into Orosi looking for a good place to camp.  As we were sitting at the side of the road, debating whether or not we could sleep on the street, an elderly man offered to let us camp on his private field – PROS:  Safe and quiet place to camp – CONS: No bathrooms, wifi or other services – Name your own price, we gave him 10 USD and he was very very happy – GPS: 9.794891 N, 83.856646 W

Cahuita, Limõn: 4/26/14 – 5/1/14, Camping in the camping area of Camping Maria – PROS: Beautiful campground full of fruit trees and flowers steps away from the beach, one of the friendliest camp hosts we’ve met yet, fast free wifi, electric hookup included, private bathroom for overlanders, covered hangout area and kitchen sink, free coffee delivered to your camper every morning, short walk into Cahuita center, super friendly camp dog – CONS: Toilet doesn’t flush when water pump is turned off (this happens several times a day and overnight), internet is turned off every night – 7 USD/person/night – GPS: 9.745838 N, 82.854445 W – TIP: Go to Pizzeria Cahuita.  You can thank us later.

Cerro de la Muerte, San Jose: 5/2/14, Camped outside Mirador de Quetzales – PROS: beautiful view from the campground, quetzal tour available from lodge, restaurant on site (you can bring your own beer or other booze), clean bathrooms and warm showers – CONS: facilities are quite far from the parking area, no electric or water, no wifi – 5 USD/person/night – GPS: 9.644451 N, 83.849866 W

Uvita, Puntarenas: 5/3/14, Camped at Camping El Chaman – PROS: Covered (or uncovered if that is your preference) spots in fruit-tree filled campground/hostel/treehouse, electric and potable water hookups, dedicated kitchen sink for each campsite, clean bathrooms and showers, free wifi, short walk into town and the beach – CONS: We were unable to get the wifi in our campsite – 7 USD/person/night – GPS: 9.150270 N, 83.733545 W

Tres Rios de Osa, Puntarenas: 5/4/14 – 7/2/14, Housitting a 3,000 sq. ft. home with infinity pool – PROS: Beautiful home with pool, gardener comes twice weekly, cleaning ladies come weekly, covered area to store the camper and park our truck, amazing views of the jungle and ocean, visited daily by howlers and a large variety of brids – CONS: None – We pay for the electric and internet – GPS: Not given as this is a private residence.

Playa Dominical, Puntarenas: 7/3/14, Dry camping on the beach across from Tortilla Flats – PROS: Steps from the beach, tons of shade trees, WiFi from the restaurant reaches parking spot, use of bathrooms at Tortilla Flats while restaurant is open – CONS: No real amenities, could be noisy depending on the night of the week – GPS: 9.252688 N, 83.865910 W. – FREE!

Playa Manzanillo, Nicoya Peninsula: 7/4/14, Boondocking on the beach just north of Playa Manzanillo – PROS: Beautiful, mostly deserted, secluded beachfront camping, howler monkeys in the trees, lots of shade trees – CONS: Right on the road, so some traffic, rocky beach not great for swimming, a decent amount of garbage tossed around – GPS: 9.690950 N, 85.203180 W – FREE!

Playa Samara, Nicoya Peninsula: 7/5/14 – 7/6/14, Camping El Coco – PROS: Steps away from  a truly beautiful beach behind a simple wooden fence, close to several bars and restaurants, cleanish bathrooms and cold water showers, WiFi accessible from restaurant next door – CONS: Electric is a little sketchy, entry road will be very tight for larger rigs – GPS: 9.881246 N, 85.524470 W – 6,000 CRC per night including electric

Playa Tamarindo, Nicoya Peninsula: 7/7/14, Boondocking on publicly accessed beach on the south end of Tamarindo – PROS: Felt like a deserted beach most of the day, stunning views, good shade trees, tons of howler monkeys, very quiet at night, easy access road and plenty of options for parking – CONS: At night several homeless Nicaraguans camped outside in hammocks, which some people might find sketch, not a ton of options for sneaky bathroom breaks during the day – GPS: 10.296806 N, 85.844470 W – FREE!

Playa Potrero, Nicoya Peninsula: 7/8/14, Camped in driveway at Casa Skyhorse – PROS: Finally got to meet our friends from Adventures in Skyhorse, clean bathrooms and showers, drinking water, laundry, swimming pool, WiFi, close walk to the beach – CONS: Due to our import situation we could only stay one night! – GPS: Not given as this is a private residence.

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