Going to Costa Rica for 2 Weeks in March

Posted on January 13, 2016 | in Travellers Questions | by

Hello travelers! My fiance and I (36 and 25) are traveling to Costa Rica for two weeks on a backpacker type budget. We are flying into Juan Santamaria International on February 29th at noon. We leave 2 weeks later from there at 1:20pm. Ive already looked through some Costa Rica posts and a lot of them are outdated, but theres also so many options that its hard to choose which locations are best for us. We havent hashed out the full budget but since we dont drink, dont eat meat, are willing to travel on public transport, and dont mind cheaper accommodation I was thinking around $1500 for the two weeks.

Were both vegan and his diet is even more restrictive (gluten and corn allergy). I speak Spanish so translating this point wont be an issue and Ive already read up on accidentally vegan Costa Rican meals, but having options would help. Neither of us are into the party scene and wed prefer a more off the beaten path destination. Hes traveled for most of his life and together weve backpacked through Australia, Thailand, and Laos. We live in NYC and dont want to stay in San Jose or other major cities except for maybe the last night for flight convenience. Hes a very good surfer so we want to spend at least a week on a beach with a good surf, but we also both like hiking and nature so I want to visit the Cerro Chato Trail in Arenal. Wondering if two days is enough here as we wont be doing the more expensive tourist attractions.

For beach areas we dont know which region is best: Puntarenas, Dominical, Guanacaste, or Limon. They all have high ratings from surf websites and theres a lot of AirBnB options that are affordable in the various beach towns in those areas. My plan is to go from San Jose straight to Arenal for two days. If the beach regions are all comparable to each other then the best idea is to look at which have the cheapest transportation options from Arenal (although I can do Arenal on my way back to San Jose). Either that, or pick a location that is on the way to our next destination (that I havent decided yet). After a week on a beach well have a few days left before going back to San Jose on the 13th. Is there any place that should absolutely not be missed? My fiance loves hummingbirds, turtles, monkeys, and pretty much every animal. We would love to get to see some wildlife. I already know that there are sanctuaries in Limon and Guanacaste that offer tours for $60pp, and Ive ruled out Tortueguero because it seems like a financial burden to get to.

TL;DR: Going to Costa Rica for two weeks with fiance, where do we stay for good surf for a week and nature/animals/cool cheaper tourist attractions for other week?

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