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It only takes one quick Google search to be enamored by Costa Rica’s breathtaking beaches, lush rainforests, larger-than-life volcanoes, and exotic animals. Costa Rica means “rich coast”, and it definitely lives up to the name.

For those of you trying to set your itineraries for your trip down Central America, you may want to consider taking the road less traveled. Costa Rica’s the kind of country that never runs out of wonders to behold, and those who opt to go off-the-book will be surely rewarded.

Don’t worry because, while these areas may be flying under the radar, they’re still accessible to tourists. Just because these spots aren’t on the top 10, doesn’t mean they’re not as good. Heck, we’ll even argue that they’re better.

We’ve rounded up the best lowkey Costa Rica gems that will be worth your travel and time. Read on and know the ins and outs of Costa Rica’s finest!

  1. Piscina de Los Pobres

Hidden Gems Piscina de Los Pobres

Piscina de Los Pobres, or “Pool of the Poor” under promises with its name, but over-delivers with its sights. Don’t be fooled by the name, because this secret spot is rich with experiences and sights for you.

If you’re not a fan of big crowds in beaches, Piscina de Los Pobres will be your little slice of heaven as you unwind in its mineral-rich hot springs. This space for solitude is around 8 miles away from La Fortuna, one of Costa Rica’s most famous tourist destinations.

Get ready for quite a trek though as this little-known place requires traveling by foot. Be sure to lace up and wear comfortable shoes. Trust us: the thermal springs are worth every drop of sweat.

  1. Bahia de Los Piratas

Hidden Gems Bahia de Los Piratas

Taking a trip “off the beaten path” to visit Bahia de Los Piratas rewards everyone with its crystal clear waters and exciting activities,

There are tons of enjoyable things like kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling to make the trip to get there well worth the effort. This place is also a hot spot for people who want to test their fishing skills in a classic way!

Bahia de Los Piratas is a favorite of local fishermen and, if it’s your first time ever holding a spear to catch fish, they’ll be ready to guide you. There is an abundance of groupers and various types of fish that you can catch, so don’t forget to try this challenging activity out for yourself.

For those landlubbers who’d rather chill by the beach and not get wet, you can actually choose to go on horseback or an ATV to get here. You can set up a relaxing spot near the beach and marvel at one of Costa Rica’s treasures.

Just be sure to pack your own snacks and refreshments, though! You’ll surely be tired after a fun day under the Bahia de Los Piratas sun.

  1. Sloth Sanctuary

Let’s admit it: sloths are probably the smartest, most adorable creatures around and, luckily enough, Costa Rica is home to these mammals.

To get up close and personal with the sloths, you’ll need to take a trip to Aviarios del Caribe, the prime sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica. This is where these mammals are taken care of, and for a small price, you get to meet them!

Included in the sloth sanctuary tour is an interaction with the sloths, and you also get to learn about the environmental factors that are endangering them. This is a great trip to take in Costa Rica in case you’re traveling with younger ones!

  1. Playa Zancudo

Hidden Gems Playa Zancudo

Costa Rica’s known for its beautiful white sand beaches and, once coupled with the country’s famous summer sun, Costa Rica becomes a paradise.

With its famous waters being home to thousands of tourists every day, it can get a little overwhelming for some who’d rather have a laid back trip as they listen to the waves hit the shore.

Luckily, Costa Rica has many yet-to-be-discovered spots that will serve as a hidden sanctuary for visitors who prefer something more relaxed.

One of which is Playa Zancudo with its black sand, swaying coconut palms, and idyllic waters that combine to make a serene get-away.

Playa Zancudo is virtually untouched and is home to around only 300 Costa Ricans. Thanks to its low population, this quiet haven is enjoyed by tourists who opt to stay in cabanas situated along the beach strip.

  1. Barra Honda Caves

Hidden Gems Barra Honda Caves

For those seeking a bit more adventure after lounging by the beach, the Barra Honda caves is a great spot for you to get your wanderlust on.

Many people who have visited this site call it an “underground art museum” due to the beautifully protected stalagmites, stalactites, and other natural formations.

Unlike other caves, the Barra Honda caverns were not designed for a large-scale of tourists. Due to this, the experience will not feel like a limited, free-for-all attraction but more like an exciting adventure for you.

Don’t forget to strap in your sturdiest shoes and wear protective clothing. The descent into the Barra Honda caves requires you to, literally, get down and dirty. As this is an activity that requires physical involvement, only those 12 and over are allowed to partake in it.

Be sure to get there early as you can as the last descent is only until 1 PM! This is an experience you surely wouldn’t want to miss once you’re in Costa Rica.

  1. Cabuya Island

Hidden Gems Cabuya Island

Cabuya Island is home to the only active island cemetery in Costa Rica. If you’re on the hunt for a destination that’s rich with culture and mystery, Cabuya Island is the place to be.

This sleepy, peaceful coastal treasure is a nature paradise that never fails with its overwhelming beauty. Cabuya Island is a small, remote piece of land that serves as the gateway to its more famous counterpart, Cabo Blanco Reserve. However, this hidden gem is just as deserving of a visit.

Cabuya Island’s rocky shores are perfect for snorkeling and kayaking, but they have more to offer for overseas travelers! There are actually schools on this island that offer Spanish lessons so you can brush up on your Spanish language skills as well.

You won’t just experience a once-in-a-lifetime island, you’ll get to bring home a new language in your arsenal as well. How’s that for an educational and exciting trip?

  1. Land of Strays

Hidden Gems Land Strays

This one for our furry-loving friends. Even if you can’t bring your dog to your trip, you can spend a day with canines at the Land of Strays!

Since Costa Rica is known to be flocked by stray dogs, the Land of Strays serves as a safe haven for them to be cared for and find new families. Here, they are fed, sheltered, and looked after as they wait for a permanent caring home.

Costa Rica is a gift that keeps on giving, and we’re sure that there are more treasures to be found by adventurers like yourself. There will always be something for everyone with Costa Rica’s medley of nature, wildlife and culture is all-encompassing.

Tap into your fearless spirit and take a trek into Costa Rica’s unknown! Who knows what wonders you’ll find for yourself?


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