- About us
- Travel Styles
Imagine a country where you can cross from the Atlantic to the Pacific in just one day, and where the forests and beaches merge in impressive landscapes. This country is Costa Rica, considered the jewel of Central America, a natural paradise with one of the highest biodiversities in the planet in spite of its small size. However its cultural and ethnographic richness is not well known. Visit rural and indigenous communities in Costa Rica, stay with them and participate in activities to learn their customs and traditions. This trip of community-based rural tourism is an opportunity to experience the nature of Costa Rica in an alternative way, from the point of view of their indigenous people and getting to know their way of life as an example of sustainability. You can complement these activities with others of ecotourism and walking (see the corresponding trips for more information).
These are the communities that you can visit in our trips of community-based rural tourism in Costa Rica and the activities you can do in every place. If you want to add more places and other activities, you can check our trips of Trekking in Costa Rica, Discover the nature of Costa Rica and Organic farms in Costa Rica. If there is any other place that you wish to visit and is not included in any of our trips, check with us and we will try to include it in your itinerary.
MALEKU INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY: It is located in the area of Arenal and it is possible to visit it for one day but without staying there. Possibility of participating in a workshop of traditional cooking and listen to the legends and traditions of these people.
JUANILAMA RESERVE: It is located next to the village of Juanilama, to the North of Arenal, and it is a reserve of 43 ha dedicated to organic farming. Possibility of staying in a small ranch with a farm and gardens that belongs to a local family. You will be able to eat some meals with the family and try some traditional dishes, and even learn how to cook some recipes with some women of the community.
CABECAR INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY IN TURRIALBA: This community is near the Turrialba Volcano National Park, the second biggest volcano in Costa Rica that is still active. Besides visiting the volcano, it is possible to do a rafting tour in the Pacuare River, considered one of the five best rivers in the world to practise this activity. In the indigenous community you will stay in a tent and you will eat traditional food. You will also visit the village with one of them and there will be possibilities for cultural exchange. Minimum 4 days and 3 nights (if you want to do rafting; if not you can do it for 2 days and 1 night).
CERRO ESCONDIDO IN NICOYA: Walks in the nature reserve of Karen Morguensen dedicated to protect the forest and the water resources. From there you will walk to Cerro Escondido Rural Lodge that is managed by a local family. Walks to natural pools and waterfalls, across the primary forest with the possibility of watching fauna and flora. Minimum two days and two nights.
WOMEN GROUP IN CHIRA ISLAND: People of this island of the Gulf of Nicoya have been traditionally dedicated to fishing. A group of women has created a rural lodge and an ecotourism association that offers various activities (mangrove tour, tour of traditional fishing, visit to a bird sanctuary, craftwork activity, etc). To get to the island it is necessary to take a boat. Minimum three days and two nights.
QUEBRADA ARROYO COMMUNITY: They are the protectors of Los Campesinos Nature Reserve, located in the Savegre River Valley. They have an association with members of the community that protect the forest and practise organic agriculture (vanilla, cocoa and cinamon). They also have a tourism project and they have built a rural lodge and a network of trails. The trails can take you to a waterfall, a hanging bridge and a viewpoint from where it is possible to see the beaches of Manuel Antonio and the Savegre River Valley. Possibility to learn about the production activities carried out in the reserve and share meals with local families. It is recommended a minimum of 3 days if you want to have to visit Manuel Antonio afterwards.
RURAL COMMUNITY OF SARAPIQUI: An organisation has created a tourism project in order to involve the community in the nature conservation of the area. The following activities of community-based rural tourism are offered: cooking classes, Spanish classes, latin dancing classes, craftwork classes, visits to farms (by foot or by horse), visits to schools, talks about the local life, etc. Ecotourism activities are also offered: birds identification, reforestations and ecology presentations. Accommodation and meals with a local family (possibility of staying at a rural hotel of the area for the ones who prefer that). Minimum 3 days and 2 nights.
GANDOCA COMMUNITY IN THE SOUTH CARIBBEAN: This community is located in an area of turtle nesting. Thanks to that, this area receive tourists and volunteers that leave benefits in the community. Here it is possible to participate in night tours to watch the turtles laying the eggs (March-July) or baby turtles (May-September). It is possible to walk from Bambú (the place where boats to the Bribri community leave) or by transport. Minimum one day and one night.
COMMUNITY OF CARBON DOS IN THE SOUTH CARIBBEAN: Community near the Cahuita National Park where their inhabitants live mainly from farming. Accommodation at a rural lodge 3 km from the community. You will walk to the community and there are opportunities to watch rainforest wildlife along the way. In the village you will have a tour and have lunch with a local family. Possibility of preparing a Caribbean soup with one of the women of the community. The next day you will visit the National Park of Cahuita. Minimum 3 days and 2 nights (if you want to visit the park).
BRIBRI INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY IN YORKIN RIVER: Boat trip to the community, located in the natural limit between Costa Rica and Panama. Guided visit of the village and its plantations of organic banana and cocoa, walk to the Skui River and the hanging bridge for a bath in natural pools, and possibility of visiting a nearby waterfall. Available workshops: traditional production of chocolate, construction of the traditional roofs, bow and arrow and medicinal plants identification. Possibility of listening ancient stories about the Bribri culture, and also talks about their ecotourism projects in charge of the women association. Accommodation at their rural lodge and traditional Bribri meals. The next day you will visit another Bribri community 3 hours away by foot, in the Panama side. Minimum two days and one night.
BRIBRI INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY IN SALITRE: It is possible to get there from the town of Buenos Aires, to the South, near Panama. It is one of the best place in Costa Rica to learn about this culture because they still keep many of their traditions. You will be able to learn many aspects of their culture through workshops of Bribri language, their world view, medicinal plants use and traditional ceremonial dances. You can also walk in the trails, swim in the river and harvest local products. Accommodation in a rural lodge and traditional meals prepared by them. Minimum 2 days and 1 night.
COMMUNITY OF PLAYA HERMOSA: Located in the beach of Pacific, near Uvita. You will be able to do a walk of 4 hours and have lunch in the middle of the rainforest with views of the ocean. Possibility of participating in a cooking class with a woman of the community. Time for enjoying the beach of Uvita. Stay and dinner at a local house. Minimum two days and two nights.
VILLAGE OF SAN GERARDO DE DOTA: Located in Savegre River Valley, this picturesque village surrounded by cloud forest offers many possibilities for ecotourism. You can do a walk to the famous waterfall or look for the legendary quetzal that lives in the forest. Stay at a rural family lodge and meals with the family.
We will prepare a customised itinerary for you according to the places you want to visit and the amount of time you have available. We will try to offer you the best itinerary adjusted to your preferences and you availability so you can make the best of your time in Costa Rica. Next you can see two examples of itinerary of 15 days of duration.
Option 1: North of Costa Rica
Day 1: Arrival to Costa Rica and trip to Sarapiqui.
Days 2-3: Community of Sarapiquí.
Days 4-6: Maleku indigenous community and Juanilama Reserve. Arenal.
Days 7-9: Cerro Escondido or Chira Island. Nicoya.
Days 9-11: Quebrada Arroyo community and Manuel Antonio.
Days 12-14: Cabécar indigenous community in Turrialba.
Day 15: Return to San Jose. Transfer to the airport.
Option 2: South of Costa Rica
Day 1: Arrival to Costa Rica and trip to Turrialba.
Day 2-4: Cabécar indigenous community.
Days 5-6: South Caribbean: Gandoca community.
Days 6-7: South Caribbean: Carbón dos community and Cahuita.
Days 8-10: Bribri community in Yorkín (South Caribbean) or Salitre (Pacific).
Days 11-12: Community of Playa Hermosa. Uvita.
Days 13-14: San Gerardo de Dota.
Day 15: Return to San Jose. Transfer to the airport.
It is possible to combine both options including the places that you choose, and even book the parts that you wish separately. It is also possible to add days in Nicaragua in the option 1 and days in Panama in the option 2 if you wish.
The exact price depends on the number of days, places and activities that you choose for the itinerary, time of the year, number of people in the group, and requirement of private transport and guide. If you tell us these details, we will prepare a personalised itinerary with a quotation for you.
This price includes:
– Accommodation for all the nights of the itinerary.
– The meals mentioned in the itinerary.
– The tours that the client decides to include in the itinerary.
– Transportation during the whole itinerary: public buses and/ or private transportation.
– Guiding service for all the guided tours of the itinerary (or for the whole itinerary if requested).
This price does not include:
– International and domestic flights.
– Personal travel insurance.
If you want to ask for a quote for your personalised itinerary, please contact us in the email address: email@example.com.
All year round.
Visit communities in Costa Rica is a trip for private groups from 2 to a maximum of 20. The price of the trip will reduce with the number of members in the group. Furthermore, if you get more than 4 people to travel with you, you will benefit from important discounts; check Travel for free in our website for more information. For just one person it is better to join one of our travel groups because otherwise it would be too expensive as a private trip, unless you are thinking on booking specific sections. Our next group trip to Costa Rica will be in September: Costa Rica: Caribbean and Pacific.
Currency: Colon (€1 corresponds to about 653 Crc).
Climate: Tropical. Average temperature of 22°C. From December to April, the weather is dry and May to November corresponds to the rain season.
Documentation: Passport only (for less than 3 months, no visa is requested).
Health: Typhoid vaccine is recommended.
Eco-travel directory with tours, stays and volunteer programs that follow the guidelines of sustainable and responsible travel.