Best Places in Costa Rica for Solo Female Travel

Located in Central America, Costa Rica is a tropical paradise where the lush rainforests, stunning beaches, and towering volcanoes offer a myriad of exciting adventures for travel enthusiasts. Known for its impressive biodiversity, Costa Rica harbors a remarkable 5% of the world's species. Its astounding environmental preservation efforts have been lauded worldwide, protecting several endangered species in numerous national parks throughout the country. Visitors to Costa Rica are lured by its attractive tourist destinations such as Arenal Volcano, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and the stunning Pacific and Carribean coastlines. Moreover, the country is widely recognized for its peaceful history, having abolished its army in 1949. Costa Rica’s rich culture, hospitable locals, and enticing cuisine, characterized by the ubiquitous gallo pinto, create a fascinating experience that makes this tropical Eden an unforgettable travel destination.
La Fortuna

1, La Fortuna

La Fortuna, a small town nestled in the heart of Costa Rica's northern lowlands, is a gem of natural beauty and thrilling adventure. Surrounded by lush rainforests, abundant wildlife, and a breathtakingly vibrant local culture, it is most well-known for its primary attraction - the impressive Arenal Volcano. This natural wonder is an active, cone-shaped giant that towers over the valley, often spewing ash and smoke into the bright blue sky. Visitors get the chance to indulge in therapeutic hot springs, explore a wide range of activities such as zip-lining, white water rafting, and hiking, making La Fortuna a must-visit destination for eco-tourists and adrenaline junkies alike. The spectacular La Fortuna Waterfall, exotic butterfly gardens, and the mystical Venado Caves also contribute to this town's rich tourism industry.


2, Nosara

Nestled on the stunning Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, Nosara is an oasis of natural beauty and serenity. This tranquil coastal town is renowned for its consistent surf breaks and yoga retreats, making it a paradise for surfers and wellness enthusiasts alike. Embraced by the lush tropical jungle and kissed by the Pacific Ocean, Nosara is world-famous for its commitment to wildlife conservation as the home of the Nosara Biological Reserve and a 200-acre Wildlife Refuge. Visitors can relish the unspoiled beaches like Playa Guiones, one of the most biologically diverse places on earth, explore the vibrant local culture and savor the delectable Costa Rican cuisine. Without a doubt, Nosara offers a unique blend of adventure and relaxation under its mesmerizing sunsets.

San José

3, San José

San José, the bustling capital city of Costa Rica, is situated in the nation's central valley, surrounded by a picturesque landscape of mountain ranges. This vibrant city is renowned for its blend of historical richness and modern comforts, serving as the heart of Costa Rican culture, economy and politics. San José is known for its impressive architectural gems such as the opulent National Theatre and the striking Metropolitan Cathedral. In addition, the city is dotted with numerous art galleries, farmer's markets, and quirky cafés. Its vibrant nightlife, diverse culinary scene, and wide range of activities including visits to internationally recognised museums such as the Gold Museum and Jade Museum make San José an irresistible destination for travel enthusiasts.

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4, Monteverde

Monteverde, enveloped in the verdant highlands of Costa Rica's Puntarenas province, is a nature lover's paradise brimming with unmatched biodiversity. Renowned for its cloud forests which house a mosaic of innumerable plant, bird, and animal species, it offers an exhilarating experience for ecotourists. Along with viewing its famed Quetzal birds, and resplendent butterflies, visitors can explore the Sky Walk suspension bridges, or indulge in zip-lining adventures, adding a dash of adrenaline to their trip. Coupled with its tranquil coffee plantations, and the enchanting night tours of the jungle, Monteverde's smorgasbord of experiences certainly makes it a compelling destination in Costa Rica.

Santa Teresa

5, Santa Teresa

Nestled on the Pacific coastline of the Nicoya Peninsula, Santa Teresa in Costa Rica is a picturesque slice of paradise, renowned for its serenity and natural beauty. With pristine white sandy beaches and azure surf-friendly waters, it is often recognized as a surfers' paradise. The area is also abundant in diverse tropical wildlife, offering galvanizing forest adventures in the nearby Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve. Aside from surfing and wildlife spotting, Santa Teresa is dotted with yoga retreats, wellness centers, and delectable seafood eateries. This bewitching location is a haven for those seeking relaxation, adventure, and a taste of pure Costa Rican charm.


6, Tortuguero

Nestled on the northeastern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, Tortuguero is an enchanting and exotic paradise most famous for its annual green sea turtle nesting which occurs from July to October. This remote village, accessible only by a combination of flight, boat, or bus, is encased by sprawling natural beauty, including the Tortuguero National Park. This park is a maze of navigable canals teeming with diverse fauna and flora, including monkeys, caimans, exotic birds, and jaguars. The village itself delights visitors with its humble charm, leisurely pace of life, and the welcoming local populace. From exploring the rainforests and waterways, witnessing the turtle nesting or simply absorbing the peaceful ambiance, a trip to Tortuguero is a truly immersive eco-adventure.


7, Limon

Located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, Limon is a vibrant and enchanting city brimming with rich history and lively culture. Known for its lively carnival celebrations and the striking Afro-Caribbean influences that permeate its music, food and traditions, Limon is a colorful burst of life set against the backdrop of Costa Rica's mesmerizing natural beauty. The city boasts beautiful beaches like Playa Bonita, vast banana plantations, and a biodiversity-rich Tortuguero National Park, home to turtle nesting sites and lush rainforest. In Limon, you'll find a unique confluence of culture and nature, providing a memorable experience for any traveler.

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

8, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Nestled along the scenic Caribbean coastline of Costa Rica, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca serves as a serene travel haven for both adventurous souls and tranquility seekers. Known for its vibrant blend of indigenous, Afro-Caribbean and expatriate cultures, this charming beach town is a delightful cocktail of picturesque landscapes, crystal-clear waters and warm hospitable locals. Amidst the enchanting sounds of reggae music, visitors can relish the dazzling assortment of colorful wildlife, surf on the iconic Salsa Brava waves, bike around the palm-fringed white sandy beaches or explore the lushness of the nearby Gandoca-Manzanillo wildlife refuge and Cahuita National Park. With its vibrant nightlife and delicious Cacao and Caribbean fusion cuisine, Puerto Viejo is a veritable paradise for anyone looking to immerse in Pura Vida, the pure life.


9, Sarapiqui

Nestled in the verdant northern lowlands of Costa Rica, Sarapiqui is a vibrant gem of ecology, biodiversity, and Costa Rican culture. Quintessentially tropical, it is widely recognized for its fertile landscapes, lush rainforests, and winding rivers. Renowned for its rick biodiversity, the region is home to the Braulio Carrillo National Park and La Selva Biological Station - both offering impressive landscapes brimmed with diverse wildlife species, captivating flora, and exotic birds. Sarapiqui is an irresistible attraction for nature enthusiasts, bird watchers, and adventure seekers, offering thrilling activities such as white-water rafting, nature walks, and canopy tours. Its untamed beauty and serenity make Sarapiqui an impeccable slice of paradise in Costa Rica.


10, Turrialba

Turrialba is a picturesque and unassuming town nestled in the verdant central valleys of Costa Rica, flanked by the lush slopes of the country's looming active volcano – the Turrialba Volcano. The town is internationally recognized for its unique contributions to Costa Rican culture and its thrilling outdoor pursuits. Renowned for producing some of the country's finest coffee and cheese, Turrialba also boasts of the Guayabo National Monument, Costa Rica's most significant archaeological site. Adventure seekers find Turrialba particularly appealing for its world-class white-water rafting opportunities on the Pacuare and Reventazon rivers, making the town a vibrant mix of cultural significance and natural adrenaline.


11, Grecia

Grecia, famed as the "Cleanest City in Latin America," is a serene, picturesque town in the fertile highlands of Costa Rica's Central Valley. Its location, approximately an hour’s drive northwest of San Jose, gives it a fresh, cool climate that compliments the lush landscapes and beautiful views of coffee and sugar cane plantations. Grecia is globally recognized for its unique landmark, the red-metal Iglesia de la Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, a rare gothic-style church entirely made out of pre-fabricated steel plates. The town is also home to the World of Snakes, a fascinating reptile exhibition, and the mesmerizing Los Chorros Waterfalls, making Grecia a captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and architectural brilliance.


12, Heredia

Heredia, fondly known as "The City of Flowers", is a charming locale nestled in the hills of the Central Valley in Costa Rica. Ornamented with colonial architecture, this city is known for the Universidad Nacional, with its remarkable cultural scene gilded by frequent concerts, theater performances, and cultural festivals. Amongst the towering mountains and lush coffee plantations, you can explore the popular INBioparque with its exotic flora and fauna or marvel at the 18th-century Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción. The towering Braulio Carrillo National Park, with its numerous hiking trails, burgeoning wildlife and cascading waterfalls, is also a must-visit for nature enthusiasts. As a beacon of Costa Rican history, culture, and natural beauty, Heredia offers a serene yet vibrant travel experience.


13, Alajuela

Located in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, Alajuela is a vibrant city known for its rich historical significance and strong cultural heritage. As the second largest city in the country, Alajuela is home to the Juan Santamaria National Airport, Costa Rica's main international airport. Offering a unique blend of bustling urban life and tranquil natural beauty, the city is famous for its stunning wildlife reserves and national parks like Poás Volcano National Park, which features one of the world's largest active craters. Alajuela’s lush landscapes with geysers and hot springs are a paradise for nature and adventure lovers. Known as the "City of Mangos" due to its plethora of mango trees, Alajuela also houses notable landmarks like Alajuela Cathedral and Juan Santamaría Museum, leaving visitors captivated by its charms.


14, Cahuita

Cahuita, located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, is a serene and beautiful tropical paradise known for its Afro-Caribbean influence. Known for its rich biodiversity, Cahuita is home to the Cahuita National Park, a major highlight for eco-tourists who are drawn to its lush tropical rainforests, abundant wildlife, and vibrant coral reefs. The nearby beaches, Playa Negra and Playa Blanca, with their dazzling white and volcanic black sands, respectively, accentuate the coastal beauty. The town’s vibrant Afro-Caribbean heritage reflects in the local cuisine, culture, and popular reggae music scene, providing a wonderfully unique take on the Costa Rican experience.


15, Cartago

Situated in the central part of Costa Rica, Cartago, the country's first capital, teems with a historic charm and rich cultural tableau. Renowned for its captivating colonial architecture and archeological treasures, Cartago invites you to trail its famed landmarks, like the iconic Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels, one of Central America's most important religious sites. The towering Irazú Volcano, the tallest in the country, adds an adventurous flair to your journey, while the Guayabo National Monument, a spectacular pre-Columbian archaeological site, provides a fascinating peek into the region's ancient civilization. From its evocative heritage to its lush botanical gardens at the Lankester Gardens, Cartago offers an enriching travel experience steeped in history, culture, and natural splendor.

San Gerardo de Dota

16, San Gerardo de Dota

Nestled in the verdant heart of Costa Rica's Savegre Valley, San Gerardo de Dota is a captivating paradise for nature enthusiasts. Scenic and pristine, it is located approximately 85 miles south of the bustling capital, San José. Bordered by the ethereal beauty of the Talamanca Mountain range, this enthralling destination is renowned for its remarkable biodiversity, abounding with a myriad of bird species, including the resplendent quetzal — a must-see for birdwatchers. Remarkable hiking trails, rippling trout-filled streams, and the cloud forest's enveloping mist complete the enchanting backdrop. Renowned for its sustainable tourism practices, San Gerardo de Dota combines relaxation with the awe-inspiring allure of unspoiled nature.


17, Dominical

Dominical is a picturesque beachfront town nestled in the South Pacific region of Costa Rica known for its bohemian vibes and stunning natural beauty. It is a tropical paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike with its unique blend of lush rainforest, stunning beaches, and world-class surfing waves. Notably, the area is renowned for its water activities including surfing, whale watching, and sport fishing. Dominical is also recognized for its vibrant arts scene, offering an array of unique jewelry, crafts, and locally made goods at its popular beachfront market. With its relaxed atmosphere, breathtaking sunsets and diverse wildlife, it's the perfect off-the-beaten-path destination for those looking to experience the authentic, laid-back Costa Rican lifestyle.


18, Uvita

Nestled on the southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, Uvita is a captivating tropical destination that attracts nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike. Known for its iconic whale-tail-shaped marine national park, Marino Ballena National Park, Uvita offers an amazing array of activities including scuba diving, snorkeling, and whale watching. The lush surroundings invite visitors to explore waterfalls, hiking trails, and the surrounding untouched rainforests. The region's thriving biodiversity is a major draw for eco-tourists, but the tranquil beaches, exceptional surfing conditions, and rustic local eateries serving exotic Costa Rican cuisine are what truly make Uvita a unique and unmissable travel experience.


19, Quepos

Located on Costa Rica's central Pacific coast, Quepos is a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Known as the gateway to Manuel Antonio National Park, one of Costa Rica's most popular eco-tourism destinations, Quepos offers picturesque sandy beaches, rich biodiversity, and remarkable wildlife viewing opportunities. The area is famed for its world-class sportfishing, with many charters available for offshore sportfishing trips. The town itself boasts a vibrant local culture with a charming marina, quantitative restaurants offering a blend of local and international cuisine, and lively annual festivals such as the Marina Pez Vela Open. With its harmonious blend of natural beauty and local attractions, Quepos truly provides a unique Costa Rican experience to its visitors.


20, Sierpe

Sierpe is a hidden gem nestled in the stunning natural beauty of Costa Rica's South Pacific region. This charming village, surrounded by sprawling lush mangroves, is renowned as the gateway to the enchanting Corcovado National Park and the captivating coastline of Drake Bay. Known for preserving Costa Rica's distinctive spirit and ethos, Sierpe is widely recognized for its traditional culture, incredible wildlife and biodiverse habitats. This nature lover’s paradise offers various activities like boat tours through the sinuous Sierpe River, fishing trips and intense hiking trails. Its untouched forests and remote beaches certainly make Sierpe, Costa Rica the perfect destination for tourists yearning a retreat into the pure, unaltered beauty of nature.

Frequently asked questions

What are the best places in Costa Rica for solo female travellers?

The best places in Costa Rica for solo female travellers are:

What is the ranking methodology?

The ranking is based on over 5000 reviews from verified female travelers. Five crucial rating factors are taken into account: overall experience, food, safety, affordability, and things to do.