Planning a Trip to A “Discovered” Country

March 31, 2019

The last time I visited Costa Rica was in the late 80s.  As we prepare to move onto Costa Rica, I realized that I’ve spent more time planning our one month trip to Costa Rica than I spent planning our trip to any other country including Mexico, where we spent 2 months, and Guatemala, where we spent over a month.  I think that part of the reason it has taken me so long is because Costa Rica is one of the most discovered countries in Central America.  In other words, it’s on the beaten path.

As we described in a previous blog post, we’d love to spend 50% of our time off of the beaten path but realistically, the percentage ends up being closer to 30%.  This may or may not be possible in Costa Rica.  Here is our high level itinerary:

  • Explore Monteverde including the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (canopy tour, coffee tour, private wildlife exhibits, waterfall rappelling, etc.)
  • Go mountain biking at Senderos de Colón
  • Go surfing on the Central Pacific Coast including including Punta Uvita
  • Chill out in Dominical (canyoneering, kayaking, private nature reserves, surfing, waterfalls, etc.)
  • Explore the Zona de los Santos, including San Gerardo de Dota and Santa María de Dota, two authentic (and untouristy) coffee growing towns and Los Quetzales National Park (birding, hiking, waterfalls, etc.)
  • Explore the Corcovado National Park, the crown jewel of Costa Rica’s national park system
  • Explore the deserted beaches and gorgeous coastline of Drake Bay
  • Go scuba diving on Isla de Caño
  • Explore the coastline of Golfo Dulce, one of just four tropical fjords in the world
  • Hike through the rainforest of the Osa Peninsula, e.g., to the Osa Mountain Campground

As you can see, only a few of these adventures are off of the beaten path, e.g., Drake Bay, Golfo Dulce, etc.  But I nevertheless feel like our itinerary is solid.  It looks like we can pursue an awesome mix of world class adventures in a month, from canopy tours to mountain biking to scuba diving to surfing to wildlife tracking) over the next month, even if many of these adventures are on the beaten path.  And perhaps that’s the best thing about Costa Rica.  In a month, I’ll complete another blog post with a run down of these adventures, including which ones were worked and didn’t work!

[Picture] Acul, Guatemala, an off the beaten path Quiche town in Western Guatemala where we stayed for 2 weeks.


I am an adventure photographer, explorer and athlete. I enjoy photography, writing and the outdoors. I am also an expert in helping companies develop rapid growth via global expansion and innovation, as well as a consultant who helps companies develop, launch and manage innovative products and services that improve people’s lives.

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