5 Free Things to See in Costa Rica

Being on a pretty tight budget, I’m always on the search for free things to see in Costa Rica. Some of the best experiences I’ve had since moving here have involved activities that didn’t cost me anything, except maybe for a little gas for my car. Below I share 5 of my favorite free things to see in Costa Rica:

1. Native Plants and Flowering Trees. I’ve become fascinated with the colorful flowering trees and shrubs that abound in Costa Rica during the dry season (which runs from December to April). Bursts of pink, yellow, orange and red dot the entire landscape and are fun to photograph. The pink blossoms of the Roble de Sabana (pictured below) are my personal favorite.

Costa Rica Pink Flowering Tree
Costa Rica Pink Flowering Tree

2. The Multiplaza in Escazu. This is an upscale American-style mall close to the capital city in San Jose (picture below). I enjoy stopping at the food court, going to the movie theatre there, or just browsing in the International Bookstore (where you can also find English-language books). With three levels, and tons of stores for any tastes, It’s a fun place to stroll and window-shop.

Multiplaza Mall in Escazu, Costa Rica
Multiplaza Mall in Escazu, Costa Rica

3. Saturday Farmer's Markets. The people of Costa Rica are said to be amongst the longest-living humans, and this is due in large part to their healthy diets. There's no doubt that you can easily get lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in this small country. You can find some of the lowest prices and freshest varieties at the Saturday farmer's markets in just about any Costa Rican town. I like the market in the town of Esparza (picture below), where you can soak up the local culture and, strangely enough, even find Quakers that moved here from the U.S., selling their baked goods. Be sure to try their pumkin pie!

Saturday Farmer's Market in Esparza, Costa Rica
Saturday Farmer's Market in Esparza, Costa Rica

4. Spending Time in Town Squares. Almost every town in Costa Rica, including the capital city in San Jose, has a central plaza or square that marks the geographic center of the town or city. You will usually find the oldest church in the city, as well as other important buildings in these plazas. Costa Ricans love to congregate in their town squares, especially in the evenings when the air is cooler. It's a great place to watch locals talking and flirting, or just grab a bite from a street vendor. The picture below is from Cartago, Costa Rica's central town square with the beautiful ruins of a church from the 1500's in the background.

Plaza Central Cartago, Costa Rica
Plaza Central Cartago, Costa Rica

5. Inspiring Mountain Scenery and Sunsets. There's something magical about the way the sun descends over the gorgeous mountain ranges here in Costa Rica. I've seen some of the most beautiful sunsets of my life since moving here. My Costa Rican boyfriend and I will sometimes pack some snacks and drinks and take a leisurely car drive on Sunday to find a spot overlooking a valley or mountainous area where we can enjoy these amazing sunsets. The picture below was captured in the hills of Miramar, Costa Rica.

Sunset in the Hills of Miramar, Costa Rica
Sunset in the Hills of Miramar, Costa Rica

Visit my Costa Rica blog to learn more about my adventures since moving to Costa Rica from the U.S., and get a first-hand view of what life is really like in this beautiful little country.

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Comments 5 comments

surf traveler profile image

surf traveler 5 years ago

Costa Rica is a beautiful country. Sometimes I feel you could throw a dart at a map of Costa Rica, move there and you would feel it it the most beautiful place. Each zone of the country has something different to offer.


Gypsy Jane profile image

Gypsy Jane 5 years ago from Florida Author

Definitely surf traveler. It has so much variety and beauty for being such a small country:)


thehemu profile image

thehemu 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

yeah, i have seen in pictures costa rica is very beautiful country. i wish could be there some point of time too.


Gypsy Jane profile image

Gypsy Jane 5 years ago from Florida Author

Thanks thehemu. Hope you do make it here someday:) There's lots to see and do for every taste!


sue 4 years ago

Just returned to the US from a vacation in Costa Rica. It was so much fun to read your blog and hear about things we saw and did while there. We stayed in a mountain top cabin in Puriscal. I hope to return some day. Thanks

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