A guide to camping in Costa Rica

photo by MiguelVieira on Flickr

Since spending as much time as possible outdoors is the chief concern of many people traveling to Costa Rica, it’s not a surprise that camping is a popular pursuit among visitors. Although you can find excellent hotels, inns and eco-lodges even in the most unspoiled parts of Costa Rica, some people might still prefer the freedom and easy connection to nature that a simple tent can offer. Thanks to its countless national parks and nature reserves, Costa Rica is an excellent camping destination for nature lovers who want to explore the untamed wilderness. If the promise of a tent under the open sky, with the sounds of nature echoing in the night and the bright light of a campfire sound tempting, here’s a guide to camping in Costa Rica that can offer you some useful information.

Why camp in Costa Rica?

photo by MiguelVieira on Flickr

If you are on a budget or if you prefer to spend your travel money on something else than accommodation, camping is probably the best option for you. But saving on lodging costs is not the only reason why camping in Costa Rica is a great idea – it’s the proximity to natural wonders, hiking trails and all sorts of interesting attractions that make camping a good idea for anyone who doesn’t mind sacrificing a bit of their personal comfort.

Where to camp

Where you camp in Costa Rica depends entirely on your preferences: you can camp out in the wild as long as you do it on public property, or on designated camping ground where you can take advantage of facilities such as electricity, showers and security measures. If you want to set out on your own, you can camp anywhere, even on a beach if the land doesn’t belong to anyone in particular. However, if you decide to camp out on a beach security might be an issue. In national parks and protected areas camping might be restricted to certain areas, in order to preserve the environment, but this depends on park regulations. Among the national parks, Corcovado is the most popular among campers (especially around ranger stations, which offer a bit of security), and as for beaches Tamarindo has its fair share of campers.

Safety concerns

photo by Richard Kelland on Flickr

While camping right in the middle of a public beach is not illegal, it is definitely not the safest place, even if waking up to the sound of waves is definitely something to look forward to. As any guide to camping in Costa Rica will tell you, booking a camping spot in an official campsite is the most convenient option. There are several great campsites around Costa Rica, some of which are located on private properties so there is very little intrusion from the outside. Campsites such as Finca San Augustin, Crocodile Surf Camp or Brasilito Lodge camping & cabinas have amenities like car parks, barbecues, showers and sometimes even internet.

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