Traveling the Yucatan and Central America on $20 USD a day

Travel Costa Rica

Travel Costa Rica

Costa Rica, Costa Rica. The country is known throughout Central America for its diversity of wildlife, incredible scenery, above average infrastructure, and abundance of ex-pats. For the tramper, Costa Rica is a challenge. To travel Costa Rica is on the bucket list of many. Especially coming from Nicaragua or Panama, the prices for food, transport and a decent dorm bed can be a bit shocking. But, it can be done, though you’ll have to brush up on your cooking skills and be choosy about where you go and how long you stay — bouncing from place to place is a sure-fire way to annihilate your budget.

Considering these difficulties, our mission has been to get the tramp traveler through the country without spending too much but also without sacrificing a good time. Again, it can be done. If you find yourself spending too much, hunker down in one of the tramp-friendly hostels, dust off your cooking knives, and check out one of the free activities our trampers have enjoyed.


While there is no fee for entering Costa Rica, all international travelers are REQUIRED to present proof of onward travel. This can be in the form of an onward plane or bus ticket and must be presented upon entering the country. A copy of your flight itinerary is sufficient, and savvy trampers know that you don’t necessarily have to purchase the ticket to be emailed an itinerary.

Though you may hear that this requirement is not checked at the more laid-back border at Sixaola/Guabito (into Panama on the Caribbean side), our trampers found that this is not the case. If you arrive at the Paso Canoas border  without proof of onward travel, you will be forced to buy a bus ticket from San Jose, Costa Rica to either Managua, Nicaragua ($28USD) or Panama City, Panama ($42USD) on the TicaBus line (the only one available at that border). As you can see, these are expensive. If you’re planning on continuing to Panama but do not have an onward flight we highly suggest buying a ticket from San Jose to David for $18USD rather than getting stuck at the border. This ticket MUST be bought before you get to the border. They are available at TicaBus ticket offices and occasionally online. Keep in mind, however, that bus tickets are frequently not accepted for entry into Panama (particularly at Sixaola/Guabito).

If you are leaving Costa Rica by air, there is a $28USD departure fee. This fee is sometimes included in the price of the ticket, though we recommend anticipating this extra cost. In our experience, even though our tickets indicated the departure fee was included in the final price we still ended up paying when attempting to leave the country.

Cities // Towns

Cahuita           •          Montezuma           •          Puntarenas          •          Puerto Viejo de Talamanca          •          La Fortuna


Take me HOME

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