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Detours Gay Tours Blog

Gay Travel Guide: Costa Rica

  • Brandon Folkes
  • Nov 10, 2021

Fast Facts:

  • Capital City – San Jose
  • Population of Greece – 5.09 Million (2020)
  • Official Language – Spanish
  • Official Currency – Colón

This small lush beautiful country situated between Nicaragua and Panama is one of the crown jewels of Central America. Over a quarter of the country of Costa Rica is nationally protected jungle, allowing it to be one of the world's most bio diverse places on the planet for both flora and fauna. If there is one thing that’s true, there is no shortage of amazing sights to see and things to do in this geological wonderland.

Costa Rica (literally meaning “Rich Coast”) has a very unique characteristic that most countries worldwide don’t have, and that is, it is military free. That’s right, shortly after WWII this small tropical country abolished its military force and directed all funds to healthcare and education, making it one of the most educated countries in Latin America, and consistently rated as the safest country in Central America to travel to. Here you will find people are very welcoming, friendly and living “Pura Vida” (a Costa Rican way of saying hello meaning - pure life).

If there is one thing to say about Costa Rica though, is it is very gay friendly and there is no shortage of adventure. From the bustling streets of San Jose, where there are many gay bars and clubs to choose from, to the deep jungle of its interior, it has much to offer. Go horseback riding through the rainforest, zip lining through the jungle, take a tube and ride the rapids down a river, or swim underneath a waterfall, take your pick, you have so much to do. If you just want to relax, the famous white sandy beaches of Manuel Antonio might be the place for you. Grab a drink, soak in some sunshine and swim in the warm Pacific waters along this beautiful coast. Or alternatively, relax in the naturally heated hot springs near La Fortuna while staring up at the humbling yet stunning Arenal Volcano.

If you are looking for adventure, or even a nice relaxing warm destination to escape to during the winter months, Costa Rica has everything you could want and more.

TOP 3 Highlights

  • Explore the bio diverse Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Soak in the hot springs in La Fortuna
  • Hike to and swim in the many waterfalls and natural swimming pools

TOP 3 Restaurants

  • Restaurante Nuestra Tierra – San Jose - This fun and funky Costa Rica Restaurant will give you a true taste of what Costa Rican food has to offer.
  • El Avión – Manuel Antonio – This unique restaurant has an eclectic menu with one fun feature, it is built around a C-123 Fairchild cargo plane that you can go inside.
  • Tiquicia Restaurant – La Fortuna – This fun Costa Rican restaurant on the outskirts of La Fortuna has delicious fruity cocktails mixed with some fantastic local Costa Rican cuisine.

TOP 3 Bars

  • Puchos – gay bar/club with sexy strippers in San Jose
  • Café Milagro – gay friendly bar in Manuel Antonio with good cocktails
  • Azotea Calle 7 – beautiful rooftop bar in San Jose with great cocktails and view

TOP 3 Optional Activities

  • River Tubing Experience – An exhilarating tube trek down the Balsa River, experiencing Class I, II, and III rapids in the La Fortuna area.
  • Ziplining Canopy Tour –  Explore the canopy in the valley of Quepos while zip lining through 20 different platforms, a rappel wall, 2 hanging bridges and a Tarzan style swing cable.
  • ATV Tour – A 12 mile journey through rainforest trails, two local towns, winding switchbacks and muddy streams.

The Best Time to Visit

Our favorite time to visit Costa Rica is December - April during the dry season. You will find that the weather is usually warm and sunny without lots of weather fluctuations during this time which is a perfect time for a tropical escape.

A Couple Books

  • It’s Every Monkey for Themselves: A True Story of Sex, Love and Lies in the Jungle – Vanessa Woods
  • Oro – Cizia Zykë

A Couple Movies

  • After Words (Drama)
  • Jurassic Park & The Lost World (Thriller)

"Must Try" Local Cuisine

  • Patacones (Deep Fried Plantains)
  • Casado (a marriage of local foods with a protein)
  • Tamal (Banana leaf wrapped with rice, beans and vegetables and meat)