Leave your stress at home, because it’s not welcome here! Costa Rica is where the word paradise was meant for. It’s one of the most biologically diverse places in the world with dense jungles full of monkeys, sloths, reptiles and other tropical life, reaching out onto stunning white sand beaches. Nature is perfectly paired with adventure in this tiny Central American country and gives its visitors an unlimited number of opportunities to get as active, or as relaxed as you like! Soak away an afternoon in a hidden hot springs waterfall oasis, zipline through the thick jungle on one of the world’s longest ziplines, take a surfing lesson from a local Tico, hike onto the hardened lava flow of an active volcano, or surround yourself with wild spider monkeys, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities are endless!
Costa Rica is also known as the most gay-friendly country in Central America, with a lively gay social scene in San Jose and Manuel Antonio, and some of the friendliest local Latin people you could ever meet! This is a true Latin experience from the people, to the Salsa dancing, to the Gallo Pinto for breakfast.
Our 12-day trip has been designed to maximize your experience here and have you begging to stay forever! Instead of rushing around in a panic trying to visit as many places as possible, we’ve specially chosen three locations, plus San Jose that we know you’ll fall in love with. How are we so sure? Well, we’ve tirelessly tested out beaches, bars, bungalows and bit of booze just to make sure we can bring you the cream of the crop. We genuinely love Costa Rica and can’t wait to share this paradise with you!
December 22, 2020 to January 02, 2021 – USD $3240.00
Duration: 12 Days
Starts In: SAN JOSE
Ends In: SAN JOSE
All land transportation within Costa Rica
Accommodations for your 12-day Detours experience
All full breakfasts
Manuel Antonio Park access and guided tour
La Fortuna waterfall access and hike
Hot springs visit in La Fortuna
Group travel within Costa Rica
San Jose city tour
Knowledgeable and fun Detours trip leader
** – Trip prices based on twin share. Traveling solo? We’ll match you up with another traveler at no extra charge, or just pay a $640 single supplement for your own room!
Meals and drinks outside of those listed above
Activities outside of the those listed above
Don’t worry about getting chilly, at only 8 degrees from the equator Costa Rica has a tropical climate year-round. Temperatures here generally average highs of 27C/81F, and lows of 21C/70F, although it can get chilly when we hit high elevations so it’s a good idea to bring a light jacket and a pair of pants. If it rains it’s usually in the afternoon, and these unlikely showers are a refreshing cool-down and make a great excuse to try out your favorite rain dance.
Costa Ricans are incredibly friendly, happy and easy going people! It’s not difficult to make friends with the local Ticos while you’re here. Maybe consider learning a few words of Spanish while you’re here or have some locals teach you how to dance Salsa or Merengue! We recommend starting off with “Hola” (hello), “Gracias” (thank you), and of course “Donde esta la playa?” (where’s the beach?)
Costa Rica is home to some great Latin food! Their local cuisine tends to be a mix of food from all over the region from Gallo Pinto for breakfast, to Mondango (try it if you’re brave) for dinner. Detours doesn’t believe in limiting your choices by including all of your meals at pre-decided restaurants as part of the trip package. Instead, we include all of your breakfasts to start your day off, then encourage you to explore all of the different restaurant options available to you for lunch and dinner. This way you can eat when you want, where you want, with whomever you want, and spend what you want! Your trip leader definitely has their favorite spots so if you’d like some advice on the best in each location, just check with them.
What to bring?
Our advice is simple. Pack your bag, then take half of those things out and leave them back home. It’s common to hear people wishing they’d packed less stuff, but we’ve never heard anyone complain that they didn’t bring enough. Costa Rica is a relatively inexpensive country, meaning even if you realize you forget to pack some crucial item you can just pick it up on the trip for cheaper than what it would have cost back home. Oh, and there’s no need to pack gallons of North American water in your bag just in case there’s no fresh drinking water in Costa Rica… yes, we actually had someone do that, and yes you can drink tap water in Costa Rica.
We REALLY suggest just bringing your regular bank card from home and using the Costa Rican ATMs to get cash; in our experience it’s much cheaper than any currency exchange service in Costa Rica or even at home. 10,000 Costa Rican Colones is worth around $20 USD, so don’t freak out if your dinner bill costs 5,000 Colones. Chill out –that’s about 10 bucks.
Tipping isn’t a native Costa Rican custom, however, it has become a part of what is expected from Westerners like us. We suggest tipping for services in a similar way as you would at home; that is, if your dinner bill is 5,000 colones then we encourage you toss 500 colones in on top of that. That extra dollar is extremely appreciated by the service staff.
We have pretty high standards when it comes to choosing our accommodations, and trust us, we’ve done plenty of room-sniffing, pillow-patting, and bathroom inspections to make sure we stay at quality spots. To be approved as a Detours accommodations provider, a guesthouse must: be locally owned (to support the local community), be in an amazing location (close to the beach or other hot spots), AND be gay-owned or gay-friendly. We won’t be staying in 5-star Ritz-Carltons but we also won’t subject you to anything we wouldn’t want to stay in ourselves. Clean, comfortable, well-located spots that’ll put a smile on your face, you can count on that!
All of our trip leaders are gay, and all certified leaders must undergo a rigorous training routine that includes deep-fried cricket eating, and impromptu dancing tests. Apart from these vital skills, we require our leaders to know their stuff really, really well. Underneath their fun and quirky facades, our guides are experts and passionate about what they do. Don’t hesitate to ask them to teach you some Spanish or question them about a random statue you might see along the way. Their job is to help ensure that this is your trip of a lifetime by taking the hassle out of your trip and enabling you to experience everything you came to Costa Rica for.
We do absolutely everything possible to avoid needing such a mundane awakening. A world without alarm clocks is one we want to be part of, and your “rise and shine” while in Costa Rica will come from the sound of crashing waves, an bilingual parrot squawking, or perhaps even monkeys jumping onto the roof of your bungalow.
Extending Your Trip
For many people, 12 days in Costa Rica just isn’t enough time. If you’re lucky enough to be able to stay longer, or if you decide to quit your job and become a beach bum in Central America for the rest of your life, we’d be happy to extend (or cancel!) your return flight. We’ve been all over the area, so don’t think twice about asking where to go or what to do after your Detours trip is complete.
Our Costa Rica group trips are run with a minimum of 4 travelers and up to a maximum of 15 travelers. Ages of group members vary but around 90% of our travelers are in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. Whatever the age of the guys on our trips everyone’s already got something in common, an exciting new experience in a new country! Each group is led by a Detours trip leader who is there to ensure everything goes off without a hitch, allowing you to focus on having the time of your life!
A Little Bit About Modesty
As previously mentioned, Costa Rica is Central America’s most gay friendly country and most people are welcoming of homosexuality. That said, the Costa Ricans are largely devout Roman Catholics, and public displays of affection (gay or straight) are generally frowned upon. In respect for their local culture we usually suggest keeping your excitement and affection for your partner to more private locations.
No problem! Don’t worry, lots of our travelers come solo and our trip will provide plenty of chances to meet great people both inside and outside of our group, including other solos. As far as your accommodations go, you’ve got two choices. We can either pair you up with another solo group member in a two-bed room, or you can have your own room for a reasonable surcharge.
Costa Rica uses a “type A” and “type B” plug, the same as North America and several other places in the world. The voltage is 120V with 60 Hz frequency. These days, the majority of items that are plugged into an outlet are built to handle varying voltage and frequency levels, but just to be sure, we suggest checking your item for its accetable range.
We don’t like staying in smelly shacks on our vacations and we’re pretty sure you don’t either! You work hard to go on vacation and we believe you deserve an enjoyable, comfortable place to wind down at the end of each day. We put a LOT of time into finding the perfect accommodation for your trip. After rigorous wifi signal testing, fluffing pillows, and taking a shower or two, we’ve narrowed down our favorite properties. Check out our approved accommodation to see where we’ve stayed in the past and where we’ll likely be staying on your trip.
SAN JOSE – Balmoral Hotel
The Balmoral Hotel is centrally located in the heart of San Jose, providing walkable opportunities everywhere you turn. This hotel provides a delicious a la carte breakfast and a fantastic in-house restaurant. Situated on the corner of a busy pedestrian street, you’ll find shops and restuarants minutes away.
ARENAL – Lomas Del Volcan
This property features the Arenal Volcano front and centre – there’s a view of it from every room! A locally-owned and comfortable location accomodates travelers with a relaxing pool and jacuzzi. All of the rooms contain two queen-sized beds, so you’re sure to have plenty of space for activities.
MANUEL ANTONIO – Vela Bar Hotel
Vela Bar Hotel is mere minutes from Espadilla Beach, providing a perfect opportunity to relax at the nearby the Pacific ocean or its accomodating swimming pool. Manuel Antonio is right next to the (appropriately named) Manuel Antoni National Park.
LAS AGUAS (Southern-zone Villa)
During our time in Las Aguas, we book a private villa exclusively for our group. This gay owned and operated property is set on 60 acres of jungle and has five waterfalls on the grounds. Features include an outdoor pool and jacuzzi, an exercise facility, a cafe with espresso bar, and a cinema.
12 days in paradise that you’ll never forget! Costa Rica is an incredibly diverse country with unlimited opportunities for adventure or relaxation set among some of the world’s best beaches, rainforests, and volcanoes. Below is a brief itinerary of our stops, but for detailed info and available activities.
*Note that the order of stops and duration at each location are subject to change.
47 Elizabeth Bay Road
Elizabeth Bay NSW
02 8667 3336