There are many beautiful tropical destinations around the world, but few provide the cultural, economic,…
We may earn compensation from the products mentioned in this post. Please see our Affiliate Disclaimer.
The time has finally come to make your relationship with that special someone official and stamp the “forever” tag on it. However, it has been decided that it’s best to forgo a traditional wedding ceremony by eloping instead. This is a wise choice, considering an elopement ceremony can be significantly cheaper than having a large wedding party, especially if having it in a tropical paradise like Costa Rica. There are many luxury venues in the country, but the best places to elope in Costa Rica may not be the destinations you might think.
Costa Rica has every kind of ambiance imaginable for elopement ceremonies, including beachfront villas to events that can be held deep in remote jungle hideaways. Here are some well-known areas, as well as a few off-the-beat-n-path destinations, that can make for a memorable and/or budget-friendly experience:
- Manuel Antonio
- La Fortuna
In this article, we will explore each of these locations and why they could be the perfect location for soon to be newly-weds.
1) Pavones, Costa Rica
When you find the love of your life, the only thing that really matters is that both of you meet at the altar on your wedding day. Since you will likely be experiencing a tidal wave of emotions anyway, why not elope at one of the most famous surfing destinations in all of the world? The small town of Pavones sits flush on the Pacific Ocean on the southern edge of the Puntarenas province. Pavones is not the easiest place to travel to all year round because of some of the roads, but the trip is well worth the effort to have elopement ceremony stories to tell for a lifetime.
Known for being a surfing town, you can imagine the vibe is laid back and tranquil, to say the least. You won’t find ultra-luxurious hotel accommodations here, but you will find local businesses who are experienced with travelers coming in that are expecting to make memories. Without a doubt, a hotel or other venue could easily set up a small and intimate ceremony on the beach. The best part is that because this city isn’t known as a destination wedding town in Costa Rica, you can likely score some great deals here and even negotiate your own ceremony rates with local business owners.
2) Manzanillo, Costa Rica
Jumping over to the opposite side of the country, Manzanillo is a small fishing town located on the Caribbean coast in the province of Limon. Steeped in Afro-Caribbean and Latin culture, Manzanillo is the perfect hideaway for soon to be newlyweds to have the elopement ceremony that dreams are made of. Less of a tourist destination than the nearby surfing town of Puerto Viejo, Manzanillo’s city is small and quaint, giving you a bit more seclusion from the big crowds.
The beaches here are stunning, and just imaging setting up a wedding arch and giving your vows in front of mesmerizing clear blue water. You can also choose to have your elopement ceremony in the town, but rent a nicer hotel 20 minutes away in Puerto Viejo. After the event, there are tons to do in the area for your small party, including world-renown nature reserves and even jungle exploration.
3) Manuel Antonio
Perhaps the most famous beach in all of Costa Rica from a local’s perspective, the gorgeous waves and white-sand beachfront of Manuel Antonio are some of the best that the country has to offer. If you aren’t afraid to upscale your budget for the elopement ceremony, then having the wedding of your dreams is possible here in this small town. Everything from luxurious rentals facing the Pacific Ocean to cute bungalows back into the forest, Manuel Antonio is for those couples who want a small ceremony but with a large dose of fancy on the side.
One of the best features of this area is the incredible biodiversity and wildlife that are seemingly everywhere, literally. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see lizards, turtles, and monkeys cruising down the coastline. But watch out for those monkeys, as they have been known to steal small purses and bags from unsuspecting travelers. However, do not be afraid; they usually will return the items for a small fee of a delectable treat.
4) Monteverde, Costa Rica
Finding the best places to elope in Costa Rica for jungle-themed ceremonies should begin in Monteverde. Located in the Puntarenas province, this area is known most notably for the famous Cloud Forest. The dense fog in this jungle canopy is ideal for those couples who truly want a unique elopement experience in the middle of nature at its most intimate level. Monteverde has a robust ecosystem of thousands of insects, plants, and birds that can provide all the ambiance a wedding ceremony could ever need.
After the event, there will not be a lack of activities to get into, as hiking and bird watching are among the most popular in this area. Monteverde is the ideal location for couples who want to do things a little bit differently than the beachfront scene and for those looking for a real adventure, as well as everlasting love.
5) La Fortuna, Costa Rica
La Fortuna de San Carlos, located in the Alajuela province, is one of the unique treasures of Costa Rica because of the infamous Arenal Volcano and the underground thermal activity, making for some of the best natural hot springs in the country. If you are a couple looking to have a 1,600 ft active volcano as a witness to your elopement ceremony, then La Fortuna de San Carlos is a destination that is perfect if you want an ambiance that is outside of the box.
In addition, you will find La Fortuna a popular town with expat retirees, giving it a laid back vibe. Add into this the excellent spas resorts scattered around the area; this town is the definition of a can’t miss elopement destination.
The best places in Costa Rica to elope can be an adventure
Traveling to a foreign country for an event as special as an elopement ceremony can be a little nerve-wracking because you want everything to be perfect on this special day. Luckily, Costa Rica hosts some of the most spectacular beaches, jungles, and volcanoes in all of Latin America. Our list of the best places in Costa Rica to elope provided you with a little bit of everything the country has to offer, but countless other locations could have easily made this list.
Are you planning to travel to Costa Rica soon? Getting international travel insurance can help you meet all the country’s entry requirements and cover unforeseen events such as sickness, accidents, or pandemic-related lockdowns.
Best Travel Insurance
Eloping in Costa Rica [INFOGRAPHIC]
We put together this helpful infographic to illustrate the best locations to elope in Costa Rica and also some fun facts about the country.