Guanacaste Province, Bagaces, Costa Rica
Small Town CharmWhile most people travel to Costa Rica for the jungle ziplining, waterfall rappelling, and famous surf beaches, traveling to rural villages like Bagaces in Guanacaste can have its own rustic charm.
On the streets of Bagaces, you won't find any other tourists, save maybe the students at the unofficially dubbed "monkey house," a small community dedicated to studying the capuchin monkey in the wild. You will eat what the locals eat, drink what the locals drink, and, on karaoke nights, of which there are many, you will sing what the locals sing.
Eat the freshest chicken you've ever tasted at Restaurante Pollo Asado Las Leñas - more commonly known as Katia's, diagonal from the gas station (yep - there's only one) and just down the dirt road. Just don't sit downwind from the coops. Shop at the Super Compro and buy your beer one can at a time. Drink a bottle of Imperial at Tejas and experience one Costa Rican's interpretation of an American bar, complete with musical odes to Britney Spears and Christina Aguilara.
The point, my friends, is to get lost for a minute. Wander the dirt roads and make fun of the cows. Wave to the pick-up trucks. And turn, breathless, to view the volcanoes in a way most tourists never get to see.