Costa Rica is a beautiful country that offers excitement and tranquility with an array of picturesque landscapes, from its coastlines to rainforests.
So if you have already been there, you’d love to travel to places like Costa Rica but cheaper.
This doesn’t mean you’ll find an exact match. Each destination has unique charms, but you’ll find the perfect place for your next vacation.
Places Like Costa Rica: 10 Alternatives
I’ve chosen these places similar to Costa Rica based on various factors. So, if you like Costa Rica, you’ll also love these alternative destinations for lazy beach vacations to exploring new horizons
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Belize is a small Caribbean country in Central America, and it’s known for its stunningly beautiful beaches and rainforests. It’s also home to various animals, including jaguars, monkeys, and crocodiles.
Jungles and rainforests comprise about 60% of the country, so there’s no shortage of opportunities for adventure. All these things make it one of the top countries like Costa Rica.
These are the top places to visit in Belize:
- Ambergris Caye – Paradise for Scuba divers
- Belize City – The largest city in Belize
- Placencia – known for its beaches
- Cayo District – Home to the Belize Zoo and many Maya ruins
- San Pedro – Destination for fishing and windsurfing
If you’re longing for an escapade, Belize is the perfect vacation destination for quenching your thirst for exploration. It’s also one of the top places like Nantucket, but cheaper.
These are the best hotels to stay in Belize:
- Victoria House – A luxurious and eco-friendly resort
- Belizean Dreams – An intimate and secluded resort
- Cayo Espanto – A private island resort
While there are similarities between Costa Rica and Belize, the two countries offer very different experiences. Before making any hasty decisions, compare your options and find the perfect destination.
Nicaragua is located in Central America, just north of Costa Rica. The country is renowned for its incredible natural beauty, including volcanoes, rainforests, and beaches.
Nicaragua is also a great place to surf, with many world-class waves along its coastline. It’s a perfect destination for being outdoors and staying active.
These are some of the great places to visit in Nicaragua:
- Granada – A colonial city with a lively atmosphere
- San Juan del Sur – A popular surf destination
- Ometepe Island – An island with two volcanoes
- León – The country’s colonial capital
- Rincón de la Vieja – A national park with volcanic landscapes
Without a doubt, Nicaragua is a country with much to offer travelers.
These are the best-rated hotels to stay in Nicaragua:
- Morgan’s Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge – A luxury eco-lodge
- Jicaro Island Ecolodge – A secluded and intimate resort
- Pelican Eyes Resort – A beautiful resort with stunning views
While Costa Rica and Nicaragua are Central American countries, they offer similar and different experiences.
Panama is located in Central America, just south of Costa Rica. It’s home to the world-famous Panama Canal that stretches across 48 miles and links the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The country is a nature lover’s paradise, making it one of the top places similar to Costa Rica.
It offers numerous activities for travelers, from hiking and bird watching to snorkeling and surfing. It’s an excellent choice for a vacation for excitement and diversity.
These are the best places to visit in Panama:
- Panama City.
- Bocas del Toro – An archipelago with white-sand beaches
- Isla Coiba – A national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Boquete – A mountainous town with a cool climate
- El Valle de Antón – A picturesque valley with hiking trails
There’s no doubt that Panama is a country with something for everyone. You’ll find it here whether you’re interested in history, nature, or adventure.
These are the top hotels to stay in Panama:
- The Westin Playa Bonita Panama.
- The Santa Maria – A Luxury Collection Hotel & Golf Resort
- La Casa de la Empanada – A quaint and cozy bed and breakfast
As you can see, there are many similarities between Costa Rica and Panama. But Panama offers a more diverse range of activities and attractions.
4/ Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is yet another Caribbean island located east of the Dominican Republic. The island is famous for its white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and lush landscapes.
If you need a sunny and serene vacation, look no further than Puerto Rico. It’s also a great place to eat, with diverse culinary influences.
These are the best places to visit in Puerto Rico:
- San Juan – The capital of Puerto Rico.
- El Yunque National Forest – A lush rainforest with hiking trails
- Isla Culebra – An island with stunning beaches
- Ponce – A colonial city with a lively atmosphere
There’s no doubt that Puerto Rico is a beautiful and unique destination.
These are the best hotels to stay in Puerto Rico:
- The St. Regis Bahía Beach Resort.
- Casa del Mar – A quaint and cozy bed and breakfast
- Villa Parguera – A beautiful villa with stunning views
5/ El Salvador
El Salvador is a small country in Central America, just north of Nicaragua. It’s known for its sandy beaches, surfing, and lush landscapes.
However, the country has much more to offer travelers than its natural beauty. And that makes it one of the best places similar to Costa Rica, without a doubt.
El Salvador also has a rich culture and history. It’s a great destination to explore and immerse themselves in a new culture.
These are the best places to visit in El Salvador:
- San Salvador – The capital of El Salvador.
- La Libertad – A surfing hotspot with beautiful beaches.
- Suchitoto – A colonial city with a lively atmosphere.
- El Tunco – A beach town with a laid-back vibe.
- San Miguel – A city with a rich colonial history.
The country uniquely blends culture, history, and natural beauty.
These are some of the top-rated hotels to stay in El Salvador:
- Hotel El Convento – Luxury hotel located in San Miguel
- Casa Howard – A quaint and cozy bed and breakfast
- Villa Florencia – Beautiful villa with stunning views
El Salvador is an excellent choice for travelers who want to experience something different. Compared to Costa Rica, El Salvador is less crowded and more affordable.
Spain is a large country located in southern Europe, offering many places like Costa Rica. The country is renowned for its striking scenery, mild climate, and vibrant culture.
It’s an ideal destination for travelers who enjoy outdoor activities, good food, and lively nightlife.
These are the best places to visit in Spain:
- Madrid – UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Barcelona – Vibrant city with stunning architecture
- Valencia – Beautiful city with a mild climate
- Granada – A city with a rich Moorish history
- Catalonia – A region with stunning scenery
Spain is a diverse and exciting country with something to offer everyone.
These are the best hotels to stay in Spain:
- The Westin Palace, Madrid – Luxury hotel in the heart of Madrid
- Barcelona Princess Hotel – A modern and stylish
- Helios Mallorca Hotel & Apartments – Beautiful hotel with stunning views
Spain is one of the best alternatives to Costa Rica for travelers who want to experience European culture without leaving the Americas.
Guatemala is a Central American country known for its beautiful scenery, rich culture, and friendly people. It’s the ideal destination for an authentic and culturally rich experience.
These are the best places to visit in Guatemala:
- Antigua – A colonial city with a lively atmosphere
- Lake Atitlan – A stunning lake surrounded by volcanoes
- Chichicastenango – A market town with a vibrant atmosphere
- Tikal – An ancient Mayan city hidden in the jungle
- Antigua Guatemala – The capital of Guatemala
And while you’re in Guatemala, you’d love to stay in these hotels:
- Tierra Maya – A luxury hotel located in Antigua
- Hotel San Jorge – A comfortable and affordable hotel
- Hotel Atitlan – A beautiful hotel overlooking Lake Atitlan
Guatemala is an excellent alternative to Costa Rica for travelers who want to explore ancient ruins and experience traditional culture.
Honduras is one of the best countries to visit in Central America. Many travelers flock to the country for its beaches, friendly locals, and general atmosphere of relaxation.
And just like Costa Rica, Honduras is famous for rich natural resources and greenery.
These are the best places to visit in Honduras:
- Roatan – An island with stunning beaches
- Utila – An island for its diving and snorkeling
- Copan Ruinas – A Maya archaeological site
- La Ceiba – A city with a lively nightlife
- Guanaja – An island with a relaxed atmosphere
Honduras is one of the best places, like Costa Rica, but cheaper. It’s a great choice for travelers looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination.
These are the best hotels to stay in Honduras:
- Maya Beach Hotel – On the island of Roatan.
- Casa Mariposa – On the island of Utila.
- Hotel Macaw Bank – On the island of Guanaja.
Mexico is an excellent, underrated destination for travelers who want new experiences. When choosing a destination, Mexico offers more food and cultural experience than Costa Rica.
These are the best places to visit in Mexico:
- Mexico City – The capital of Mexico
- Cancun – A resort town with beautiful beaches
- Chichen Itza – An ancient Maya city
- Cozumel – An island with excellent diving and snorkeling
- Tulum – A beautiful beach town
Mexico is an excellent choice for travelers who want to experience a different culture without spending much money.
These are the best hotels to stay in Mexico:
- Hotel Maria Cristina – A luxury hotel located in Mexico City
- Paradisus Cancun – An all-inclusive resort located in Cancun
- Hotel Zone Tulum – A beautiful hotel
You can also enjoy the many great bars in Cancun for the ultimate party experience. Overall, Mexico is a great alternative to Costa Rica for travelers who want to experience the best of both worlds.
10/ Dominican Repulic
The Dominican Republic is in the Caribbean, just east of Puerto Rico. Many travelers choose the city as their vacation destination because it is known to be inexpensive and full of activities.
All these outdoor and water activities make the Dominican Republic one of the best places similar to Costa Rica.
These are the best places to visit in the Dominican Republic:
- Punta Cana – A resort town with beautiful beaches
- Santo Domingo – The capital of the Dominican Republic
- La Romana – A city with a lively nightlife
- Puerto Plata – A beach town with a relaxed atmosphere
- La Vega – A city with a vibrant atmosphere
These are the best hotels to stay in the Dominican Republic:
- Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana.
- Dominican Republic Marriott Hotel.
- Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus.
As you can see, there are many great alternatives and places like Costa Rica but cheaper that offer unique experiences. So what are you waiting for?