If you’re considering eloping in Costa Rica, you’re in for a treat. This Central American country is home to some of the most beautiful and secluded spots on earth, perfect for exchanging your vows in private.
In this post, we’ll cover five of the best places to elope in Costa Rica, as well as how much it costs, and how to make your elopement legal. So if you’re ready to say “I do” in paradise, keep reading.
5 Best Places For A Costa Rica Elopement
If you’re looking for an intimate and exclusive setting for your nuptials, here are five of our favorite places in Costa Rica:
1. Manuel Antonio National Park
Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Costa Rica, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a secluded spot to elope.
This jungle oasis is home to some of Costa Rica’s best beaches, lush rainforests, and an abundance of wildlife. A few of the locations you should consider within Manuel Antonio National Park are:
✔️ Playa Escondida
Playa Escondida is a secluded beach hidden away in the jungle. It’s only accessible by hiking a short trail, making it the perfect place for an intimate ceremony.
✔️ Punta Catedral
Punta Catedral is a rocky outcropping with sweeping views of the ocean. This is a great spot for couples who want dramatic photos against a stunning backdrop.
✔️ Nauyaca Waterfall
For couples who want to incorporate a little adventure into their elopement, Nauyaca Waterfall is the perfect spot. It is located in the jungle and can be reached by hiking or horseback riding.
2. Arenal Volcano National Park
Arenal Volcano National Park is one of the most popular national parks in Costa Rica. This is largely due to the presence of the Arenal Volcano, an active volcano that last erupted in 2010.
While the Arenal Volcano may be the star of the show, there are plenty of other places to elope here, too. Here are a few of our favorite spots:
✔️ La Fortuna Waterfall
La Fortuna Waterfall is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Costa Rica. But don’t let that deter you, this spot is still incredibly romantic. The waterfall is located in the jungle and can be reached by hiking a short trail.
✔️ Arenal Lake
Looking for a more serene setting? Arenal Lake is a great location for your Costa Rica elopement. This lake is located at the base of the volcano and offers some of the most iconic views in Costa Rica.
✔️ Tabacon Hot Springs
For couples who want to relax on their elopement day, you might consider Tabacon Hot Springs. Book a room at the resort on site, soak, and say I do to the one you love.
3. Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the best places to elope in Costa Rica for many reasons. This forest is home to some of the rarest plants and animals on earth, making it a truly special place to exchange your vows.
Do I need to hike to elope in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve?
No, you don’t need to hike to elope in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. There are plenty of places to elope within the reserve that are easily accessible. However, if you’re looking for a more adventurous experience, there are plenty of hiking trails to explore as well.
Tip: There’s an amazing hanging bridge over the jungle in Selvatura Park (located inside Monteverde Cloud Forest). I would consider looking into that as a possible place to get hitched.
4. Rincon de la Vieja National Park
Rincon de la Vieja National Park is a great place to elope for couples who want hiking, waterfalls, and some of the most pristine rainforests in the country. This national park is located in the northwestern corner of Costa Rica and is home to an active volcano, Rincon de la Vieja.
✔️ Las Pailas
Jump on the hiking trail to Las Pailas, one of the most unique places in Rincon de la Vieja National Park. It is the perfect place to find solace and exchange your vows. This area of the national park is home to steaming hot springs, waterfalls, and bubbling mud pots.
Note: This hiking trail is approximately 3km. Be sure to bring reasonable shoes for this excursion.
✔️ La Cangreja Waterfall
Although it is quite the trek to get out to La Cangreja Waterfall (6+ miles roundtrip), it is definitely worth it. This waterfall is one of the most beautiful in Costa Rica and is the perfect spot for an elopement.
Tip: If you want to elope at La Cangreja Waterfall, I recommend getting there early in the day. This spot gets crowded, but for good reason.
5. Corcovado National Park
Corcovado National Park is one of the most biodiverse places on earth and is a great place to elope for couples who want an adventure. This national park is located on the Osa Peninsula in the southern part of Costa Rica and has an abundance of rainforests, mangroves, and beaches.
✔️ Caño Island
Looking for a beach ceremony? Maybe with a few whales breaching in the background? Caño Island might be your best bet. This island is located off the coast of Corcovado National Park and is only accessible by boat. However, it’s well worth the journey.
✔️ Carate Beach
Carate Beach is a secluded shoreline in Corcovado National Park. Its desolation and amazing views make it a great spot for an elopement in Costa Rica.
6. Tenorio Volcano National Park
Tenorio Volcano National Park is a magical place for couples who want impressive photos and incredible backdrops for their elopement ceremony. This national park is located in the northern part of Costa Rica and is home to an active volcano, Tenorio.
But, most people don’t come here for the volcano. Instead, they are looking for the turquoise waters of the Rio Celeste. This river gets its color from the minerals in the water and is truly a sight to behold.
✔️ The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is one of the most popular spots in the park. This lagoon is fed by the Rio Celeste, which means you’ll witness some of the most vibrant turquoise colors you’ve ever seen.
Note: Because this place is so popular, arrive early in the morning to get married.
✔️ Rio Celeste Waterfall
The Rio Celeste Waterfalls are some of the most stunning in the world.. truly. To get there for your elopement, you’ll need to hike out approximately 1.8 miles through the rainforest.
Tip: Be SURE to get to this spot early. It is very popular, but without the crowds, you’ll have the most enchanting experience.
Best Wedding Venues For Elopements In Costa Rica
Costa Rica has some amazing hotels and private villas where you can enjoy a beautiful and luxurious elopement. These are our top Costa Rica wedding venue picks:
Villa Punto de Vista
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind luxury wedding venue, look no further than Villa Punto de Vista. This architectural masterpiece is a vision of wood and glass offering beautiful views of the Manuel Antonio Bay. The villa comes with a pre-arrival concierge to help with trip planning, plus a butler and 10-person staff to make sure your experience is 5-stars.
Staying in a private villa surrounded by your closest family and friends is sure to make for a magical Costa Rican wedding.
Vista Ocean Suites
Another beautiful wedding venue in Manuel Antonio Costa Rica is Vista Ocean Suites. Not only does this boutique hotel have great views of the ocean and jungle, each of their suites has private entrances and kitchenettes. You can hold your wedding on the roof of their penthouse and then enjoy poolside cocktails… or maybe a horseback ride along the beach to soak in the sunset with your dearly beloved.
The Springs Resort & Spa
Get married in this famous resort with a full-service spa, unparalleled views of El Arenal Volcano, and five different dining experiences. The Springs Resort also has natural hot springs and an adventure club where you can go river kayaking and feed wildcats. Sounds like fun!
Their guest rooms, bungalows and villas are beautifully finished in wood, creating an inviting and luxurious space. They also have a wedding specialist to help you put all the details together for you event. The Springs Resort even offers an elopement package!
How Much Does It Cost To Elope In Costa Rica?
When it comes to eloping in Costa Rica, the cost will vary depending on a few factors. These include the number of people attending your elopement, the location of your ceremony, and whether or not you want a professional photographer.
With that said, elopement packages range in price from $2,000 to $10,000. Again, this depends whether or not you want an all-inclusive package, or you’re just looking for a quiet spot with a professional photographer and a legal officiant.
If you’d like more precise numbers, send us an email at [email protected].
Best Time To Elope In Costa Rica
The best time to elope in Costa Rica really depends on what you’re looking for.
If you want to avoid the crowds, we recommend eloping during the low season which runs from May to November. During this time, hotel prices are lower and there are fewer tourists.
However, if you’re looking for stunning weather, we recommend eloping during the high season which runs from December to April. This is when Costa Rica experiences its driest weather.
Keep in mind, Costa Rica is a tropical country, so you can expect warm weather year-round. Although, the temperatures do vary depending on the time of year. For example, during the high season, temperatures tend to be around 86°F (30°C). Whereas during the low season, temperatures are a bit cooler and range from 75-80°F (24-27°C).
So, if you’re looking to elope in Costa Rica, we recommend choosing a time of year that works best for you. Whether that’s during the high season when there are more crowds, but better weather, or during the low season when hotel prices are lower and the weather is more unpredictable.
How Do You Legally Elope In Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is all set up for destination weddings. The paperwork is straightforward, which is an extra perk for those looking for a “no-fuss” elopement. Civil weddings in Costa Rica are valid internationally, it just takes approximately three months to process the paperwork.
Tip: Stop by your local city hall ahead of time and ask them what the requirements are to register a marriage abroad.
In Order To Get Married In Costa Rica You Will Need The Following
✅ Your passports (still valid for six months), plus copies
✅ Two witnesses (non-family members)
✅ To fill out a questionnaire with basic information including your home address and occupation
✅ A judge, lawyer, or Catholic priest to perform the marriage ceremony
Notes: The witnesses also will need to provide copies of their passports and fill out a statement including their nationality, address, civil status, and occupation.
If you’ve been married before, the process might require a couple extra steps, especially if you are a recent widow or divorcee. In that case, you can’t get married within 300 days of your divorce or your husband’s death unless you get a pregnancy test at the Forensic Medicine Office of the Costa Rican Supreme Court
What The Lawyer Will Do
During the wedding, your lawyer will have the bride, groom and witnesses sign a marriage document plus a sworn statement attesting to the bride and groom’s new marital status.
After the wedding, the lawyer will have the marriage certificate translated by a legal translator, then get it authenticated by the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
From there the process differs depending on your home country. If you are Canadian, the wedding certificate must be notarized by the Canadian Embassy in Costa Rica and then presented to the Office of Vital Statistics in your home province.
If you are from the U.S.A., the documents must be notarized by a public notary, then certified and signed by the U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section.
That might sound a bit complicated, but the lawyer will handle most, if not all, of this process for you.
Costa Rica Elopement Photographer
If you’re looking for a Costa Rica elopement photographer, we can help! Contact us at [email protected], tell us a bit about your elopement plans and needs, and we’ll get back to you with the information you need.
Conclusion: Elopement In Costa Rica
As you can see, Costa Rica is a marvelous place to elope! Whether you choose to get married on the black and green slopes of Tenorio Volcano while it shoots ash into the air, on the hanging bridge in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, or on a beach on Caño Island, Costa Rica is guaranteed to make your marriage a magical event.