The Best Places to Get Engaged in Costa Rica

The best places in Costa Rica for wedding engagements.

Where’s the best place to get engaged in Costa Rica?  Well, it depends.  Where do you want to propose and what’s best for you?  Do you want to propose on a beautiful beach?  How about a tropical rainforest or a cloud forest?  Or, at a mystical waterfall or near a majestic volcano?  How about on a hanging bridge, a tropical garden, a picturesque bridge, in a humming bird garden or a butterfly observatory.  All of these options and more are possible.  Here’s a list of fantastic locations that are great for an engagement photo session in Costa Rica, as well as couple’s sessions.  It covers gorgeous natural sites as well as ideal resorts and hotels.

1. Beach Engagement Sites

Is a beach your dream dream destination to get engaged?  Costa Rica’s beautiful Pacific Coast beaches in Guanacaste and Puntarenas provinces are dreamy.  Though Costa Rica has many amazing Pacific and Caribbean beaches, we recommend the Pacific Coast beaches.  They are much, much safer than those on the Caribbean and have a well-developed infrastructure.  In Costa Rica, all beaches are public.  There are no private beaches, only private access points.  You can use the same beach that is in front of any luxury resort, you just cannot access the beach through a private resort.  You must use a public access point.  If a guest at the resort where you plan to propose marriage, be sure to coordinate with the events planner to avoid scheduling conflicts and ask permission.

Beaches in Manuel Antonio

In total, there are 14 beaches in Manuel Antonio, and some of them are rated among some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. What else makes it a great location is that it’s just under three hours from the Juan Sanatamaria International Airport (SJO). In Manuel Antonio, there are beaches that are heavily visited by locals, and there are some that more secluded and are tropical paradises and have fewer visitors, making them ideal for a beach wedding engagement photo session in Costa Rica. Below are a few photos of some of the best beaches in Manuel Antonio – Playa Biensanz, Playa Espadilla, Playa Manuel Antonio, and Playa la Macha.

Manuel Antonio is great for wedding engagements on the beach.
Manuel Antonio is great for wedding engagements on the beach.
Esterillos beach in Manuel Antonio is a great place to get engaged.
Get engaged in Costa Rica on a gorgeous beach in Manuel Antonio.

Beaches in Guanacaste

Guanacaste Province stretches from Costa Rica’s border with Nicaragua to about the middle of the country and has miles and miles of Pacific Coast beaches and various beach towns ideal for your Costa Rica beach engagement. Some of these beaches and towns are tourist-oriented and therefore have many resorts and many visitors, such as the beaches in Tamarindo Beach, Playas Las Catalinas Beaches, Playa Langosta, Playa Potrero, Playa La Cruz, Playa Santa Teresa, Playa del Coco, Playa Flamingo, Playa Conchal, and Playa Samara and more. If a more secluded romantic beach is preferred, Playa Islita, Playa Barrigona, Playa Grande, Playa Mina, Playa Penca, Playa Junquillal, Playa Palmares, Playa Huevo are great places to pop the question.

Costa Rica wedding engagement site at Dreams Las Mareas Resort..
Costa Rica wedding engagement site in Guanacaste.
Costa Rica wedding engagement site at Las Catalinas Beach.

2. Sites in La Fortuna

La Fortuna is a well-developed tourist destination located in a part of Costa Rica that is covered with dense tropical rainforest.  It’s about a 3-hour drive from both the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) and Liberia International Airport (LIR).  It’s known for its large volcano, waterfalls, exotic flora and fauna, hanging bridges, world-class resorts, many activities – from white-water rafting to bird watching, thermal springs – and wide variety of restaurants.  

La Fortuna Waterfall

The La Fortuna Waterfall is located on a 519-acre natural preserve that forms part of the Arenal Volcano National Park. At 230 feet high, the waterfall is a sight to see, with its water cascading into a blueish-green a lagoon whose water overflows over rocks and boulders, feeding a river. The steep walk to the waterfall is not for the slight of heart. It consists of 530-stair walk that is quite steep at times and that traverses the side of a rainforest-covered mountain covered. *The entrance fee is $15.00 for foreigners. Bring your passport!

Get engaged at La Fortuna Waterfall in Costa Rica.
Get engaged at La Fortuna Waterfall in Costa Rica.
Get engaged at La Fortuna Waterfall in Costa Rica.

Arenal Volcano

Close  your eyes and imagine a volcano.  You’ve just pictured the Arenal Volcano.  It is “the” archetypal volcano.  15 minutes from downtown La Fortuna, the volcano’s cone juts into the sky and is marked by recent lava flows that have burned away rainforest that once covered it.  It truly is a sight to behold.  The volcano can be seen from most areas and resorts in La Fortuna.  You can also hike to its base by entering the Arenal Volcano National park *for a fee.  You can also just stop on the highway in its vicinity and walk into a field for a great view and have it in the background of your engagement photos.  

Volcano wedding engagement site in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

Mistico Hanging Bridges

Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park is located 30 minutes from downtown La Fortuna is.  As the name implies, it has hanging bridges, which would make for a unique place to pop the question and for amazing engagement pictures.  The park also has trails, adventures such as horseback riding, natural attractions and amazing views of the Arenal Volcano, the rainforest, all sorts of exotic species, and Lake Arenal.  *The entrance fee ranges from $26.00 to more than $130.00 depending on which options you choose.

Wedding engagement site at Mistico Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna.

Arenal Observatory Lodge

Looking for an all-inclusive option – a place to lay your head, activities, and a place to ask for your love’s hand?  If so, the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa is an excellent choice.  It’s situated about 40 minutes from downtown La Fortuna between the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal on 870 acres of pristine rainforest.  At the observatory, the best places to propose are its small, picturesque waterfall with a same-sized lagoon, an open area with a lagoon and unobstructed view of the Arenal Volcano, its 92-foot observation tower in the rainforest, and the deck at its restaurant that has superb rainforest and volcano views. 

Arenal Observatory Lodge in La Fortuna is great for wedding engagements.
Arenal Observatory Lodge in La Fortuna is great for wedding engagements.

Tabacon Resort & Spa

At just 17 minutes from downtown La Fortuna, Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa is an impressive place to to ask to get engaged. Its most romantic site is the arched red picturesque bridge that crosses a small thermal-fed river.  Other places to pop the question at Tabacon are its thermal springs, Shangri-La Gardens, and the private bungalows where you can have a romantic dinner as well.  *If not a guest, Tabacon charges a fee for use of its hot springs and access to its gardens.  Whether or not you are a guest, we advise you to contact Tabacon’s event planner to plan your engagement. 

Tabacon Resort is great for wedding engagements in Costa Rica.

3. Bajos del Toro

1.5 hours from SJO and 4 hours from LIR, Bajos del Toro is a sublime place to propose marriage.  Known primarily for its many breathtaking waterfalls – chief among them is Catarata del Toro – Bajos del Toro is an isolated small town tucked away in a dense cloud forest in a very mountainous region.  Unlike La Fortuna, it’s is not a major tourist destination and therefore its infrastructures is not very developed area, but it does have one luxury resort, which adds to its allure

Catarata del Toro

If you want to propose in front of a breathtaking waterfall, Catarata del Toro will leave you speechless! Located on a privately-owned 250-acre reserve, it’s the largest waterfall in Costa Rica and is without a doubt one of the most, if not the most, amazing waterfalls in the country. At the preserve, there are also nature trails, an exotic garden, and a bird garden that attracts all sorts of birds, from hawks to hummingbirds. The walk to the base of the waterfall is about 45 minutes each way and is well cared for. Make sure you are physically fit, as it’s is not a walk in the park. *The entrance fee is $15.00 per adult.

Catarata del Toro is amazing site for Costa Rica wedding engagements.
Catarata del Toro is amazing site for Costa Rica wedding engagements.
Catarata del Toro is amazing site for Costa Rica wedding engagements.
Catarata del Toro is amazing site for Costa Rica wedding engagements.

Other Bajos del Toro Waterfalls

Catarata del Toro is but one of many waterfalls in Bajos del Toro. If you are looking for waterfall that has a developed infrastructure making your trip to the waterfall easier and less dangerous, Catarata del Toro is the only choice. If your’e feeling adventurous – make sure you ask your photographer if they are willing to take the less traveled path in advance – there are plenty of opportunities. On the same preserve as Catarata del Toro, there are Las Gemelas – The Twins. it truly is a sublime place, but you must cross a river on foot. It’s wort it! On the road from El Silencio Lodge & Spa to Catarata del Toro, you’ll see sign after sign for waterfalls. Take your pick. You won’t be disappointed.

Catarata del Toro is amazing site for Costa Rica wedding engagements.
Catarata del Toro is amazing site for Costa Rica wedding engagements.
Catarata del Toro is amazing site for Costa Rica wedding engagements.
Catarata del Toro is amazing site for Costa Rica wedding engagements.

4. Poas, Vara Blanca

If you want to propose in a mystical setting, Poas is an amazing engagement destination.  It’s a mountainous cloud forest region with various waterfalls and a volcano that’s about one hour from SJO and 4.5 hours from LIR.  Though it’s not a developed tourist destination as is La Fortuna, it does has a number of great activities – from nature tours, horseback riding, river rafting, and visiting the Poas Volcano National Park, among others.  The main attraction in Poas is La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park

La Paz Waterfall Gardens

La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park is a 70-acre ecological attraction that has a number of great places to get engaged.  It has amazing waterfalls, a butterfly observatory, a hummingbird garden, and an animal sanctuary.  There is a terrace overlooking each waterfall, and one has a gazebo set a bit further away that provides a different perspective of the waterfall, while the other has very small beach area a couple of hundred feet from the base of the waterfall in a ravine, which is a marvelous place to propose.  For accommodations, Peace Lodge is a rustic luxury resort located on the same property.  *The cost to enter the park is $44.00 per person.  We recommend coordinating with the event planner at Waterfall Gardens to make sure there are no scheduling conflicts with other events.

Peace Lodge & Waterfall gardens is great for wedding engagements in Costa Rica.
Peace Lodge & Waterfall gardens is great for wedding engagements in Costa Rica.
Peace Lodge & Waterfall gardens is great for wedding engagements in Costa Rica.
Peace Lodge & Waterfall gardens is great for wedding engagements in Costa Rica.

5. Tenorio Volcan National Park

Tenorio Volcano National Park – 2 hours from LIR and 3.5 hours from SJO – is a unique Costa Rica engagement destination.  It’s rainforests cover the mountainous park in dense foliage and trees that are home to an innumerable exotic animals – from howler monkeys to macaws – and flora.  There is a long nature trail, a mystical waterfall, and a lookout with great views of the lake that feeds the waterfall.  Outside of the park, there are a few activities, such as horseback riding, river rafting, and others.  The sky blue waterfall, however, is the main attraction

Rio Celeste Waterfall

Rio Celeste Waterfall – Sky Blue Waterfall – is at the heart of Tenorio Volcano National Park. Sky blue water cascades down the face of a mountain into a lagoon surrounded by rainforest. The sky blue water then turns into river that flows through the park and the nearby town. There is a medium-sized terrace overlooking the waterfall and lagoon, which is the closest you can get to the waterfall to propose and have the sky blue cascading water and mountain in the background. *The park charges a nominal fee to enter. We highly recommend renting boots from the company near the entrance of the park as the walk can be very muddy depending on the time of year.

Rio Celeste is great site for wedding engagement in Costa Rica.
Rio Celeste is great site for wedding engagement in Costa Rica.
Rio Celeste is great site for wedding engagement in Costa Rica.
Rio Celeste is great site for wedding engagement in Costa Rica.

There really are are many gorgeous places to get engaged in Costa Rica.  There certainly is no shortage of amazing beaches in Guanacaste and Puntarenas, and there are just as many, if not more memorable rainforest, cloud forest, volcano, and waterfall locations in La Fortuna Bajos del Toro, Poas, and Tenorio to ask for your love’s hand.  Wherever you propose marriage in Costa Rica, it will be an unforgettable experience.

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