Costa Rica Elopement Photographer

Costa Rica Elopement Photographer

I’m Lucy, a colorful Costa Rica Elopement Photographer! Here to share my favorite Costa Rica Elopement locations, tips, & how-to guide with you! Costa Rica is paradise for honeymooners, adventure seekers, engaged couples and those who want to elope and honeymoon at the same time! In this guide I’ll share some of my favorite places that I had the pleasure of visiting and hopefully inspire you to choose a tropical destination elopement!

Where to Elope in Costa Rica?

I’ll go over some of the regions and highlights of the Pacific coast, Caribbean coast, central mountains and elopement locations around La Fortuna and Monteverde. There is something for everyone here, so long as you like warm sun, adventure, beaches, diving, jungle, hiking, volcanoes, or waterfalls.

Monteverde, Costa Rica Elopement Locations

Monteverde and the cloud forest are legendary and for good reason. These primary rainforests are some of the most biodiverse spots on the planet. There is nothing like a hike in these jungles. If it’s raining, even better! While the road up there is long, there are incredible elopement locations in Monteverde if you know where to look. And there is so much to do here – ziplining, chocolate and coffee tours, and of course night tours to really experience the jungle. A hiking elopement here could take you to so many incredible places and lookouts. Plus the best ice cream spot in the country is nearby!

La Fortuna Elopement Locations

You’d be hard pressed to find a more magical place in Costa Rica than the town of La Fortuna at the base of Arenal Volcano. The cone shaped volcano dominates the area, and while it’s often shrouded in low cloud, it’s always enjoyable. We could have spent a month here! My favorite part was the Mistico hanging bridges. The massive suspension bridges are so incredibly cool. We saw some of the best wildlife here: Coatamundis, Sloth, Treefrogs, Peccaries, Spider Monkeys, Pit vipers, a Giant Curassow and 95 other bird species! Seeing a wild Neotropical Otter in Lake Arenal totally capped off the experience for me. Don’t miss the hot springs and thermal caves here.

Waterfall Elopement Locations in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is well known for its beautiful waterfalls. There are hundreds of waterfalls in this Central American country, it would be impossible to visit or list them all. Ranging from grand drops in valleys with developed overlook decks to secret falls tucked away in the jungle, these provide incredible focal points for an elopement ceremony. One of the most popular is Nauyaca Falls just south of Quepos. You can jeep, hike, or even horseback ride to this epic waterfall. Whether you want to hike or not, I’ve got a waterfall for you! See my steamy couples waterfall shoot in Costa Rica here!

Pacific Coast Elopements in Costa Rica

The pacific coast of Costa Rica is pretty diverse. The dry province of Guanacaste to the north is a world renowned site for diving and snorkeling. If you are a water lover, look no further. On the central Pacific coast, Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park are a scorching hot and humid jungle-meets beach paradise. Monkeys, parrots, and beautiful vistas dominate this area with tons of opportunity for adventures. White Water rafting, rappelling, horseback riding – you name it, they have it! Further down on the south coast, Dominical, Uvita and the Marino Balleno National Park make that palm tree dream come true. Black sand beaches provide ultimate relaxation. The best thing about the west coast might just be the unforgettable sunsets over the the ocean. Also – don’t miss the airplane bar!

Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica

The Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica is the more humid and rainy of the two coasts, The dryest months to elope here are September and October. This area is all about palm tree beaches and relaxing. Cahuita National park has some of the best beaches like Puerto Vargas. Further down the coast, explore Playa Chiquita and Playa Negra.

Virtual Tour of Costa Rica’s best elopement locations:

This map is like a virtual tour of Costa Rica elopement locations with color photos I’ve taken of each place. So you can see all the great spots without leaving your living room. If you’re planning from afar, this is a visual key to picking out the elopement spot that works for you. Details like what seasons and time of day are best for each location are included. It will help you plan your activities, accommodations, and your day’s itinerary. Lastly, it’s easy to have a great backup location picked out with this map in front of you. Having that Plan B in your back pocket will keep your planning stress-free!

What season should we elope in Costa Rica?

Because of Costa Rica’s location near the equator, weather is mostly divided into two seasons: The wet season (May to November) and the dry season (November to May). The Pacific coast is warm and dry, with average daily highs between 70 and 90 degrees throughout the year. The interior and northern part of the country will be 10 to 15 degrees cooler. The dry season is considered high season, when it’s less likely to be rainy and resorts are more likely to be booked up. In teh wet season, greenery explodes even on the coast.

How to Elope in Costa Rica?

Planning a Costa Rica elopement is as easy as saying YES to the things that excite you the most! Your elopement experience doesn’t have to be like anyone else’s. Don’t try and re-create what you’ve seen other people do. Sit down with your partner and discuss whether a jungle, beach, or waterfall elopement sounds right to you. Then get in touch with an experienced Costa Rica elopement photographer who can help you make it happen!

How to get legally married in Costa Rica?

There are two types of legal marriage: a Catholic ceremony and a Civil Ceremony. If you are religious but not Catholic, you will technically have a civil ceremony and you can choose to have a minister officiate. After choosing your location, date and photographer, I’ll help you find a lawyer with experience officiating ceremonies in English. They will work with you to fill out the appropriate documents before you even arrive in the country. You must have 2 witnesses to sign your marriage certificate. I’m volunteering myself and my husband right now. After the ceremony, it will take up to 3 months for you to receive your legal copy in the mail. Your marriage will be valid in the USA and internationally.

How to plan a Costa Rica elopement:

  1. Choose a date in a season you like
  2. Book your travel: Flights, accommodation & rental car.
  3. Book your Costa Rica Elopement photographer – find someone whose personality and photo style makes you excited!
  4. Book a local lawyer or religious officiant who can legally conduct your ceremony.
  5. Choose your ceremony site and create your dream timeline with your photographer and officiant.
  6. Make dinner reservations & plan your outfits. Hire a florist, makeup artist, or other vendors.
  7. Apply for your Costa Rica marriage license at least 1 month in advance.
    Now you are ready to have the time of your lives in Costa Rica!

How much time do we need to elope in Costa Rica?

The short answer is, the more time you have the better! As soon as you start looking into the amazing opportunities that await you in this county, you’ll want to do it all. I always say the best elopement plan is the day on your honeymoon that you’re most excited for – so make it a whole day! This is the day you’ll remember as your anniversary for all the years to come, so make it unforgettable. Also, because of frequent short rainstorms in Costa Rica, plans may change on the fly and a short elopement timeline will create stress. Plan to spend at least 4 days in the country, a week if you can!

Sample Costa Rica Elopement Timeline – 1 full day

Here is just one example of a full day elopement timeline you could have in Costa Rica:
9:00 Wake up in a treehouse in La Fortuna. Breakfast in bed with tropical smoothies.
10:00 Enjoy the Hanging Bridges. You’ll be surrounded by jungle and see several waterfalls.
12:30 Time for some ice cream and lunch, in that order.
2:00 Take a coffee or chocolate tour and indulge. Or go zip lining!
4:30 Leisurely hike to a 400 year old Banyan tree and say your vows totally alone under its branches.
6:30 Dinner reservation, or get a private chef to make you your favorite authentic dishes.
8:00 Hit up the hot springs for a romantic evening or take a guided night walk to see wildlife.

Costa Rica National Parks

Costa Rica is well known for being a hotspot for eco tourism. The country has 28 national parks and 28% of it’s land is protected in reserves. However, unlike USA National Parks, there is no national park pass that allows you entry to all of them. Every Costa Rica national park only has single day passes, so keep this in mind when planning. The costs can add up if you plan to visit a lot of them! Often, there are hidden gems nearby that can be accessed for less 🙂

Do we have to hike to elope in Costa Rica?

No way! In fact, more people come to elope on the beach than in the jungles. Hiking – nor any level of fitness – is required to have an incredible adventure elopement in Costa Rica. For couples that regularly hike together at home, hiking is the perfect activity to feel grounded to one another on their special day. The options are endless, but not required.

How much does it cost to elope in Costa Rica?

It can cost as much or as little as you’d like! I will say that Costa Rica is probably the most expensive country I’ve traveled to in my life – expect to end up spending as much as you would for a trip to Hawaii. Hidden costs like food tax and service fees (on top of tipping), and $25 per person entry to the national parks can add up quickly. Here is a budget breakdown for a Costa Rica elopement.

$1200 2 Roundtrip flights to Costa Rica.
$600 Car rental for a week.
$800 to $5000 Accommodation. It’s up to your level of comfort, but be sure to book a place with A/C!
$1200 to $5000 Wedding garments – dress, suit, accessories
$5000 to $9000 Costa Rica Elopement Photographer
$1800 Officiant for your marriage
$300 to $2000 for Flowers and beauty services if desired. Nobody says you have to.
$700 to $2000 Food for a week – Restaurant food is expensive here!
$500 to $4000 Adventure activities: Jeep, Helicopter tour, Horseback ride, Guided tours
= $11,000 to $30,600 depending on your preferences.

Costa Rica Elopement Photography Packages

I offer both Costa Rica elopement photography packages, or All inclusive elopements for a one stop shop option. There are no travel fees, download fees, watermarks or other hidden fees.

2 Day Costa Rica elopement photography – $7900

1.5 Days of Costa Rica elopement photography – $6900

1 Full day Costa Rica adventure elopement photography – $5900

What to pack for a trip to Costa Rica:

It’s hot – pack accordingly! Look for linen or cotton suits and fabrics, or light lace without many layers for dresses. You will want sun shirts and tank tops, sunglasses, chapstick, and plenty of ocean safe sunscreen. Swimwear, microfiber towels, and beach wraps will come in handy whether you’re visiting the ocean or the waterfalls & hot springs. Good solid hiking boots or closed-toed hiking sandals will be useful in those jungle treks, just make sure you don’t mind them getting muddy! A raincoat or windbreaker will come in handy, so be sure to pack at least a poncho.

Where to stay for a Costa Rican Elopement?

Finding amazing places to stay in Costa Rica is easy – and surprisingly affordable in this otherwise expensive country! Tons of unique options are available. Hot spring resorts are a must! Look around the La Fortuna area for those. There are cabins, glamping tents, treehouses, modern pads, and beachfront villas on airbnb. I even know of one with a private waterfall, and another that’s a houseboat. You will be spoiled for choice here, and it will be easy to create a one of a kind experience. See my favorite Costa Rica Airbnbs here! I can’t wait to hear about what you’re dreaming up!

How is the food in Costa Rica?

Great coffee and authentic local dishes, Guayabana smoothies, plantains and cassava were highlights! If you’re a fish eater, this can be paradise. The food in Costa Rica is hit and miss. It takes some time to understand what to order and what not to order here. Let’s just say “steak” is a term used loosely. Pizza shops are everywhere, yet the pizza makers seemingly have not ever had pizza themselves.

Thinking about eloping in Costa Rica?

If you’re thinking about a tropical elopement, look no further than Costa Rica! Get started by telling me about your elopement photography goals. I’m ready to make it happen for you! I offer full day, 1.5 day and 2 day elopement photography in Costa Rica and other destination locations. See my pricing and package details here. I would love to chat with you and help see if an elopement with me is what you’ve been dreaming of. Get in touch below!

About your Costa Rica Elopement Photographer

I’m a nomadic and colorful Costa Rica elopement photographer with an obsession for mountains, hiking, and moss. My photography style emphasizes the epic jungle landscape of your dreams and the authentic moments that make you two.. well, you two! I love my job and my nature-loving clients. Costa Rica is a nature lover’s paradise. Maybe I’ll see you there!

Make me your Costa Rica Elopement Photographer:


Still want tropical, but maybe another flavor? Try my other destination elopement guides!
– Maui Elopement Guide
Riviera Maya, Mexico Elopement Guide
– New Zealand Elopement Guide
– Bali, Indonesia Elopement Guide

One Comment

  1. Debbie Broderick says:

    The jungles! Fantabulous!!!!

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