T-Minus 72 Hours (10AM Check In)
Arrive at Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) in Alajuela, in the Central Valley region of Costa Rica north of San Jose. Drive 30 minutes to Hotel Grano De Oro (you can arrange transport in advance with the hotel or grab a taxi). Take a few hours to check in, drop your bags off, recoup a little from the flight and prepare for a crazy Costa Rica bachelor party. You’ll definitely want to change if you flew in from someplace cold. One of the many benefits of your hotel is that it houses one of San Jose’s best restaurants. Head downstairs for lunch at Restaurante Grano de Oro for some excellent traditional Costa Rican cuisine.
T-Minus 68 Hours (2PM Explore San Jose)
Head out on a Barrio Bird Walking Tour (we recommend the Bird’s Nest tour for the best overview) to do a bit of sightseeing and absorb some culture before your wild night out. Take your camera and get some group shots of the guys. The bride will definitely be impressed that your bachelor party had some historical and maybe even educational value. And hey, if you’re going to Costa Rica, you definitely want to see Costa Rica! After, take a walk through Mercado Central and enjoy some refreshing local beer (Imperial is the hands down favorite).
T-Minus 64 Hours (6PM Gastronomy aka Dinner)
If you’re not full from sampling snacks around the market (in which case you could continue exploring or even head back to the hotel and take a nap if you’re jetlagged), take the 15 minute walk over to Park Café for what critics describe as “a gastronomical experience.” Don’t be fooled by the fact that the restaurant is located within an antique shop, the food (including dishes like Scallop wrapped in Prosciutto with Gazpacho Soup and Fried Onion and Fried Calamari with Roquette Salad and Red Wine Risotto) is modern and delicious. Be sure to make a reservation, as this is a popular restaurant.
T-Minus 60 Hours (10PM Pura Vida Nightlife)
Start the night with a bang at one of San Jose’s largest and most popular nightlife destinations, Rapsodia Lounge and Night Club. This is the place to take some shots (or just grab some drinks if that’s more your speed) and dance the night away. Once your feet are tired, cab over to Havana Humidor Room for some authentic Cuban cigars and maybe an end of the night whiskey on the rocks. When you’ve had your fill, hop another cab back to your hotel for a good night’s sleep.
T-Minus 48 hours (10 AM Hangover Recovery OR Beach Day)
After the night you had last night, you deserve a few extra hours of sleep if you want them. However, for the early risers that want to get up and go, this is the day for surfing. Hermosa Beach or Playa Hermosa (a top surf spot just south of Jaco Beach) is a two-hour drive from San Jose, so get moving. Start the morning with some coffee Costa Rican style (black with a healthy portion of sugar is how most of the locals drink it) before you start towards Hermosa. For whoever’s tired, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a room service brunch (because there’s no way you’re getting up early enough to have a separate breakfast and lunch). The non-beach group should skip to the dinner part of today’s itinerary.
T-Minus 44 hours (12 PM Hit the Waves)
If you don’t have boards with you, you can rent them by the day for cheap (about $20) from Hermosa Riders Surf School. Depending on your group’s experience, you may want to book a lesson. There’s really only one restaurant nearby enough to ride a wave, grab a bite, and catch the next one, but Pizza Bocha is pretty solid. It’s not fine dining, but you’ll be happy if you grab a few slices for lunch midway through your surf session.
T-Minus 39 hours (5 PM Homeward Bound)
You’ll want to get back on the road to meet up with the rest of your group for dinner, while still making leaving enough time to shower off all the sand and saltwater you’ve collected. Remember, there’s that two hours of travel time to get through.
T-Minus 36 hours (8 PM Rare, Medium, or Well Done?)
That’s right, it’s time for some really good steak. El Chicote, San Jose’s favorite steakhouse since it opened 40 years ago, is the place to go. Baby Beef is the house specialty, but you’ll also find delicious offerings ranging from Shrimp Stuffed Sirloin to Fresh Salmon with homemade hollandaise sauce. We suggest you order a good assortment of cocktail appetizers; and not just the shrimp. Take the plunge and try the octopus. After dinner try the Three Milk’s (Tres Leches) Cake or Coconut Custard, both traditional Costa Rican desserts for anyone with a sweet tooth. Tomorrow is a big day, so try to get to bed at a reasonable hour.
T-Minus 22 hours (8 AM Adventure Time)
Wondering why we recommended you turn in early last night? We saved the best for last. It is finally time to take on the rainforest with a zip lining canopy tour. There’s no better way to view the country’s wildlife (including monkeys, toucans, sloths, and more) and scenery than by hanging in a harness from a steel rope. This activity is quite an adrenaline rush. For that one guy (there always is one) with a fear of heights, try and encourage him to go anyways. If that doesn’t work, give him a few beers and drag him along. He’ll end up thanking you. The Sarapiqui River Sightseeing Cruise and Zipline Canopy Tour from San Jose includes transportation to and from your hotel (other tours can charge up to $100 per person just for transportation, so trust us, go with this one), zip lining, a river cruise, and lunch. Note that a significant amount of travel time is required (that’s the trade off of staying in the city central) which is why you’ll have to start your tour in the morning. It’s definitely worth it though!
T-Minus 14 hours (8 PM Cocktails With a View)
For your final dinner in Costa Rica, 8ctavo Rooftop Restaurant & Lounge is your place. Enjoy great innovative food, a hip, stylish atmosphere, and an unbeatable view of San Jose. After dinner, walk across the terrace to the restaurant’s sister bar (headed by Clark Jiménez Alvarado, winner of World Class in Costa Rica) to try some unique cocktails (that feature organic ingredients and local produce). The signature drink? The Salt Air Naranjilla Margarita.
T-Minus 11 hours (11 PM Role the Dice)
Still game for more? Time to keep the night going strong at the casino also located in the Sheraton Resort. Play some blackjack, shoot some craps, and put some money on the wedding date at the roulette table. Most importantly, make sure you have one final toast to the groom. After all, he just had his last 72 hours of bachelordom.
Once you’ve decided on having the bachelor party in Costa Rica, it’s time to start planning.