Planning a gluten-free trip to Costa Rica can be a worry-free adventure with the right itinerary and dining options. In this gluten-free travel guide, we will explore the best places to eat, stay, and visit in Costa Rica while catering to celiac needs. Whether you’re looking for celiac-safe restaurants, tips on navigating the local cuisine, or information on gluten-free options, this guide has you covered.

Key Takeaways

Best Hotels for Gluten-Free Travel in Costa Rica

When traveling to Costa Rica, it’s important to find accommodations that understand and cater to gluten-free needs. The Hampton Inn, Arenal Springs Resort & Spa, and Crocs Hotel & Casino in Jacó, are all recommended options that have received positive reviews for their gluten-free facilities and knowledgeable staff. These hotels offer safe and comfortable stays for celiac travelers, with gluten-free options available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

If you’re looking for a relaxing stay near San Jose, the Hampton Inn offers a range of gluten-free options for guests. Their breakfast buffet includes gluten-free bread, cereals, and pastries, ensuring a hassle-free start to your day. The hotel’s restaurant also offers a separate gluten-free menu with a variety of delicious options.

Arenal Springs Resort & Spa, located near the Arenal Volcano, provides a tranquil setting with stunning views. The resort’s on-site restaurant, Ti-Cain, offers gluten-free meals prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Their menu includes gluten-free versions of traditional Costa Rican dishes, allowing you to savor the local flavors with peace of mind.

For those seeking a vibrant beachside destination, Crocs Hotel & Casino in Jacó is a great choice. The hotel boasts a dedicated gluten-free menu in its on-site restaurant, Adacus, with a wide selection of dishes to choose from. You can enjoy gluten-free options ranging from seafood platters to mouthwatering desserts.

These hotels prioritize the needs of gluten-free travelers and provide a comfortable stay while ensuring that your dining experience is safe and satisfying. With their knowledgeable staff and gluten-free facilities, you can enjoy your time in Costa Rica without compromising your dietary needs.

Gluten Free Options Costa Rica

Customer Reviews

“Staying at the Hampton Inn was a great choice for our gluten-free trip to Costa Rica. The staff was incredibly helpful and knowledgeable about our dietary needs. The gluten-free options at breakfast were amazing, and we even received recommendations for nearby celiac-safe restaurants.”

– Sarah Davis, Gluten-Free Traveler

“Arenal Springs Resort & Spa exceeded our expectations in terms of gluten-free dining. We felt confident and safe ordering from their gluten-free menu, and the flavors were incredible. It was fantastic to enjoy authentic Costa Rican cuisine without any worries.”

– Mike Thompson, Celiac Traveler

“I highly recommend Crocs Hotel & Casino to gluten-free travelers visiting Jacó. The gluten-free menu at Adacus had an impressive selection, and the staff went out of their way to accommodate our dietary needs. It made our vacation stress-free and enjoyable.”

– Emily Rodriguez, Gluten-Free Foodie

Gluten-Free Hotels in Costa Rica
HotelGluten-Free Amenities
Hampton Inn
  • Separate gluten-free menu at the on-site restaurant
  • Gluten-free options available at the breakfast buffet
  • Knowledgeable staff to address dietary needs
Arenal Springs Resort & Spa
  • Dedicated gluten-free menu at the on-site restaurant
  • Locally sourced ingredients for gluten-free meals
  • Stunning views of Arenal Volcano
Crocs Hotel & Casino
  • On-site restaurant with a separate gluten-free menu
  • Wide selection of gluten-free dishes
  • Convenient beachside location in Jacó

Gluten-Free Dining in Costa Rica: A Culinary Adventure

Costa Rica offers a diverse array of gluten-free dining options, ranging from local sodas to upscale restaurants. While traditional Costa Rican dishes like Casado and Gallo Pinto are naturally gluten-free, it’s essential to inquire about cross contamination and hidden sources of gluten to ensure a safe dining experience. Whether you’re looking for 100% gluten-free bakeries and cafes or seafood and Mexican restaurants that can accommodate gluten-free requests, there are plenty of celiac-safe eateries to explore in Costa Rica.

Local Sodas and Traditional Cuisine

When visiting Costa Rica, don’t miss the chance to try local sodas, which are small family-owned restaurants serving delicious, homestyle meals. These establishments often offer gluten-free versions of traditional dishes, providing an authentic dining experience. Costa Rican staples like rice, beans, plantains, and fresh seafood are typically safe options for gluten-free travelers.

100% Gluten-Free Bakeries and Cafes

If you prefer dining at dedicated gluten-free establishments, Costa Rica has a growing number of 100% gluten-free bakeries and cafes. These establishments not only offer a wide variety of gluten-free baked goods, snacks, and desserts but also prioritize the safety of celiac customers by eliminating the risk of cross-contamination. Be sure to try the delectable pastries, sandwiches, and coffee options available.

Seafood and Mexican Restaurants

Seafood and Mexican restaurants in Costa Rica often have gluten-free options on their menus. Fish and seafood dishes, such as ceviche, grilled fish, and shrimp tacos, are typically safe choices for gluten-free diners. Mexican restaurants usually have corn-based tortillas and gluten-free sauces that can be substituted for flour-based options. Just remember to inform the staff about your dietary needs to ensure a gluten-free meal.

“Costa Rica offers a wide range of gluten-free dining options, from local sodas serving traditional cuisine to upscale restaurants catering to celiac needs.”

When dining out, it’s crucial to communicate your dietary requirements to the restaurant staff. They are usually accommodating and willing to assist you in finding gluten-free options or modifying dishes to suit your needs.

To help you navigate the gluten-free dining scene in Costa Rica, here are some highly recommended celiac-safe restaurants:

Restaurant NameLocationSpecialty
Soul HouseSan JoseGluten-free pizza and pasta dishes
Café TiquiciaSan JoseTraditional Costa Rican cuisine
El JardinLa FortunaGluten-free options in a garden setting
Ohana Poke HouseJacoGluten-free poke bowls with fresh ingredients
Margarita’s Cantina & GrillManuel AntonioAuthentic Mexican cuisine

With these gluten-free dining options in Costa Rica, you can embark on a culinary adventure and savor the flavors of the country without worrying about gluten. Make sure to check reviews, verify menus, and communicate your dietary needs to ensure a memorable and safe dining experience.

Exciting Activities in Costa Rica for Gluten-Free Travelers

While enjoying the plethora of gluten-free dining options in Costa Rica, you can also partake in various exciting activities that will make your trip truly memorable. Costa Rica is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes and adventurous spirit, offering endless opportunities for gluten-free travelers to explore and have a great time.

1. Coffee Farm Tours

Embark on a sensory journey through the lush coffee plantations of Costa Rica. Experience the process of cultivating, harvesting, and roasting coffee beans while enjoying the rich aromas and flavors. Learn about the history and cultural significance of coffee in Costa Rican society. It’s a delightful activity that combines education with indulgence, and most coffee farm tours provide gluten-free options for refreshments.

2. Chocolate Plantation Visits

Indulge your sweet tooth and learn about the fascinating world of chocolate by visiting a chocolate plantation. Discover the traditional methods of chocolate production, from harvesting the cacao fruit to transforming it into mouthwatering chocolate bars. Marvel at the natural beauty of the cacao trees and savor the delectable flavors of freshly made chocolates. Many chocolate plantations offer gluten-free chocolate options, allowing you to indulge without worry.

3. National Park Adventures

Costa Rica is famous for its national parks and protected areas, which showcase an incredible array of biodiversity. Explore lush rainforests, hike towering volcanoes, and discover hidden waterfalls. Engage in thrilling activities like zip-lining through the treetops, crossing hanging bridges, or taking a dip in natural hot springs. Enjoy the beauty of nature while staying gluten-free by packing gluten-free snacks or inquiring with tour companies about dietary accommodations.

4. Beach Relaxation

Take some time to unwind and enjoy the sun-drenched beaches of Costa Rica. Whether you prefer the tranquil shores of Manuel Antonio or the vibrant surfer’s paradise of Tamarindo, there are plenty of gluten-free-friendly beach destinations to choose from. Bask in the gentle waves, soak up the tropical vibes, and savor refreshing gluten-free options available at beachfront cafes and restaurants.

Remember to communicate your gluten-free dietary requirements to tour companies, guides, and accommodations in advance. This will ensure that any provided meals or snacks are gluten-free, allowing you to fully enjoy the activities without any worries or discomfort.

costa rica gluten free activities

ActivityGluten-Free Options
Coffee Farm ToursGluten-free coffee, fruits, and snacks
Chocolate Plantation VisitsGluten-free chocolates and treats
National Park AdventuresGluten-free snacks and meals upon request
Beach RelaxationGluten-free options at beachfront cafes


Costa Rica is the perfect destination for gluten-free travelers, offering a wide range of celiac-safe restaurants and accommodations. By following the tips and recommendations in this gluten-free travel guide, you can have a worry-free adventure exploring the breathtaking beauty and rich culture of Costa Rica.

When planning your itinerary, make sure to communicate your dietary needs to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Costa Rica has a growing awareness of gluten-free requirements, but it’s still important to ask about cross-contamination and hidden sources of gluten.

Be prepared with translation cards that clearly explain your gluten-free needs in Spanish, as well as backup options in case gluten-free choices are limited. With careful planning and preparation, you can have an amazing gluten-free experience in Costa Rica, savoring delicious local cuisine and indulging in exciting activities.

So pack your bags and embark on your celiac-friendly journey to Costa Rica. Explore the stunning beaches, hike through lush rainforests, and encounter diverse wildlife, all while enjoying safe and delectable gluten-free meals. Don’t hesitate to share your gluten-free adventures on your Costa Rica blog. Your experiences and insights will undoubtedly inspire and assist other gluten-free travelers seeking their own slice of paradise in Costa Rica!


Can you provide a sample gluten-free itinerary for Costa Rica?

While specific itineraries may vary depending on personal preferences and the duration of your trip, a sample gluten-free itinerary for Costa Rica could include visiting the Arenal Volcano, exploring the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, and relaxing on the beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park.

Are there gluten-free options available at the recommended hotels in Costa Rica?

Yes, the recommended hotels such as the Hampton Inn, Arenal Springs Resort & Spa, and Crocs Hotel & Casino in Jacó offer gluten-free options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their knowledgeable staff understands and caters to gluten-free needs.

What are some celiac-safe restaurants in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica offers a range of celiac-safe restaurants. Some recommendations include 100% gluten-free bakeries and cafes, seafood restaurants, and Mexican restaurants that can accommodate gluten-free requests. It’s important to inform the staff about your dietary needs and inquire about cross-contamination.

What are some popular activities for gluten-free travelers in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica offers various exciting activities for gluten-free travelers, including visiting coffee farms and chocolate plantations, exploring national parks, ziplining through the rainforest, and enjoying outdoor adventures such as hiking and snorkeling.

How can I ensure my dietary needs are met during organized tours or activities?

It’s essential to communicate your gluten-free dietary needs to tour companies or guides in advance. Inform them about your celiac condition and ask for gluten-free meal options or snacks. It’s also advisable to have translation cards or apps that clearly explain your dietary restrictions in the local language.

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