By now it’s not really a secret that Costa Rica sex is actually a “thing.” Many men have known about this sex tourism hot spot for several decades, even though it’s gotten a lot of press in the last twenty years thanks in part to the Internet making the exchange of information so easy. In fact, there are many websites devoted to this exact topic, which I’ve linked to at the bottom of this article. According to Culture Trip, nearly 15-20% of the North American population visiting Costa Rica goes there for sex! Today I’ll talk about how things work in Costa Rica prostitution and outline how you can have yourself a grand old time with a complete stranger. Spanish is encouraged, but entirely optional.
Costa Rica Prostitution – How It Works
Let me first say this – so we are very clear – sex with minors for money in Costa Rica is outlawed and will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Don’t even think about having relations with a minor, no matter what some local, or worse, expat, tells you. It’s wrong, it’s illegal, and downright stupid. I’ll leave it just like that.
Second, there is no “pimping” Costa Rican prostitutes. Any intermediary, whether a brothel, a human, or well, another form of middle person who gets involved in the transaction, is going to get into hot water. There are busts all the time, mostly it’s some madam who houses a group of impoverished women and makes them have sex with strangers for money, only to keep it all for herself in exchange for the shelter. It’s very sad, but it happens.
Now that we are clear on those two items, there is a lot of legal, fun, and desirable sex to be had in various pockets of Costa Rica. Sure, it happens all over the country, since it is legal, but there are many areas where it is entirely abundant, and to put it bluntly, quite “in your face.”
The two areas I speak of are very different, so I’ll touch on them both.
San Jose Sex Scene
San Jose is the Capital of the country, and while it’s quite run down, it does have little pockets of charm. For many years, and as far as old timers told me, at least the 1970’s, men would converge on what many people refer to as “The Gringo Gulch” of San Jose. This area was chock full of bars, diners, late night dancing spots, strip clubs, and of course, the famous Hotel Del Rey brothel. Today, the Del Rey stands alone, with it’s basically empty sister establishment, the late night dancing, more low key, but fun bar, Key Largo, across the street.
In fact, there’s an estimated 800 sex workers in this area alone. They operate out of massage parlors, bars, hotels, barber shops, and even low key, private places.
In past years, there were establishments such as:
- Monkey Bar
- Little Marlin
- New York Bar
- Club Bikini
- The Horseshoe Casino
And much, much more. If you were around in these days, you know how different it is now.
The Hotel Del Rey
The San Jose Sex tourism is way down, and the scene just isn’t what it used to be. That said, the Hotel Del Rey, the iconic pink building with neon lights, a poker room, casino, sometimes a sportsbook, and of course, many bars – namely, the Blue Marlin, still stand tall. The property can have anywhere from a couple dozen to several hundred women from local Costa Ricans, neighboring Nicaraguan and Panamanians, as well as South Americans from Venezuela and Colombia. Sure, you’ll find other counties being represented there as well, but these countries have the most women, hands down.
The Sportsmen’s Lodge
This place is like seeing time go in reverse. It’s an old mansion that was turned into a bed and breakfast of sort, geared towards expatriate tourists who desired American food, sports, and some women who congregate around the lobby. If the Hotel Del Rey was the “A Team,” this is the more low key, “B Team.” Many people prefer this spot because it’s not as known to be a pick up bar, and it’s actually a great location to stay in a safe environment where you can walk to all of those other spots offering in your face prostitution. The Sportsmen’s Lodge does a great job of throwing parties for all American championships, as well as features daily sporting events on it’s many televisions, with it’s friendly, bi-lingual staff ready to serve you a cold beer or other drink of your choice.
If you are looking to make friends because you traveled alone, this may be the best spot for you to stay. Everyone is friendly and you can set up day tours and excursions directly through the hotel.
How Much Does a Prostitute Cost in Costa Rica?
In San Jose, in the Del Rey, at least, you can expect a range of prices from $20 to $300. The women are all freelancers, and these are just quotes. A sucker will pay the asking price, and a salty old veteran monger will negotiate what he wants. This happens frequently, and overhearing these talks is half of the fun of drinking at the Blue Marlin Bar. You will literally listen to the whole deal go down, and sometimes even be able to watch the happy couple ride the elevator up to the room, after paying the house fee and checking her ID, and track the whole session. Some people will be back at the bar drinking in 15 minutes, while others will be paying the “toda la noche” fee and having her spend the night. It’s all up for negotiation at the Del Rey.
While this is a market where you can meet women and strike up a conversation and talk to them, there do exist other environments where you can find sex in San Jose. Massage parlors mask the fact that there are many rooms on premises where you can select a woman, sometimes talking to them first, other times choosing them behind a glass partition, and do what you please with them for a fee. I haven’t gone to one of these places in years, it’s not my jam really, but back in the early 2000’s, you could get a good time for $40 at the American places that welcomed tourists, and much lower in the “Zona Roja,” where you may get dirty looks and feel unsafe. Be very careful in the Zona Roja, there are many massage establishments there that people frequent, but if you aren’t careful, and take a wrong turn, you could get into a situation where you are mugged, robbed, or worse. San Jose is a dangerous city with a lot of crime, a ton of homeless people consuming drugs, and not a lot of policing of these people until something bad happens. That’s not a knock on the police down there, it’s just a fact. Every day I’d see people smoking crack pipes and the police just allow it. They don’t get paid much, so I wouldn’t either. It’s an unfortunate situation.
Massage Parlors in San Jose
You’ll find no shortage of “rub and tugs” in San Jose, only you can go in knowing that you won’t get just a tug, you’ll get anything you ask for, for the price at the counter plus perhaps a small “propina.” (Tip.) However, be VERY careful as it turns out, about once per year, certain ones who probably don’t pay the right people, taxation, or other, will get shook down. One shake down resulted in the acquaintance of someone I knew getting arrested because the woman who was going to service him was underage. Guys, don’t trust anyone here. Ask for ID.
According to the Costa Rican Times, there are over 140 of these in the area. I’d say about 20 or maybe even 30 are known, but many will go way, way down the poverty scale and be somewhat hidden. The Times also advises that you go to one that has a “license.” I don’t agree with this, because that license is a “pension” license, and those even get shut down. Really, trust nobody, and know that you should card the woman no matter what. Call me “Cautious Sex Calvin,” but hey, do you really want to be locked up abroad?
This guy was….
New Fantasy Massage Parlor
This place has always been the one that gringos to go. Located in Barrio Amon, it’s on the north end price wise, coming in just over $40 if memory serves correctly. They have a full bar and even a steam room in addition to private rooms.
Other San Jose Massage Parlors
Let me just go off of the map (scroll below, you’ll get a full walkable map you can use in San Jose as you tour around looking for beer, women, and sex) and go by region here in San Jose Centro. This starts on the outskirts of the city, (the dangerous parts as they aren’t well lit and there isn’t a lot of commerce) and moves towards the central area, which I call “Ground Zero.” Ground zero, to me, is the Hotel Del Rey and the four corners there famously were once the Rey, Key Largo, the Horseshoe Casino, and the Monkey Bar. These days, the Casino is boarded up, the Key Largo is empty, and the monkey bar is now a cafe of sorts. It’s a far cry from the four corners of debauchery I once knew.
Many of these are very near one another. Refer to the map and you’ll see what I mean.
Note: I only accounted for what was on the map, which you can download below. This does NOT include Paseo Colon and other areas of San Jose.
- Bar International Las Toucas
- Siboney Massage
- La Masion
- Pantera Rosa
- Las Gabitas
- Jet Set
- Taverna VIPS
- Sportsmens Lodge
- Molina Rojo
- Pension Miramar
- Sala Fama
This stretch goes probably under a mile down the street, but you’ll find all of the below establishments. (Some may be officially on another road, but are easily accessible from Avenida 9.)
- Club Monaco
- Bar Tangas
- Cha Cha Cha
- La Bella Mansion
- La Oficina
- Hotel Little Havana
- New Fantasy
- La Maison
- La Gaviota
- Miss Caribe
- Bar Idem
- Club Alcasar
- Bar Poas
- Bar Dorado
- Hostel Maruecos
- There are 4 unnamed pensiones
- Casa Portugesa
- Cosmo Room
- Bar Camelot
- Centro Massage
- Le Grillon
- Club Flamingo
- The Hotel Del Rey
- Key Largo
- Morazon Casino
- Hotel Asia (bring your own though.)
Street Walker Prostitutes in San Jose, Costa Rica
This is also a thing. While there are areas where it could vary, the street prostitutes in San Jose are mostly transgenders. Many of them hang out on corners as they are not allowed into the Hotel Del Rey and other places. Sure, they may have plastic surgery to make them look like women, but most of them are indeed, men. If that’s your thing, have at it. But, be careful, not only are many of them there to simply fool drunk people and rape them, but many of them are HIV positive or have other STD’s. You definitely want to come home with memories, and not come home looking for a herpes treatment!
Dangers in Sexual Encounters in Costa Rica
With the country legalizing prostitution in Costa Rica, the workers in this trade are presumed to register with the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. A medical exam is offered every 15 days, entirely free, for sex workers who register and get the identification card. This card is checked at spots like the Hotel Del Rey.
There will be women who don’t do this at other spots, however. STD’s and AIDS, as I mentioned earlier, are abundant in this small country, and often times they do not show up on an STD test for many months. Also, a study showed 1% of the sex workers have been tested as positive for HIV. Even scarier, in the male sex worker department, 7% of men have the virus. Lastly, about 6% of the people in the industry suffer from syphilis which can make you infertile.
In short, wrap it up, and be extremely careful.
Strip Clubs in Costa Rica
Strip clubs can be a very fun, yet expensive time! Anything goes in Costa Rica strip joints, but make sure you are prepared to pay the price for sex. You can go low budget in San Jose, and find some places where the sex may be cheap, ($150 to the girl, $100 or so to the house), but where they get you is on your bar tab. They will often only allow the women to hang out with you if they are drinking alcohol, which normally is a watered down champagne mix. These cost around $20, and they go down like water. Just watch!
While it’s part of the game, if you feel the vibe, find a good woman to hang with, and can count the tab along with the often scamming male server, this can be a great time. I prefer getting a bottle of alcohol and paying for the drinks as they come, this way there is no mystery behind it.
Again, there are low budget strip clubs in San Jose, and then there is Tango India VIP!
Tango India VIP Costa Rica
This is the spot, located in an industrial zone of San Jose, that doesn’t look like much from the outside, but when you get on the inside, you will see this is by far the most lavish strip club in all of Central America, and it’s not even close at this point. You’ll find a 50,000 square foot mecca of hot Ticas, including a full airplane used as part of the decor, and not only is it super easy on the eyes, but you can also get inside. Have you ever got a BJ in the cockpit? If not, this is your chance to make that fantasy, reality.
If you are into hot tubbing with gorgeous women, they have many themed rooms upstairs where you can hang out with women by the hour, in complete privacy, and do what you want. It’s pricey, expect $300-500, which includes champagne, condoms, and all you need to have a great time. Your mileage will vary.
Or, you can hang out in the cozy chairs downstairs and take in the scenery, which includes two stripper poles that seem to go on over 80 feet in the air, maybe more! This places is a neon light show with gorgeous women bouncing around, it’s hard to really explain the decor, but trust me, as a guy who has done this in Las Vegas, New York, Miami, Dallas, and everything in between, this place can stack up with any of them. It won’t be as large as say, the big clubs in Vegas, but your money will go much, much further. I can guarantee you that.
They will always welcome you, but if you have a large group, it’s best to call ahead so you can get the experience you desire.
Tango India VIP Address and Phone Number
Calle 166, Zona Industrial, San José, Costa Rica
+506 2220 4782
Before I talk about other areas of Costa Rica where you can find prostitutes, I wanted to leave you with a map I found online. This denotes every spot known to man where you can find women you can pay for sex. Get the full map here.
For those of you just curious, you’ll get a full version of this tiny part I took a screen shot of, including this key denoting where stuff goes down.
You can see just how abundant the sex is in San Jose. It is literally “the place that put Central America on the map for many people, and it opened up doors for places like Medellin, Colombia, and other destinations where men go simply for one reason – sex.
Jaco Prostitutes & Sex Guide
Playa Jaco is a small, yet semi-bustling beach town just Southwest of San Jose in a zone called Puntarenas. For decades, Jaco has been a mecca for surfing, beach bums, and for the San Jose people who want the quickest beach buzz they can get. Once a three hour ride to this town, the super highways installed in the last decade have made this journey about an hour and change. Your travel time will vary depending on the season, if it’s a local or American holiday, and of course, accidents. If there is a semi truck tipped over, good luck with that. It can take hours to re-route traffic through the foot hills of Costa Rica, up the windy roads, through small towns, and back to San Jose. I’ve missed more than one flight due to this, but it has gotten way better with the highway.
You’ll get the local beach bums in Jaco, a lot of boutique shops, and everything in between. I’m talking fast food like Burger King and Subway, little “Sodas” that sell coffee, fruit, and more, all the way to fancy beach restaurants serving lobster on the beach in an upscale setting. While many people see the allure of Playa Jaco because of the surfing, the high rises, new developments, and somewhat of a “first world feel,” there is plenty of debauchery to be had here in the form of Jaco prostitution. This is still the #1 attraction, and while the game has changed over the years, it’s still the same old game of men chasing younger women around in hopes of getting an experience they won’t forget.
Hotel Cocal in Playa Jaco
The Cocal Casino & Hotel is the current hot spot, and some would say it competes with even the Hotel Del Rey in it’s best days. I guess it’s a preference, beach vs. city, but for me, I always felt more comfortable in the Rey versus the open air, sometimes rainy Cocal. It’s arm to arm women here, and they fill the place up from Happy Hour to close. The hotel has rooms on premises for those who want to “stay & play,” or you can simply rent one by the hour. They serve food, have televisions playing sports, have a casino, poker room, and sometimes a bookmaker taking action on games.
Pricing is about the same as San Jose as it goes with getting a woman for some company, and know that many of them commute in groups from San Jose to Jaco, just to make money, so they will be a bit more on the pushy side and stick to their prices, give more rushed experiences, and try to maximize their trip down to Jaco.
The Beatle Bar
The Beatle used to be the place to be, but over the years it transformed several times. Gone is the relaxed environment in the open air local that filled with women each night. After that crazily successful facade, some (rumor has it) Chicago-based man bought it and absolutely ruined it. He closed the front off, raised prices, charged women to enter, and ran it like an absolute dick. Ran it into the ground, more like. Rumors have it he lost millions in this deal, and when he did, everyone rejoiced. The place is back open as a bar, and women do frequent this place.
This is the late night disco scene. It’s on the main drag in Jaco, right by the Cocal, and it’s owned by an American Expat who knows a thing or two about throwing a party. You’ll have a great time there and blend with eco-tourists looking to turn up, party goers into the late night scene, and when done working, hookers. Yes, Costa Rica hookers have after-parties too. Costa Rican hookers are people, and they like to dance and party just like the rest of us. You’ll find plenty of them after hours in the clubs in Jaco, wandering the streets, and just looking to keep the buzz going.
All in all, Jaco is a weird, trippy place. On one hand, it’s the perfect Costa Rica bachelor party destination. I’m going to get into that in a minute. On the other, it’s a place where nothing seems to fit, the beach has ugly sand (in comparison to others), and drug dealers roam the streets. Crime is heavy in Jaco, always watch your wallet and don’t walk alone at night, at least in places where it’s very dark. I’ve seen some shady stuff there, and with an abundance of drugs, prostitution, and tourists with cash, what can go wrong, will go wrong. Watch your back, don’t black out (or at least wait until you are in your hotel or AirBnb), and keep your head on a swivel. Other than that, get into the local moonshine, called guaro, post up at the Cocal, and enjoy the people watching. It’s second to none.
Costa Rica Bachelor Party Tips
This makes sense for so many reasons! A bachelor party in Costa Rica is something I’ve done a few times (not all my bachelor parties, lol) and it has a lot to offer. Let’s look at all of the pro’s of a CR guys trip!
- Amazing climate with diverse areas to explore
- Your money goes very far in comparison to the USA
- The women are smoking, and very abundant
- Even dating apps work in Costa Rica, and being foreign, you are in high demand!
- Beaches galore
- Affordable, to five star hotel experiences
- Strip Clubs, brothers, and prostitution – if that’s what the bachelor wants!
- ATV rides, white water rafter, crocodile tours, zip lining, and fishing!
My ideal Costa Rica bachelor party starts and ends in San Jose. I like to land there, and if it’s a Thursday, paint the town hard. Start off at the Del Rey and get to know one of the most iconic places in the country. Do whatever you like in between, but make sure to end up at Tango India VIP. If you want to party, there is an area full of disco’s called “El Pueblo.” It’s grimy and local, but you will do well there as a foreigner.
Then, get out first thing in the AM and make sure you do the entire Jaco experience. I like to stay at the Marriott Los Suenos, just miles away from Jaco. It’s safer and has a TON to offer in terms of lounging in the pool or experiencing the amazing landscape they have there. They also can arrange any excursion you wish. Take part in any activity you like, from ATV’s, fishing, zip lining, or whatever. Or, just bask on the beach and enjoy the pools your hotel probably has. But, make sure you experience the Jaco night life. It’s one of a kind.
Here’s a video on Los Suenos. Don’t let the “Family Friendly” part bother you. They have villas and homes you can rent where you can be alone, and let’s face it, you are alone in your room well after hours anyway, if you decide to bring company back to the hotel.
Marriott Hotel Los Suenos Resort & Marina
***Please leave a comment and ask questions below if you have more in depth questions about this agenda.
While this is a bustling beach town, in terms of comparing it to other beach towns, and there are Tamarindo prostitutes, it’s not really a spot people go to just for that. Now with that being said, you’ll be able to find some of them hanging around in bars and discotecas. It’s been a minute since I’ve visited, so I can’t list the names, but maybe a reader out there can comment on that below. I’d appreciate it. On another note, if you visit Costa Rica, and are in Guanacaste, be sure to check out this town. It’s absolutely incredible and a must see!
Here’s a quick look at the beauty of Playa Tamarindo, in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. It’s G-rated, but to see the beauty of Costa Rica, and not just the grimey, San Jose stuff, I felt I wouldn’t be doing this wonderful country justice without posting this.
And that, my friends, is the Costa Rica sex report for 2020. I’m sure a lot of people have opinions and things to add, and I welcome that. Please drop a comment if you have something to add, or feel free to ask questions. As a guy with a lot of trips to Costa Rica for bachelor parties, vacations, and even business, I can add a lot of value to your trip and point you in the right direction.