The allure of Costa Rica extends far beyond your typical "sun, surf, and sea" trifecta: The small Central American country is home to 6% of the world's biodiversity, with much of its expanse covered in lush forests. It's one of the few remaining places on Earth where you can walk up from a dip in the ocean, spot an iguana, and crack open a fresh coconut — with the calling sounds of tree frogs and monkeys serving as your background soundtrack.
As thousands of travelers flock here to pursue pura vida — the local ideal of a happy, uncomplicated lifestyle fulfilled by an appreciation for nature and quality time with loved ones — the destination has also become known as a prime holiday spot for the rich and famous. (That three-episode arc on Keeping Up With The Kardashians certainly didn't help dispel the image.)
However, there's a panoply of lesser-known towns along the coast are still doable with a small budget and a backpack. Click ahead to see five beach getaways that will gift you an authetic Tico experience without completely drying up your funds.