Costa Rica is a backpackers dream. Safe, beautiful and inhabited with friendly people, travellers tend to fall in love. You can hike mountains, swim in waterfalls or lounge on the beach in Costa Rica, but at the end of the day you need somewhere to call home. Here is a list of the best hostels for backpackers in Costa Rica- noted for their social scene, price, amenities and general atmosphere!
Selina, Santa Teresa
If you’re staying in the surf town of Santa Teresa on the Nicoya peninsula and want a sweet hostel experience, check out Selina. Part of a chain of hostels in Central and South America, they have the cool hostel vibe down. Between the pink painted building to the cool wall art, cozy nooks, and the school bus turned bar by the pool and the VW van turned check-in desk they’ve really made themselves stand out from other hostel options in the area. They’re also a hub for booking activities, like sunrise and sunset yoga on the beach, surf lessons, and ATV rentals.
They have both private rooms and five different dorm sizes, from 4 beds to 12 beds ranging from $17-$33/night in the off-season to $40-$57/night in the high season. I stayed in a 4-bed dorm with an ensuite while I was there in March and it suited me to a tea. My favourite part of the whole hostel was the pool. My routine was an early morning dip and a post-sunset dip, when it was least crowded. Club tunes are pumping out the whole day which gives the hostel a real resort party feel that I loved.
If you’re looking for a hip, chill hostel in a great surf town, check out Selina Santa Teresa North. Melissa – SuitcaseandHeels
Montana Linda, Orosi
If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy small town life and fresh mountain air in Costa Rica, Montana Linda in Orosi is the place to do it. Orosi is a small town located about an hour and a half outside of the capital of San Jose, near Cartago. It’s a place to go and relax, hike, or visit coffee farms. Montana Linda is there to help you do all of those things. It’s not a fancy hostel by any means though not nearly as rustic as some of the jungle hostels. There’s an open air common area and kitchen, which is where I personally met friends who ended up being the reason I moved to Costa Rica.
The best part of Montana Linda is the owners, a lovely family who is always happy to help and provide assistance to the guests. They also run Otiac, the Orosi tourism center that can help you plan any part of your visit to Orosi you need, along with a Spanish school. Montana Linda makes a great stopover if you are flying in/out of San Jose but want to stay away from the city. It’s easy to travel between San Jose and Orosi via public bus but Montana Linda can also help arrange private transportation. But mostly, if you’re looking for a place to relax in the Costa Rican mountains, Montana Linda is it. Sky from SkyvsWorld
Hostel Urbano, San Jose
Cabinas al Golfo, Monteverde
You’ll find the Cabinas al Golfo in Monteverde overlooking the valley below, which of course means it’s a little bit of a hike up from the town to stay here but it’s well worth it. We picked this place to stay in Monteverde because of the great reviews of the breakfasts, and because we prefer a double room. The wifi was pretty good here, the bed comfortable and the view incredible. Yes, the breakfast was superb as well.
Staff are friendly and fully conversant in English, and offered us great advice on moving from Monteverde to Nicaragua. They also let me practice my Spanish with them and were very kind with all the mistakes I made. They gave great advice on where to hike and how to catch local buses as well as where we’d find great food to eat in town. Our double room with a private bathroom was in a great spot in the centre of the hostel and cost us USD$35 a night. Sarah – ASocialNomad
Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Corcovado
One of our highlights traveling through Costa Rica was staying in the spectacular Bolita Rainforest Hostel, on the fringe of Corcovado National Park. The park is considered one of the world’s most biodiverse regions. Some of the amazing wildlife we observed exploring the forest surrounding the hostel includes scarlet macaws, tapirs, toucans and squirrel monkeys, if you are very lucky you can even spot a jaguar here! Entrance to the park is expensive and we were very lucky to discover the Bolita Eco Hostel allowing us to experience this flawless slice of nature. The hostel is located on a large piece of rainforest that borders Corcovado Park with no fences separating the park and hostel grounds.
Our room in this incredible prehistoric jungle had only three walls and a roof! Waking up in my nice double bed in the morning we were on the edge of the jungle with toucans and macaws flying by and sloths in the trees! Bolita is located 14 kilometres from Puerto Jimenez. This eco hostel also has a great volunteer program if you want to stay longer and get involved with this fantastic project. If you want to stay in an eco-friendly lodge immersed in nature this is the place for you. Campbell – Stingy Nomads
Luz En Cielo, Montezuma
Hidden up an enchanting path through some dense forest, Luz En Cielo is the best choice for those heading to Montezuma. The rooms are basic, but have a certain traditional appeal with huge communal wooden balconies. A definite highlight of staying here is the free breakfast, which you get to choose in the morning. I went for the typical Costa Rica breakfast of fruit, rice and beans with unlimited coffee to set me up for the day!
Keep your eyes and ears open for the monkeys which love to swing through the trees and get very close to the balconies! The hostel is quite small, and the communal areas mean it is impossible not to meet other backpackers. The staff are super friendly and accommodated my very late check in with no problems. They are also very helpful and have lots of suggestions of things to do in Montezuma!
Oxygen Jungle Villas, Uvita
Finally, when I backpack I always like to splurge and treat myself for a few nights! If you’re looking for luxury in Costa Rica, Oxygen Jungle Villas is a perfect choice. Set in the lush forested hills on the Pacific Coast, this place is paradise. Just a 15-minute drive from the small town of Uvita, you’ll be transported to a truly stunning hotel that will be hard to leave. With an infinity pool that overlooks the ocean and an onsite waterfall that is only accessible to guests, this place is seriously romantic (and Instagram-worthy!). And it comes as no surprise that Oxygen Jungle Villas has been named one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world time and time again.
And get this: Each villa is made out of glass and is surrounded by jungle. The secluded design makes you feel like you have the whole place to yourself! Which is perfect for enjoying breakfast on your private terrace. Can you imagine any better way to wake up? Because I truly can’t. In addition to being gorgeous, the service at Oxygen Jungle Villas is impeccable. The friendly staff are super helpful, but also give you enough space and privacy to enjoy this special place. Prices fluctuate depending on the season, and while it’s not exactly cheap, this hotel is well worth the splurge. Whether you’re celebrating something like an anniversary or honeymoon, or you just want a romantic splurge, Oxygen Jungle Villas will be sure to impress. Katie – Two Wandering Soles
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