If you’re a backpacker, a solo traveler or just traveling in Costa Rica on a budget, staying in a hostel is the best way to go. You save money on accommodation, meet lots of people and have a fun time since hostels are cheap, centrally located and throw lots of parties and events.
Below is our list of the best hostels in Costa Rica, separated out by area. Find out what the best hostels in San Jose are, the best hostels in Tamarindo, the best hostels in Jaco, the best hostels in Manuel Antonio, best hostels in Puerto Viejo and so on.
Best Hostels in Costa Rica
As the capital city of Costa Rica, San Jose has a lot going on when it comes to the food scene, nightlife, culture and shopping. If you’re staying a few nights in the city and need a cheap place to sleep, here are our recommendations for the best hostels in San Jose.
Tripon is in a nice neighborhood, Barrio Escalante, clean and has plenty of colorful and open common areas, perfect for meeting fellow travelers.
It’s close to restaurants, shops and cafes and about 15 minutes from downtown. A breakfast buffet is included (pretty big portions) and they have hot water. Tripon is a great hostel for travelers of all ages.
They have mixed dorms and private rooms starting at $10 per bed and $45 per room. You can check prices here.
Selina is the new hostel chain that’s taken over Costa Rica and San Jose is their first urban destination. Their philosophy is a fun and clean environment for digital nomads, working travelers and online entrepreneurs. They have a co-working space, yoga deck, rooftop terrace, games, common areas and large kitchen. It’s also very close to all the attractions, centrally located and pet friendly.
They have a variety of rooms from mixed dorms to private suites. Dorms start at $10 and private rooms start at $70 a night. Read more here.
This trendy new hostel in Escazu brings another concept of hostels in Costa Rica by using pods. They also have a meeting room, parking, games and a yoga studio and have a great view of the city.
The pod rooms come in 5 or 8 and offer more privacy than bunk beds. Each room has their own ensuite bathroom (although the glass window in front makes it a bit awkward). They’re trying to offer a more “hostel resort” experience but with good prices.
A pod starts at $5 and a private room starts at $40. Click here for more information.
This is a trendy guesthouse hostel owned by three Costa Ricans so you can really get a good local experience here. It’s in Barrio Escalante, just a short walk away from downtown. There is a shared kitchen, garden, terrace and barbecue terrace.
This is definitely one of the best hostels in Costa Rica as the staff really go above and beyond to make you feel like home. It’s a tad bit more expensive than other hostels. A bed starts at $17, a private room at $45 and the beds are actually really comfortable and not in a tight cramped room. You can check availability here.
Alajuela (By the San Jose Airport)
If you need a place to stay before or the night of your flight, here are the best hostels in Alajuela. San Jose International Airport is actually in Alajuela so if you pick a place in San Jose, it is about a 30 minute drive to the airport. Also note that many shared shuttle companies don’t pick up or drop off at hotels in Alajuela.
If all you need is a cheap place to sleep before or after a flight, Alajuela Backpackers is a good option. It’s a 5 minute drive from the airport and they offer a free shuttle. Not much else to say except it’s a cheap place to stay, great if you’re really on a budget (<$20).
Beds in a dorm start at $14 and private is $55 and up. You can check availability here.
Mitamon Hostel Airport
This is a small, 10 room hostel about a 10 minute drive from the airport. It’s a family owned place so has a nice atmosphere and is quiet. Cash only.
A bed starts at $13, a quadruple room with shared bathroom is $40.
For more options near the airport, check out our post best hotels near San Jose Airport.
Jaco is the most developed beach town in Costa Rica as it’s just one hour from San Jose. It’s a fun party and surf beach town with lots of good restaurants, great waves and lively nightlife.
Hostel right in central Jaco so easy walk to town and beach (100 meters). They have a pool, garden, outdoor terrace, shared kitchen and games. Nice hostel especially if you’re not there just to surf, suitable for a cheap stay in town.
Dorms starts at $12, a private with shared bathroom at $25. Get more information here.
Room2board is located on the south end of Jaco so it’s much quieter. It’s also right in front of one of the best surf spots which makes it a one of the best hostels in Jaco for all kinds of travelers.
It underwent construction a couple years ago so the room and property are nice and spacious. It’s a mix of a boutique hotel/hostel/surf camp so you can meet a lot of like minded people. You can also rent boards right on the property.
Bed in a dorm begins at $19, private room starts $60 a night. Click here to check availability.
Selina has a location in Jaco right on the beach, perfect for anyone who wants to surf or just enjoy what Jaco has to offer. Even their dorms have AC. It also has a beach front pool, shared kitchen, library and cinema.
Another excellent Selina hostel!
Dorms are $9, private at $66. You can even stay in a concrete cylinder for a different experience. Click here to learn more.
Manuel Antonio is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Costa Rica so they have a wide range of accommodation, including hostels.
Wide Mouth Frog Hostel (Quepos)
Excellent hostel in Quepos, the main town in the area. It has an attached restaurant, pool and common space and is close to restaurants and the bus station. It’s noisy since it’s in town and you don’t get any jungle or ocean views but if you want to stay in Quepos for cheap, this is a great option.
A bed starts at $14 a night and a private room is $32-55. Check availability here.
This hostel has one of the best views of all the hostels and cheap hotels in Manuel Antonio. They have a common room with hammocks, a view of the sunset, shared kitchen and is close to the bus stop and supermarket. One downside is that they don’t have a pool.
A cheap bed is $10 a night (no ac), a premium dorm is $14 (with ac) and a private is $40. Check availability here.
Selina does it again with a great hostel in Manuel Antonio. This one throws pool parties, has cocktails and drinks, a yoga deck and co-working space. It can get noisy with parties on the weekends so definitely more geared for backpackers or young travelers looking for a good time.
A bed in a 12 bed dorm is $12 and a private room starts at $45. Get more information here.
This hostel is on the hill and walking distance to various restaurants and close to a bus stop. It has a fully equipped kitchen, common room and nice and clean rooms. Nothing special about the decor or property but it is nice and quiet with many monkeys around.
A bed costs $10, a private $30. Click here to check availability.
Tamarindo is a bustling surf town in Guanacaste, popular with backpackers, surfers, beach bums and solo travelers. There are a handful of hostels that offer surf lessons, tours and parties so you’ll never be bored.
One of the few hostels in Costa Rica where all rooms have air conditioning. It’s centrally located right in the heart of Tamarindo and next to a smoothie shop and cafe that has discounted beers for hostel guests. The owner, Jeff is a very cool guy who loves to meet his guests.
A bed is $10 in a dorm and a private is $30. Check rates here.
This is the only beach front hostel/hotel in Tamarindo and it definitely earns the name of a premium hostel. It even has a designated parking lot with security. There are nicely decorated open spaces, very clean rooms, a terrace, games and a hammock area outside. Popular with students.
A bed is $25 a night and a private is $120. You can get more information here.
Selina Tamarindo is one of the best hostels in Tamarindo for parties and activities. They have volleyball, ping pong, free bike rentals and surf board rentals and they throw awesome holiday parties. Basic rooms but fun environment and atmosphere. In town and about a 5 minute walk to the beach and town.
A bed costs $12 and a private is $70. Click here to get more information.
Playas del Coco
Coco is a small, fishing village in the Guanacaste and is the gateway to the beautiful beaches, fishing and snorkeling/scuba diving in the Gulf of Papagayo. This town doesn’t actually have many hostels because it has been a North American retiree haven for the past decade but more 20’s and 30’s travelers are visiting in recent years.
This is the closest hostel like place in Coco. The Garden House is about a 10 minute walk to town and beach. It’s on a large property with a small pool, hammocks and adjoining restaurant open for breakfast and dinner.
As the only hostel in town and being in Playas del Coco, prices are a bit more expensive than other hostels in Costa Rica. A bed starts at $18 and single private is $40. They luckily have air conditioning as their sister hotel on the beach doesn’t.
As the main beach town in the Caribbean South popular with backpackers, surfers and beach bums, Puerto Viejo has plenty of hostels for the budget traveler. It’s also known as one of the top parties towns in Costa Rica so you’ll be steps away from tasty drinks, cheap shots and a good time.
Selina Puerto Viejo
This Selina is 1.5 kilometers (~1 mile) from town and on the least nicest beach in the area. Luckily the other nice beaches aren’t too far away making Selina Puerto Viejo a convenient place to stay to enjoy the surf, sand and parties. They have bike rentals, a pool, yoga deck and co working spaces.
This hostel is one of the best hostels in Puerto Viejo because they also have an adjoining beach front bar and restaurant, great for parties and watching games. It’s also on the most popular beach in the area, Playa Cocles. It’s clean, nice atmosphere and has tons of hammocks on the property.
Get more information here.
Although most visitors don’t stay more than a night or two in Monteverde, it’s an excellent spot for backpackers and traveling on a budget. This small rural town is famous for the cloud forest, birding and adventure and just a boat ride over from La Fortuna.
One of the best hostels in Monteverde for a cheap, convenient and centrally located place. It’s right in Santa Elena town and is surrounded by cafes, tour desks and restaurants. It can get noisy because it’s right in town but they have clean rooms, fast Wi-Fi and really friendly staff.
Since they have 4 bed dorms instead of 10 or 18, it’s a bit more expensive for a hostel but they give more privacy. They have 4 bedroom dorms and private rooms starting at $28 and $32. Check availability here.
A nice little family run hostel in Costa Rica and it really is cheap. Location is great, really close to the bus stop and Santa Elena. Basic clean rooms with a plentiful breakfast. The couple who runs it is very nice and welcoming. Not much opportunity to meet other people so more for couples or people who want more privacy or quiet.
A 4 person dorm is $10 per person, a single is $25 per person and double is $12.50 per person. Check rates here.
Another option is Selina Monteverde.
Samara is a fun, small mellow beach in the southern Guanacaste province, perfect for travelers of all ages. Although it attracts a great deal of families, backpackers and budget travelers will enjoy Samara for easy surfing, happy hour on the beach and cheap accommodation options.
Friendly and welcoming hostel right in town, close to the beach and supermarkets. The owners are an Italian couple and go out of their way to make you feel at home. Take note that towels/sheets are an extra fee (usually included in hostels in Costa Rica), the bathroom for the private is actually down the hall and there isn’t any no air conditioning.
A single bed in a 6 person dorm is $9 and a private is $27 (not including taxes).
Fun hostel in town owned by two woman who do a great job running the place. The shared kitchen is a bit small but they have a large garden with a mango tree so you can get as many free mangoes as you want! Breakfast isn’t included but they have free coffee until 10 AM. There is a considerate smoking and non smoking area.
An 8 bed dorm is $12 and private is $30. If you’re really cheap you can get a hammock or tent! Check prices here.
The remote corner of the Nicoya Peninsula is home to Santa Teresa, a popular surfing and yoga paradise. Visitors love the rural feel of Santa Teresa with its unpaved roads, eclectic mix of foreigners and excellent surf. Although Santa Teresa isn’t as cheap as other destinations, there are still a handful of hostels in the area.
One of the best hostels in Santa Teresa is the Pura Vida Mini Hostel. It’s very clean, has two well equipped kitchens, pool table, good Wi-Fi, a chill common room and hammocks. It’s close to the beach and town by Carmen.
The biggest dorm they have is with 6 beds and costs $8. For a private sextuplet, it is $102. They also have bungalows which are nice for couples that cost $27. Click here to get more information.
Another great option for a hostel and they are also have one in the north and south. You really can’t go wrong with either one as they’re both close to town and beach. All rooms come with air conditioning and include banana pancakes and coffee!
A room in a 6 person dorm is $11 and private is $20 per person per day. You can check availability here.
There are actually now two Selinas in Santa Teresa, one North and one South and I have to say that this is one of the best Selina hostels in Costa Rica. They are both on huge properties with pools, hammocks, terraces and balconies. The north one is centrally located near Carmen which also has the only ATM in the area.
A bed starts at $18 and a private room is $75. Get more information here.
Montezuma’s Bohemian flair, rocky coastlines and arty hippie vibe attracts many backpackers and beach bums looking for a beach town where they can relax, get baked and have a good time. This town is tiny though so don’t expect too many accommodation options.
Luz en Cielo Hostel
This hostel is a bit outside the town so be prepared to walk down the hill to Montezuma and the beach. But since it is far away, it is much quieter and peaceful as it can get loud with the parties. They have a nice eco-friendly vibe and they also offer camping.
They have dorms with shared bathrooms, private dorms and private cabinas and casas so they have more variety. A bed in a shared dorm is $17, a 6 person private is $100 and a cabina is $95.
Uvita is a small beach town by Marino Ballena National Park. It doesn’t have a ton of accommodation options but luckily there are a couple hostels and cheap places to stay. Great recommendations for those attending Envision (book early) or just want to spend less on their hotel and more on their activities.
This family run hostel is outside Uvita near the Uvita waterfall. It’s up in the jungle which is a nice change since hostels in Costa Rica are usually right in town. It’s quiet and you’ll be woken up by birds and monkeys instead of cars, construction and bikes.
Their rooms are very basic but has all you need for a good night’s sleep. They have a 5 person dorm, single privates and family rooms.
Yoga and surf addicts will love Dominical, the small hippie beach town in the South Pacific. Although the beach isn’t the prettiest, waves are great and the vibe is super chill. It’s common to see people camping on the beach or in the car, but if you want all the amenities and services of a hotel, check out these hostels.
The name says it all, this is a hostel with cool vibes right in town, close to the beach and Baru River. They have free coffee all day, a shared kitchen, night security guard and a small pool. Guests can rent surfboards or book surf lessons with them.
Dorms are $12 per person and private rooms are $40. Click to get more information here.
Although Drake Bay is considered one of the most remote places in Costa Rica, it’s also one of the most rewarding. As it’s in the Osa Peninsula, one of the most biologically diverse places in the world, you’ll be surrounded by nothing but jungle, nature and more jungle.
Drake Bay Backpackers
This is one of the best hostels in Costa Rica for an authentic jungle experience. They are part of the Corcovado Foundation, supporting the local environmental programs.
It’s not super close to the beach but it’s about a 20 minute walk to town and the beach. You can enjoy the less touristy part of Drake Bay a bit more in their location. They have a shared kitchen, hot water, included airport transfers, volleyball court, garden with BBQ area and nature trails nearby. Definitely a great place to relax and get away from it all.
A bed in a dorm is $13, you can camp for $6 a night (with your own tent) and a private ensuite is $40 for 1-2 people.
As one of the most touristic destinations in Costa Rica, there are no shortages of cheap places and hostels in La Fortuna. Most of them are in town, making it easy to get around and to book tours. And you will still be able to get views of the volcano!
And Selina does it again with an excellent hostel in La Fortuna and one of the best hostels in Costa Rica. They have a shared kitchen, restaurant, bar and yoga deck and it’s a fun and easy way to meet people. It’s right in town so close to everything.
They have dorms, tepees and private rooms. A bed starts at $11 and private at $42. You can check prices here.
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