Costa Rica is one of the hottest destinations in the world. This little country in Central America boasts some of the globe’s most incredible biodiversity in its rainforests, white sand beaches with incredible surfing on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, and towering volcanoes. It’s a nature lovers’ dream!
With everything going on in Costa Rica, it can be so difficult to choose how to stay – you need somewhere to use as a base to fit everything in, or maybe you’ll move around a little. This can get expensive if you do it in hotels, so why not try looking at hostels instead?
To make things as easy as possible, we’ve compiled a list of the best and most relevant hostels in Costa Rica according to your itinerary, and even more importantly, your budget.
Thankfully, there’s a lot to choose from, including rainforest eco-lodges, chilled out beachfront hostels that double up as surf schools, and even inner-city party hostels. So, let’s jump right into the world of Costa Rica and see the best hostels it has to offer!
The Best hostels in Costa Rica: Round-Up
Best hostel in San Jose: Capital Hostel de Ciudad
Best party hostel in San Jose: Hostel Pangea
Best hostel for solo travellers in San Jose: Robles Hostel
Best high-end hostel in San Jose: Fauna Luxury Hostel
Best budget hostel in San Jose: Hostel Casa del Parque
Best hostel in La Fortuna: Arenal Container Hostel
Best high-end hostel in La Fortuna: Arenal Backpackers Resort
Best hostel in Manuel Antonio: Hostel Plinio
Best budget hostel in Manuel Antonio: Millenium Hostels – Manuel Antonio
Best hostel for Digital Nomads in Manuel Antonio: Selina Manuel Antonio
Best hostel in Monteverde: Monteverde Backpackers
Best hostel with private rooms in Monteverde: Camino Verde Hostel and B & B
Best budget hostel in Monteverde: Hammock House
Best hostel in Tamarindo: La Botella de Leche
Best hostel for solo travellers in Tamarindo: Blue Trailz Hostel & Surf Camp
Best party hostel in Tamarindo: La Oveja Negra Hostel
Best hostel in Santa Teresa: Hostel Dos Monos South
Best hostel for solo travellers in Santa Teresa: Wavetrotter Guest House
Best hostel in Jaco: Room2Board Hostel and Surf School
Best budget hostel in Jaco: Hostel de Haan
Best hostel in Puerto Viejo: Madre Selva Hostel
Best party hostel in Puerto Viejo: The Lazy Loft
Best hostel in Nosara: Nosara Beach Hostel
Best hostel in Uvita: Karandi Hostel
Best hostel in Alajuela: Mitamon Hostel Airport
25 Best Hostels in Costa Rica
San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica and it’s also the biggest city in the country. If you’re entering or leaving the country by air the chances are you’ll spend a night or two here as it’s home to the country’s largest international airport, as well as being a major transport hub. It’s a vibrant city in the mid-west of the Central Valley and a great start to your holiday in Costa Rica!
• Best hostel in San Jose •
Why we like Capital Hostel de Ciudad…
This clean, relaxing, and diverse place is the best hostel in San Jose, thanks to a number of different things. It’s great for meeting other travellers as there’s a backyard common area with a BBQ, and an indoor entertainment area complete with a pool table, a projector, and even a vinyl player! Retro!
Capital Hostel de Ciudad is perfect for…
If you want a comfortable stay in San Jose where it’s easy to meet people, then this is the perfect place for you. In addition to everything mentioned above, you can also practise yoga here – and digital nomads can make use of the work desk and high-speed WiFi. It’s located in the La Sabana area, so you’re close to all the city’s main action but it’s quiet enough for a good night’s sleep!
#2 – Hostel Pangea
• Best party hostel in San Jose •
Why we like Hostel Pangea…
One of the most popular hostels in San Jose, this cool and atmospheric hostel is the best place to stay if you want to party in the Costa Rican capital. The awesome views on the rooftop terrace are only made better with the special drinks offers! Did we mention that there’s also an outdoor pool?
Hostel Pangea is perfect for…
This is the perfect spot for travellers who want to party in San Jose. As well as having a great environment for having a few drinks and getting to know other travellers, it’s easy to meet people in a more relaxed atmosphere in the cool common area. You can also cook with your new friends in the large communal kitchen!
#3 – Robles Hostel
• Best hostel for solo travellers in San Jose •
Why we like Robles Hostel…
This hostel, set around an outdoor pool in a lush, tropical garden, is in the centre of Escazu, one of the coolest areas in San Jose. There’s a huge common area to hang out, meaning it’s the best place to stay in San Jose if you want to meet other travellers. If you’re camping – no problem – you can pitch your tent here!
Robles Hostel is perfect for…
This huge and fun place is the perfect place for solo travellers who want to have it as easy as possible when meeting fellow travellers and making new friends. The property is situated by a river which is a great place to chill if in the common room or around the pool aren’t enough for you!
#4 – Fauna Luxury Hostel
• Best high-end hostel in San Jose •
Why we like Fauna Luxury Hostel…
Looking for somewhere to pamper yourself in the capital? This luxurious hostel says they give a “champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget”, and they certainly deliver – it’s the best high-end hostel in San Jose! We love the cosy and comfortable pod style beds, but that’s only if you can drag yourself away from the stunning mountain views to actually get into them!
Fauna Luxury Hostel is perfect for…
If you want a luxury hotel experience at the price of a hostel, then look no further than this fantastic hostel. You’ll have the chance to meet and interact with other travellers if you want to, but you can just as easily stay in your comfortable room – some even have en-suites! You don’t have to pay any extra for the delicious breakfast, as that’s included too.
Recommended reading – The 7 Best Neighborhoods in San Jose, Costa Rica (for all budgets!).
• Best budget hostel in San Jose •
Why we like Hostel Casa del Parque…
This grand family owned hostel offers some of the cheapest beds in the city while still offering a great atmosphere, location, and facilities, so it’s quite easily the best budget hostel in San Jose. We love the elegant cascading staircase and indoor garden. If you feel like stepping outside, Barrio California has more restaurants and bars than any other neighbourhood in the city!
Hostel Casa del Parque is perfect for…
If you want to step back in time and experience the San Jose of old, and you want to spend as little money as possible, then Hostel Casa del Parque is the perfect place for you to stay. It’s a great spot for musicians too – if you’re lucky you might end up staying there at the same time as the Central American symphony orchestra who are here regularly!
You’ll find the small town of La Fortuna north-west of the capital city San Jose. Most visitors are coming for the Arenal Volcano National Park, which is home to one of Costa Rica’s most famous sites, the active Arenal Volcano, and the Chato Volcano which is dormant. There are volcanic springs and crater lakes, making for some great hiking and outdoor adventures!
• Best hostel in La Fortuna •
Why we like Arenal Container Hostel…
This cool and adventurous hostel is close to the famous Arenal Volcano, so it’s easily the best place to stay in La Fortuna. It’s great for meeting other travellers as there are plenty of seating areas and hammocks to lounge around in and chat. If you need to check your emails, there’s also a workspace too!
Arenal Container Hostel is perfect for…
If you want to be close to one of Costa Rica’s most famous natural attractions, the Arenal Volcano, as well as La Fortuna waterfalls and the great nightlife and restaurants of La Fortuna, then this is the perfect spot! The knowledgeable and friendly staff can give you insider tips on the best places to visit in this beautiful region too!
PS – Have a look at our guide to the top hostels in San Jose, Costa Rica – for all budgets!
• Best high-end hostel in La Fortuna •
Why we like Arenal Backpackers Resort…
If you want a luxury experience in La Fortuna, then this extravagant hostel is the best place to stay. Even though it’s just a few minutes’ walk from the town centre, you will soon forget that as you are floating in the swimming pool with a stunning view of the Arenal volcano! There are loads of facilities to keep you entertained too!
Arenal Backpackers Resort is perfect for…
You can’t climb the Arenal volcano, but if you hike on nearby Cerro Chato and want a high-end place to stay and relax in complete comfort without breaking the bank, then you should have this right at the top of your list! There’s a wet bar and sun loungers too, which means you don’t have to give up the chance of meeting other travellers like you might at a luxury hotel!
Manuel Antonio National Park is located on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, in the west of the country. It offers jungle, white sand beaches, and turquoise waters, and is home to a dazzling array of biodiversity including spider monkeys and three-toed sloths. There are a number of hiking trails in the park which make for some fun and exciting adventures – just make sure you pack your bug spray!
#8 – Hostel Plinio
• Best hostel in Manuel Antonio •
Why we like Hostel Plinio…
This unique and rustic hostel is hidden away in the jungle, offering an affordable restaurant and taco bar, beautiful sea views, and a large kitchen for cooking your own food. It offers a tranquil and calm experience of the National Park and the closest you’ll get to a party vibe is the chilled out live music every Friday!
Hostel Plinio is perfect for…
If you want a relaxing and tranquil stay when visiting Manuel Antonio National Park, then look no further than this excellent hostel. There’s a choice between comfortable dorms with a 3rd-floor viewing platform and a number of private rooms – so you’re sure to find the right place for you!
• Best budget hostel in Manuel Antonio •
Why we like Millenium Hostels – Manuel Antonio…
This comfortable and spacious hostel offers some of the cheapest beds in Manuel Antonio and is right on the doorstep of the national park, so it’s the best place to stay if you’re travelling on a budget. On leaving the comfort of the hostel, you have the choice of swimming on the wild beaches or trekking in the jungle. There are worse dilemmas to have!
Millenium Hostels – Manuel Antonio is perfect for…
Travellers who are looking to see one of the country’s most beautiful national parks on a budget will find that this is the perfect spot for them. It’s only 20 metres from the entrance to Costa Rica’s first ecotourism destination, so you can come face to face with howler monkeys and other unusual wildlife pretty much on your doorstep!
#10 – Selina Manuel Antonio
• Best hostel for Digital Nomads in Manuel Antonio •
Why we like Selina Manuel Antonio…
This hostel chain is growing throughout Latin America with a reputation of having excellent Wi-Fi and great co-working spaces so it’s the best hostel for digital nomads in Manuel Antonio. When you’ve closed your laptop, enjoy the amazing 360-degree views of the jungle and the beach from the rooftop terrace!
Selina Manuel Antonio is perfect for…
Want to mix your stay in this beautiful national park with some travel blogging, catching up on emails, or freelance work? Then this is the perfect place for you to stay. Selina has hostels throughout Costa Rica, so they’re a good bet in other parts of the country if you’re travelling with your laptop.
Right up in the mountains of Costa Rica’s northwest, Monteverde is known for its cloud forests home to fascinating bird life, and for the luckiest viewers, jaguars and ocelots too. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is a great place for trekking and hiking as there are trails throughout the reserve, as well as hanging bridges which help you navigate your way through the treetop canopies.
#11 – Monteverde Backpackers
• Best hostel in Monteverde •
Why we like Monteverde Backpackers…
This friendly hostel is run by locals who have extensive knowledge of the area around Monteverde, making it the best place to stay there. When you’re not out surrounding the cloud forests and other things the area has to offer, you can take in an NBA or NFL game on the big screen TV!
Monteverde Backpackers is perfect for…
If you want to stay in a reasonably priced hostel in the Monteverde area with plenty of facilities and a free breakfast, then the friendly Monteverde Backpackers is your best bet! If you’re under 15 or over 40, you’re welcome to stay at the hostel but only when booking a private room!
• Best hostel with private rooms in Monteverde •
Why we like Camino Verde Hostel and B & B…
This lavish and elegant hostel offers double, triple, and quadruple rooms so it’s easily the best place to stay in Monteverde with a private room. We especially love that it’s set out as a family home and guests are encouraged to treat it as such. There’s free breakfast and coffee/tea available all day – what more could you want!?
Camino Verde Hostel and B & B is perfect for…
If you’re travelling as a couple, a small group of friends, or a family, and you fancy a break from the hectic dorm lifestyle, or you simply just want a little bit of privacy, then look no further than the deluxe Camino Verde Hostel! If you’re unsure about planning the next part of your trip, the reception staff are experienced tour guides too so they can help you!
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#13 – Hammock House
• Best budget hostel in Monteverde •
Why we like Hammock House…
This relaxed and laid-back hostel offers some of the best-priced beds in town, so it’s definitely the best budget hostel in Monteverde. It’s downtown from Santa Elena and offers a perfect place to have a good night’s sleep in peace and quiet. We love the hanging chairs in the common area!
Hammock House is perfect for…
If you want to save yourself some cash while staying in Monteverde, then this is the perfect place to stay. The hostel offers cheap rooms without any compromise on quality or comfort. As well as dorms, there are a number of reasonably priced private rooms too if you’re looking for some privacy!
Tamarindo is a great spot for beach bums, surfers, and anyone interested in wildlife. Located in the Guanacaste province on the Pacific Coast, Playas Tamarindo and Langosta offer some of the most exciting surfing in the country! Las Baulas National Marine Park is a little to the north of Playa Grande, where you’ll find nesting sites for giant leatherback turtles. There is also lots of biodiversity in the Tamarindo Wildlife Reserve, including crocodiles, monkeys, and racoons!
#14 – La Botella de Leche
• Best hostel in Tamarindo •
Why we like La Botella de Leche…
This comfortable, sociable, and friendly hostel was the first in Tamarindo and remains the best to this day. We particularly love the swimming pool – a great place to chill out and meet other travellers. There’s also a large kitchen, board games, and a book exchange so you certainly won’t be bored here!
La Botella de Leche is perfect for…
Tamarindo’s best hostel is chock full of hammocks and has some great common areas so it’s the perfect place to meet other travellers and enjoy your stay here. If you’re unsure about your next steps or what to do when in town the helpful staff will be able to assist you with booking excursions and trips.
Recommended Reading – Check out the top hostels in Tamarindo!
• Best hostel for solo travellers in Tamarindo •
Why we like Blue Trailz Hostel & Surf Camp…
This centrally located hostel is located right on Tamarindo’s main strip – close to all the bars, restaurants and nightlife! It’s the best place for solo travellers as there’s a large common area where you can hang out and it offers plenty of activities you can try out with your new friends!
Blue Trailz Hostel & Surf Camp is perfect for…
Solo travellers will love Blue Trailz Hostel, as will anyone who is interested in surfing. Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been catching waves for years, you’ll be delighted with the discounted board rental and lessons. Yoga camps are offered here too, which are great for chilling out after tiring yourself out in the waves!
#16 – La Oveja Negra Hostel
• Best party hostel in Tamarindo •
Why we like La Oveja Negra Hostel…
This vibrant and sociable hostel is a great place to stay if you want to get partying in Tamarindo. As well as enjoying a few drinks at night, it’s a fantastic place to make new friends and meet fellow travellers – whether you choose to do it by the pool or in the common area is up to you!
La Oveja Negra Hostel is perfect for…
The social atmosphere at La Oveja Negra makes it a great place to party in Tamarindo. The on-site Mexican restaurant and bar hosts live music and special events, as well as having a foosball, billiards, and ping pong tables. It can get noisy at night, so if you’re looking for a good night’s sleep – perhaps this isn’t the best place!
Another town on Costa Rica’s Pacific west coast, Santa Teresa has evolved from a small fishing village to a surfer’s paradise with a range of cool hostels, and to-die-for beaches. Although it sees a lot of tourists coming, it has managed to maintain its character and there’s an absence of high-rise buildings that you might expect to find at a regular beach resort, but there’s still plenty to do in the town when you finish surfing!
#17 – Hostel Dos Monos South
• Best hostel in Santa Teresa •
Why we like Hostel Dos Monos South…
This authentic and comfortable hostel is right by the centre of Playa El Carmen town, close to the bus station, the bank, and the pharmacy, so it’s great for taking care of anything you might need. What’s better is that the beach’s blue waters are just 100m from the door of the hostel!
Hostel Dos Monos South is perfect for…
If you want to be close to the beach and the centre of town, then Hostel Dos Monos offers the best of both worlds. It’s easy to meet other travellers here too, as there’s a great common room and a large kitchen for preparing your own meals! The helpful staff will only be too happy to give you local recommendations too!
#18 – Wavetrotter Guest House
• Best hostel for solo travellers in Santa Teresa •
Why we like Wavetrotter Guest House…
This family-owned guest house is right in the centre of Santa Teresa, so it’s the best place to stay if you want to meet fellow travellers and be located right in the centre of town. As well as being close to town, it’s just a 5-minute walk from some of the best surfing spots on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast!
Wavetrotter Guest House is perfect for…
This friendly hostel is the perfect place to make friends in beautiful Santa Teresa. If you’re an outdoor or adventurer type, you’ll be in love with this place – not only can you surf, but from the hostel, you can also book horseback riding tours, rent quad bikes, and take tours to Cabo Blanco Reserve. If you’re a bit more chilled, try the yoga!
Jaco is in the south-west of Costa Rica and the town itself is known for great surfing beaches and vibrant nightlife. Jaco is also a great gateway to some of the country’s national parks, including Carara National Park where you’re likely to find scarlet macaws and crocodiles. If you’re more about the landscapes and backdrops than the animals themselves – no problem. There’s a great trek in Pura Vida Park which leads you all the way to Bijagual Waterfall and the surrounding canyon!
• Best hostel in Jaco •
Why we like Room2Board Hostel and Surf School…
This sociable and affordable hostel is was designed to combine the best of a hostel and a surf school, and it’s easily the best place to stay in Jaco. When you’re not catching waves, there are plenty of places to chill out and meet new friends – including a pool, a roof terrace, and a cinema room!
Room2Board Hostel and Surf School is perfect for…
It’s hard to think of someone that won’t love Room2Board Hostel. Solo travellers who have come to enjoy surfing will be delighted that the hostel offers packages including rental and lessons, and it doesn’t matter what level you’re at! It’s a big hostel and there are several room options, so it’s great for groups too!
#20 – Hostel de Haan
• Best budget hostel in Jaco •
Why we like Hostel de Haan…
This friendly and reasonably priced hostel is a great option if you’re looking for a hostel in Jaco on a budget. That doesn’t mean you won’t be comfortable, clean, and content though! It’s a great place to get chatting to other travellers too as the hostel is perfectly set up for it around. Enjoy some drinks and games by the pool before hitting the town!
Hostel de Haan is perfect for…
Travellers on a budget in Jaco will find that Hostel de Haan is the perfect place for them. Jaco is a great surfing town but that’s not the only sport you can practise if you stay here – there’s a football and volleyball court just steps away from the hostel if you fancy a chance from boarding!
Puerto Viejo offers many of the same things that the previous surf towns do, with one difference. It’s on the Caribbean Coast rather than the Pacific – and some of the beaches here have black sand instead of white! For scuba divers, there are coral reefs in Cahuita National Park, and you can even dive in a shipwreck! The area also boasts a jaguar rescue centre, where the big cats are rehabilitated.
#21 – Madre Selva Hostel
• Best hostel in Puerto Viejo •
Why we like Madre Selva Hostel…
This idyllic place is perfectly located between the jungle and the coast, offering you the best of both worlds regarding Costa Rica’s spellbinding natural beauty. We love that you can sunbathe in the hostel’s beautiful garden! All staff are really knowledgeable about the local area and can help you find the best places to see wildlife.
Madre Selva Hostel is perfect for…
If you want to experience a characterful hostel in a natural setting, then this is the perfect place for you in Puerto Viejo. If you’re happy to splash out a little more for a private room, then you’ll be treated to a jungle view every time you wake up and the sounds of the cicadas to fall asleep to!
#22 – Lazy Loft
• Best party hostel in Puerto Viejo •
Why we like Lazy Loft…
Rated as not only one of the best party hostels in Puerto Viejo, but the whole of Costa Rica, it goes without saying that this is the best party hostel in town! The hostel itself is small and cosy but happens to be right above the popular and noisy Lazy Mon Beach Bar – where there’s something happening every night!
Lazy Loft is perfect for…
This is the perfect spot if you want your every night in Puerto Viejo to be a party night! There’s a large communal kitchen where you can prepare food the next day to soak up your hangover too. If you’re looking for somewhere more chilled when it comes to drinking, it’s still a lovely place to have a classy cocktail and watch the sunset!
Back to the Pacific Coast where you’ll find the town of Nosara, popular for those who are looking to do yoga retreats. That’s not all there is here though, the nearby Ostional Wildlife Refuge is a nesting site for rare turtles, and there’s a rehabilitation centre for monkeys and coatis. Of course, like many of the other beaches on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, there’s some great surf here too!
#23 – Nosara Beach Hostel
• Best hostel in Nosara •
Why we like Nosara Beach Hostel…
This hostel is just 200m away from Playa Scripts and the Ostional Wildlife Refuge that protects turtles, so it’s easily the best place to stay in Nosara! We love the spacious garden, filled with comfortable hammocks and a foosball table. It’s a great place to chill out!
Nosara Beach Hostel is perfect for…
If you want to chill close to Playa Scripts, then Nosara Beach Hostel is a great shout. The light and airy interior mean that the hostel feels more like a hotel, and you won’t feel cramped and hemmed in here! Wildlife lovers will adore the turtle refuge, and surfers will be able to catch a few waves nearby too!
Uvita is a small fishing village on the south coast of Costa Rica that just happens to be the gateway and closest village to one of the most biologically diverse places in the world – Marino Ballena National Park! The village has grown a lot over the years due to tourism and one of the most popular activities you can do here is whale watching.
#24 – Karandi Hostel
• Best hostel in Uvita •
Why we like Karandi Hostel…
Not quite in Uvita, but just 2km away on the doorstep of Marino Ballena National Park, this authentic and eco-friendly hostel is the best place to stay if you want to make the most of Uvita. We love the chilled out gardens, giving the place a totally mellow vibe!
Karandi Hostel is perfect for…
If you want to be close to Marino Ballena National Park, then Karandi Hostel is the perfect place to stay! From the hostel, you can book tours into the jungle, whale watching trips, and go to nearby waterfalls, beaches, and rivers. It’s a nature lover’s dream!
Alajuela is the 2nd largest city in Costa Rica and the capital of Alajuela Province. Most tourists are likely to come here as it’s the home of Juan Santamaria International Airport, the main gateway in and out of the country. However, there are some interesting historical attractions in the city too so it’s worth a visit!
#25 – Mitamon Hostel Airport
• Best hostel in Alajuela •
Why we like Mitamon Hostel Airport…
This fun and friendly hostel is right in the city centre, just a short walk from most of the city’s attractions, so it’s the best place to stay in Alajuela! The hostel is extremely comfortable, from the beds to the pillows, and the high-pressure showers are perfect after a day of exploring the city and coming home a little dirty and grimy!
Mitamon Hostel Airport is perfect for…
As you may have picked up on for the name, this hostel is not only in the centre of Alajuela, but it’s also close to Juan Santamaria International Airport, the biggest international airport that serves San Jose and Costa Rica. If you have an early morning or late-night flight, then staying here will mean that you’ll be able to minimise any stress getting to or from there!
So, there we have it! We’ve taken a deep and detailed look at the best hostels in this beautiful Central American country. We’re pretty certain that you’ll find something on our extensive list that will suit your itinerary, and crucially, your bank account.
It would be unforgivable to miss out on all that natural beauty in one of the world’s most incredible countries, right?
Hostels are a great way to travel, especially in a country like Costa Rica, where your expenses can quickly mount up. Hopefully, you’ll save some money and be able to do amazing activities like volcano climbs and surfing classes, to name a few!
And keep our list at hand if you’re moving around the country – we’ve included the coolest and most happening cities, so you’ll never be lost with it. We hope that you have an incredible trip to Costa Rica!
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