Hostel hostel hostel, plain and simple. I had better not catch you in any resorts here in Costa, unless you are here on a romantic getaway — that is the sole exception. Otherwise you want to break free from the mass amounts of tourists. At hostels you will find a steady flow of other travelers, yes, but they will be primarily backpackers and not the dreaded Touristus Americanus, which is often sighted with kids. You don’t have to worry about running into Johnny Business either while at a hostel, just other like-minded suffers of wanderlust.
Some may believe that the hostel way is geared more for the younger individual or backpacking crowd, but honestly almost anyone who loves to travel can comfortably call a hostel their home away from home. Plus, because of the travel-oriented nature of most of your fellow guests, you will find that you not only meet some of the realest and most down-to-earth people out there but that you also talk and learn about so many other countries and destinations, which inevitably only leads to wanting to travel more places. I joke around with friends back home that in the process of removing one location from my ‘To Visit’ list I usually add two if not three more. Eventually though that trend has to end… theoretically at least.
In the end, it is important to realize that where you stay can make or break a trip and that is one of the biggest reasons we so firmly recommend hostels. Not only are the prices reduced but the experience is richer, the food is better, and you will actually enjoy the company of your peers. But, as will all good things, there can always be a bad. As some hostels can be rather, umm how would you say, cheap or “low-end,” definitely do a little research first. Thanks to the modern age and the internet, this is a relatively easy thing to do. Read a couple reviews first, and make sure to notice the little things, like if there is hot water or private room option, even whether or not you can expect free breakfast or kitchen/fridge access.
Anyway, before I go any further, let me quit rambling and just say that I am not being paid to write this, nor will I ever write about any location that I have not personally stayed at. I just want to let you guys know what we found, in the hopes of making your travels better. That’s why the HoliDaze is here. If you agree and like what we are doing, spread the word or join and share your tips.
La Fortuna / Arenal Volcano
If you are staying in this area and are not doing the couples private romantic retreat thingy, well then there is only one place you want to stay at: Arenal Backpackers Resort! This place is the only five-star hostel in La Fortuna, and trust me, it lives up to its name while also being really inexpensive.
“The place was awesome be careful about reservations though they can be changed quickly! We had to sleep in a tent with one bed the first night. Its definitely a place for the young or young at heart but still settles down pretty early. Food was good rooms were awesome prices are great one of the better hostels.”
“This place was definitely nicer than expected. It had everything from an on-site kitchen and swimming pool to comfortable hammocks, a choice between air-conditioned rooms and covered tents, convenient location, and helluva view! Plus we met so many other backpackers our age, I mean dozens upon dozens. And you want to know something strange? Interestingly enough, we were outnumbered 4:1 by female backpackers. Wild huh?”
Located about 4,500 feet above sea level, Monteverde is a refreshing break from the rest of Costa Rica. Here we stayed at the Sleepers Sleep Cheaper Hostel and had the pleasure of meeting Ronny and his family, quite possibly the nice hostel owners / host family we have ever met in our travels!
“My favorite place in Costa Rica without a shadow of a doubt. Beautiful views great temperatures nice wind during the day and cool breeze at night. The hostel there was great family run nice and quaint. We ran into all types of backpackers there every day was a new adventure. Food was better then any other place as well and a better price.”
“This place totally took us by surprised, we never expected such a gem to be hidden up in the Costa Rican mountains! Originally we only planned on staying one night but after meeting our fantastic host family, we extended our stay in Monteverde to a full five/six days. Plus we also met some awesome locals here! Highly recommend both Monteverde and the Sleepers Sleep Cheaper Hostel.”
Noteworthy: We gave Sleepers Sleep Cheaper a 5-star review in every category on TripAdvisor. You can read it here.
Located on a four-mile long sand peninsula, Puntarenas is a coastal fishing town that also supports a lot of tourism. We stumbled upon a hidden gem, our most recommended spot in all of Costa Rica, the Perla de Pacifico hostel. This place will shock and amaze you, instantly transporting you to a tranquil environment far from Central America — you have to see it to believe it, there is no other way to put it.
“Just when I had given up faith on having any really mind-blowing experiences in Costa Rica, we stumbled into Puntarenas. After a day cruise out to Tortuga Island we arrived at Perla de Pacifico (actually turns out the mansion was right next door to the Calypso Cruises office/dock — totally meant to be !) and were blown away. The place is exquisite! And even cooler were the owners, a German man named Michael and his French wife. They too are fellow travelers of the world and were filled with entertaining stories. As a matter-of-fact, Jared and I enjoyed our few days here so much that we did not want to leave Costa Rica!”
“This place reminded me of Galveston TX kind of crumby but still cool vibes and little restaurants. The BnB there was out of this world its like walking into a mix of countries when you walk in made the whole town worth it. Definitely check out the pictures of this place but nothing is like actually going there!”
Noteworthy: Jared and I cannot stress enough how highly we recommend this place. If you are a fellow world traveler and you should find yourself in Costa Rica, I implore you to make a stop by Puntarenas solely to swing by Perla de Pacifico and meet Michael. The conversations alone are worth swinging out of your way to Puntarenas, we promise. You will not regret it, we assure you. We stake our name and reputation on it.
View the pictures of Pearla de Pacifico to get a better idea of just how elegant yet cozy this place is.
Jaco, Manuel Antonio, and more coming in my next post!
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