Costa Rica is a vibrant and exciting country to travel. With awe-inspiring coastlines, magnificent rainforest jungles and buzzing, bustling cities there is something for every kind of traveller in Costa Rica.
Packed with adventure, and never a dull moment, Costa Rica is affordable and has a ton to offer.
But there are hundreds of hostels in Costa Rica…. and not all of them are great. Which is exactly why we put together this guide to the best hostels in Costa Rica!
While it might seem like a small country, there is a lot of ground to cover, and this list of the best hostels in Costa Rica will guide you through the areas and the hostels you have to visit! And just as importantly, make sure you don’t end up in any hostels you won’t want to visit.
Then you can focus on the fun stuff! You can brush up on your Spanish and learn to surf in Tamarindo or reconnect with nature in the Manuel Antonio National Park. Whatever you are interested in, Costa Rica has got you covered on fun, and we’ve got you covered on the best hostels.
Let’s jump into the top hostels in Costa Rica!
The 19 Best Hostels in Costa Rica
To save you time scrolling through the search engines to find the best hotels for backpacking Costa Rica we have compiled this ultimate list for you!
You’ll find the best hostels for solo travellers, for digital nomads, for party animals and more. Distributed in Costa Rica’s awesome areas, from La Fortuna to San Jose, from Monteverde to Jaco, here are the best hostels in Costa Rica.
Things DO go missing sometimes…
Best Hostels in San Jose
Overall Best Hostel in San Jose – The Garden CR
Price – Privates from $50 – Dorms from $18
The Garden CR is an awesome youth hostel in San Jose, Costa Rica and should feature high on the shortlist of accommodation options for travellers of every kind. The Garden CR offers free breakfast and a free city tour to all their guests and neither should be missed! The dorms are clean, bright and give you plenty of space to spread out in. The garden itself is super nice and a great little hangout spot; it’s where you’ll find the hostel-fam relaxing and plotting their adventures in Costa Rica. There’s a real homely vibe to The Garden CR which is really what makes it the best hostel in San Jose. It’s defo the kinda place that you never wanna check out of!
Best Cheap Hostel in San Jose – Hostel Pangea
Price – Privates from $32 – Droms from $10
For reals, Hostel Pangea offers the best value for money of any youth hostel in Costa Rica. With dorms from just $10 per night throughout the year it seldom gets cheaper than this in a capital city. Then add in the free breakfast, lunch AND dinner included in your dorm rate, free WiFi, a swimming pool and a rooftop bar and you’re on a serious winning streak! Hostel Pangea has a guest kitchen for travellers to use as they please and a BBQ too. Drinks at the Hostel Pangea bar start at just $1, seriously! A super sociable backpackers hostel in San Jose, Hostel Pangea is a great place to stay if you’re on a budget, like value for money and wanna find a cool crew to hang with!
Best Hostels in La Fortuna
Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in La Fortuna – Arenal Backpackers Resort
Price – Privates from $50 – Dorms from $20
Arenal Backpackers Resort is great for solo travellers who want the resort style holiday feel with the La Fortuna backpacker hostel vibe. Their swimming pool is THE place to hang out, you’ll meet loads of like-minded, chilled out travellers there throughout the day and long into the night. Their new deluxe camping option is a great shout and ideal for solo travellers who want to experience something a little bit different in La Fortuna. From the best hammock spots you can sneak a view of the incredible Arenal Volcano, it doesn’t get much better than that, right?!
Best Hostel for Couples in La Fortuna – Hostel Backpacker La Fortuna
Price – Privates from $39 – Dorms from $12
Hostel Backpackers is one of the best hostels in Fortuna for couples. With a heap of private rooms and a handful of dorms too Hostel Backpacker La Fortuna is ideal for couples who want the privacy of a room but the social feel of a hostel. Their backpacker’s bar is a cool little hangout, no doubt you and bae will make yourself some new drinking buddies here. The sun-trapped garden complete with hammocks is the best place to relax after a day of exploring the waterfalls, volcanos and jungles that surround La Fortuna. Be sure to ask the team for directions to the picnic spot at the swimming hole, there’s a romantic travel day right there!
Best Hostels in Manuel Antonio
Overall Best Hostel in Manuel Antonio – Hostel Plinio
Price – Privates from $30 – Dorms from $14
The overall best hostel in Manuel Antonio is Hostel Plinio, this place is sick! With their own swimming pool and garden area that looks out over the Manuel Antonio National Park, Hostel Plinio ticks all the right boxes. Breakfast is included in your rooms rate, as is WiFi, access to the guest kitchen and laundry facilities too. Hostel Plinio is one of the best hostels in Manuel Antonio and it’s not hard to understand why; the staff are genuinely caring and will go out of their way to ensure you have a great stay. For couples seeking a more low key, quiet hostel come B&B then the Hostel Plinio sister B&B is just down the road and offers the same great service and value for money.
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Manuel Antonio – Selina Manuel Antonio
Price – Privates from $70 – Dorms from $14
Selina is the best hostel in Manuel Antonio for digital nomads, not only offering a great internet connection but a great working environment too. If you’re looking to strike the right work-life balance as a digital nomad in Manuel Antonio then Selina Hostel in the place to stay. You can work while dangling your legs over the edge of the swimming pool or while sipping a cocktail at the hostel bar. There’s a great vibe at Selina hostel making it the coolest hostel in Manuel Antonio for sure. The staff are super helpful and keep this boutique style hostel in tip-top condition. Interior design geeks get your Insta at the ready!
Best Hostels in Monteverde
Best Cheap Hostel in Monteverde – Mi Casa Tica
Prices – Privates from $23 – Dorms from $6
Mi Casa Tica is the best cheap hostel in Monteverde. It’s one of the best hostels in Monteverde full stop to be fair. Located in Santa Elena, Mi Casa Tica puts you right at the heart of the action in Monteverde. Basic but ample, Mi Casa Tica has everything you could ask for, including free WiFi, a guest kitchen and a late check-out service too. Cosy and cute you feel instantly at ease when you walk through the front door or Mi Casa Tica, it’s the kinda place where people extend their stay time and time again. To add to the homely feel the team offer guests a free breakfast every morning of their stay too. Basic AF mind but for such a great price you can’t complain!
Best Hostel for Couples in Monteverde – Cabinas El Pueblo
Price – Privates from $35
Offering private rooms with a hostel vibe Cabinas El Pueblo is the best hostel for couples in Monteverde. Not only is breakfast included in your room rate but they have their own hostel cafe on site too, so once you’ve checked in you don’t need to lift a finger! The rooms are spacious and really comfortable, although a little basic some may argue. If you and your lover wanna get out and about and experience authentic Monteverde then swing by reception and book onto a couple of their tours. The Cabinas El Pueblo team can arrange everything from ATV tours to bird watching, from horse trekking to coffee plantation tours. There’s never a dull moment at Cabinas El Pueblo that’s for sure.
Best Hostels in Tamarindo
Overall Best Hostel in Tamarindo – Casa Aura
Prices – Dorms from $38
Casa Aura is one of the best hostels in Tamarindo, a little pricey I’ll admit but it’s well worth it. Established in 2015, Casa Aura is modern yet homely, stylish yet understated. Right on the beach front, you’re only ever a matter of steps away from the sea; dreams do come true. Casa Aura is a kind of beach mansion rather than beach hut! If you want a taste of the high-life when in Taramindo then this is the place to stay. The Casa Aura team offer a great free breakfast and guests have access to the hostel’s free WiFi too. There are tonnes of places to laze around, to chill out in. Whether you wanna sneak a couple of chapters while swaying in a hammock or catch up on the diary in the lounge you’re free to do as you please at Casa Aura.
Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Tamarindo – Selina Tamarindo
Price – Privates from $44 – Dorms from $12
Selina is the best hostel for solo travellers in Tamarindo, there’s so much to do and so many people to do it with! Not like thaaaaat! You know what I mean! Anyway, at Selina Tamarindo as a solo traveller, you can hang by the pool, join in with a yoga session, a salsa class or even a surf lesson. There are no excuses to be bored while in Tamarindo, let’s be honest! The dorms are clean, tidy and basic. There’s a lot to love about Selina Tamarindo and with sister hostels across Costa Rica no doubt you’ll become part of the Selina-fam!
Best Hostels in Santa Teresa
Overall Best Hostel in Santa Teresa – Hostel Dos Monos South
Price – Privates from $60 – Dorms from $16
The overall best hostel in Santa Teresa is Hostel Dos Monos South, it’s bloody marvellous. Within an easy walking distance of everything you could need including the local supermarket and pharmacy, Dos Monos South is a great Santa Teresa backpackers hostel regardless of your travel style. Offering both dorms and private rooms, free breakfast, free WiFi and a guest kitchen Dos Monos South has been created with the modern backpacker in mind. The rooms are bright and airy, all have A/C but the team just leave the windows open to let a natural breeze sweep through; a nice touch.
Best Party Hostel in Santa Teresa – Slow Monkey
Price – Privates from $53 – Dorms from $12
Slow Monkey is the best party hostel in Santa Teresa. Not the same party vibes that you’d find in an inner-city hostel in Europe but the best kinda party vibes; the chilled out, chilled beer and the chilled sea lapping against the sand kinda party vibes. Bliss! Slow Monkey has their own hostel bar, jacuzzi pool, pool table and outdoor BBQ area. If you’re looking for a super relaxed hostel in Santa Teresa with an opening and welcoming feel and an affordable nightly rate then Slow Monkey is a great shout. FYI, the Slow Monkey team can help organise all your tours and travel arrangements.
Best Hostels in Jaco
Overall Best Hostel in Jaco – Hostel De Haan
Price – Privates from $45 – Dorms from $10
The overall best hostel in Jaco is Hostel De Hann. With a little bit of everything Hostel De Haan ticks all the boxes for every kind of traveller. You can learn to surf, brush up on your Spanish or just chill the hell out! The swimming pool is famed for its pool parties and no doubt you’ll wanna get in on the action too. The dorms are clean, tidy, and pretty spacious. Most importantly the beds are comfy and all the rooms have ceiling fans. Wilson is the hostel’s hero, if you need anything just holla at him, he’ll sort you out. Super chilled out and super friendly Hostel De Haan has those Costa Rica hostel vibes on point.
Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Jaco – Beds on Bohio Hostel & Surf School
Price – Privates from $40 – Dorms from $10
If you’re a solo wanderer looking to find a new crew in Jaco then you should head to Beds on Bohio, the best hostel in Jaco for solo travellers. Ladies listen up, BoB host a Ladies Night (every night!) at the hostel bar, called Swell. Ladies get not one but two free drinks. Could there be a better hostel for solo female travellers in Costa Rica? I think not! With reggae music playing day and night, there is a real beach-bum kinda vibe to BoB that is almost addictive. Guests never wanna leave. The pool is the best place to hang out, if the beach that is just steps away doesn’t take your fancy that is. There’s plenty of sun loungers to go around.
Best Hostels in Puerto Viejo
Overall Best Hostel in Puerto Viejo – Hostel Kinkaju
Price – Privates from $30 – Dorms for $12
The overall best hostel in Puerto Viejo is Hostel Kinkaju, a cute little Costa Rican home in the centre of town. Colourful and affordable Hostel Kinkaju has a range of private and dorm rooms to choose from. If you’re travelling with your crew have a think about booking into one of the family rooms. It’s a good way to pool costs and nab yourselves a bit of extra space. It’s a calm hostel, defo not a party hostel but there’s a real sociable vibe to the place. Everyone here is super laid back and are certainly in tune with the slow pace of life on the Costa Rican coast. There is no curfew so if you find yourself at a beach party don’t worry about being locked out!
Best Party Hostel in Puerto Viejo – Playa 506
Price – Privates from $70 – Dorms from $19
Playa 506 is easily the best party hostel in Puerto Viejo. Playing the reggae music loud from dusk til dawn, hosting a happy hour every night and their own open mic evenings too the Playa 506 team know how to have a good time. With just the right amount of drinking culture teamed with laid-back beachy vibes, Playa 506 is one of the best hostels in Puerto Viejo. The team will help you max out on your time in Puerto Viejo. They can hook you up with surf lessons, day trips to secret waterfalls or even rent you a bicycle so you can get yourself into town. The dorms are pretty cosy but perfect if you’re just looking for a place to crash.
Best Hostels in Nosara
Overall Best Hostel in Nosara – Nosara Beach Hostel
Price – Dorm from $20
Offering male-only and female-only dorms Nosara Beach Hostel is the overall best hostel in Nosara. Located just 200m from Playa Scripts you couldn’t stay closer to the beach if you tried. In the garden, you’ll find perfectly positioned hammocks, a ping-pong table and a table football too. There’s plenty to keep you entertained once you’ve finished up on the beach for the day. Although there are a number of great cafes and bars in town Nosara Beach Hostel offers guests use of the community kitchen should they want to cook up some home comforts. It’s a small and homely hostel that has just 5 rooms. It never gets overcrowded but equally there is always enough people around to keep the hostel vibe on point.
Best Hostels in Uvita
Overall Best Hostel in Uvita – Flutterby House
Price – Privates from $40 – Dorms from $15
Flutterby House is the best hostel in Uvita for sure, there’s always something going on and this team is seriously dedicated to their eco-pledge. Located just a five-minute walk from Marino Ballena National Park and the breathtaking beaches of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, Flutterby House is a bit of a hidden gem. Affordable and accessible Flutterby House has a bed to suit every budget. For couples travelling to Uvita, Flutterby House is a great shout as they offer private ensuite rooms. Solo travellers will have no trouble finding a gang to hang with, don’t be shy at the open mic night. If there’s any way to break the ice at a new hostel, a no holds barred blast on the mic is the way to do it!
Best Hostels in Alajuela
Overall Best Hostel in Alajuela – Mangifera Hostel
Price – Privates from $20 – Dorms from $10
Mangifera is the overall best hostel in Alajuela, tucked away in the cute town of Grecia. Staying a little off the beaten track at Mangifera allows you to explore all sorts of hidden gems in Costa Rica. Grecia township for starters, but also the Los Chorros waterfall and the artisanal town of Sarchi. So plenty to explore. With dorm rates this cheap you can afford to hang around a little longer at Mangifera and get to know the locals and the landscape that bit better. There’s always a good crowd in the garden, chilling in hammocks, playing the guitar, swapping travel stories, you know the drill!
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Why you should travel to Costa Rica
With so many beautiful sites, fun people and places to party, it’s difficult to have a bad time in Costa Rica.
And with the help of this ultimate guide to the best hostels in Costa Rica, you now know exactly where to stay while you are in Costa Rica. Whether you are a solo traveler looking to party, or a couple looking for some privacy, our list of the top hostels in Costa Rica covers hostels for every type of traveler.
Travel Safety Tips for Costa Rica
And don’t forget Travel Insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
Over to you
By now I hope our epic guide to the best hostels in Costa Rica has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure! If you’re really looking to immerse yourself in nature, why not switch it up a bit and stay in one of these awesome treehouses in Costa Rica? You’ll be surprised to find a few gems here that will fit your tight budget!
If you think we’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit us up in the comments!
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