Where To Stay In San Jose Costa Rica
The best place to stay in San Jose, Costa Rica, close to top tourist attractions like the National Theater is near the Plaza Del Cultura.
Downtown San Jose can sometimes be intimidating for first-time visitors so if you are not ready to throw yourself into the thick of it all the trendy suburb of Escazu, located 5 km from the CBD, is the best place to stay in San Jose Costa Rica.
Whereas if you would prefer to be close to the international airport, Alajuela is the neighborhood youre most likely to find a quality Costa Rican places to stay.
Location: Escazu, San JosePrice: $
Located in Escazu, Costa Verde Inn is one of the most sought-after Costa Rica boutique hotels near San Jose. It is nestled amongst the mountainside, has a lovely garden terrace and a cozy fireplace to curl up next to on those chilly mountain evenings. You can choose from a single, double and triple room or a one-bedroom apartment. A tasty Tico breakfast is included.
Costa Verde Inn is a sister property of Costa Verde, one of our favourite hotels located in Manuel Antonio. We love staying at Costa Verde Inn in San Jose, as this property provides a rainforest vibe that you wont often find in other hotels in San Jose. Costa Verde Inn is a little jungle oasis amid the hustle and bustle of San Jose and is a great place to stay if you want to arrive in Costa Rica and immerse yourself in nature right away.
Location: Alajuela, San JosePrice: $
Top Ten Travel Destinations In Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a land with an abundance of diversity. From the stunning beaches and exuberant rainforests, to the charm of its quaint towns, Costa Rica Guides shows travelers worldwide the best places to visit in this natural paradisiac environment.
Costa Rica is one of the wealthiest nations in the world in terms of biodiversity. While the country occupies only about 0.25% of the worlds landmass, it contains almost 5% of the worlds biodiversity and has the largest percentage of protected areas in the world. Between Costa Ricas Caribbean and Pacific coasts , visitors will find green mountains, pristine lakes, majestic volcanoes and dense jungles, and other beautiful locals.
Costa Rica Guides has put together a list of its top ten travel destinations in Costa Rica for travelers seeking to explore and discover the natural wonders of this ecologically striking country. The most attractive destinations include the following:
San José City & Surroundings
San José is the capital and the largest city in Costa Rica. Located in the Central Valley, it is both a historical and modern city filled with Costa Rican traditions. Due to the fact that the city is situated in the center of the country, San José is the perfect place to use as a base camp and departure point to tour Costa Rica. Once youve explored San José, there are plenty of wonderful destinations, only minutes away, on the outskirts of the capital city.
Manuel Antonio Beach
Manuel Antonio#1 National Park
Manuel Antonio is an especially intriguing destination. With tons of beach activities, not to mention the national park and nearby mangroves and estuaries, there is a lot to explore while youre having fun.
Visitors will love discovering and learning about the rainforest and all its creatures. Youll likely spot wildlife from your hotel room or even from the roadside, but youll have the most luck in the national park. With almost unlimited activities to take part in, including some uncommon but great options like Santa Juana and Damas Island, there is no shortage of options.
Best Places To Stay In Monteverde
Since Monteverde is a small mountain village, you cant go wrong deciding which part of the town to stay in because youll always be close to all you need!
Best Airbnb in Monteverde: Kapetsowa Container Loft
Oh my goodness gracious! You need to book this Airbnb! It has to be one of the absolute most unique Airbnbs out there and at an affordable price! Stay in a glass loft that is perched over the Monteverde reserve. Experience both privacy and unparalleled views in this gorgeous glass loft!
Best Hostel in Monteverde: Monteverde Backpackers
Monteverde Backpackers is definitely one of the best hostels in Monteverde! With a great social atmosphere, bright and beautiful murals, and the option between dorm rooms and private rooms, youll love the options available at Monteverde Backpackers. Theres free breakfast each morning is excellent too!
Best Hotel in Monteverde: Hotel Claro de Luna
Hotel Claro de Luna is a beautiful hotel that offers guests a tranquil stay. Its set amidst abundant trees and greenery. Plus, its not sitting right in the heart of town, so you have guaranteed peace and quiet! Situated just over two miles from the Monteverde Cloud Forest, youll love eating at the delectable onsite restaurant. And free parking is an added bonus!
Best Places To Stay In Tamarindo
When staying in Tamarindo, arguably the best city in Costa Rica, youre going to want to stay as close to the beach as possible! It doesnt matter which beach, as long as youre close to the shore you are sure to have a blast!
Casa de Arroz
Best Airbnb in Tamarindo: Casa de Arroz
Rent this darling studio apartment for a steal! Youll be just three blocks from the beach and one block from the nightlife! This is the absolute perfect spot for your Costa Rica vacation. This Airbnbs yard is also known to be home to iguanas, hummingbirds, and even the occasional monkey! The apartment has a fully equipped kitchen, cozy couches, and plenty of space to move around.
Best Hostel in Tamarindo: Tamarindo Backpackers
At this delightful boutique surf hostel, youll be staying in style. Relax in the jacuzzi pool, or curl up with a good book in a sun chair and youll feel right at home. The hostel has their own private surf instructor and plenty of surfboards to rent. Youll be staying just a three minute walk from one of the absolute best surfing beaches in all of Costa Rica! Surfs up, friends!
Best Hotel in Tamarindo: Surf Ranch Tamarindo
With a name like Surf Ranch Tamarindo, your stomach might drop in fear of sky-high prices. Never fear! The Surf Ranch Tamarindo offers reasonably priced rooms, plus a huge and free continental breakfast! And best of all, youll be sitting right opposite from Grande Beach!
Things To Do In Arenal
- Go on a hike in the national park to see the lava rocks and trails from the big eruption. We booked this 4-hour interpretive hike that included a stop at a hot spring bath, and really enjoyed it.
- Do a zipline tour with Sky Adventures. Youll be soaring over the tree canopy at 600 feet high, so expect spectacular views of Lake Arenal and Arenal Volcano. This combination package costs $120 for adults and $60 for kids.
- Relax and wind down at one of the many hot springs dotted around La Fortuna. Many hotels and resorts have their own hot springs with day passes available. Some of the most well known ones are the Springs, Tabacon, and Baldi.
- You can also combine a hot spring visit with a Maleku indigenous experience check details here!
Where To Stay In Nosara
The most heavily touristed place on the Nicoya is Tamarindo, an uber popular beach town. If you want more peace and quiet, head further south to Nosara, Samara, or the funky beach towns of Manzanillo, Santa Teresa, or Mal Pais at the southern tip of the peninsula.
WE LOVE: Harmony Hotel
Located on Playa Guiones – one of the best beaches in Costa Rica and the longest surf break on the coast. Harmony Hotel is a 2-minute walk to the beach in a quiet part of town. Known for its yoga programs and healthy, inspired cuisine, you can’t help but get your Zen on while you’re here.
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The Outskirts Of San Jose Costa Rica
So you dont like big buildings or car horns blasting every second of the day? Then, Im guessing that staying right in the city is not something youre really looking forward to on your visit to Costa Rica.
If this is the case, youre probably meant for the countryside. Lucky for you, there are plenty of neighborhoods near San José that will take you closer to nature and far enough from the bustling metropolis.
One of the best areas to stay close to San José include Heredia, bordered by large coffee farms and beautiful vegetation, making it perfect for a family vacation. Grecia is another medium-sized neighborhood in the Central Valley. Set amongst towering mountains and rolling green valleys, this town provides you with breathtaking views of sugarcane and pineapple fields.
The best part about staying in the outskirts is that although youre far from the city, you still have a plethora of the best hotels in San José to choose from. Plus, if you want to visit downtown San Jose for a few hours one day then you easily can!
Where To Stay In San Jose
Luxury Hotels in San Jose
Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection By HiltonThe only hotel in San Jose that was declared as an architectural and historical monument by the government, the Gran Hotel Costa Rica was built in the 1930s. This luxurious Costa Rican hotel is within walking distance of the main plazas and museums.
This Victorian mansion turned hotel is very well run. Spacious rooms at the Fleur de Lys include the best amenities while all attractions are within walking distance.
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Budget: Millenium Hostels Manuel Antonio
This is definitely the best budget option in Manuel Antonio considering how stylish and cool the rooms are in relation to their price. Their rooms range from dorm beds to spacious family rooms with two king beds. The hostel has an excellent location just walking distance from the entrance of the national park.
Want Help Thats What We Do
We have time-tested Costa Rica itineraries and can plan the most unforgettable trip for your family vacation, your honeymoon, or the adventure vacation of your dreams. We can even help plan your wedding in Costa Rica! Contact us using the form below.
John Rabenau has been working in the eco-tourism & adventure travel industry in Costa Rica since 2002. He has worked in a variety of capacities from Outdoor Educator & Principle Guide to Itinerary Design Manager & Business Owner for numerous organizations. He has grown Costa Rica Escapes into one of the most reputable Costa Rica travel agencies since its creation in 2006, hosting more than 5,000 people with custom vacation itineraries.
Costa Rica Escapes is a boutique Costa Rica vacation planner who, since 2006, uses extensive knowledge and local relationships to create one-of-a-kind Costa Rica vacations for travelers looking for a unique experience. Learn more about us.
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Costa Rica: An Outdoor Experience
Costa Rica is a different destination from resort hot spots like Mexico, the Bahamas or the Caribbean. While these destinations may offer convenience, much of your time in Costa Rica could be spent exploring off property. Sure, you can relax at your wonderful lodging to unwind for a bit. But a big part of what makes this country unique can only be found outside of the property.
If youre considering an all-inclusive package, make sure you plan to spend enough time at the property to make it worth it. Youll likely spend your days out and about doing activities and may not fully benefit from a resort stay. If you like to enjoy the mom and pop local restaurants or arent a big eater or drinker, you may want to consider other options like a partial meal-inclusive plan to ensure you get your moneys worth.
Best Hostel In Costa Rica Luz En El Cielo Eco Hostel Montezuma
This is no ordinary hostel! Luz en el Cielo is your home away from home in the jungle. Expect a peaceful stay in a classy hostel that has lots of beautiful eco touches. Complimentary local breakfast is included in the price of a room or a dorm bed. Its no ordinary breakfast either! Its a bio-organic breakfast that includes incredible from small, local farms. How awesome is that?!
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Where To Stay In Manuel Antonio
If you are wondering where to stay in Costa Rica in Manuel Antonio, youll be happy to hear there are lots of Costa Rica rainforest resorts in the area. However, they are not all made the same.
Many people chose to stay in the town of Quepos, located about 15 minutes by car from the national park. But while the town of Quepos is worth a visit, the best hotels in Manuel Antonio are actually located closer to the beach and the entrance to Manuel Antonio National Park.
We suggest you chose one of the Costa Rica resorts with views overlooking the ocean to make the most out of your stay instead.
Location: Manuel Antonio, PuntarenasPrice: $$
Costa Verde Hotel is considered the best resort in Costa Rica by many. It is the home of the 727 Fuselage Home, a refurbished airplane hotel room, as well as the Cockpit Cottage, located inside another refurbished airplane. Other rooms on site range from regular hotel rooms and larger suites to houses and bungalows, perfect for self-catering stays.
Costa Verde Hotel is located just minutes from the park and set on 20 acres that overlook the Pacific Ocean. It has a long list of sustainable practices in place and prides itself on going well beyond the efforts of a typical eco-resort Costa Rica.
Costa Verde is definitely one of our favourite hotels in Costa Rica. Its lush grounds, beautiful views and spacious rooms make it a great base for exploring the area.
Enjoying the beautiful rainforest in Costa Rica
Location: Uvita, PuntarenasPrice: $$
Best Places To Stay Within 1km Of Downtown San Jose
If you want to stay in downtown San Jose but want a little peace and quiet then these next hotels are for you! Still within walking distance to the main attractions of the downtown core, these hotels are just about 1 kilometer from the main action so your stay is sure to be a little less noisy and a little more relaxed.
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Casa Magnifica Private Home
Casa Magnifica Private Home is a 6-bedroom home in Manuel Antonio. From the pool sundeck, enjoy spectacular views of the rainforest and Manuel Antonio National Park jutting out into the sea. while listening to the clamoring of monkeys and toucans. Amenities Casa Magnifica is 6,500 feet with four levels, six bedrooms, and six and a
Finca Bellavista Piedras Blancas
Finca Bellavista is one of the most unique and coolest places to stay in Costa Rica. This eco-community is set in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle along the Pacific Coast. Its a stunning track of secondary and primary forest with a network of hiking trails to explore on your own. Rooms here come in the form of treehouses spread throughout the forest, some an hour-plus hike from the main lodge, make sure you book accordingly.
The whole community is off the grid and runs on solar power. Guests should be prepared to be pretty self-sufficient when visiting, although there is a main kitchen dishing up tasty Costa Rican classics for those who dont want to cook. With a down-to-earth vibe, it attracts a clientele in search of digital detox and good conversation. Treehouses start at $100 a night, food not included, but you will have access to their amazing grounds and hiking.
Check Rates Here:
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Adults Only: Umami Hotel
Featuring an all-white design, this chic boutique hotel is small and intimate, perfect for the couples looking for some privacy. Rooms are swanky and lush at the same time, with clean lines and palm tree prints adding a touch of color to the room. Umami is brand new and stylish. Its just a 5-minute walk from town, and yet its in a quiet area.
La Fortuna De San Carlos
La Fortuna is a small rural city located in San Carlos and is most famous for its nearby Arenal Volcano which stands at 1,633 m and has experienced several volcano eruptions over the period of 1968 to 2011.
As such, it is noted as being Costa Rica’s most active volcano. While La Fortuna has become quite a bustling little town, there are plenty of accommodations, hotels and resorts here to suit every budget. Many rooms here offer some of the best views of the Arenal. Visitors often witness small eruptions during the day and fireworks of bright red rocks tumbling down the volcanos sides during the night.
Beyond the Arenal routinely gushing with lava and ash, there are several other awe aspiring geographical wonders that will amuse the adventurous traveller. Catarata de La Fortuna is a slender waterfall pouring from a dizzying height of 70 meters and is indeed well suited to picture perfect moments.
Then there is the Tabacon Hot Springs that offers the perfect combination of temperature and mineral content, fit for a relaxing evening or a regulating spa treatment amidst stunning lush flora. In addition, there are several activities on offer hat take place on the outskirts of the city, such as water rafting, hiking excursions, horseback riding, kayaking, canoeing and canopy tours. These and other attractions provide an amazing retreat into Costa Ricas natural features and a blissful experience that only a tropical paradise could provide.
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