You can also go spelunking in the Venando Caves or walk across the Arenal Hanging Bridges. You’ll be just a 200 meter walk down to the ocean and will love sitting out on the balcony watching the views below. At the end of your Costa Rica trip, you might prefer to stay near the San Jose Airport to rest up before your flight home. Since creating this website in 2008, she has fulfilled her dream of becoming a full-time traveler and writer. The modern hostel is big and spacious, with dorm beds, private rooms and even family rooms with bunk beds. Plus the views of the volcano are amazing from this hostel. The hotel also provides complimentary transportation to and from the Juan Santamaria International Airport. Towering at 1,670m high, the peak of Arenal Volcano is easily one of the most impressive sights of the whole country. Another property that’s considered one of the best places to stay in Costa Rica. Overall, you and your significant other will love the laid back attitude and the relaxed atmosphere of this cute Central American place. Having your own wheels lets you travel independently, at your own pace. Set in the beautiful tropical forest near Cocles Beach, Le Cameleon Boutique Hotel is a stylish, contemporary boutique hotel with a beach club, an outdoor swimming pool and a spa. #7 Best Value of 100 Family Resorts in Costa Rica “The beach in front is a little rocky but a lovely place for a swim, and the giant pool is one of the most fun and family friendly experiences we had while in Costa Rica..” “Very peaceful, very family friendly - top of the mark for us!” Each luxurious suite here features a private thermal pool and includes romantic contemporary décor. The best airport hotel is the Marriott, and it’s located next to Mango Plaza and Walmart. The Osa peninsula is best for wildlife not beaches. Costa Rica The Best Family Vacations in Costa Rica La Paz Waterfall Gardens: This multifaceted attraction features paths and suspended walkways alongside a series of impressive jungle waterfalls. By style, each accommodation is categorized as Lodge, Eco Lodge, Boutique Hotel, Resort, All Inclusive, or Hotel. Costa Rica is packed with more species than many places on earth combined. Do you own or run a kick-ass hostel? Nellie Huang is the founder of WildJunket. Answer 1 of 15: Hello All! On the opposite coast, Cahuita is one of Costa Rica’s top Caribbean destinations for families. You won’t be far from the downtown area, situated in the Paseo Colon district. You’ll be close to the beach, and to the jungle! Hop over to Plaza de la Cultura, home to two other currency-related museums, the National Coin Museum, which has a collection dating back to 1236, and the Casa de Moneda that shows the history of minting in Costa Rica. Costa Rica has it all, from beautiful beaches and soaring mountains to lush jungles that are filled with wildlife, including four types of monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, countless lizard species, poison-dart frogs and an astounding variety of exotic birds and butterflies. Many travelers to Costa Rica will arrive and depart from the capital city... Gulf of Papagayo – Where to stay in Costa Rica with Family. Wildlife lovers should definitely head to Manuel Antonio National Park on the central Pacific coast, just a three-hour drive from San Jose. The hostel is a 3-minute drive from the airport ($2-3 on Uber). For bargain basement prices, you and your family will have a family room with a sea view. The hotels in Alajuela are surprisingly cheap and they’re just a 5 or 10-minute drive to the airport. Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse and environmentally conscious countries we’ve ever been. This Airbnb is one for the books! Can you see why it’s the coolest place to stay in Costa Rica? Arenal Volcano is an active volcano in the northwest of Costa Rica. It’s a 20-minute drive to the Arenal National Park. Wondering if Costa Rica is safe to visit? Definitely great value for money (we paid $60 for a night in a big family room)! Definitely don’t miss out on exploring Corcovado National Park where you can see all four of the monkey species that are native to Costa Rica, as well as the huge Baird’s Tapir! World-renowned for its cloud forests, when staying in Costa Rica staying in Monteverde is a must! With a great social atmosphere, bright and beautiful murals, and the option between dorm rooms and private rooms, you’ll love the options available at Monteverde Backpackers. We loved this family-run lodge just a 10-minute drive from the centre of Santa Elena town. Manuel Antonio is usually at the top of everyone’s must-see list of destinations in Costa Rica, and it... Cahuita. Whether you need to purify the water from a hostel sink in Kathmandu or a stream trickle in the Andes, the Geopress has got you covered. This hotel really goes above and beyond to promise guests all they could wish for during their stay. Food is excellent, plus you get unobstructed views of the volcano from the resort. Check it out before you hit the road. Located close to the border with Panama, this beach town is a laid back, hippie place with a distinctly Caribbean feel. Arenal Volcano & Hot Springs Probably the most popular area in Costa Rica is the town of La Fortuna, home to theArenal Volcano and it’s famous hot springs. Your journey will most likely begin in San Jose, as the international airport is the main gateway into the country. This is a great option for those who like to be in the action and still have direct access to the beach. Get in touch at [email protected]. There’s no shortage of interesting and affordable accommodation in Costa Rica: from unique eco lodges to treehouses, family-friendly beach resorts to funky surf hotels. This area is known forlots of outdoor activities and where some of the best zip lining in Costa Rica happens, because of the height, length and seeing the Volcano as you soar through the air. We stayed near Playa Lagartillo, just 30 minutes away and yet a world away. Samara is a smaller town with fewer tourists but there's still plenty to see and do. In this case, the Experts recommend the JW Marriott Guancaste Resort and Spa, home to the largest pool in Central America. Hit up the big waves at Hermosa Beach or take in the interesting gray-sand beach of Jacó Beach too! It’s renowned for an incredibly long stretch of soft, white sand beach simply called Playa Montezuma. Where to Stay in Costa Rica: The COOLEST Spots in 2020 Tamarindo – Overall Best Place to Stay in Costa Rica. This field guide will certainly help you make sense of the bird populations in Costa Rica. Umami is brand new and stylish. Fortuna is the best launching spot for the rest of your adventures! You’ll be just a quick 15-minute walk to La Fortuna, so you will be immersed in nature while not being in too remote of a location. Hotel Nya is a stunning modern hotel that offers guests a truly comfortable stay. Surrounded by 860 private acres of tropical rainforest, the hotel features an on-site bird sanctuary that has around 500 different species of birds. Read my review here. budget & what activities you are interested in (other than rainforest & volcano). El Cielo Eco Hostel is a truly memorable hostel, nestled right in the jungle with the city center of Montezuma just around the bend of the road. An excellent value for money, this budget lodge is brand new, beautiful and well-priced, though it’s quite a distance from the beach. Oh my goodness gracious! The only hotel actually in the national park with the closet view of the volcano. There will be two beds and a sofa bed available, plus breakfast is included for the whole family! We love the eco-friendly ethos of the lodge, which features locally-sourced furniture and natural products in their toiletries. Share in the comments field below! Drake Bay, also called Bahía Drake, sits on the coast in the southwest of Costa Rica. She continues to help readers by sharing her travel experiences to off-grid destinations. The Best Beaches in Costa Rica for Families Manuel Antonio. From the studio itself, right outside the windows, you’ll see colorful birds and tons of monkeys! While there are wickedly affordable dorm rooms, this hostel does feel more like a hotel. You might even spot a macaw or two! Did we miss anything on this list of best places to stay in Costa Rica? A funky and tastefully-designed option for those who are on a budget. When staying in Costa Rica, expect a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. You should always have emergency cash hidden on you – pick up this awesome security belt with its hidden pocket before you travel, it’s perfect for hiding money, a passport photocopy. Relax on the many beautiful turquoise beaches of Puerto Viejo. That definitely means that you’ll have plenty of privacy and won’t have to fight the crowds. Where to stay. It’s an iconic landmark and an established property with its own private hot springs and stunning, unobstructed view of the volcano. Lapa Rios is one of the pioneers of ecotourism in Costa Rica and likely one of the most famous lodges in the country. Of course, you can book a guide, but if you’re more interested in grabbing life by the horns— go ahead and hike by yourself (with a map and plenty of supplies of course!). This hotel is known for their spacious family rooms that come with all the bells and whistles, from air conditioning to in-room refrigerators! Surfs up, friends! Great for all kinds of travelers. If Arenal Backpackers Resort would let me move in— I would stay there forever! Arenal Volcano: Where to Stay in Costa Rica for Adventure Seekers. Also, you’ll be situated just 700meters from the Hot Springs Resort and Spa. You need to book this Airbnb! Costa Rica is a gorgeous Central American country that has coastlines on both the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean. The facilities are state of the art and all the amenities are truly top-notch! 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! This Airbnb is run more like a bed and breakfast, so enjoy a cozy, private room with lots of common areas to enjoy— from a backyard to a dining area. Base yourself in the town of Santa Elena, the only hub in Monteverde. This is definitely the best budget option in Manuel Antonio considering how stylish and cool the rooms are in relation to their price. The famous Arenal Volcano is a three-hour drive from San Jose and the drive is considered one of the best road trips in Costa Rica. Whether you’re attracted to particular Monteverde Cloud Forest hotels, or simply enjoy the foggy and mysterious greenery on offer in the north-central highlands of Costa Rica, Monteverde is an alluring destination, particularly if you want to beat the heat. We’ve written an entire series on safety, including this post on Costa Rica, which is there to answer any questions. Here you can go trekking at high altitudes, search for rare resplendent quetzals and straddle your feet across the continental divide. We stayed in this area a few times and definitely found it quite convenient. As these forests sit from 1500 meters and more above sea level, the vegetation is completely different as the rainforests you’ll find elsewhere in the country. Located just 50m from the entrance of the national park, the hotel has an infinity pool that also has spectacular sea view. Housed in a colorful and eclectic building, this modern hotel stands right in the heart of San Jose, steps from the National Theater and Plaza de la Cultura. Hostel Bikini is a cozy hostel nestled right on the Main Street of Puerto viejo. The main beach of Drake Bay is called Playa Colorada, which has a handful of restaurants and warm, peaceful water! What is not quite as fun as hiking a volcano or hanging out with monkeys, is figuring out where to stay in Costa Rica. It’s a beautiful hotel that has two large outdoor pools with plenty of sunbeds. There’s also a tranquil garden to enjoy. Moreover, the price of food is very low as well. It’s the best area to stay in Costa Rica if you want to be immersed in nature without the crowd. However, Puerto Viejo stole my heart and I’m sure you can see why! And make sure to note that if you stay a little further away from the center of town, that doesn’t always mean you’re far away from the beach! One Week in Costa Rica: My Itinerary & Guide, Costa Rica with Kids: My Guide to Costa Rica Family Vacations, Best Things to Do in Costa Rica for Outdoor Lovers, San Blas Islands Panama: My Detailed Guide & Tips. The resort is tucked within the forest but it’s very modern and slick. It’s a tiny bit outside of the city center of Jacó, but it is indeed located right on the beachfront of Playa Hermosa Beach! Since it’s right in the middle, consider San José your central hub— the perfect spot to explore all the other top places to stay in Costa Rica! It’s a cute, charming, little town that is only a few streets wide with just a handful of restaurants and shops. Alright lovebirds, it’s time to crack open the piggy bank! There are yoga classes offered daily as well as surf lessons available. With outstanding designs and avant-garde style, the Makanda by The Sea Hotel is an Adults Only hotel suitable for the honeymooners or couples looking for some romance. Visiting the Montezuma Waterfall is a must too! Located just five minutes from Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cariari San Jose offers a convenient and comfortable stay on … Besides the 8-bed dorm rooms, there are also quadruple rooms perfect for families. Close, Where to Stay in Costa Rica: The COOLEST Spots in 2020, Chris Lininger is a writer, photographer, and guide from California. Tamarindo – Overall Best Place to Stay in Costa Rica, Drake Bay – Best Place to Stay in Costa Rica For Families, Puerto Viejo – Most Romantic Place to Stay in Costa Rica for Couples, Monteverde – Coolest Place to Stay in Costa Rica, San José – Where to Stay in Costa Rica on a Budget, Montezuma – One of the Most Unique Places to Stay in Costa Rica, Arenal Volcano – Where to Stay in Costa Rica for Adventure, Jacó – Where to Stay in Costa Rica on the Beach, Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Costa Rica, pack accordingly for your Costa Rica trip, The Ticos: Culture and Social Change in Costa Rica. Relax on the beaches in Manuel Antonio National Park. Tamarindo is probably the most famous beach in Costa Rica and it’s easy to see why once you’re here. Plus, there is a Wildlife Refuge center and even a jaguar rescue center in the area that is absolutely incredible to tour! Despite receiving around 1.7 million tourists each year, Costa Rica has done such a great job in ensuring that tourism here is sustainable and beneficial to local communities. Wondering where should I stay in Costa Rica? Living Hotel – A breezy stroll from the beach, Living Hotel features a sun terrace, a swimming pool to enjoy a dip on a sunny day, a lounge area to make use of the complimentary Wi-Fi and catch up with family and friends, an organic and gluten-free menu to keep your health at its best, and spa service to relax those stress points and unwind yourself. Oozing with rustic charm, Finca Chica is a gorgeous forest lodge featuring individual villas made up of polished wooden walls and well-crafted wooden furnishings. Plus, you’ll be just a few minutes walk from a few little restaurants and eateries so you definitely won’t feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere! Guests of Monteverde Country Lodge enjoy free access to facilities at Hotel Poco a Poco, including an indoor pool, gym, hot tub and kids’ club. You can get away from the bustle of the city and enjoy the local culture and agricultural traditions in the charming small towns of Costa Rica. You can also rent a kayak and get closer to the water. Best Towns to Stay in Costa Rica? This beautiful hotel offers private villas and a beautiful pool! The town has plenty of charming cafes and vegan restaurants. Renovated in 2016, the historical hotel now has a fresh new look, with sophisticated furnishing and the most advanced technology. Her mission is to visit every country in the world. We booked our car rental on Discover Car Hire and paid around US$160 for one week of rental and a baby seat. There is also an outdoor pool to enjoy! Located close to the town of La Fortuna, this resort offers excellent value for money. We spent long days at their swimming pool, sipping smoothies and enjoying healthy local Costa Rican food. Monteverde is most famous for the spectacular tropical cloud forests. It’s an affordable choice for those who want to experience staying in the jungle. The hacienda-style resort has a lavish interior reminiscent of the Spanish colonial times. This Airbnb looks like it is straight out of a magazine! Sitting just 90 kilometers from San Jose, getting to Arenal Volcano is easy as pie. He is an advocate for off-beat responsible travel and the preservation of the world's wild places and spaces. Never fear! It’s a two-bedroom home that is eco-styled with tons of wood and natural decor. We work hard to put out the best backpacker resources on the web, for free! How awesome is that?! Located right inside a private reserve, this stylish yet rustic hotel is a magical place poised on a hilltop overlooking the clouds forests. It’s got an excellent location on the beach and steps from shops and restaurants in Tamarindo. Just be aware of that and plan your Costa Rica family vacation accordingly. With locals of both Afro-Caribbean and indigenous descent, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a unique culture that can be found only in this part of Costa Rica. Rooms are on the small end, but they all feature minimalistic and stylish designs. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Senda Monteverde Hotel is a relatively family-friendly place that sprawls across a large forested area with big refurbished bungalows. With so many incredible places and so many choices of lodging in Costa Rica, it can be a headache trying to decide where to stay and where to go! The hike is very rocky so wear water shoes or closed toed sandals. When trying to choose the most romantic place to stay in Costa Rica, I sure had my job cut out for me. That’s right! It’s right on the gorgeous Caribbean coast and is renowned for its black sand beach, and epic surf break at Salsa Brava! It is a remote village, not a crazy tourist hub and therefore one of the safest areas in Costa Rica. It’s super modern with crisp, clean rooms and tiled floors. For the sake of transparency, some of the links in our content are affiliate links. This iconic landmark hotel is the only hotel in San Jose declared by the government as a historical and architectural monument. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. When staying in San Jose— the best city to stay in Costa Rica on a budget— it’s best to stay as centrally located as possible. Sign me up! Your email address will not be published. Lonely Planet Costa Rica: Relevant, up-to-date advice and tips for backpacking Costa Rica. Plus, at the Saturday morning farmer’s markets, you can pick up great handmade art and will likely hear some great local music. When you’re staying at arguably the best beach town in Costa Rica, you’re going to obviously want to stay close to those amazing beaches. These are some of my favorite travel reads and books set in Costa Rica which you should consider picking up before you begin your backpacking adventure…. This is where the rainforest meets the ocean, and where many of the country’s unique animals live. But only if you know where to stay. If you’re lucky, you might even get to witness turtle eggs hatching! Your kids will thank you for this! So we called in our travel experts and created this wicked guide of all the best areas to stay. You’ll be staying just a three minute walk from one of the absolute best surfing beaches in all of Costa Rica! They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy. Especially when you stay in one of our Airbnbs, hostels, or hotels in Costa Rica that we hand-selected to meet all your travel needs! Also, The continental breakfast sure makes mornings easy as pie. From the pools to the gardens to the delectable breakfast overlooking the sea, you’re sure to have an incredible stay at this hotel! The kids will love actually getting to and from Drake Bay, as the best option to get to Drake Bay is actually to take a boat taxi from Sierpe. The oceanview suite has outstanding views as well as an open-air jacuzzi. For those wondering where to stay in Costa Rica, here is a complete guide on the best places to stay in Costa Rica for different budgets. Stay close to the National Theatre and to the Central Park to ensure an easy travel experience! With locals of both Afro-Caribbean and indigenous descent, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a unique culture that can be found only in this part of Costa Rica. Plus, there are lots of different sized rooms to choose from, from more affordable standard rooms to private villas! Family rooms are spacious, and there’s plenty of greenery in the property for kids to run around. For a truly unique experience, you can’t miss the chance to stay at the quirky Tree House Lodge. The hour long boat ride such great fun! It’s perfect for families who want to explore San Jose and be right in the action. This is hands down the best city in Costa Rica to visit when traveling with your family! It’s nestled right in the San Jose city center and offers mega-budget friendly room rates! It also has a heated outdoor pool (that few hotels in Monteverde have), an extensive garden and an indoor butterfly garden. Riptides and high waves can be a problem at many Costa Rican beaches. Our favorite is Playa Punta Uva has clean ivory sand, spearmint water, and tall palms. Located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, just southwest of San José, Jacó is known for its epic surfing spots and raucous nightlife! It’s ok to be a little concerned; we’re to help. With three beds and a private bathroom, this personal cabin perched on a hill overlooking Drake Bay is a dream come true for you and your family. Luz en el Cielo is your home away from home in the jungle. You’ll be just a seven minutes walk from the National Theater of Costa Rica! This treetop studio apartment is absolutely jaw-dropping! This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a book or sort your insurance, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. All accommodations have an iPod docking station, free Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV. The answers to all your questions are below! While I wouldn’t describe this hotel as budget-friendly, it certainly won’t make you cringe when you see the prices either! Check the latest rates. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. If that’s the case then— lucky you! This is a hostel that really doesn’t feel like a hostel. More information. There aren’t any adults-only hotel in Monteverde, but this is probably the most romantic place to stay at in Monteverde. Also, make sure to note that there is more than one Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica, so if you’re searching around for more accommodation options yourself, definitely search using the full name: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca – Central America is big! I'm an adventure travel blogger, book author, and new mum on a quest to visit every country in the world! There are hiking trails all around the reserve where you’ll find animals like howler monkeys, aguti and the resplendent quetzal. What’s better than a morning coffee with sand between your toes? The rooms have minimalist, white décor and terraces overlooking the forest. This area is packed with adventure activities! There is also a restaurant on site with great food and cocktails. Even though it looks very close to Arenal on the map, it’s a three-hour drive on steep and unpaved roads. We particularly like the hip furnishing and the comfortable lounge areas. Located on Playa Langosta Beach and next to Las Baulas National Park, Occidental Tamarindo is an all-inclusive resort with lots of family-friendly features. There’s no shortage of adventurous things to do in Arenal, from canyoning to ziplining and whitewater rafting. Another area to consider with young children would be Samara which has beachfront lodgings and a much calmer beach for swimming than you'll find at either Manuel Antonio or Tamarindo. Rooms are stylish and spacious, with gorgeous earth-colored furnishing. What did I say? Plus, getting to relax in the hammock on the balcony is the recipe for true relaxation. The provinces of Alajuela and Heredia offer a chance to get up close and personal with Costa Rica’s cloud forests. Head to the Museo del Oro Precolombino (Pre-Columbian Gold Museum). It’s set amidst abundant trees and greenery. 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