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Where to stay in Costa Rica – a neighborhood guide

Find a place to stay

Costa Rica has so much to offer its travelers that you need to consider what you really want to see and do. Are you comfortable sleeping close to the wild or is a five-star hotel a must? Perhaps you want to stay near Costa Rica’s best beaches, or explore the rainforests and get a glimpse at the volcanoes? Whatever your budget, you’ll find something to match your holiday needs.

Chuck Chastain

My Destination local expert on

Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio


In the Central Pacific region of Costa Rica, above the captivating national park you will find spectacular views and sandy white beaches. The Arenas del Mar Beachfront resort offers a five-star experience, with outdoor pools and within close proximity to the beaches and national park. The town also has smaller hotels like the Hotel Mono Azul the Natural Pacific suites, both offering excellent facilities at reasonable prices. Manuel Antonio offers tourists plenty of activities from surfing to catamaran tours, wildlife refuges and the national park.




Set on the Caribbean coast, boasting rainforests, beaches and lagoons, Tortuguero offers its visitors a mixture of tranquillity and adventure. It is accessible by boat or a short plane journey from San Jose, where you will find its National Park and breeding grounds for the Green Sea Turtle. Tortuga Lodge provides excellent service and is described as ‘paradise’ by many of its guests, and with a hammock on your front porch you are surrounded by wildlife. Hotel Don Quichotte is close the beach and offers quiet, clean rooms at very reasonable prices. There is a hostel in the town, Cabinas El Icaco, with very basic rooms but is clean and right on the beach front.




The perfect place to explore the nature of Costa Rica, with the cloud forest and its string of volcanoes, there are numerous museums, coffee plantations and outdoor activities for all. Hotel Belmar offers exclusive quality with chalet style rooms, restaurants, spa services and a private forest trail. Those looking for something cheap and cheerful, Sunset Hotel is run by friendly staff and is close to local amenities and anyone eco-friendly may choose the Hotel Cipreses, known for finding alternative ways to reduce natural resources. Activities in the area include horseback tours, the bat jungle and the hummingbird gallery.


Rincon de la Vieja


Located in the Guanacaste region, Rincon de la Vieja offers a little piece of everything Costa Rica has to offer. From dazzling waterfalls to sandy beaches, volcanoes to cowboys and a range of adventurous activities such as rafting and mountain biking. La Anita Rainforest Ranch is hidden amongst rainforest and nature and gives their guests the opportunities to take farm tours, workshops and be a part of their unique set-up. There are a variety of lodges available in the town that are cheap and offer clean and quiet rooms, perfect for those travelling on a budget. The Vandara Hot Springs are great for a relaxing afternoon and the canopy tours are perfect if you’re looking for a different way to view the scenery.