Best Places to Stay in Costa Rica: A Traveler’s Guide

So you’re thinking about visiting Costa Rica? Fantastic! This gem of Central America is renowned for its diverse ecosystems, friendly locals, and adventurous activities. But where are the best places to stay in Costa Rica? Well, sit back and relax, as we take you on a journey through the best cities, beach destinations, rainforest retreats, and more. It’s like exploring the many flavors at a grand ice cream festival!

Costa Rica, a country known for its Pura Vida lifestyle, offers much more than meets the eye. From the bustling streets of San José to the tranquil beaches of Manuel Antonio, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple on a honeymoon, or a family on vacation, Costa Rica promises an unforgettable experience.

Top Cities to Stay In

Costa Rica boasts a plethora of cities, each with its unique charm and attractions:

San José

The heart of Costa Rica, San José, is a blend of old-world charm and modernity. Here, you can visit the Gold Museum, showcasing pre-Columbian gold artifacts, or take a leisurely stroll in the Lankester Botanical Garden. The city’s vibrant nightlife and gastronomic scene are also worth exploring.


Often overshadowed by its bustling neighbor, Cartago is a historical gem. Home to the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels, a pilgrimage site, and the ruins of ancient churches, it offers a serene atmosphere, perfect for travelers looking to immerse themselves in history.


Known as “The City of Flowers,” Heredia boasts lush landscapes and colonial architecture. A visit to Barva Volcano or a coffee tour at a local plantation is a must.

Best Beach Destinations

Costa Rica’s coastline stretches over 1,200 kilometers, with beaches that cater to surfers, sunbathers, and nature enthusiasts alike:


Located on the Pacific coast, Tamarindo is a surfer’s paradise. Apart from catching waves, you can indulge in seafood delicacies or explore the Tamarindo Wildlife Refuge.

Manuel Antonio

Home to the Manuel Antonio National Park, this destination offers golden sandy beaches and abundant wildlife. Spotting sloths, toucans, or capuchin monkeys is common here.

Santa Teresa

A bohemian vibe, yoga retreats, and beachfront cafes define Santa Teresa. It’s a haven for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty.

Rainforest Retreats

Dive into the heart of nature by staying close to Costa Rica’s renowned rainforests:


The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is an ecotourist’s dream. With over 2,500 plant species and the elusive Quetzal bird, it’s a biodiversity hotspot.

La Fortuna

Nestled at the base of the Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna offers hot springs, waterfall hikes, and the chance to witness volcanic activity.

Lodging in Costa Rica: What to Expect

Resorts and Luxury Hotels

For those looking for opulence, Costa Rica has no shortage of five-star resorts and luxury hotels. Whether it’s the Four Seasons Resort in Guanacaste or the Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa in La Fortuna, you’re in for a treat.

Mid-range Hotels and B&Bs

There’s a vast array of mid-range options that offer comfort without breaking the bank. Hotel Arco Iris in Tamarindo or Hotel Santo Tomas in San José are worth considering.

Hostels and Budget Stays

Budget travelers can rejoice with plenty of hostels and economical stays available, especially in touristy areas.

You Can Find Some Here:

What Makes Costa Rica Special?

From the Pura Vida philosophy, which emphasizes enjoying life’s simple pleasures, to the tantalizing cuisine comprising gallo pinto or ceviche, Costa Rica is unique. The warmth of its people, the richness of its culture, and its commitment to sustainability set it apart.

Practical Tips for Travelers

Currency and Payments

The Costa Rican colón is the official currency. However, many places, especially in touristy areas, accept US dollars. Credit cards are widely accepted, but it’s advisable to carry some cash for small vendors.


While buses are the primary mode of public transport, renting a car offers the flexibility to explore at your pace. However, be wary of road conditions, especially during the rainy season.

Safety and Health

Costa Rica is relatively safe. Nonetheless, always take standard precautions. Drink bottled water, and ensure you’re updated on vaccines before the trip.

Final Words: Best Places to Stay in Costa Rica

In the grand tapestry of travel destinations, Costa Rica shines brightly. By now, you should have a clearer picture of where to stay in Costa Rica, making your trip planning smoother. Remember, the essence of Costa Rica lies not just in its destinations but in the experiences they offer.

Share the Beauty: Best Places to Stay in Costa Rica

Ready to embark on your Costa Rican adventure? Share this blog, “Best Places to Stay in Costa Rica: A Traveler’s Guide,” with your friends, family, and fellow travelers. Whether they’re seeking bustling cities, serene beaches, or immersive rainforest retreats, this guide has something for everyone.

Spread the word and inspire others to discover the magic of Costa Rica, from its Pura Vida lifestyle to its diverse ecosystems and rich culture. Help them plan their unforgettable journey and create lasting memories in this tropical paradise.


Do I need a visa to travel to Costa Rica?

Most visitors from the US, Canada, and the EU do not require a visa for stays up to 90 days. However, it’s always good to check the latest visa regulations.

What’s the official language in Costa Rica?

Spanish is the official language. However, English is widely spoken in tourist areas.

Is tipping customary in Costa Rica?

Tipping isn’t mandatory, but a 10% service charge is usually added to your bill in restaurants.

What’s the time zone in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica follows Central Standard Time (CST) year-round, as it doesn’t observe daylight saving time.

What’s the best way to get around Costa Rica?

While public buses are affordable, renting a car or taking domestic flights can save you time, especially when covering large distances.

Leave a Reply