Looking for the best places to stay in Costa Rica? We took a nice road trip around the country and checked out various types of accommodations. Boutique hotels, all-inclusive resorts, villas, eco-lodges, and treehouses – Costa Rica has it all! Choosing a place to stay in Costa Rica truly comes down to what you want out of your vacation and the price you are willing to spend.
We stayed at just about every price point of accommodation other than hostels. Price points vary a lot by location, usually if hotels are beachfront rather than a few blocks back makes a big difference. Then there are off-grid properties in the rainforest that can demand a higher payment given they have may have higher costs.
If you’re looking to kick back in Costa Rica you may want an all-inclusive experience rather than a place you have to pay per meal. We break down the best places to stay in Costa Rica and the best areas to stay in Costa Rica here below.
The Best Places to Stay in Costa Rica: Regions
Costa Rica is a relatively large country with plenty of different regions each offering something different for travelers. Some of the coolest places to stay in Costa Rica are:
- Nosara Beach – Great for Surfing and Yoga.
- Coco Beach – Beaches & Nightlife.
- Puerto Viejo – Laid-Back Vibe.
- Guanacaste – One of the best places to stay in Costa Rica for beaches
- Santa Teresa – Surf, yoga, beach capital
- Manuel Antonia – Wildlife hotspot and great for surfing
- Jaco – Great for Surfing and Fishing/Expat Community
- San Jose – Ideal for those that want city amenities.
- Monteverde – Waterfalls and rainforests, ecotourism
- La Fortuna – Volcanoes and Jungle
How to Get Around Costa Rica
There are several ways to get around Costa Rica, and the best option for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Some options to consider include:
- Rent a car: Renting a car is a good option if you want the freedom to explore the country at your own pace. However, it can be expensive, and the roads in Costa Rica can be quite rough in certain areas, so you’ll need a sturdy vehicle. Check rental car rates here.
- Take the bus: The bus system in Costa Rica is fairly extensive, and it’s a cheap way to get around. However, the buses can be crowded and not always comfortable, and the schedules can be unpredictable.
- Hire a private driver: If you want a more comfortable and personalized way to see the country, you can hire a private driver or book a guided tour. This can be more expensive, but it can be worth it for the convenience and added comfort.
- Fly: If you’re short on time or want to cover a lot of ground quickly, you may want to consider flying between destinations. There are several domestic airlines (like Avianca Costa Rica), and flights can be relatively inexpensive if you book in advance.
Overall, the best way to get around Costa Rica will depend on your budget, the amount of time you have, and your personal preferences. It’s a good idea to do some research and consider all of your options before making a decision.
What Types of Properties Can You Stay in Costa Rica?
There are a variety of properties available for rental, each offers some of the best places to stay in Costa Rica.
- Hotels and resorts: These properties offer luxurious and comfortable accommodations with a range of amenities, such as spas, restaurants, and pools.
- Vacation homes: Vacation homes are a popular option for families and groups traveling together. These homes often come with a full kitchen and outdoor space. You can book very luxurious vacation homes on Airbnb.
- Villas: Villas are often large, luxurious properties that offer privacy, space, and plenty of amenities.
- Eco-lodges: These properties are designed to be eco-friendly and sustainable, offering guests a unique and immersive experience in nature. Eco Lodges are prevalent in Costa Rica and you can find them scattered across the country, especially in the cloud forest and on the Osa Peninsula.
- Hostels: Hostels are a budget-friendly option for travelers who want to save money on accommodations. These properties often offer shared rooms, dormitory-style accommodation, and basic amenities. These are generally not the best places to stay in Costa Rica unless you are on a budget, or would like to meet people in a communal environment.
- Cabins: Cabins are ideal for those who want to experience the great outdoors, with many cabins in Costa Rica located near national parks or other natural attractions.
- Treehouses: Costa Rica has some pretty awesome treehouse accommodations if you are looking for a unique stay.
The Best Places to Stay in Costa Rica
Three Sixty Boutique Hotel, Ojochal
For the best views in all of Costa Rica from a hotel, or perhaps the best in the world, you have to stop by Hotel Three Sixty. Set on top of a hill in the middle of the rainforest, the ultra-modern boutique hotel features exposed beams, a massive pool with 360-degree views of the ocean and jungle, and luxurious rooms with fine linen and high def Bluetooth speakers.
In our opinion, it’s one of the best places to stay in Costa Rica for couples as it’s secluded and romantic. Hotel Three Sixty is part of the Small Luxury Hotel group, and for a good reason.
It’s definitely intimate and luxurious, and the rooms are among the most comfortable we stayed in Costa Rica. Featuring high-speed WiFi, a television, king-size plush beds, bathrobes, and amazing balconies.
Being the highest establishment around, you get both sunrise and sunset here. We visited in the offseason but were told that people come from the whole area to watch the sunset over the ocean from the outdoor bar when it’s busy.
Lapa Rios, Osa Peninsula
Lapa Rios is easily one of the best resorts in Costa Rica. The Osa Peninsula is one of the best areas to stay in Costa Rica, especially for wildlife. Lapa Rios is one of the pioneers of ecotourism in Costa Rica and likely one of the most famous lodges in the country.
It’s one of the best places to stay in Costa Rica for families. It’s located in the Osa Peninsula and is considered one of the most biodiverse locations in the world.
All the rooms here have outdoor showers, private decks with fantastic views, and screen walls allowing for the sounds of nature to enter the room. This isn’t the place you come to if you want air conditioning and televisions. Rather Lapa Rios is a sanctuary for nature lovers who want to immerse themselves into the Costa Rican jungle. It’s a wonderful eco-lodge in Costa Rica to travel to and completely disconnect for a while.
This property is part of the well-reputed Cayuga Collection. They have some of the best guides in the country work here, and there are all kinds of tours to fit everyone’s needs. We personally spent our two days here on night walks scouting rare frogs, sunrise bird watching, waterfall trekking, and guided hikes to see the howler monkeys.
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. It’s 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 don’t 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.
Casitas Tenorio, Bijagua
Casticas is a collection of casitas that are eco-friendly and spread among a hamlet of primary rainforest. This bed and breakfast is family-run and very active in the rural community. We loved the rooms, murals, and the location of Casitas Tenorio. As soon as I walked into our adorable casita, I told Cameron that this is what I wanted my house to look like.
There are only a select number of casitas making the experience very quiet. There’s no WiFi or television here, but there are great views over the jungle, so make sure to bring a book and a yoga mat and enjoy the serenity.
The beautiful little property is also home to a few sloths and tons of birds, which the owner Donald was kind enough to show us on a short tour. Make sure to get up early in the morning to take part in their farm tour! Rates start at $120 a night, breakfast included.
Villa Beuna Onda, Guanacaste
Still wondering where to stay in Costa Rica? Why not a private beach villa! Villa Buena Onda is an all-inclusive adult-only villa that sits high above Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. There are only eight rooms in this large villa so the setting is intimate and private.
It’s perfect for honeymooners or adult family getaways. The pool and swim-up bar provide stunning sunsets over the coastline.
If you hang around here at night to watch the sunset, you’ll also get a chance to drink a cocktail during their happy hour. Rooms are sizable and very comfortable, with all the modern amenities you could need. It’s all-inclusive, with attentive staff helping those looking to unwind in Guanacaste.
This property is not within walking distance to the beach, but they provide complimentary shuttles should you wish to walk on the Costa Rican sand. Rates start at $225 per person a night, all-inclusive.
El Silencio Lodge, Bajos Del Toro
This eco-lodge features a private cloud forest reserve with several hiking trails and activities. The rooms are a series of villas nestled along a hillside, each featuring a private deck, morning coffee delivery, and a hot tub. Rates start at $500 a night, food and activities not included. I won’t go into much detail here because we wrote an entire post on the Costa Rican eco-lodge.
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Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica, Papagayo
It’s the abundance of amenities and things to do, luxurious accommodations and farm-to-table cuisine, that makes the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica one of the best places to stay in Costa Rica.
Situated on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the Peninsula Papagayo, this huge resort is surrounded by a tropical landscape that allows for many adventures, including ziplining, surfing and hiking.
On-site amenities include four swimming pools, a spa, a fitness center, tennis courts, a golf course and several eateries including an Italian restaurant and a Latin grill. Enjoy a unique dining experience that combines delicious food with stargazing through a powerful telescope.
The Gilded Iguana, Nosara
Nosara is a renowned vacation destination in Costa Rica, particularly for the surfing and yoga community, and The Gilded Iguana has been at the center of tourism in the area since the late 1980s. This eco-friendly property offers direct access to iconic Playa Guiones and many amenities.
Enjoy a complimentary breakfast, an outdoor pool, spa, surf lessons and a restaurant and bar known for its creative cocktails and fresh Mediterranean-Costa Rican fusion cuisine. The location may be rugged and natural but the accommodations are luxurious with indoor and outdoor showers and outdoor living areas.
W Costa Rica – Reserva Conchal, Guanacaste
Located on the Papagayo Peninsula, W Costa Rica – Reserva Conchal is a five-star hotel that’s only a one-minute walk from a beautiful beach. Your room or suite at this beautiful property features a sitting area and private balcony. Property amenities include a fitness center, swimming pools, a spa, a sauna, tennis courts and three restaurants.
A buffet breakfast is served each morning and the hotel is pet-friendly so your furry friend can join you. Care for some relaxation and rejuvenation on the beach? How does beach yoga sound?
Andaz Costa Rica Resort, Papagayo
Andaz Costa Rica Resort is a beachfront property situated in a jungle area near Culebra. When you stay in a room here, you’ll have amazing views of the lush greenery surrounding the property or the sparkling blue Pacific Ocean.
On-site, you’ll find two swimming pools, several restaurants and bars, a gym, tennis courts, a steam room, a zipline and a spa offering various treatments including massages, scrubs, aromatherapy and facials. A complimentary bicycle rental service is also offered so you can easily explore the area.
Tulemar Resort, Quepos
Private, secluded, luxurious and surrounded by pristine nature. This is the 33-acre Tulemar Resort in world-renowned Manuel Antonio. A variety of accommodation options are available including bungalows, casas and private houses.
This beautiful property, which includes beautiful rainforest, gardens, walking trails and direct access to a sandy beach, features four swimming pools, a spa, a tour desk and free use of boogie boards and sea kayaks. There are several amazing restaurants and bars on-site including one serving gourmet Italian fare.
Rancho Pacifico, Uvita
As an adults-only boutique hotel, Rancho Pacifico is the perfect place to get away from everyday life and kick back in a spectacular rainforest location in Puntarenas province. Here, the mountains meet the ocean and you’ll enjoy stunning views from just about anywhere.
Whether you decide to stay in one of the villas, treehouses, or suites, you’ll relax in the lap of luxury.
Spend the day at the on-site full spa, take a hike through the rainforest, help endangered sea turtles, or head to one of the lovely beaches in the area. When hunger strikes, enjoy fresh, local meals at the oceanfront restaurant and lounge.
Start your days with a complimentary breakfast and kick back in the evening with one of the famous pineapple basil martinis that the resort is known for.
Bahia del Sol Beach Front Boutique Hotel, Guanacaste
Bahia del Sol Beach Front Boutique Hotel is located in Guanacaste Province and this hotel has many highlights including its location on beautiful Potrero Beach. Enjoy on-site access to an outdoor pool, a Jacuzzi, a spa and an Italian restaurant.
The exterior of the property is surrounded by tropical gardens where you might spot some of the local wildlife. The spacious guest rooms are also surrounded by lush greenery and some very old trees that make it feel like you’re sleeping in a tropical rainforest.
Hotel Esperanza, Nicoya
Located on the remote and beautiful Nicoya Peninsula, Hotel Esperanza offers an amazing location that’s only minutes away from Playa Carrillo Beach. The luxurious rooms are fully-equipped and feature Roman showers.
On-site, you’ll enjoy access to a pool, a restaurant and a spa where you can relax with a massage in the garden. You can book many adventures through this hotel, including kayaking, windsurfing and volcano excursions. Be sure to grab some complimentary breakfast to start your day.
Hotel Nantipa, Santa Teresa
If you’re looking for a luxurious experience where you’re surrounded by the ocean, nature and endless things to see and do, look no further than Hotel Nantipa in beautiful Santa Teresa. This beachfront hotel has bungalows and villas that feature hammocks, Smart TVs and dining areas.
The property has a swimming pool and beautiful gardens. If you can wait until dusk, dinner at Nantipa’s restaurant with views of the sun going down over the ocean is always an unforgettable experience.
Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Farm and Inn, Santa Bárbara
Located in Santa Barbara, Finca Rosa Blanca Farm and Inn near the capital city of San Jose is an amazing place to stay for a unique, quintessential Costa Rican experience. Not only do you get to enjoy luxurious accommodation in your choice of villa, suite, or studio featuring beautiful artwork, but you’ll also enjoy a location surrounded by pristine nature and an organic coffee farm that you can explore.
Oh and, yes, you get to enjoy authentic Costa Rican coffee with your farm-to-table meals. This property has been voted one of the best 100 hotels in the world, too.
Oxygen Jungle Villas & Spa, Uvita
With sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, rainforest surroundings and a secluded location in Uvita, Oxygen Jungle Villas & Spa is an adults-only boutique property where you’ll relax in peaceful luxury.
A number of beautiful beaches are nearby but if you’re not in the mood to wander off-site, you can enjoy a relaxing soak in the infinity pool surrounded by tropical palm trees.
The on-site spa is about as unique as it gets because it incorporates a river into its rejuvenating treatments. The ocean or jungle view villas feature floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces and the on-site restaurant specializes in Indigenous cuisine using only local, organic ingredients.
Makanda by The Sea Hotel Adults Only, Quepos
Situated along the ocean in Quepos, Makanda by the Sea Hotel is a stylish and luxurious property where you’ll find super-spacious suites with stunning views, plush bathrobes, Nespresso machines and private, oceanfront balconies.
The property itself is home to one of the country’s most beautiful infinity pools, a spa offering many treatments, a whirlpool tub and the Arbol Restaurant which serves delicious, modern cuisine using the freshest ingredients available.
The Royal Corin Thermal Water Spa & Resort Peace Lodge, La Fortuna
The Royal Corin Thermal Water Spa & Resort Peace Lodge in La Fortuna is a unique and luxurious place to stay only a short distance away from the mighty Arenal Volcano. This boutique hotel features a natural environment and is home to many amenities including a sauna, a freshwater swimming pool and several restaurants and bars.
While all these things are great, it’s the hot spring facilities that draw in most people. Enjoy access to two hot spring pools and several hot spring Jacuzzis where you can relax in mineral-rich waters. You’ll also start each morning with a delicious complimentary breakfast.
The Springs Resort & Spa at Arenal, La Fortuna
Views of the iconic Arenal Volcano, a gourmet buffet restaurant, five waterfall pools, a luxurious spa with hot springs, a hot tub and a sauna. Sounds like paradise, right?
This is The Springs Resort & Spa at Arenal and it also has several other restaurants, more than a dozen outdoor pools, hiking trails and a sushi bar. The rooms are amazing too. Relax in well-equipped accommodation surrounded by views of the Arenal Valley.
Akwa Resorts Ocean View, Santa Teresa
Situated only several hundred meters away from a beach in Santa Teresa, Akwa Resorts Ocean View offers a variety of accommodation options surrounded by nature. Whether you choose to stay in one of the villas, lodges, or rooms, you’ll always have incredible views of the Pacific Ocean.
The best part is that each one comes equipped with a private pool. On-site, you’ll also find beautiful outdoor living spaces.
Congo Bongo EcoVillage Costa Rica, Limón Province
Congo Bongo EcoVillage, which is situated in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge in Manzanillo, is a family-run and family-friendly property with eight vacation homes available to rent.
Within walking distance, you’ll find a nature area and a secluded sandy beach. Inside the beautiful homes, you’ll find an array of amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi service, sitting areas, laundry facilities and fully-equipped kitchens. Some of them also have a patio or balcony with views of the nearby river.
Ecolirios Boutique Hotel and Spa, Guacimo
If you’re seeking a quiet boutique hotel with all the services and amenities you’d expect in a relaxing Costa Rica vacation, Ecolirios Boutique Hotel and Spa is a lovely property located in a lovely area of Guacimo in Limon Province.
The rooms feature free Wi-Fi service and bathrobes, and your choice of continental or a la carte breakfast is included with your stay. On-site, you’ll find a swimming pool, a restaurant and a lovely garden. Complimentary bicycle rentals are available so you can explore the area with ease.
Tortuga Lodge and Gardens, Tortuguero
Situated in a beautiful location surrounded by a river, rainforest and tropical gardens, Tortuga Lodge and Gardens is a renowned hotel unique from any other in the country. Tranquility and relaxation await in elegant guest rooms featuring river views, private terraces and turn-down service.
Rain boots, umbrellas and walking sticks for your rainforest adventures can also be found in the rooms and the on-site hammocks provide a relaxing sanctuary. The Green Turtle Restaurant serves modern dishes using fresh, local ingredients. The hotel can arrange a variety of adventures including kayaking trips, nature hikes and excursions to turtle nesting sites.
Villas en el Bosque, Ojochal
Villas en el Bosque is a tropical sanctuary in Ojochal with easy access to beautiful Tortuga Beach. All around the property is unspoiled rainforest for you to explore and the on-site amenities include a swimming pool, a spa and a restaurant that serves a hot breakfast every morning.
The boutique villas are luxurious and come in various sizes and styles but each one has top-quality bedding and complimentary Wi-Fi service.
Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort, Manuel Antonio
As the only luxury property in Manuel Antonio, Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort has much to offer in the way of amenities and services to ensure you have a memorable experience in Costa Rica.
This resort has direct access to a beach and as you explore the Manuel Antonio National Park, you’ll likely see wildlife including monkeys and sloths.
On-site, you’ll find two swimming pools, a wellness center and a beachfront restaurant serving delicious meals made with the freshest local ingredients available. The rooms and suites have incredible views and feature free Wi-Fi, organic toiletries, rainfall showers, minibars, tea and coffee facilities and air conditioning.
Places to Stay in Costa Rica Map
When is the Best Season to Travel to Costa Rica?
Dry Season (Late November to Late April)
Contradictory of high season in North America, Costa Rica celebrates its best weather during the North American winter. The high season in Costa Rica is the dry season. From late November to April you’ll get little rainfall to spoil your holiday.
This is good and bad. Obviously, no one likes rain on their holiday, but it also means that everything won’t be nearly as lush as in the wet season. It’s during this time you’ll find higher prices, and accommodation options booking up fast. Advanced bookings are recommended.
Rainy Season (May to November)
Often referred to as the green season, this is when the rain falls in Costa Rica. May is the beginning of the rainy season with peak rainfall happening in September and dying back down come to mid-November. The rainy season means lower prices and fewer tourists.
However, you should travel with a rain jacket as chances are high you’ll get rained on. The plus side is everything is green and gorgeous. We traveled to Costa Rica during the middle of May and did get rained on at least once a day, but still saw plenty of sunshine and had a fantastic time still! Rain in the jungles of Costa Rica is so picturesque!
Quick Costa Rica Travel Tips
- Currency: Costa Rica Colón
- Visa: Many nationalities can enter Costa Rica for 90 days visa-free
- What to Pack: Good hiking shoes, a bathing suit, rain jacket, and rain boots. See our full Costa Rica packing list here.
- Stay Connected: We recommend Sim Cards from either Kolbi, Movistar, or Claro. Sim cards can be purchased in town centers
- Best Areas to Stay in Costa Rica? I would highly suggest spending time in the cloud forest, Guanacaste, and the Osa Peninsula.
What to Pack for Costa Rica
Wondering what to wear in Costa Rica? We were too before we landed in San Jose in the middle of the night. Costa Rica may look like a small country, but it’s actually a land of varying climates, terrains, and temperatures.
With this Costa Rica packing list you’ll be able to pack the right things in your suitcase so you don’t end up with unnecessary items, or worse, finding you forgot something important.
Costa Rica Travel Planning Resources
- Packing Guide — Check out our Costa Rica packing list to help pack your bags and ensure you don’t leave anything at home.
- Rent a Car — We suggest most visitors consider renting a car for the best trip possible. Try Discover Car Hire to compare quotes from different rental agencies. Check Price Here!
- Protect Your Trip — Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance! We always carry travel insurance to protect us from injury, theft, or a canceled trip. Try HeyMondo for competitive short-term plans.
- Tours in Costa Rica — Check out our list of the best tours you can enjoy in Costa Rica!
- Travel Adapter – Make sure you find a good adapter to keep your personal electronics charged. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you land. Purchase one here.