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 truly comes down to what you want out of your vacation and the price you are willing to spend. Keep in mind there are thousands of Airbnb’s in Costa Rica so staying in someone else’s home is also a great option.
We stayed at just about every price point of accommodation other than hostels. Price points vary a lot by location. For example, a nice hotel in Guanacaste may cost double what it does on the central Pacific Coast because it is one of the more popular areas to stay. Then you have the off-grid properties that can demand a higher payment given they have may have higher costs. Keep in mind that activities and food options offered by many providers.
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!
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 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 when it’s busy people come from the whole area to watch the sunset over the ocean from the outdoor bar.
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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 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 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 awhile.
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.
On some days yoga is offered and they often have local vendors come in to share their crafts. Or you can chill at the pool all day and get full on watermelon juice. Whatever activity you choose will be unique and remind you of why you came to Costa Rica in the first place. All food and activities are all-inclusive. Rates start at $800 a night.
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Latitude 10 Resort, Santa Teresa
Wondering where to stay in Costa Rica on the beach? Latitude 10 is another property managed by the Cayuga Collection and is one of the best beach resorts in Costa Rica.
This small beach eco lodge lodge in Costa Rica may have the most beautiful spot in all of Santa Teresa. It’s a collection of open-air casitas scattered throughout the lush seaside forest. The location is serene and peaceful away from any noise experienced in the main town. It’s the perfect place to come if you truly want a barefoot beach vacation and get back to nature while reading your favorite book in a hammock.
The Latitude 10 staff engage guests in daily activities like cocktail classes and ceviche making. The location also can get you hooked up with some surfing lessons or a private yoga sesh. We loved the morning yoga class on the beach and breakfast overlooking the ocean. Rates here start at $225 a night, breakfast included.
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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 so 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.
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Casitas Tenorio, Bijagua
Casticas is a collection of casitas that are eco friendly and spread among a hamlet of a primary rainforest. The 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.
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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 walking distance to the beach, but they do provide complimentary shuttles should you wish to walk on the Costa Rican sand. Rates start at $225 per person a night, all-inclusive.
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El Silencio Lodge, Bajos Del Toro
This eco-lodge features a private cloud forest reserve with a number of 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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Jaco is the best city to stay in Costa Rica. We stayed a few Airbnb in Costa Rica but our absolute favorite was this one we stayed at in Jaco. Set in a beautiful community with a pool outside of the main city this was our little oasis for a few days. The place was comfortable, had a full kitchen, washer and dryer, living room, and two bedrooms. Costa Rica isn’t known for having the best WiFi but this place had an amazing connection. New to Airbnb? Check out our tips and things to know before renting. Here’s $30 off your first booking.
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When is the Best Season to Travel 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!
Camera Gear We Use
- Fuji X-T3 – Main Travel Camera // (on B&H)
- Fuji X Series Lenses
- Sony RX100 V // (on B&H)
- Fuji X-T20 – Backup Camera // (on B&H)
- GoPro Max // (on B&H)
- DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone // (on B&H)
- Lowe Pro Whistler 450
- Peak Design Camera Sling
- Peak Design Travel Backpack
- Peak Design Clip
- Rode Video Mic – For Vlogging
- For Cinematic Shots: Zhiyun Crane V2
- Peak Designs Travel Tripod
- For Storage: LaCie Rugged 4TB USB-C
- For Editing: Macbook 15″ Pro Retina
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.
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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 from injury, theft, or a canceled trip. Try World Nomads for competitive short term plans. Read a review of World Nomads here.
- 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.