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Tranquilo Backpackers

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Hostelz.com's Review
Tranquilo Backpackers is basic hostel accommodation in downtown San Jose.

The Location

It is situated in a side street a short walk from Avedina Central, the main street in central San Jose, and Parque Central. Taxis from the airport are the safest means of arriving at the hostel, although there is also easy access by bus. The street itself is quiet and the area generally safe during daylight hours but, as with most of the city, it is more threatening at night. The hostel does have a security door for the safety of guests inside.

Rooms and Bathrooms

Dorm rooms are dull and musty but with reasonably comfortable bunk beds. Rooms are lockable but other guests seldom bother to do so. Shower rooms with toilet are shared amongst too many guests for their capacity but are single sex and clean. The promise of hot showers is often broken and the electricity supply inconsistent with frequent power cuts. There is no space within the shower cubicles to change and this really has to be done outside the shower cubicle itself.

Common Spaces

The majority of the hostel is in a state of general but not terribly serious disrepair. Tranquilo has a dingy television room and an ill-equipped kitchen. It does have excellent internet access with four computers for free use. The main common area has plenty of tables and chairs. It proves an excellent place for meeting friendly fellow travelers but the area is always extremely smoky as smoking is permitted throughout. There is also a small patio with some well-worn hammocks.

The hostel will assist with tour booking but activities within Tranquilo itself, though they do exist, are infrequent and generally unexciting. The most exciting thing about the hostel is the daily free pancake breakfast which is delicious and consists of a large pancake and a couple of pieces of fresh local fruit. It is perhaps even worth overlooking Tranquilo's many faults for this alone.


Though it's not the nicest of places to stay in terms of appearance or atmosphere, Tranquilo's main draws are it's location, free internet access, and the breakfast. This does make it good value so is certainly worth considering -- just don't have too high expectations of the place.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
February 2010

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
How is Tranquilo Backpackers rated on other websites?
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Not listed on Hostels.com.
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Not listed on HostelsClub.
Tranquilo Backpackers Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
5   Great Hostel This hostel was a great introduction for me into Costa Rica. Its reasonably prices and has a fun, laid back atmosphere. They have a bunch of computers available, as well as Wi-Fi, free breakfast,a communal kitchen, tv room, FREE international calls, and hot showers. The staff was fantastic, and the entire place was pretty clean. Very close to the center of town as well. I'd definitely recommend this place.  , USA ()
1   If you want bedbugs come here Well, found this hostel in a guidebook for Costa Rica and it sounded cool so I went here after a long day of traveling. At first look it does look sweet and laidback, free internet, and quite good pancake breakfast included in the room price. I stayed in a dorm the first night and was fine, quite loud cause most of the dorms are directly by the common area. So then the next morning when I woke up though a couple in the same dorm room had bites all over their bodies. Turned out they had bedbugs in the room, cleaning staff just kinda shrugged their shoulders and was very slow getting people out of there. They didnt get their money back but got the laundry done. Nice! I unfortunately had to stay one more night and got moved to another dorm. Checked my mattress and bed there and found bugs again! Then they moved me to a single room which was fine but they didnt tell the people in the dorm right away and cleaning staff was hanging out watching TV. If you come here check the beds, the frames, and the walls. I know these bugs come easy but its so hard to get rid of them. Knock on wood that I dont have them from that not so tranquillo hostel.  , German ()
2   Fancy paying $10 to sleep in a squat? One night was more than enough at this hole. it has a weird atmosphere, flushing issues with the toilets, a very minimal kitchen, and decor reminiscent of a bombing raid. I think originally they were trying to create the undone effect, now it's just falling apart. There's very bad graffiti and those annoying stickers everywhere and is generally pretty grim. thumbs down from me!  , UK ()
2   It looked like a really cool hotel, but looks can be deceiving. If you are nineteen or twenty and are looking to hook up and party, this is it. However, the staff were quite rude and not very helpful. Also, I found it to be quite dirty and very loud. If you want to get any sleeping done, maybe this is not the place.  , USA ()
2  Whereas the place had the funky athmosphere, it was severely let down by the member of staff who was so dogmatic in her response to my request to move from a top bunk to a lower one in an otherwise empty dorm, that I was compelled to go elsewhere. Security is p*ss poor as a cursory exploration of their perimeter would reveal.  ()
5  This is the best hostel in town!! It has a super friendly and helpful staff. We recommend it to everybody!  ()
4  This hostel is very clean with nice facilities. It's in a great location for a base when visiting San Jose. Hopefully you will have the taste and good sense to avoid the many transvestite hookers who infest this area.  ()
5  This hostel has a great funky atmosphere, and it's located in a cool neighborhood. The bathrooms are great, and the water is scalding hot (if you like it that way). It is very secure; it would take major effort for someone who "didn't belong" to get in and steal things. The staff were helpful when I was there (June 2003). The courtyard kitchen with free pancakes/crepes is convenient. This hostel is on a hill with a fabulous view from most windows, and the inside of this huge historic house is decorated minimally, but well. There are several common areas, some with books, hammocks, and tables, others with television. Private rooms are plentiful and affordable, and even the common rooms are smaller so the noise level stays down. I will DEFINITELY stay here on my next trip to San Jose.  ()

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