Costa Rica Backpackers Hostel




The Review

Costa Rica Backpackers Hostel is San José's biggest hostel. And it really is huge! If you're looking for accommodation in Costa Rica's capital, then there will almost certainly be a bed free here.

The Location

The hostel is a fifteen-minute walk from the center. For people coming from the airport and traveling to the city center by bus, it's a twenty-four-minute walk. The neighbourhood is nice. The entrance is locked all the time. You'll need to ring the bell to enter. That way, strangers can't just walk in and out of the building, which is good.

The only downside is that the hostel is located right next to a railroad track. There is not much traffic, but every hour a train passes by making an ear-splitting and deafening noise. Fortunately, this does not happen at nighttime.

Rooms and Bathrooms

There are a couple private rooms, but the majority are dormitories. They can contain up to ten beds. The bunks are old, metal constructions that shake a lot when climbing in the top bunk. The mattresses are thin, as are the sheets and blankets. The dormitories look rundown, though they are clean. Every guest receives sheets and a blanket and is expected to make his or her own bed. Next to that each guest receives a key to the dormitory door, and a padlock for the personal locker. The dorms have no plugs!

There are several bathrooms to be found throughout the building. These facilities are old, but fairly clean. Toilet and shower doors don't always close very well, if at all. In some showers, there is absolutely nothing with which to hang your stuff or a place to put stuff, and hot water is scarce.

Common Spaces

This hostel stands out for its numerous common spaces, which allows travelers to interact and socialize more easily. Next to the reception is the TV room with couches. It's a big area, and this is also where you'll find some plugs to charge your electronics. Outside is a small pool, and around it you'll find benches, mattresses, and hammocks. Many people hang out here, because it's a nice place to sunbathe.

There is a kitchen but it's pretty pathetic. There are hardly any pots and pans. But there is a working fridge, though. At the time of writing, the kitchen was out of use as well. Breakfast is not included in the room rate, though it can be arranged for an extra fee. In the reception, you'll find free coffee all day long. There is also a bar/restaurant in the hostel, where you can buy a plate of tasty food in the evening. It's recommended!

There are three different Wi-Fi signals. They hardly reach the dorms, but in the common areas, you will most certainly be able to connect to the internet.


Costa Rica Backpackers is one of the cheaper options in San José. It's not a great hostel, because it feels a bit old and rundown, though the pool and the social atmosphere are really nice.
by Margaret Staff Reviewer
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "Costa Rica Backpackers Hostel" at Avenida 6, Calle 21 y 23.)


Avenida 6, Calle 21 y 23, San José, San José Province, Costa Rica
9.930958, -84.068507 (accuracy not guaranteed)
00 506 2221 61 91
(506) 223 24 06
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(838 ratings)
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77% Guest Reviews

I'd stay here again
Large hostel and fairly well appointed with the usual amenities like bar, restaurant, garden with pool, hammocks. With very little exception, the staff was quite friendly and helpful. My issues were that the WiFi was down during eighty percent of my five day stay, the noise level was a problem at night, and the rooms (very sparse) and the beds (not the best) were in need of an upgrade. Otherwise, not too bad at all! I'll be returning here.
Chill place to stay
Great place to stay. The receptionists are very friendly and helpful, and they have a concierge who is incredibly knowledgeable about all places and major attractions around the country. They have a lot of rooms, and plenty of bathrooms and showers. The entire place is swept and cleaned twice a day. Their restaurant has very tasty food, and priced comparably to nearby restaurants. There are always a handful of people hanging around, but even on Friday and Saturday the vibe here is really relaxed and not a huge party environment. If you're looking for a place to relax and lounge around (couches, hammocks, pool), this is your place.
Age 30, USA
Costa Rica Backpackers is one of the efficiently run hostels in San Jose. The organization is clearly accustomed to backpackers, and they've set up the entire place to cater to that market -- they've got a pool, restaurant, room options, large open kitchen, and even guard out front for safety. The Location The hostel is about a ten-minute taxi ride from the main bus terminal. It is a little outside of the downtown area, so it's definitely not safe to walk outside after dark. However, plenty of taxis pass by regularly, so you won't have any difficulty getting around. It is also near the train station, which is not commonly used. Rooms and Bathrooms Though definitely not filthy, it has a comfortable level of dirt on most things. It's a hit or miss with the bathrooms -- one in particular is a disaster. Soap isn't offered in the bathrooms, so bring lots of Purell. The rooms come in large dorms or doubles/singles. The beds are well-used, though not uncomfortable. You'll receive a locker, towel, sheets, and a blanket on check in. Common Spaces The common places make this hostel what it is. An incredible pool, replete with hammocks, chairs, and tables fill the courtyard, while couches and chairs can be found everywhere. This is a very popular hostel, so you can easily have a good time. Ask for a quieter area of the hostel if you want your space. Summary Overall, this hostel is an excellent location to crash for a night or two with a pool. It doesn't have a unique culture to it, which allows you to create your own. You'll meet a mix of people and stories passing through San Jose.
Christina Heggie
the theft at this place is constant. Even though there is a locked security gate, the staff "buzz in" anyone who rings the bell. I stayed here three weeks because I was injured and couldnt travel, and saw countless thefts take place by local costa ricans coming in at night, going into an unlocked dorms, and quietly going through everyone's pack. Twice this happened in my dorm, and when I reported it to the staff, and she confronted the guy as he left my room, she simply let him go without calling the police or any follow up.
kt traveler
  it's a lively, a fun place that attracts fun, lively travelers -- a great place to stay. this place is awesome for those looking to meet other backpackers and chill. the people are great, the place is clean, and the services rock. i had no problem at all!
Joel Moser
  We were very disappointed with the place and service. It started already at the airport. Airport pick up never showed up. I spent a fortune calling the hostel to find out what was happening. When we finally got there, the receptionist was on the phone and didn't get off it for a good five minutes. Overall he wasn't pleasant, more arrogant. Our private room was very small and smelly -- it didn't have an outside window. The bed sheets had some greasy stains, I'm not even mentioning that we had to check out (with deposit) towels that left a lot to desire. The hotel was promising hot water, but most of the showers had the water heaters not working. There was only one working shower in the girls dorm bathroom. My husband had to shower is cold water for three days. The first night at the hostel's restaurant was rather tasty, but the next day they didn't have half items of the limited menu. The two ladies -- cashier/cook/waiters were rude and didn't attend to us for over ten minutes of standing at the counter and trying to order some food, what forced us to leave the restaurant. Hotel isn't in the best area. There aren't any close places to eat that are open after 6 p.m. I have to say I liked two things there -- the coffee and the kitten that was sitting on the sofa in the internet room. Oh, I forgot about the internet. There are several computers. Some of them don't work, and those that do work are very slow. I would never stay in this place again!
Very disapointed backpacker
  I thought is was wonderful. It is clean, cheap, and verry friendly. I came back each pass through San Jose, and would recomend this hostle to anybody in the area.
  Great bar, clean accommodation, safe storage and nice living/kitchen areas. You couldn't ask for much more for the price which is also great value for money!

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