Skip to Content

Where to Stay in Costa Rica on a Budget — 4 Tips!

Costa Rica is a country that has something to offer to everyone. You’ll experience the beauty of the rivers, rainforests, beaches, and all of the wildlife within them.

You can also immerse yourself in Costa Rica‘s unique culture through its cities, restaurants, and bars. After deciding you want to go to Costa Rica, now comes the difficult part.

Now, how do you avoid breaking your budget? Lodging can be one of the most expensive aspects of travel, so where should you stay in Costa Rica when you’re on a budget?


Where to Stay in Costa Rica on a Budget

Along both the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines as well as in the rainforests, you can find hostels, boutique hotels, rent directly from residents, and smaller resorts. They offer a significantly lower price tag and are often situated in areas that aren’t swarming with overpriced tourist traps.


To Find Accommodations With a Very Limited Budget

Depending on exactly how tightly you are looking to budget, consider booking hostels or backpacker hotels. These can start at around $8 to about $30 a night.

Costa Rica has plenty of hotels that are located throughout the country and can be found in both the cities and in more natural areas.

When booking a hostel it is important to fully read the reviews and double-check the location.

I always like to know what style of rooms the hostel offers, how many other people you will be sharing it with, what amenities there are, and if it is located in a safe area.

Hostels and backpacking hotels have the advantage of being easy to book and there are plenty of them. This can be an ideal way to travel on a budget if you are planning on visiting multiple spots throughout Costa Rica.


Consider Lodging Offered by Locals

Many locals in Costa Rica offer affordable lodging in guest houses or by renting their properties through Airbnb.

These lodging options can offer far more privacy than you would find in a hostel or backpacking hotel. You can also find very unique and different styles of lodging.

Think of renting one of these as a way to immerse yourself in the Costa Rica experience even further. I have found that lots of these hostels or backpacking hotels are close to the beaches or the rainforest.

If you are considering this option, the budget-friendly options are around $30 to $120 a night. This can be a great way to travel on a budget with a group or your family, as you can select from several different-sized lodging locations.


Consider Looking at a Boutique Hotel

I personally love boutique hotels, because they each have their own unique touches that set them apart. Boutique hotels are independent, which means that the owners focus on creating an experience.

Their focus goes solely into that particular hotel, which means if you’re a boutique hotel traveler, even in the same country, you’re going to have a different experience each time.

In Costa Rica, you can find plenty of budget-friendly boutique hotels. Many of these are spread throughout the entire country, predominantly on the coastline.

When booking a boutique hotel, do a little background research. As they are designed to be an experience, you might be in for a shock if you don’t know what you’ve booked!

When looking to book a boutique hotel, much like with guest houses or Airbnb’s, the budget-friendly range can fall anywhere between $30 to $120 a night.


If You Are Seeking a Resort Vacation

When you hear the word resort, you often assume a hefty price tag’s tied to it. But, it’s not always the case here.

There are plenty of smaller resorts in Costa Rica. These resorts include both big-name brands like Hilton and Marriott.

You can also find great local resorts. Places like the popular Hotel Banana Azul or the Colours Oasis Resort are affordable and offer a resort experience.

Budget-friendly resorts in Costa Rica typically range from around $50 to $180 a night.


Frequently Asked Questions About Where to Stay in Costa Rica on a Budget


How do I know if the lodging I’ve found is in a safe area?

There are a few very well-known spots that you should stay away from, including large parts of San José and Limón City. Both of which are popular tourist spots. When booking, look deeper than just a cheap nightly rate to ensure that you are in safe neighborhoods.


How do I find affordable lodging in Costa Rica?

I have found that using and comparing a few different travel sites is the best way to find a great rate. I use Airbnb,, Google, and Oyster.


What is the cheapest time of year to visit Costa Rica?

If you visit Costa Rica in the off-season, such as September through November, prices are more budget-friendly. You are more likely to find lodging deals during these months as these are the rainy months.


In Conclusion

Finding places to stay in Cosa Rica doesn’t need to break the bank. I’ve found that some of the best places to stay are budget-friendly, off the beaten path, and offer beautiful views.

Whether you decide to look at a hostel, guest house or rental, a boutique hotel, or a resort, there are enough options out there for you to craft the perfect trip.