Best Hostels in Jaco

3 Best Hostels in Jaco – Where the Sky Turns Into a Symphony of Colors

Pura Vida! Welcome to Costa Rica, where the beach is warm and the lifestyle is laid back.

The country might be small, but travelers have an endless choice of destinations, and Jaco is one spot that attracts visitors year-round.

It’s the closest beach to the airport (a 1.5-hour drive), so you won’t have to waste a second of your precious time in Costa Rica to get there.

Jaco is the country’s most developed beach town, and many accommodation options exist.

To make your life easy, we put together a list of the best hostels in Jaco to ensure your stay is everything you dreamed it would be.

Let’s get into it!

Your Shortcut:

  1. CasaJungla - best for Couples
  2. Selina Jaco - best for Digital Nomads
  3. Wipeout Hostel - best for Backpackers
  4. Extra: Room2Board Hostel and Surf School - best for Surf Lovers

Money-saving tip: Compare hostel prices with Hostelz.com. They compare prices from Hostelworld, Booking.com and others with 1 click.

We also have guides on the best hostels in Quepos and Monteverde if you’re planning to travel around, so check them out!

This guide is perfect for YOU, when you…

  • are tired of crappy hostels!
  • want a social Hostel to actually meet people
  • are happy to spend $1 to $2 more for a much better experience

What we cover in this article?

You can find all 5 Star Hostels here with Hostelgeeks and all guides to “Best Hostels In” here.

Quick Introduction to Jaco

Average price for a bed: Hostels in Jaco cost $15 – $25 per night for a bed in a dorm. A private room has an average price of around $70 per night. This is a rough average, just to give you an idea.

Prices always depend on the season and holidays. Please always check the exact rates on Hostelz.com or Hostelworld.com.

Check-In and Check-Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3 pm), while the Check-Out time is before 11:00 (11 am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.

Nightlife in Jaco: This beach town is known for having a good time. All along the main strip, you’ll find beach bars, small clubs, breweries, and plenty of tasty restaurants to have a drink at. Check out the Beer House for some top-notch brews in a great atmosphere.

If you decide to party in Jaco, make smart choices and take a cab to your hostel if you’re alone. The town is very safe during the day, but it’s always good to be mindful at night.

Best Surf Spot in Jaco: The main beach at Jaco (Jaco Beach) has world-class surfing, but there’s another secret spot nearby. Okay, it might not be a huge secret, but Playa Hermosa, a few kilometers south, is a less-developed beach town with phenomenal waves.

You’ll have a few restaurants to grab lunch and margaritas at as you take a break from a picture-perfect day under the sun. But note that the currents can be powerful here: don’t risk your safety if you’re not comfortable getting in the water.

Tipping Culture: Tipping is not really a thing in Costa Rica. As such, very few restaurants give you the option to tip. So, when you get the check (la factura), don’t panic when you don’t see a place to write a tip.

Often, there’s a service charge included in the bill’s total, and a lot of restaurants have tip jars for those who want to leave a few bucks.

Stop by Crocodile Bridge: If you’re driving from the San Jose airport to Jaco, stopping at Crocodile Bridge is a must! It’s located a little more than halfway to the beach, and you’ll have the chance to gawk at gigantic crocodiles from the safety of a bridge (hence the name Crocodile Bridge).

You can plug it in on Google Maps to ensure you don’t miss it. When you park, there will likely be a man in the parking lot who watches the cars; give him some coins in exchange for his watchful eye (and so he doesn’t do anything to your car).

Drinks: Guaro is the national drink of Costa Rica, and locals created a shot known as Chiliguaro. Imagine a spicy Bloody Mary in shot form, and–boom!–you have yourself a Costa Rican specialty. You can find Chiliguaro at most bars, even if it’s not on the menu.

Safety: When you head to the beach, only bring the essentials. Jaco beach is safe but leaving your belongings unattended is a recipe for disaster. If you’re going with friends, take turns going into the water.

The nice part about the best hostels in Jaco in our article is that they’re so close to the beach that you won’t feel like you need to take everything you own.

New to Hostels? Read our full hostel starter guide here. We especially recommend reading:

The 3 Best Hostels in Jaco are …

Let’s jump right into the coolest hostels in Jaco.

  1. CasaJungla – best for Couples
  2. Selina Jaco – best for Digital Nomads
  3. Wipeout Hostel – best for Backpackers
  4. Extra: Room2Board Hostel and Surf School - best for Surf Lovers

We put all accommodations on the map, incl. our own tips for restaurants, things to see, and more.

Overview: Best Hostels by Traveler Type

🦸 Solo Traveler: CasaJungla
👩‍💻 For Digital Nomads: Selina Jaco
👩‍❤️‍👨 Couple Hostel: CasaJungla
🎒 for Backpacker:Wipeout Hostel
🏄🏻‍♀️ Surf lovers:Room2Board Hostel and Surf School

1. CasaJungla

Some parts of Jaco can feel busy. But CasaJungla acts as the perfect getaway to that business, as it lies on the outskirts of the center.

The hostel is housed in a spacious home tucked away within lush green trees and has all the amenities you could ever need.

There’s an indoor-outdoor cooking area, multiple common spaces, private hot showers, bike rentals, and oh so much more. Not to mention, you won’t need to worry about food in the morning because breakfast is included in your stay!

Casa Jungla is ideal for couples traveling together or solo travelers looking for a bit of privacy. You can pick between 5 private rooms and two dormitories (4 beds).

Unlike other hostels that can accommodate dozens of people, Casa Jungla is the perfect size to chill out, relax, and meet a few other travelers. Each night that you lay your head down, you’ll fall asleep to the peaceful sound of lapping waves–need we say more?

Location: This hostel lies in the south of downtown Jaco–close enough to access it but just far enough away to escape it. Expect to walk around 15 minutes to the main section of Jaco Beach, but once you’re there, everything is within reach.

From Casa Jungla, you’ll be just down the road from Bar Nirvana–a popular spot for locals and tourists. Surfers will be in the perfect spot to hit Playa Hermosa as the beach is only 2.5 km away–vamos!

The best choice in Jaco for

  • Couples
  • Solo travelers
Book CasaJungla here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

CasaJungla Patio CasaJungla jungle CasaJungla Dorms

2. Selina Jaco

If you’ve never heard of Selina Hostels, you’re missing out. It’s one of the most well-known hostel chains that attracts backpackers and digital nomads looking for a social setting, workspaces, and a heck of a good time!

And the Selina Jaco is no different!

Staying there feels like being a part of a community of like-minded people, where you can lay out by the onsite pool, have a drink with new friends at the bar, or get some work down in the business center. 

The best part about Selina is that you know exactly what you’re going to get. The rooms are kept spotless, and the amenities are just what a traveler needs to have a home away from home.

Selina offers a wide range of accommodation types. You can choose to stay in a dormitory, private room, suite, or one of the unique cylinder cabins (highly recommended if you’re not on a tight budget).

So, whether you’re looking for an affordable dorm, a place to work, or somewhere to party, you can find it all here!

Location:  The location of Selina Jaco doesn’t get any better. It’s located directly on Jaco Beach, in the heart of the city center. Unless you’re planning on driving to Hermosa (taxis are available) or going into the mountains, everything will be within walking distance.

A great choice for

  • Digital nomads
Book Selina Jaco here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

Selina Jaco is one of the best selina hostels in the world Selina Jaco is one of the best selina hostels in the world Selina Jaco is one of the best selina hostels in the world

3. Wipeout Hostel

Wipeout Hostel is a lovely house with a backyard pool, hangout spots, a kitchen, a BBQ, and comfy beds. Although it’s not located downtown, the backpackers who stay at Wipeout still know how to have a good time on the weekends! It’s an easy spot to call paradise.

Wipeout Hostel is ideal for backpackers looking for something more affordable than a hotel room. The facility offers quadruple bedrooms and dormitories.

Each morning, you can wake up, have a free cup of coffee at the hostel, and make your way to the beach for a day of relaxation and surfing.

Location: Wipeout Hostel is located in Playa Hermosa, 6 kilometers south of Jaco. You can enjoy Costa Rica’s stunning coastline with fewer people than in the city center. Around the hostel, there are beachfront restaurants and bars, minimarkets, and plenty of places to explore. 

The hostel has connections with taxi drivers, and you’ll be right next to a bus stop, so Jaco will always be within reach!

This is one of the best hostels in Jaco for

  • Backpackers
Book Wipeout Hostel here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

Wipeout Hostel Pool Wipeout Hostel Kitchen Wipeout Hostel Dorms

4. Room2Board Hostel and Surf School

If you want to have the ultimate surfing trip in Jaco, consider staying at Room2Board Hostel and Surf School!

There’s a surf school connected to this hostel, so if learning to surf has always been one of your dreams, this is the place to make it a reality.

The facility is right in front of the beach, which means that you’ll be able to catch a few waves or dip your toes in the sand and ocean at any point during the day.

Room2Board has a lovely terrace and bar, perfect for watching the lovely Costa Rican sunset with a cocktail in hand. Its room types range from private triples to private doubles to 10-bed dormitories.

No matter what your budget or preferences are, you’ll be able to find something to match your needs (A/C rooms are available at a higher cost).

Yoga classes are offered every single day, which provide a great way to loosen up your muscles if you plan on doing a lot of surfing.

At night, after spending the day in the sun, travelers can chill out in the hostel’s movie room or relax in one of the hammocks. Sounds like a pretty good day, huh?

Location: This hostel is situated at the foot of the city center (just south). You can walk to the main area in about five minutes, so there is no need to rely on taxis or bikes to get around. We recommend checking out the delicious seafood at the nearby dinner called ‘El Point,’ about a minute away from this hostel.

This is one of the best hostels in Jaco for

  • Surf lovers
Book Room2Board Hostel and Surf School here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

Room2Board Hostel and Surf School Dorm Room2Board Hostel and Surf School Pool Room2Board Hostel and Surf School Bar

Best Hostels in Jaco for Solo Travelers? 

We think that the best hostel in Jaco for solo travelers is CasaJungla. Although we mentioned that this one was also great for couples, we guarantee you won’t feel like a third wheel here.

It’s small enough to provide a warm and comfortable atmosphere for all its guests and close enough for you to have access to all of Jaco’s main sights and attractions – whether they are popular or hidden gems.

Book CasaJungla here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

CasaJungla jungle

What about the cheapest hostels in Jaco?

Of course, there are always cheap hostels. But how do you actually find them? When you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you want to save every dollar, there are ways to find the cheapest places in Jaco.

  1. Open Hostelz.com with a full list of all hostels in Jaco
  2. add your dates
  3. Order the listings by price

Simple as that.

Hostelz.com is a price comparison site for hostels. They list every single one in the world and tells you exactly which website is cheaper to use.

Another smart Tip: Check what is actually included, and what is excluded. Take a closer look at the location, too. A further location might mean more costs in transport.

Any Discounts?

You can find all our hostel discounts worldwide here. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the freshest hostel discounts directly in your inbox. There are even special discount codes that we only share in our newsletter.

It is completely free to join!

How to book?

The most popular booking platforms are Booking.com and Hostelworld.com. On both platforms, your credit card is 100% protected and the booking 100% confirmed.

We included some handy links to each of the recommended hostel. Just click on the hostel name. The link will lead you to check prices and availability.

Read: step-by-step guide on how to book with Hostelworld

We recommend booking your hostel as early as possible! All of Jaco best hostels are popular; especially in high-season. To make sure you end up in those stylish and good hostels, secure your room/ bed as soon as you have your travel dates fix.

The coolest Hostel App you need comes as well from Hostelworld. It gives you super cool features like you can contact your hostel mates beforehand and make plans together. Find more details in our review of the app

Download the Hostelworld App here

QR Code to Download your Hostelworld app with one scan
Scan the QR Code with your Smartphone to download the Hostelworld App from the App Store - like a real Hostel Geek!

The best way to find hostels: Hostelgeeks website and Hostelworld App

All Top Hostels put on a map + sights

We’ve put all the Jaco hostels on a map to help you figure out distances.

We personally love using a map to plan out our trip, and this one should get you started if you feel the same way.

FAQs

Here we share with you the most asked question:

What are the best hostels in Jaco, Costa Rica?

The best hostels in Jaco are:

What is the best hostel for solo travelers in Jaco?

The best hostel for solo travelers in Jaco is:
CasaJungla

What is the best surf hostel in Jaco?

We think the best surf hostel in Jaco is:

Room2Board Hostel and Surf School

Staying at one of these hostels? ❤️

Share your photo and tag us @hostelgeeks on Instagram.

Flights to Jaco?

We use Skyscanner and Omio.com to find cheap flights and good connections all over the globe.

Skyscanner has a bunch of cool features like Multi-City Trip. Instead of doing this research step-by-step, Skyscanner offers this flight planning tool.

Our Step-by-Step Guide to Skyscanner

review of Skyscanner flight searches

 If you’re planning on traveling around in Costa Rica, here are some of our guides that should come in handy:

Over to you

Do you have any questions left, maybe doubts? Then please leave it in the comment below. We are very keen to help you - and actually you would even do us a favor!

Your question will help us to improve this Jaco guide.

Last note: Our commitment

This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter, and find the best place on a budget! We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. We are constantly updating all our guides to keep them as fresh and accurate as possible.

Safe travels,
The Hostelgeeks

Best Travel Websites we recommend ❤️
(Fresh Update 2023)

Booking Hostels and Discounts 👏👏👏

As a user of Hostelgeeks, you also have access to exclusive hostel discounts. For booking hostels, we use:

We recommend installing the Hostelworld App. It is very useful!

How to find cheaper Flights ✈️

The first websites we always check are Skyscanner and Google Flights.

Find our step-by-step process in our review about Skyscanner.

Travel Insurance made easy 🤒

We are currently using Safetywing and Hey Mondo. We wrote detailed guides about these insurances:

Smartest Travel Tools you need to know 🤓

Find all our recommended travel tools and websites here.

Get your Smart Packing List (Free Printable)

Knowing what to pack and what not to pack is key. As an example, you need a one-fits-all padlock.

We put together the ultimate list of smart items to bring.

Download your Free PDF Packing List

Best Hostel Packing List