Welcome to your absolute guide to the coolest and best Selina Hostels in Costa Rica. You are about to take on your adventure backpacking the country, and this article will help you big time. During your research for sure you have come across the famous Selina Hostel chain. They run popular cool hostels around the world including your next destination, Costa Rica.
We are here to share with you the best ones in the country as well as other cool backpacker hostels you will love as well. This article is an extension of our guide to best hostels in Costa Rica. It is worth it to actually compare the Selina with other hostels in town. In some areas, the other hostels are absolutely mind-blowing and even the better choice than Selina.
Ohhh and pssst: We got a special Discount Code for our readers staying at Selina – check out the promo code below.
To frequent adventurers, the name of Selina Hostels is certainly not new.
The famous hostel chain is a haven for nomads and explorers looking for ways to combine the best of both worlds – traveling and working. Finding the perfect accommodation is never easy, yet it is one of the most crucial aspects of having a pleasant travel experience. Costa Rica hostels vary in their prices and quality, but – as long as you are in the hands of Selina hostel Costa Rica – you are bound to have an excellent time for a great price.
Here is a list of our six favorite Selina accommodations in Costa Rica and the best activities to try near them.
How to plan your trip – the ultimate itinerary for Costa Rica
Since you are most likely to fly into the Juan Santamaria International Airport, starting your backpacking trip off in the capital at Selina San Jose is the most logical step.
When planning your itinerary, make sure to include as many regions as you can (depending on the length of your trip). From San Jose, you can either continue by going down, up or through. Costa Rica is pretty well-connected, therefore you shouldn’t have any problems getting around. We suggest heading to Puerto Viejo, then to Manuel Antonio, continuing to Santa Teresa, and ending your adventure in Tamarindo.
Let’s have a closer look at each accommodation. We also share which activities you can do at the hostel or nearby. Surfing, anyone?
1. Selina San Jose (Your starting point)
One of the best hostels in Costa Rica San José is Selina CoWork San Jose. Just a 10-minute walk from the main attractions of San Jose – National Museum of Costa Rica, Jade Museum, and Spirogyra Butterfly Garden –, you will find the Selina Hostel San Jose.
The accommodation will be an excellent choice for those who want to learn more about the culture of Costa Rica. Furthermore, since it is nestled in the center of Barrio Otoya’s historic neighborhood, you will be close to all of the main sightseeing points.
Make use of the free WiFi, a fully equipped kitchen, a private movie room, a bar, and even an art gallery. If you are looking to wind down after a long day, make sure to try the yoga lessons organized on the premises.
Have a shopping day at the Central Market. Just two kilometers away, you will find the Mercado Central de San José – a must when visiting Costa Rica. Whether you prefer to stock up on some local snacks or look through the unique clothes and textiles, you are guaranteed to please your inner shopaholic. This surely is one of the most authentic experiences you can get in San Jose.
Visit the Tortuga Island. If you don’t mind heading on a little day trip, then make sure to visit the gorgeous island that can be easily accessed by boat. In this small paradise, you will have the opportunity to enjoy amazing beaches, walk beautiful hiking trails, and perhaps try some zip-lining (if you are feeling adventurous).
This tropical gem has everything to make your adventure a pleasant one – beautiful, fresh bedrooms and bathrooms, a beachfront bar, free parking, a shared kitchen, and, of course, free and fast WiFi. Those who want to have a more unique experience might enjoy the fact that Selina offers to stay in teepees (a portable tent) that is built with hand-made, local materials.
Thanks to the high-speed internet and its coworking space (offered by the hostel), it will be an excellent choice for all the digital nomads out there. Finding a more stunning working place would be a great challenge.
What you should do in Puerto Viejo:
Go on a chocolate tour. Are you a fan of chocolate? In Puerto Viejo, there are a number of companies that offer this fascinating adventure. Each excursion may be different, but typically you get to learn more about the chocolate production process, taste some of the yummy treats and, of course, buy some to take home.
Discover an indigenous village. Although in recent years Costa Rica has become more and more Westernized, it is still possible to experience it in its authentic ways. Make sure to learn more about the Bibri – an indigenous group that lives in the nearby area. Taste traditional lunch and talk to a shaman – you are guaranteed to make memories that will last a lifetime.
Whenever you happen to explore the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, make sure to book your stay at Selina Manuel Antonio – a hostel that seems to have it all.
A magnificent jungle garden, three outdoor swimming pools, a yoga deck, and even a cozy coworking area – these are just a few things you will notice upon your arrival. When you are feeling down, join travelers from other hotels and dance away all of your worries, listening to incredible local bands and guest DJs. The hostel is a favorite for eco-buffs and adventure seekers. If you wish to explore Costa Rica and its colorful culture, this is the place to be.
Best activities near Manuel Antonio:
Lay in the sun. Inside the national park in Manuel Antonio, you will come across two beaches. Playa Manuel Antonio is famous for having spectacular views, but if you want to escape crowds and have a more laid-back day, stopping by Playa Espadilla Sur might be your best bet. Either way – you are in for a treat!
Take a spice farm tour (at Rainforest Spices). Nestled just 16 kilometers outside Quepos, Rainforest Spices is the ultimate paradise for all the foodies out there. The farm is best known for growing vanilla and Ceylon cinnamon, but it also produces cocoa, black pepper, and other spices. Throughout the tour, you will learn more about the farming process and, of course, have the chance to have a taste of the flavorings. Don’t forget to stock up with some goodies to take home with you.
Relax at the hot springs. Did you know that Manuel Antonio has its own natural pools? Probably not, but it is true. Located within a privately-owned farm, the hot springs are available to all curious guests. After a long day of wandering around Manuel Antonio, this is the perfect end for the evening.
Backpackers! Selina Jaco is ready for you. Selina Jaco is a dream destination for travelers who love the beach.
They have different accommodations that are perfect for all kinds of travelers. There are private rooms available and shared dormitories, but what you would want to try is their unique cylinder. This captivating, upcycled concrete cylinder is super cool. It is absolutely eye-catching because of its unique design and above all, you will get to experience something different without sacrificing your comfort.
Things you can do in Selina Jacó:
Take a surfing lesson. Selina offers the best surfing lessons. Surf like a pro by taking a few lessons with them and while you are there do not forget to join the Selina Surf Club. They have a great community that is full of good vibes.
Re-energize with morning yoga. Selina definitely doesn’t want you to forget taking care of yourself while traveling. Get your body moving and stretch your muscles in a yoga class and other wellness options with them.
Explore the Manuel Antonio National Park. This national park has trails making it an amazing place to hike. Along the way, you will get the chance to see incredible sites like beaches, wonderful view points, and even a small waterfall.
Are you craving a chill, stress-free getaway? Then staying at Selina Santa Teresa is a fantastic idea!
Surrounded by white sand beaches, this hostel is loved by surfers and free-spirits looking to enjoy the magic of the area. The hostel features an ideal coworking space (for those who must work even during their vacation), a vibrant on-site bar, a beautiful outdoor pool, and a shared kitchen. If you are a pro at surfing – no problem – just hit the waves! But if you are looking for someone to guide you, the hostel offers classes for every level.
When you visit Selina, you won’t run out of ideas on what to do. Go on a snorkeling tour or try some horseback riding in Mal Pais – there are plenty of fun activities available.
Our favorite things to do in Santa Teresa:
Discover the Montezuma Waterfall. Just a 45-minute drive from Santa Teresa, you will find the stunning waterfall – one of the most loved tourist destinations in the whole Nicoya Peninsula. The site is an excellent backdrop for that perfect Instagram selfie, and if you are craving an adrenaline rush, remember to try the canopy zip-line.
Visit the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve. To every wildlife lover out there, the sanctuary should be on their itinerary. In Cabo Blanco, you might spot some monkeys, coatis, armadillos, and even the ocelot (if you are lucky, of course). Birdwatching is also something you can do in the reserve, as around 240 species have been recorded in Cabo Blanco.
Go horseback riding. Another way to take in the local scenery is to visit the coastal trails on a horse. If you have the chance – book your session on a beach, preferably during sunset hours. It will be an experience to remember!
Nestled in the hip town of Tamarindo, the hostel is the perfect place for anyone wanting to learn how to surf.
Since it is located between Playa Langosta and Playa Grande, you can expect waves to be high yet good enough for even beginners. Selina Santa Teresa has all the amenities to make your adventure a great one – cozy bedrooms, fresh and clean bathrooms, free parking, a swimming pool, and much more.
Are you traveling with your furry friend? No problem! The hostel is pet-friendly.
Top things you can do in Tamarindo:
Embrace the sea life. Since the hostel can be found between two beaches, hitting the beach is a must. While you are it, do some snorkeling or diving.
Visit the local market. Every Saturday morning, Tamarindo becomes full of people. That is when the local market takes place where you can get your hands on all kinds of goodies – fabrics, delicacies, and much more.
Head on the Estuary boat ride. Although Tamarindo is best known for its stunning beaches, you can actually find a large mangrove and estuary as part of it. Any curious visitors may take boat or kayak tours and catch a glimpse of the fascinating lives of monkeys, crocodiles, and other animals.
There you have it. We have listed the best of the best Selina hostels Costa Rica has to offer. Obviously, there are more fantastic backpacker hostels around Costa Rica; not just the Selina chain. Those can be smaller, more intimate, family-run and even cheaper.
Camino Verde Hostel – features a terrace with great views
Arenal Backpackers Resort – 5-star property of Costa Rica
Bolita Rainforest Hostel – unique budget hostel
Casa Aura: Beachfront Premium Hostel – offers accommodations in Tamarindo Beach
Hostel Dos Monos South – one of the most trendy destinations for surfers
TripOn Open House Hostel – youth hostel
La Oveja Negra Hostel & Surf Camp – features an on-site surfing school
Hostel Plinio – offers dorm rooms for backpackers
1. Camino Verde Hostel
Located in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Camino Verde Hostel has excellent views of the surrounding cloud forest and mountains. The hostel has a shared kitchen with satellite TV and complimentary tea and coffee throughout the day. It is gorgeous and a great place to hang out with your group. It even comes with a private parking spot which is convenient. The staff team are excellent and so helpful.
Another hostel in Costa Rica that you wouldn’t want to miss. Arenal Backpackers Resort has a spectacular view of the Arenal Volcano and surrounding mountains. They also have a fantastic garden with hammocks. The open setting of the property also makes it the perfect place for meeting fellow travelers. The staff are super accommodating and always provide the best recommendations for food and activities. The washrooms and main area are kept spotless, and the tent is best at nighttime.
Arenal Backpackers Resort offers the following activities:
Do you want to have a real jungle experience? If you are looking for a place to escape civilization, go to Bolita.
Staying in Bolita Rainforest Hostel is an adventure itself. It is a haven in the middle of the rainforest. If you are into nature, this is perfect for you. An open area with no doors beside nature is the most enjoyable thing you could experience. The hostel offers 14 km of hiking trails, adjacent to Corcovado National Park and 33.1km to Drake Bay Airport. Bolita is one of the cheap places to stay in Costa Rica.
Bolita Rainforest Hostel offers the following activities:
Casa Aura will give you the perfect beach house atmosphere where you won’t have to worry about anything. The property has an outdoor terrace surrounded by palm trees and hammocks.
The location of this property is amazing, one of the hostels in Costa Rica on the beach and a really short walk away from the center of Tamarindo. The room was nice, but a bit dark and you could hear everything through the walls, but it didn’t bother us. The breakfast was self service and very delicious! If you want to cook, there is a kitchen, but we didn’t use it, so I don’t know how well stocked it is. The lounge area is nice and there is a restaurant in the front.
Beachfront Premium Hostel offers the following activities:
Hostel Dos Monos is not the most lavish place to stay in town, but the ambiance and wonderful staff make it extraordinary. It likes a home away from home. They offer surfing lessons if you want to try something new. It is also accessible. They are near the main crossroads of the town and convenient access to ATMs, pharmacies, supermarkets and restaurants.
Hostel Dos Monos South offers the following activities:
Relax and have a good time on another cool hostel that will give you a good vibes. Meet other travelers and share your interesting travel stories with them in the hostel’s cosy garden with hammocks. TripOn Open House Hostel is a pet friendly hostel. Their kitchen is spacious and fully equipped so if you want to cook there would be no problem. Costa Rica is also a very beautiful place to explore so they have some walking tours and shuttles for your adventure.
TripOn Open House Hostel offers the following activities:
La Oveja is a fun and energetic spot. One of the best party hostels in Costa Rica. They have a bar with a live music every night. It is really a good hangout spot to chill for some beers and meet new friends.
Unuseful Fun fact: La Oveja means Sheep in Spanish.
If you are into surfing, they have surf lessons available for those who are interested. There is a pool, a fully equipped kitchen and a free coffee all day. Staff are accommodating and helpful with planning any activities, booking shuttles, and finding things to do in the area.
La Oveja Negra Hostel & Surf Camp offers the following activities:
The hostel is beautifully built and has a lot of incredible features! They have a restaurant and their food is so good and the staffs are friendly! The balcony at the top is perfect for watching the sunset over the ocean. It is definitely a great way to relax and chill. Hostel Plinio also offers free parking and can arrange airport transfers at an extra cost.
Update: Sorry to let you know that Fauna Luxury Hostel has permanently closed its doors.
If you really want to get in touch with the San José carefree spirit, there’s no better place to soak in the Pura vida than at the Fauna Luxury Hostel.
Located in the nearby town of Escazú that lies on the slopes of the mountain range of the same name. (And we really do mean nearby – it’s just 9 kilometers away from the bustle of the capital) – a visit by Hostelgeeks.
All Selinas in Costa Rica and Worldwide on a Map
When planning your itinerary, a map comes in always useful, right? We handcrafted the map below and added all Selina Costa Rica locations.
We added more than our 6 favorite Selina hostels in the country. Find other cool backpacker places on the map. Here is our guide to best hostels in Costa Rica.
Selina hostels can be found right across the world in many different countries and major cities, including:
Latin America (Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Bolivia, Chile)
USA (New Orleans, NYC, Miami, Astoria)
Europe (Portugal, Greece, Austria, United Kingdom)
To make it easier, here is a map pinpointing ALL of the Selina hostels around the world. Read our detailed guide about all Selina Hostel here.
(You can activate and deactivate the different layers in the left sidebar. You can open the map in a new tab here)
Rumor has it, new discounts are coming soon. We will share them first in our newsletter. Join us, it is free!
FAQs about Selina Hostels
Below you find frequently asked questions.
How many Selina Hostels are there?
You can find Selina Hotels in over 80 destinations worldwide. The hostel chain is constantly on its toes and opening hostels in new locations. You can find a complete list of how many Selina Hotels and Hostels there are on our map.
Is Selina Hostels pet-friendly? Can I bring my dog?
Yes, Selina Hostels are pet-friendly. You can add pets to your passport for an additional $2/per night. Prices may differ and may depend on location.
Can I learn Surfing at Selina Hostels?
Yes, many Selina Hostels are located in surfing destinations. You can stay at Selina and learn to surf in destinations like Jaco, Costa Rica. Please check the map for all locations.
Although Costa Rica is relatively small, Costa Rica is the most visited region in Central America. No wonder you are planning your trip there. It is difficult to take in all of the beauty and magic of the country in just one visit. That is why so many people come back to it year after year. When staying at Selina hostels, you get the best of both worlds – fantastic accommodation and the perfect location to explore the stunning country.
Visiting 6 of the hostels is a good beginning, but why not make it a challenge and stop by all ten of them? You are sure to have a ball!
Any questions? Please drop them below. We would love to hear from you.
Friendly reminder: The discount code above for Selina is applicable at all of their hostels worldwide!