Costa Rica is not as cheap as other countries in Central America, but if you know where to look it is possible to find some great deals on accommodations in Costa Rica.
Here are our suggestions…..
It’s possible to find cheap hotels if you do some searching. We like to use HotelsCombined to search because they have good search features and they tell you which site it is cheapest to book from. What I mean is, you don’t book through HotelsCombined directly. Instead, once you select a hotel you are interested in you will have the option of booking it from multiple sites which allows you to find the best price possible within your needs.
Check out the HotelsCombined search engine! ↓
I’m a total Airbnb fangirl. Mostly because I’m obsessed with getting a good deal and with Airbnb that is totally possible.
If you are unfamiliar with Airbnb, it is a site that allows people to rent out their home or apartment to travelers. Sometimes it is possible to find amazing accommodations at a really good rate.
Using Airbnb we’ve stayed on a houseboat in downtown Amsterdam, stayed in a beach front apartment in Miami over New Years Eve, and stayed at an amazing place in La Fortuna for $22 a night. Every experience we have had has thankfully been amazing.
Please make sure you read reviews before you book a place. If a place has great reviews, go for it! If the reviews aren’t so great I would think twice. Also, although you can get great deals with Airbnb make sure you check the total price before you book anything. Sometimes people have crazy add-ons that make the price a lot higher than you expect.
We love Airbnb so much that we have $35 in Airbnb credit to give you if you are a first time user. Woot! ↓
If you are unfamiliar with Couchsurfing, it is a free site that allows you to stay with people for free. Sometimes you might get lucky and have a bed but other times you may be sleeping on a couch or may need to bring your own sleeping bag. Couchsurfing is kind of a hit or miss in my opinion. Sometimes you will get a great host that will show you around and give you more of an insider’s view of the location.
Unfortunately, I’m part of many groups for travelers on Facebook and a lot of people have been reporting recently about sexual assaults that have taken place while using Couchsurfing. Please, please, please always read reviews before you stay with anyone. Also, trust your gut. If you meet your Couchsurfing host and you feel uncomfortable, just leave. You may have to pay for a hotel for a few nights but your safety is way more important than saving money.
There are plenty of hostels in Costa Rica and a lot of them are fairly nice. We suggest using HostelWorld to find the best hostel deals. Sites like HotelsCombined also list hostels, but I find HostelWorld tends to have the most extensive list.
Hostels are really good if you are traveling solo. You’ll likely meet some other awesome solo travelers that you can hang with.
From what we have heard from other travelers it used to be possible to camp almost anywhere in Costa Rica. Now, not so much. If you are planning on doing some off the beaten path traveling or want to explore the national parks, camping may be possible. However, not all of the national parks have campgrounds. From what we know Santa Rosa and Rincon de la Vieja definitely have campgrounds.
For popular destinations, it just doesn’t really make sense. Most campgrounds cost about $15 per person (you could get a place in a hostel for cheaper) and you would have to bring all your gear with you.
If you are interested in staying in Costa Rica on a longer term basis, you could get a housesitting gig. We suggest signing up for Trusted Housesitters. There is a yearly membership fee of $119 or you can pay monthly at a rate of $9.92, but I think it is completely worth it. After signing up you will be able to search through house sitting/ pet sitting gigs throughout the world. You can then apply for the options you are interested in. If you are selected you will get to stay at a house for free in return for pet care/ light maintenance.
↑Here is an example of some opportunities in Costa Rica.
More ways to save money on accommodations:
Travel during low season:
During the rainy season, accommodations in Costa Rica tend to go down in price. Yes, you may have to deal with afternoon rain storms, but everything is so green and pretty. Plus the weather on the beaches is a little cooler than usual (which is a good thing).During the rainy season, accommodations in Costa Rica tend to go down in price. #costarica #travel Click To Tweet
Avoid Costa Rican holidays:
It is difficult to find cheap places to stay when the entire country is traveling. I suggest avoiding Costa Rica during the week leading up to Easter, the month of July, and around Christmas time.
Visit less touristy areas:
The less touristy the cheaper. We like the Caribbean coast and lower beaches of Guanacaste for that reason. It will always be difficult to find a cheap place to stay in Manuel Antonio, Jaco, La Fortuna, and Tamarindo.
I hope these tips help you find great accommodations in Costa Rica. if you need any help or have any other tips, leave them in the comment section below.
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