Located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Tamarindo is known for its pristine beaches, glorious sunsets, and incredible surfing. Unlike many other parts of Costa Rica, this beach town is much more developed and is therefore much more expensive. For a traveler on a budget, hostels are one of the best (and easiest) ways to keep the daily spending down. With so many unique and fun opportunities to fill your days, most travelers may not mind a shared bathroom situation or a less glamorous view of the beach.

Selina Hostel (Best For Digital Nomads)

HostelWorld (*8.0) Booking.com (*7.5) Map Starts at ($12) for 10 bed-dorm

**prices are shown for weekdays in High-season (Dec.)

Similar to Pura Vida, the Selina hostel offers many opportunities to enjoy Tamarindo, both on and off its property. Join your fellow dorm mates for a morning yoga session, spend your afternoon learning the technical movements of salsa dancing, or learn to surf and enjoy Costa Rica’s most exceptional surfing location. On the weekends, there’s no need to seek out nightlife because the Selina hostel is known for its live music and impressive DJ sets. Selina’s backyard is considered to be a playground, which offers a restaurant bar, a swimming pool, and tons of opportunities for relaxation. When you’re here, you won’t need to formulate your evening plans. Visitors to Selina hostel will have plenty of parties and social events to look forward to.

Selina offers comfort for nearly any traveler. Whether you want to be the social butterfly of the evening, or you’re looking for a place that allows you to kick back and relax, at Selina, you’re guaranteed to find a sleeping situation that suits your needs. Wake up every morning to a vast array of different food options with a breakfast buffet that only costs $5 a person.

La Botella de Leche

 HostelWorld (*9.2) Booking.com (*9) Map Starts at ($20) for 10 bed-dorm

**prices are shown for weekdays in High-season (Dec.)

Known as one of the first hostels in Tamarindo, La Botella de Leche knows just how to make your stay truly memorable. The laid-back atmosphere, modern decor, and welcoming charm make this place feel more like a private resort than a hostel.

La Botella de Leche is a great spot for travelers who are looking to escape the real world and get re-energized. With friendly staff and daily pool access, travelers are also welcome to lounge in hammocks scattered across the property. Alternatively, for travelers who are looking for active ventures, La Botella de Leche offers private fitness classes, including Ariel yoga, Pilates, TRX training, and even Zumba.

Pura Vida Hostel (Most Affordable)

HostelWorld (*8.9) Booking.com (*8.5) Map Starts at ($10) for 4 bed-dorm

**prices are shown for weekdays in High-season (Dec.)

Located right outside of Quepos, the Pura Vida Hostel has a definite jungle-like feel to it. Surrounded by lush greenery and wildlife, run-ins with iguanas, monkeys, and even sloths, are somewhat frequent. While this place is more inland and doesn’t offer beachfront views, this hostel is very budget friendly.

Pura Vida comes with a clean and fully stocked kitchen, making meal preparation that much more comfortable. When it comes to your sleeping situation, Pura Vida has a combination of private, air-conditioned rooms, as well as shared sleeping dormitories.

The atmosphere of hostel is amazing and every backpacker will in love with the place! There is always something going on, Pura Vida is art hostel and hosts live painting and events every second day.

Casa Aura Beachfront Premium Hostel

 HostelWorld (*9.5) Booking.com (*9.1) Map Starts at ($25) for 8 bed-dorm

**prices are shown for weekdays in High-season (Dec.)

Casa Aura Beachfront Premium Hostel is your modern-day beach cottage meets treehouse. Built from natural elements of wood and stone, this hostel offers the ultimate beach vacation feel. Whether you’re traveling as a single person or you’re looking for a place that can accommodate you and your ten closest friends, Casa Aura has many room options to choose from.

While the hostel is only a few steps away from the beach, the property contains plenty of space and activities to keep you entertained. After a long day of being on the go, you can lounge on a beanbag chair or take a nap in one of their comfy outdoor hammocks. And when you’re ready to socialize again, play some pool or get to know other backpackers during a ping pong match — all from the comfort of your home away from home.

Sunset Hostel (with Best View)

HostelWorld (*8.8) Booking.com (*7.6) Map Starts at ($15) for 6 bed-dorm

**prices are shown for weekdays in High-season (Dec.)

For the Sunset Hostel, the name truly speaks for itself. With a location on the third-floor, travelers are guaranteed to experience Tamarindo’s pristine sunsets. While the rooms themselves don’t have windows, the shared space and rooftop are a great place to enjoy Tamarindo’s glorious ocean views.

Though the hostel might seem far away from all of the main activities, it’s located only a block away from the beach and some of Costa Rica’s prime surfing locations. For travelers that are looking to escape the heat, you’ll be pleased to know that the Sunset Hostel has air conditioning in every one of their four dorms and three private rooms.

Tamarindo Hostel Resort

HostelWorld (*8.9) Booking.com (*8.4) Map Starts at ($20) for 10 bed-dorm

**prices are shown for weekdays in High-season (Dec.)

Despite the somewhat misleading name, Tamarindo Hostel Resort feels more like your typical hostel than a private resort. If you’re looking for calm and quiet, opt-in for one of their private suites. All suites come with air conditioning, hot water, television and even cable. If you’re looking to socialize and meet other backpackers, a shared dormitory is a much more practical and cheaper alternative. While the bathroom situation may get crowded, Tamarindo’s Hostel Resort always ensures to keep the place squeaky clean.

In total, there are 30 different types of rooms to choose from, suited for everyone’s comfort, needs, and budget.

Blue Trailz Hostel

HostelWorld (*8.4) Booking.com (*7.7) Map Starts at ($16) for 6 bed-dorm

**prices are shown for weekdays in High-season (Dec.)

Centrally located in Tamarindo, Blue Trails is the perfect hostel for the active traveler. A short distance away from the beach, quality restaurants, bars, and nightlife, you’ll never run out of things to do. Besides its convenient location, Blue Trailz is known for its friendly and knowledgeable staff.

Not only are the staff hospitable, but they also know a thing or two about surfing. Whether you’re looking to improve your current surf skill set or you’re wanting to try surfing for the very first time, the staff at Blue Trailz has you covered. Besides your standard lessons, Blue Trailz Hostel offers a surf camp and a surfing school. When you’re there, you can ensure that you’ll be able to pick up new skills all while enjoying your luxury vacation. What’s even better is that the nearby surf shop offers discounts specifically for the Blue Trailz visitors if you’re looking to rent a surfboard.

Pura Vida Mini Hostel (Most Affordable)

HostelWorld (*8.4) Booking.com (*7.7) Map Starts at ($9) for 11 bed-dorm

**prices are shown for weekdays in High-season (Dec.)

For backpackers who are looking to kick back and relax, Pura Vida Mini Hostel is the ideal place. When you’re here, you don’t have to think about or plan a single thing. The welcoming and accommodating staff are more than willing to take care of business for you. Pura Vida takes it upon itself to plan and organize fun activities for its visitors.

While you’re here, savor communal BBQ dinners, find your rhythm through salsa lessons, or enjoy bonfires on the beach. For travelers who are looking to have more of a low-key experience, Pura Vida hosts nightly card and board games, movie nights, and occasional beer pong. In addition to running their very own event comity, Pura Vida partners with local businesses, allowing them to offer a special discount for all of their guests. Discounts include yoga classes, local pool access, surf lessons and surf rentals.

Bottom Line

Regardless of where you choose to stay, Tamarindo, Costa Rica, will always be an adventure. Now that you have your hostels all figured out, it’s time to think about what you should be packing. Need help getting started? Check out our top 10 backpacking tips and hacks for beginners.