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Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Celeste Mountain Lodge
One of the most innovative and sustainable hotels we’ve ever seen, Celeste Mountain Lodge is proof that one can be ecofriendly without giving up comfort or style...
Monteverde Lodge & Gardens
A progressive recycling strategy, a solar-energy system and a huge solar-powered – but nice and hot – Jacuzzi are among this nonsmoking hotel’s noteworthy environmentally sound practices...
Hotel De Montaña Monteverde
Opened in 1978 as the first top-end accommodations in Monteverde, this hotel has had a recent renovation to show off its expansive lobby views to better advantage; though the rooms didn’t benefit from any added character, they’re still perfectly comfo...
In Cerro Plano, this attractive, wooden, family-run hotel consists of the main lodge and several bungalows that are spread out across a mountainside...
Hotel El Viandante
Perched on a small but steep hill with views of the gulf, this small B&B is a great choice for families...
Hotel Quetzal Inn
Up a quiet alley is this lovely little lodge...
Hotel Don Taco
A rambling, dare we say almost craftsman-style, hotel on a hill above town. Older standard rooms are comfy enough but you can also opt for private cabañas with a Golfo de Nicoya view...
Hotel Finca Valverde
Just outside Santa Elena, this working coffee farm is a great choice if you’re looking for something a bit different...
Hotel Fonda Vela
With a convenient location near the Monteverde reserve, unique architectural styling, 14 hectares of trail-laced grounds and a private stable, this classy retreat is a sophisticated base for enjoying nature...
Trapp Family Lodge
The closest lodge to the reserve entrance (just under 1km away) has 20 spacious rooms with high wooden ceilings, big bathrooms and fabulous views from picture windows (which overlook either gardens or cloud forest)...
Hotel Ficus Sunset Suites
Set on the road out of Santa Elena, just before the highway, this new build has upscale, lodge-like rooms in a hilltop compound within walking distance from town.
Cloud Forest Lodge
Spacious rooms at this hilltop lodge are spotless and have hot showers, but lack extras such as satellite TV...
Cabinas El Pueblo
This pleasant hostel run by an attentive Tico couple is one of Santa Elena's best value options. The price includes free breakfast, wi-fi and free coffee or tea all day...
Cabinas Vista Al Golfo
Rooms in this bright, kitschy lodge are well kept, the showers are hot and the owners will make you feel right at home. The upstairs balcony rooms ($5 extra) have great views of the rainforest and, on a clear day, the Golfo de Nicoya...
Affiliated with Hostels International, but nothing particularly special, digs are dingy but cheap with a solid in-house bus booking service to San José and Managua.
Part of the Costa Rica Hostel Network, Monteverde Backpackers is smaller and more basic than the other cheapies, but it’s clean and friendly, with wood-paneled rooms, comfy beds and some of the hottest, most powerful showers we’ve ever felt...
This simple Tico family-run lodge in Cerro Plano has a very friendly, laid-back feel...
A colorful, corrugated tin and cinder block hovel that is well priced and comes with friendly management and a peaceful, back roads location. Guests share communal bathrooms.
This reader-recommended budget spot continues to get raves for its delightful, English-speaking staff and the marimba-playing owner and manager Eddy. Breakfast is an extra US$3, but there’s a shared kitchen...
Rooms here are ragged and worn, despite the lovely entry way. The more expensive ones have chipped tiled floors, soaring ceilings, and are do-able, but steer clear of the gritty cheapies. All rooms are set around a courtyard and management is lovely.
Hostel El Sueno
This friendly Tico-run hotel has huge wooden rooms with private hot showers. The pricier upstairs rooms are airier, though the best ones are toward the back. There’s a great balcony with sweeping views of the area.
El Mangroove is located on Playa Panama in Papagayo Bay and offers an outdoor swimming pool and free Wi-Fi. This modern, secluded hotel features a complimentary on-site fitness centre...