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“sprawling hostel should be party-town but surprisingly quiet” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Costa Rica Backpackers

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Costa Rica Backpackers
2.0 of 5 Hostel   |   Avenida 6, Calle 21/25 | De la iglesia Sagrado Corazon, 100 metros norte, 50 oeste., San Jose, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“sprawling hostel should be party-town but surprisingly quiet”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

One of the peculiar aspects of the Costa Rica Backpackers is that it is clearly designed to be a party hostel: there is a large bar and restaurant attached, a second bar near a large, outdoor kitchen, and a large backyard with lots of tables for socializing. It was strange, therefore, how subdued the atmosphere was; the restaurant and bar were empty and only a few had beers at the outdoor bar. I think this might be due to the fact that everyone was either starting or ending their trip, combined with not really knowing the neighborhood. We were lucky to meet a local (belgain) teacher who took us around to a few local spots and it was clear this was a middle-class to upscale neighborhood, despite the lack of glitz and glam from the street. The private room was dark and musty and in the basement, and the common shower was not the cleanest. Still, not a bad value, the staff were friendly and the clientele was a good mix of age and background. Later on in the trip we were told that Pangea is a nicer hostel but in a worse neighborhood, not sure if that's true but it would be worth comparing the two.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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237 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Anchorage, Alaska
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

I stopped here three times. When I first arrived, passing through, and on my way home. I met some awesome folks a few whom I traveled with to Panama, shared a ride, or ended up meeting in a different location. The staff was awesome, very helpful when planning activities, giving directions, and also chill to hang out with. The showers were a bit cold and run down, restaurant was good and also played live music and had dancing. It could be a little loud for some travelers, tons of hammocks to relax in and huge kitchen to cook and socialize in.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

I enjoyed my stay there. The location is good, it is a nice walk to the center of the town. The taxi driver wanted to take us somewhere else and kept telling us that the place is full. This hostel does not pay commission to the taxi drivers so you really have to insist.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
50 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

That's probably the most advertised hostel in Central America! Which was a good thing, as it saved us hours of searching for cheap accommodation in a safe neighbourhood.

The dorms are fine, we didn't hear any bothering noise - except maybe for the train, yeah, you'll get used to it before you leave :)
I don't know how useful the pool really is, I guess no one was interested in it during our stay, but it's good to know it's there.
The garden, oh, a real garden, that is really lovely and would also be appreciated by very young travellers. Fans of squirrels, get the nuts ready!
Big kitchen, so everyone can cook if they want to save some money.
Hot showers - fine, as long as you have the patience to get used to the way it works (not complicated though).
The internet connection could be better.

There is also a small travel agency inside the hostel, but I wouldn't advice you to count on it much, except for tons of leaflets with information on trips inside the country and other hostels in Costa Rica and abroad. The offers are all quite pricey and you can save a lot if you organize your own tours.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Kihei, Hawaii
Level Contributor
32 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

I stayed in an 8-bed dorm with some friends just before we started work on a summer program. Overall, it's an average hostel. The kitchen was clean, the bathrooms had hot water, and there was even a pool and I believe free computers and internet. The atmosphere was good, as well as the staff. The only downside is the sound of the nearby train that went through extremely frequently and blew a horn each time. Earplugs are a must here.

Room Tip: The train horn will be loud no matter which room you're in. Earplugs!
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Granada, Nicaragua
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

After the demise of Tranquilo backpackers this is the cheapest i have found in SJ. Dorms are OK, also stayed in private rooms which are OK, great to have a bar resteraunt right next door for food which i understand is open 24 hrs. Big kitchen, staff VERY helpfull and friendly especially the guy there on the 22nd Jan during the day...........could not help me enough.

Will stay here again.

Room Tip: one of the dorms backs onto the bar so maybe not a good place if you want an early night
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Level Contributor
29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

This was our first night in Costa Rica before heading off to other adventures - lovely hostel and a great home base. I couldn't imagine staying here for more than a couple of nights though. The pool is great, customer service great, fabulous location, fast internet. Bring a pair of earplugs & you'll have a great night's sleep. Walking the pedestrian street downtown - nothing special, it's cheap, loud, busy & dirty. FOOD - we treated ourselves to an amazing dinner at the Gran Hotel Costa Rica (beside National Theatre)... highly recommend this gem (especially the mushroom pasta). Happy travels!

Room Tip: private double #3 is where my husband & i stayed. the bed isn't very good... ask to see what...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Costa Rica Backpackers

Address: Avenida 6, Calle 21/25 | De la iglesia Sagrado Corazon, 100 metros norte, 50 oeste., San Jose, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Jose Metro > San Jose
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 59 Specialty Lodging in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Costa Rica Backpackers 2*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The #1 budget hostel and meeting spot for travelers in San Jose, Costa Rica and Lonely Planet readers' favorite since 2001. We have excellent reviews from guide books and on internet. Come and meet people from all around the world in our little slice of paradise, swap stories ! Catch the sun in our tropical garden, swim in the pool and don`t miss the happy hour at the "BAR-PACKERS" at 5pm!ALL FREE - internet (7 computers), wifi, coffee & tea; kitchen facilities (save money cook for yourself), parking, storage.TOP FACILITIES - Biggest pool & garden in San Jose, sunbathing, cable tv, international phone calls, hot showers, laundry service, tour desk, 24-hr security. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Costa Rica Backpackers Hotel San Jose
Costa Rica Backpackers San Jose

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