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An eclectic hostel located in Santa Elena. The staff is friendly and very helpful for booking tours or helping travelers find their way. There is a kitchen if you prefer to cook your own meals. The front room and porch seem to be the congrugating point for travelers to talk and meet up. Great place!
La Fotuna is the closest town to Volcan Arenal. The town is really touristy and busy with tour guides trying to get business. It was fine for one day, but that's about all the toursim I could handle! I stayed at Gringo Pete's while I was there. $3 a night for a comfy dorm bed was a-okay.
Awesome, laid back beach community on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. The town has a Bob Marley feel to it and nobody is in a hurry. The beaches are wonderful, including Playa Cocles and Playa Chiquita. Bike rentals are plentiful and necessary to scoot around town.
These bungalows are about 1.5km south of Puerto Viejo's center. A good 5 minute bike ride from town. The bungalows are cozy and clean. Can't beat the hammock on the porch. The beds come with mosquito netting, though I did not run into any mosquitos during my time there. The staff is very friendly and nice. You may rent snorkel gear, bikes, surf and boogie boards all at the hotel.
This is a very small beach town 13km south of Puerto Viejo. The road there is paved, which is great considering most of the road in Puerto Viejo is not. About an hour bike ride, maybe less if you book it. I snorkeled here and found the coral reef to be full of colorful fish and very accessible. The reef is close to shore and seems to keep going and going. Just watch your things on the beach, never leave them unattended.