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Review of Pura Vida Hostel

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Pura Vida Hostel
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed March 24, 2012

My family and I just got back from Tamarindo, Costa Rica. We traveled with our two teenagers and stayed at the Pura Vida Hostel in one of the private rooms (#7). It was a very enjoyable stay. Our room was very clean and comfortable. The room had a nice air conditioning unit that we used when we wanted to cool off a little. The kitchen and common areas were very comfortable and had everything (pots/pans/utensils/coffee maker etc.) We had breakfast every morning in the kitchen/common area after stopping in at the Mercado, which was a couple blocks away. We even made fish tacos one night (after bringing home a couple fish from our charter.) We enjoyed hanging out in the common areas with our friends (and quite a few new ones we met.) I loved sitting in the amazing rocking chairs while smoking my cuban cigars and enjoying a drink for "happy hour."

If you need to book surf lessons, fishing charters, horseback riding, or need to know where to go for the best salsa dancing, just talk to Miriam (manager)…she’ll help you out with anything.

The beach and all of the shopping is about a 5 minute walk away. We enjoyed that Pura Vida Hostel was a little ways away from all the “downtown” activity, who wants to be right next to the loud bar cranking out music at 2am (a lot of the bars get going at midnight or so.)

Pura Vida Hostel is a great place to go if you want a clean, comfortable place to stay for an AMAZING price! Check out the photos and see what I mean.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank John K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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263 - 269 of 444 reviews

Reviewed March 21, 2012

Spent 4 nights at Pura Vida Hostel while backpacking around Costa Rica and could not have been happier with the experience. The place is always clean and well kept, there is a cool common area that is great for lounging around and exchanging stories, and the prices are more than reasonable. The hostel manager Mariam is awesome and always helpful with directions and advice. Not to mention she has tons of connections around town and can get you discounts on anything from fishing to transportation. Definitely will stay here again if i make it back to Tamarindo!!

Room Tip: $15 dollars a night for dorm style rooms. $40 dollars a night for private room and bath.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Atanas D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2012

I usually don't trust reviews on travel websites because every traveler has a different definition of their ideal stay. However, I must say that Pura Vida and the hostel operator, Miriam provided one of the best hostel experiences (if not the best) I've had in 10 years of staying in hostels.

I read favorable reviews on the place, but figured I'd meet some travelers in the airport or on the bus that could make a first person recommendation on my way into Tamarindo. While waiting at Liberia I met some friendly Canadians that were raving about Pura Vida, but told me it was booked for the weekend. I rolled the dice and fortunately there was a bed available.

Location is just off the main strip of bars and restaurants very close to the beach. Nothing in Tamarindo is very far from the city center. The hostel was spotless with a cleaning lady that seemed to be there at all hours of the day - each dorm room has a big clean bathroom and shower. The best part about this hostel was the friendly and social atmosphere. Everyone there seemed to be looking to meet each other and just have a great time. This atmosphere is fostered by a great outdoor common area in the center of all the dorms. The large thatched room tiki hut with hammocks, couches, foutons, rocking chairs, and tables made staying there even more comfortable.

Lastly, the hostel operator, Miriam could not have been sweeter or more helpful. She was texting/calling tour and excursion operators for people the whole time. This was great because they all love her and seem to always take her calls and want to do her favors. I plan on keeping in touch with Miriam and will definitely stay at Pura Vida the next time I am in Tamarindo.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Ian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2012

There is something magical about the central guest area. Maybe its the hammocks. Everyone just chills and somehow becomes your friend that you feel like you've known for years. Pura Vida is kind of like camp... or Freshman year of college when everyone is excited to meet you. At night, we would all go out as a group to hit up some of the bars and clubs in the area.

Miriam is the best, she runs this place and she will also party with you.

The rooms were ok, you're not allowed to wear shoes inside which is supposed to keep the room cleaner, but towards the end of the day the floor gets pretty dirty. I wish there was AC in the mixed dorm room.

The location is about a 5 min extra walk to places. If you stay here eat at Donna Lee's homecooking next door!! Amazing food, cheap prices.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Erin J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2012

I stayed at Pura Vida a little over a week ago and was quite please with my stay. The owner has done a great job at creating a relaxed atmosphere to come and chill out. I found it to be a good place to connect with other travellers and share experiences. Also, the room was quite comfortable and the air conditioning was a welcome addition.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Casey F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2012

I stayed at Pura Vida Hostel during the summer of 2011. We found Pura Vida Hostel right off the main road in Tamarindo, which was about a 5 minute walk from the beach. We paid $80 each for 10 nights in the largest room they had available. The rooms are functional for hostel purposes. They were clean when we arrived, and the beds are adequate. The only time we actually spent in our room was to sleep. As soon as we arrived until the day we left, the central lounge was buzzing with activity. Every night at Pura Vida Hostel was a blast! we met so many new people, made a ton of new friends, and the staff as well as the guests were very friendly. Pura Vida Hostel was a great experience, and I plan to stay there again for my next vacation.

Room Tip: make the journey with some friends. Call ahead of time to reserve a 2-bed room (for 2 travelers) or...
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Michael A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2012

We arrived at Pura Vida just over two weeks ago after staying with friends at a house just up the hill. The unassuming entry had us try next door instead. After one night we were told (bluntly)they had booked the room out from under us. Best thing that could have happened.

We walked next door to Pura Vida and the place was alive with lovely, vivacious people of all ages and nationalities laughing and chatting under a giant palapa in hammocks and exotic hardwood rocking chairs over a mother pearl terrazzo floor. Even with all the hubbub, Sam, the manager, was very attentive and set us up in a private room, as we had three people traveling together. The room was secluded and shared a bathroom and an entry court with one other private room, next to the rear kitchen (one of two). The room was very clean as was the rest of the place. The beds were comfy, the linens fresh and the air con was a luxury we used sparingly. Really, who wants to be cold and parched in a tropical paradise? Our room was cleaned regularly and the wildlife, ever present in even the most posh environs of Costa Rica, was kept to a minimum. Even the kitchens, both outdoors, were relatively spotless and bugless. I guess most people follow the lead of the hostel in their personal cleaning habits, another plus.

After we settled into our room and went for a surf close by, we emerged to the central court to find even more lovely people back from some delightful adventure arranged by the inimitable Miriam, the owner of the hostel. Her regal stature and sultry beauty create an imposing presence that is more than offset by her nurturing, almost motherly attentiveness, her attention to detail and her wry sense of humor. It is this caring combination that creates and permeates the atmosphere of pura vida at Pura Vida. Our first night included an impromptu concert with a Dylan-inspired serenade to her by two guitarist-guests, one Chilean and one Oregonian, both in harmony, belting out Piano Man to a combination of Manhattanites and Muscovites, Californians and Quebequois, Aussies and Austrians.

Other evenings included ping pong and foosball tournaments played to the death or nightclubbing with a dozen fellow Pura Vidans at the best club night in town. Sam gave us sage advice for our trip to Monte Verde and his recommend for accommodation there was spot on. If we had the foresight to take his advice on car rental we'd have saved 20 bucks a day. When we were done seeing volcanos and bizarre critters we came right back to finish our trip right at home.

If you prefer adventure over artifice and style over sterility then this is your place.

Pura Vida!

Room Tip: Private rooms are HUGE, have air con and are only a couple bucks more per person.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank SurferJoe_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pura Vida Hostel

Address: 311 Avenida Central | 100m East From Banco National, Tamarindo 50309, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Tamarindo
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 74 Specialty Lodging in Tamarindo
Price Range: $16 - $54 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pura Vida Hostel in Tamarindo, Costa Rica has been providing guests with memorable travel experiences since 2006. We are a friendly, inexpensive hostel that welcomes backpackers and vacationers from all over the world. We welcome the opportunity to host your stay in Tamarindo. Our multi-lingual staff is happy to provide recommendations on restaurants, bars, attractions, getting to your next destination and, of course, surfing. Trips, tours and transportation can be booked at our reception. You can cook and dine al fresco in our 2 spotless, fully-equipped, outdoor communal kitchens. We have dorm beds with ensuite bathrooms and showers and private rooms with air conditioning in multiple configurations to accommodate your travel party. Bed linens are provided. Our "rancho" is the social heart of the hostel with rocking chairs, daybeds, and hammocks for you to enjoy while visiting with other guests and overlooking the lovely tropical garden which enjoys frequent visits from iguanas and howler monkeys. The chill-out atmosphere is enhanced by a great sound system and playlist, good vibes, the fastest wi-fi available in Costa Rica and interesting people from all over the world. We are located a couple hundred meters from the beach, across from Banco National and Hertz Rental Car and next door to Dona Lee's restaurant. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Pura Vida Guesthouse And Hostel
Pura Vida Guesthouse Hotel Tamarindo

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