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Pura Vida Hostel 2.0

Tamarindo, Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica

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Review Summary

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  • Affordable hostel with relaxed, friendly ambiance
  • Tamarindo location, walking distance to dining, nightlife, and the beach
  • Tidy dorms offer lockers and en-suite bathrooms, some with AC
  • Private rooms have AC, and some have shelves or desks
  • Two shared kitchens with stovetops and ovens
  • Enormous thatched-roof common area with hammocks and games
  • Towels are provided for all guests  
  • Free use of surfboards and bikes
  • Free Wi-Fi, parking, and morning coffee


  • Not all rooms have air-conditioning
  • Cold water showers
  • No direct beach access

Bottom Line

Pura Vida Hostel is a two-pearl hostel located right in the center of Tamarindo, close to the beach, dining, and nightlife. Its nine private rooms and dorms are basic, but tidy and colorful, and most have air-conditioning and hand-painted wall art. The small property has an airy common area and two well-stocked communal kitchens. Freebies here are quite generous, including loaner surfboards and bikes, Wi-Fi, and morning coffee. Though it's not a party hostel, there are ample bars and restaurants within a five-minute walk. Travelers looking to surf may want to compare rates and amenities with nearby Witch's Rock Surf Camp, which offers surf classes and has two restaurants and a brewery on-site.

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Laid-back hostel with a welcoming atmosphere and prime location

Guests arriving at Pura Vida Hostel are greeted with a vivid hand-painted sign and a surfboard that flank the entrance. Nearly the entire property, aside from the guest rooms, is open-air. Narrow paths lined with vegetation lead from the reception, main common area, and kitchen, back to a second kitchen and common area, all of which are sheltered by simple roofs. Compact, shady camping grounds are found adjacent to the main common area. As most guests would expect, facilities are basic, but everything is well-maintained and the murals found throughout give character to the space.

This isn’t a party hostel, and several posted signs request that guests respect quiet hours. It is, however, quite social, with inviting common areas and regular live music performances bringing guests together. Plus, there are plenty of bars in the neighborhood for those looking to party. Guests are mostly young solo travelers and groups of friends, along with a few couples.


Great location in the heart of Tamarindo, a 10-minute walk from the beach

The hostel is located on a busy side street off Tamarindo’s main thoroughfare, Calle Central. The hostel is surrounded by other hotels and quality restaurants. There’s a bank across the street, and a well-stocked grocery store less than a five-minute walk away. Even more shops, restaurants, and bars can be found a five-minute walk away along Calle Central. For those looking to party, this is one of the best destinations in Guanacaste to do it. Playa Tamarindo beach is located less than a 10-minute walk away. Other nearby beaches include Playa Avellana and Playa Grande, both of which can be reached in about 30 minutes by car. Liberia’s airport is about an hour away, while Rincón de la Vieja National Park can be reached in just over two hours by car.


Clean dorms and private rooms offer en-suite or shared bathrooms

Dorms and private rooms at Pura Vida Hostel are simple and tidy. Decor varies from room to room, and it’s fairly mismatched across the board. All have tiled flooring and most have colorful walls and bedding along with a few hand-painted accents. Dorm rooms with bunk beds include large lockers and en-suite shared bathrooms. Some dorms have air-conditioning, while others just have fans. Private rooms have AC, and some offer en-suite bathrooms (others are shared). Some have desks or small shelving areas. Bathrooms differ, with some including pedestal sinks and others featuring some counter space. All have cold water showers and bars of off-brand soap, plus towels are provided for all guests. There’s also a small outdoor camping area with tents available for rent. Tents offer fans, single beds, and electricity. 


Huge thatched-roof common area, two shared kitchens, and lots of freebies

The hostel’s standout feature is its breezy, thatched-roof common area, which is furnished with hammocks, rocking chairs, and other comfy seating. It has a pool table, as well as a small selection of board games and used books. Live music performances are often hosted here. The common area offers one of the hostel’s two shared, open-air kitchens, which features a broad countertop with high-top seating. It includes a full-size fridge, four-burner stovetop and oven, as well as a small selection of cookware. There’s a second shared kitchen and smaller common area found toward the back of the property. This kitchen features a microwave, two ovens, a full-size fridge, and more cookware. Both kitchens are older and a tad cluttered, but well-maintained. The common area includes a TV as well as a PC available for guest use. Other amenities include surfboards and bikes that guests can rent for free, as well as free coffee that's available in the morning. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property, and there’s free parking on-site. The front desk can help guests arrange buses, tours, and other local bookings. 

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Avenida Central, 100m East From Banco National, Tamarindo 50309, Costa Rica

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