While traveling in Costa Rica, we stayed in hostels in Monteverde and La Fortuna, but neither is necessarily worth rehashing for your reading pleasure. However, on our last night in the country, we returned our tired rental car and caught a ride to Alajuela Backpackers, and that experience is definitely worth sharing.
We made reservations before leaving the United States at Alajuela Backpackers for a few reasons. It’s located in Alajuela, which is actually closer to the airport than San Jose is, so we didn’t have to worry about a long commute to catch our flights. Also, there is a shuttle bus that runs from the hostel to the airport several times a day at no charge, so we were able to drop off our car the night before and get to the airport without any hassle or stress. It wasn’t until I made our reservation that I realized one other important thing: The people working at Alajuela Backpackers are incredibly helpful. I corresponded with them several times before arriving in Costa Rica for clarification about transportation, location and facilities, and they answered quickly and with good English.
Our best surprise was when we arrived to discover this is not your average hostel. Instead, I’d consider it a three-star hotel. We reserved a private room since we knew we’d have to spread our stuff from heck to high breakfast in order to repack for the trip home. The room was huge with a writing desk, nice view out the windows and a large bathroom. The room was dark and quiet at night, and the quality of sleep was definitely better than what I’ve gotten at hostels in the past.
Alajuela Backpackers is several stories high with working elevators as well as stairs, free internet access in the lobby area, a restaurant and a bar. It is clean, open and welcoming, and it was a nice close to our Costa Rica trip. We arrived around 8:00 at night, and we wanted to run out and grab a bite to eat, but everything was closed in the city. Luckily for us, Alajuela Backpackers’ bar was open, so we ordered a pizza and a couple beers for a reasonable price and chilled out while chatting with the guy working behind the counter.
Throughout our week in Costa Rica, we stayed in a variety of budget accommodations, and Alajuela Backpackers hostel far exceeded my expectations. If I ever have to fly in and out of the international airport in Costa Rica again, this is where I’ll stay.
Prices range from $15.00-$25.00 for shared and private rooms.