If you like beaches, surfing and nightlife and you happen to find yourself in Costa Rica, you should definitely have Jaco on your itinerary. Set on the Pacific coast of this Central American gem, just southwest of the capital San Jose, it’s pretty much THE place to come to surf in Costa Rica. And when you’re not surfing… party, anyone?

Obviously it doesn’t HAVE to be about all that if you don’t want it to. This being Costa Rica, there’s plenty of incredible nature to experience right on the doorstep; Jaco is, after all, something of a gateway to the Carara National Park (to name just one!).

Then again, it’s important to know what you want to get up to when you’re in Jaco. If you surf, you’ll want to be near the beach. If you don’t surf, but want to learn, there are surf school hostels here. There’s so much choice it can be actually pretty tricky to narrow it down.

But don’t worry. We are here to help with our in-depth guide to the best hostels in Jaco, all broken down into handy categories that will help you find the perfect hostel that’s right for your itinerary (and your budget).

So without further ado let’s get into the nitty gritty of Jaco’s best hostels!

Quick answer: The Best Hostels in Jaco

Best Hostels in Jaco

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Best Hostels in Jaco

If you’re backpacking Costa Rica and you’re stopping over in Jaco, you’re definitely in for a treat! This beautiful hidden gem will leave you speechless with all of its charm, beautiful beaches, and most importantly, affordable hostels!

Jaco can be considered one of the best areas in Costa Rica, so you might want to plan in a couple more days around the city.

Jaco Costa Rica

Room 2 Board Hostel and Surf School – Best Overall Hostel in Jaco

Room 2 Board Hostel and Surf School best hostels in Jaco
Room 2 Board Hostel and Surf School is our pick for best overall hostel in Jaco

Room 2 Board Hostel and Surf School is the kind of place that literally has just about EVERYTHING you could ever wish for in a hostel. It’s clean, it’s modern, it’s friendly, and what’s more – it’s just a 30 second saunter down to the beach.

There’s an INSANE rooftop going on here, complete with hammocks – a place where you can simply lie back, chill and listen to the waves crash just a stone’s throw away. It ain’t just about chill at this place though: think happy hours and staff who get everyone involved in the fun. How could this NOT be the best overall hostel in Jaco?

Hostel de Haan – Best Hostel for Solo Travelers in Jaco

Hostel de Haan best hostels in Jaco
Hostel de Haan is our pick for best hostel for solo travelers in Jaco

Right in the middle of Jaco, next to the beach and shops and restaurants and just about everything else the town has to offer is Hostel de Haan. It’s the best hostel in Jaco and possibly in all of Costa Rica for solo travellers. This place is vibrant and has a great atmosphere that’s ripe for meeting new people.

There’s a pool, which as we all know is definitely the best spot for chatting to other people. There’s a bit of a party atmosphere at this youth hostel in Jaco, yes, but the music is off by 10pm. If that sounds lame to you, no big deal: there are plenty of places nearby where you can carry on the party with your new hostel buddies!

Casajungla Hostel – Best Hostel for Couples in Jaco

Casajungla Hostel best hostels in Jaco
Casajungla Hostel is our pick for best hostel for couples in Jaco

When you’re travelling with your other half, sometimes you just want to stay somewhere that’s all about getting away from it all with a bit of a relaxed, romantic retreat. If that’s what you want, then Casajungla is easily the best hostel for couples in Jaco. There won’t be any street noise or traffic at Casajungla Hostel, even though it’s just a few blocks from the beach.

We’d also like to take a moment to mention the free breakfast: it’s DELICIOUS and is really worth that little extra you pay to stay here. So whilst it’s not the cheapest hostel in Jaco, it’s definitely, definitely one of the nicest. You’re honestly going to love it.

Selina Jaco – Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Jaco

Selina Jaco best hostels in Jaco
Selina Jaco is our pick for best hostel for digital nomads in Jaco

Calling all digital nomads: Selina Jaco is the place for you. This cool, clean and modern hostel is filled with a load of cool spaces to get some work done. But more than that, if you’re a seasoned digital nomad you will have seen your fair share of hostels, so you’ll want to stay somewhere, you know, a little NICER.

That’s Selina Jaco: the incredible cylindrical, glass-fronted pod rooms here are immense. And then there’s the hotel quality private rooms. AND there’s a pool. AND it’s on the beach. It’s the best hostel for digital nomads in Jaco – trust us, you will not be disappointed.

When it’s time to explore the area, check out the best beaches around Jaco.

Beds on Bohio Hostel & Surf School – Best Party Hostel in Jaco

Beds on Bohio Hostel and Surf School best hostels in Jaco
Beds on Bohio Hostel & Surf School is our pick for best party hostel in Jaco

If you’re looking to party in Jaco, this place is IT. Seriously, Beds on Bohio Hostel & Surf School is the best party hostel in Jaco and it’s easy to see why. Right near the beach, with its own pool and bar, this place is the ideal to hang out day or night.

Be warned: nights here get messy. Music stays on until the early hours, there’s almost certainly going to be some drinking games going on every night, and there will be loud, drunk people living their literal best lives at this Jaco backpackers hostel. If drunkenness and loud music doesn’t sound like you, we recommend looking elsewhere.

Riva Hostel Jaco – Best Cheap Hostel in Jaco

Riva Hostel Jaco best hostels in Jaco
Riva Hostel Jaco is our pick for best cheap hostel in Jaco

Just a few seconds away from the beach on foot, Riva Hostel Jaco has a lot going for it – and that’s more than just about the location (which is, admittedly, awesome). Staying here means free access to the vibey beach club just a few minutes stroll away, complete with two pools, a bar, and music. What more could you want?

Being the best cheap hostel in Jaco, value for money is the name of the game at this place. The atmosphere is pretty chill, the whole place is pretty clean, and the staff are super friendly. There’s even tents here if you want to make things EVEN cheaper for yourself!

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Aether Backpack

We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

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Jaco Inn – Best Hostel with a Private Room in Jaco

Jaco Inn best hostels in Jaco
Jaco Inn is our pick for best hostel with a private room in Jaco

If you’re looking for a private room, but you still want a hostel atmosphere, we’d recommend checking yourself in to Jaco Inn. The private rooms here are super spacious and it’s all in a pretty rustic setting. If you like the idea of living out your days in a jungle-y sort of paradise, complete with yoga and good food, this place is for you.

The best hostel with a private room in Jaco, it’s also just a few steps from here to the beach. And yes: the put on surf lessons here. Though Jaco Inn is pretty chilled (the free unlimited coffee may have other ideas!) there’s plenty of places to party nearby.

Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

More Best Hostels in Jaco

Wipeout International Hostel

Wipeout International Hostel best hostels in Jaco
Wipeout International Hostel

As you might be able to tell from the name, Wipeout is a surf hostel. It’s within walking distance to the popular Playa Hermosa (good for surfing, obviously) and there’s quite a few good restaurants along that part of the beach. Location wise, this one’s a winner.

Back at the hostel, you’ll be welcomed by a friendly, chilled out atmosphere. The owner will chat to you about your plans, you’ll get served up a pancake breakfast in the morning, and you’ll get to meet likeminded surfers staying here, too. Basically, it’s one of the best hostels in Jaco – hands down.

If too much chill time has got you into party mode, then you’ll need to check out the best bars in Jaco!

Hostel Hacienda García

Hostel Hacienda García best hostels in Jaco
Hostel Hacienda García

Hostel Hacienda García is one of the best youth hostels in Jaco – it’s certainly up there as a great all-rounder that won’t disappoint. Here you’ll find big, airy dorms with tons of space, pleasant private rooms that do the job just fine, and a nice communal atmosphere that isn’t too quiet OR too loud.

The location is pretty much perfect for exploring Jaco. Top marks. Hostel Hacienda García is centrally located and you can get pretty much anywhere in just 5 minutes. If you want a pool, staying here means free access to a beach club with its own pool – so don’t worry about that!

La Perlita

La Perlita best hostels in Jaco
La Perlita

More like a hotel (or B&B) than a backpackers hostel in Jaco, La Perlita is still a place that serves as a great option for budget accommodation in Jaco. We mean, come on – the garden here is more like a jungle, and is home to toucans! It’s amazing! AND the cabins here  have en suite bathrooms and private terraces complete with hammocks.

Though it’s located away from the (sometimes) crazy buzz of central Jaco, in less than 5 minutes – on foot, that is – you can be at the beach, sunning yourself, learning to surf or simply strolling around looking for somewhere to eat.

What to Pack for your Jaco Hostel

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out our definitive Hostel Packing list for our top packing tips!

FAQ about Hostels in Jaco

Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in Jaco.

How much does a hostel cost in Jaco?

It all depends on whether you prefer a private room with an ensuite bathroom, or a bed in a shared dorm. On average, prices start at USD$19 for a bed in a shared dorm room, heading up to USD$22+ for a private room.

What are the best hostels in Jaco for couples?

A few blocks from the beach, Casajungla Hostel is a bit of a relaxed, romantic retreat.

What are the best hostels in Jaco near the airport?

Set in the middle of a jungle, Hotel Cerro Lodge is just a 58-minute drive from Juan Santamaria International Airport. It also offers airport transfers.

Travel Safety Tips for Jaco

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.


Wow. There sure were a lot of truly great hostels going on in our list of the best hostels in Jaco!

If you want something budget, or even if you want something quiet, you’re bound to find the perfect hostel for you.

Our handy categories for couples, solo travellers, and digital nomads makes sure that our guide to the best Jaco backpackers hostels going really has something for everyone.

Finding it hard to make a choice? We get it. To make life easy for yourself, book Room 2 Board Hostel and Surf School: it ticks every single box you could think of, which is why it’s our top pick for the VERY best hostel in Jaco.

Looking for more info on travelling to Jaco and Costa Rica?

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