Alajuela Backpackers Hostel is the place to enter and leave Costa Rica and more
My favorite place to stay when I enter and leave Costa Rica is Alajuela Backpackers Hostel. It is only five minutes away from the Juan Santamaria Airport. They provide a free shuttle from the airport, but you need to contact them 24 hours in advance of your arrival to assure a pickup. They also have a free shuttle to the airport for departure in the morning. The last one departs at 11:30 a.m. If the shuttle is not an option you can get there with a $5.00 cab or a $1.00 bus.
The Alajuela Backpackers is also a great spot to start your Costa Rica adventure. It is next door to a bus that goes 24 hours to San José, blocks away from buses onward to Monteverde and Arenal, and of course close to the airport if you are flying domestic to places like Puerto Jimenez or Jaco.
They have reasonable rates for rooms including dorm style rooms for $19.00 with a hot shower. It is a great place to meet other travelers and the staff is incredibly helpful in getting buses, local information, and they also offer local tours. More on the tour aspect in the future.
My favorite amenity is the rooftop bar for a beautiful Costa Rica sunset
My favorite thing about the Alajuela Backpackers Hostel is the rooftop bar. On the fourth floor of the building is a bar that overlooks the airport and the distant mountains. It is a wonderful place to watch the planes come and go, talk to other travelers, drink reasonably priced drinks, eat breakfast or dinner, and watch the sunset.
When we arrived, we made a direct line to the bar once it opened at 4 p.m. They had a sign for $2.00 tequila sunrises. We enjoyed tequila sunrises while watching a beautiful sunset. Other travelers filtered in, and they were either excited like us as their Costa Rica adventure was just beginning, or they were leaving the next day. We gathered valuable information from travelers leaving and shared our excitement with fellow explorers who had just arrived.
We discerned from the staff that the bus for Monteverde was leaving next morning at 7 a.m. Our trip really did not start until the next day, and I did not think much would happen this first night, but it was a great introduction to the country seeing a beautiful sunset, eating a tasty pizza, and exchanging information and past stories with other guests.
Alajuela Backpackers has everything a traveler needs who is entering or leaving the country. Besides amenities already mentioned, they also have reliable Wi-fi, free coffee, and they also have a sister network of hostels throughout the country, so they can recommend places that I am sure are equally awesome. They also have options for rooms, so for a little more in price you can get a private room.
I just returned from my second trip to Costa Rica. Each time I stayed with Alajuela Backpackers the day of my arrival and the night before my departure. Next time I come to Costa Rica, I will definitely do the same and perhaps even stay longer to enjoy the great community.
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