Your Own Private Casitas
#1 on Tripadvisor since 2011 and still in 2024 rated top 10 B&B's/Small hotels in Costa Rica

Our bookings are 100% cancelable.  FROMMER'S GUIDE: "private casitas are spread around a spacious compound and lush gardens." Arriving or departing Costa Rica, there are no better options - hey it's us or the Holiday Inn Express :-)) according to our absurdly great Tripadvisor reviews. And "drum roll", all our staff are all reasonably sane (longest employed 28 years, oldest 80 years :-)).

#1 on Tripadvisor since 2011

"Nhi is an amazing chef specializing in Asian cuisine". From our Tripadvisor reviews.

"Private casitas (little houses) are spread around a spacious compound and lush gardens." Frommers' Guide

"Better than my Castle and 50 mega Wi-Fi! Gee willikers!" Franz Kafka (1883-1924). 

"We even outrank the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Majal with better beds, better food, bad jokes and a botanical garden." Berni's idiot quote at the breakfast table

How can we help you have an awesome trip? 

 Your hosts, Nhi and Berni exploring something that needed exploring

Make a Reservation1 step holds your booking today

A FODOR'S CHOICE HOTEL: "Highly recommended." Be confident booking the #1 rated Lodge/B&B on Tripadvisor. All bookings for casitas or car rentals with Alamo are 100% cancelable, no deposit required. Lowest price guarantee by booking direct to the hotel. Block your date(s) in the calendar, and I will hold them for you. You will get an email to confirm your booking and will include all the info to organize a safe and easy entry into Costa Rica with our free taxi service for all Costa Rica arrivals. If you have more than one date you need just put a comment in the "message/notes". Easy peasy eh?
For bookings we just only need a name and email address, no credit card (the rest is pretty much optional but makes our petty bureaucracy super contented :-))

Click to read our Trip Advisor Reviews

If you're not sure (or are more of a Jackson Pollock type), just stick a question or 2 here on our contact form:

Individual Casitasand Rates


Individual 1 and 2 bedroom private casitas situated in a lush botanical garden, some with a view to the active Poas Volcano. Beautiful breakfasts come with your booking and scrumptious dinners on an open air terrace can sometimes be had with advance reservations if you are nice to our delightfully crusty chef (aka Chef Nhi also holding the post of wife of the author) known for her expertise in Vietnamese and Chinese fusion).

Toucan Casita (one-bedroom villa)

Toucan Casita (one-bedroom villa)

Everyone's most affordable favorite Casita - 2 queen beds, living room sleeps 4 from $70 double low season. Click for all the rates.

Mariposa Casita (two-bedroom villa)

Mariposa Casita (two-bedroom villa)

2 of everything Casita with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and 2 queen beds, sleeps 4 - from $89 double. Click for all rates . . . you will find f…

Rain Forest Casita (deluxe one-bedroom villa)

Rain Forest Casita (deluxe one-bedroom v…

Nice Casita with a cool deck view of Poas Volcano from $89 - 1 queen and 1 single bed and separate living room with a futon - sleeps 3, perhaps …

Volcano Studio (studio)

Volcano Studio (studio)

Poas view with 2 queen beds, sleeps 2 to 4, larger bathroom, best view in the hotel from a nice private deck - from $85 double. Click for all r…

Katydid Casita (deluxe two-bedroom villa)

Katydid Casita (deluxe two-bedroom villa…

The "family affair" . . . our humungous Casita - sleeps 4 to 6 (using futons) - from $109 double. Click for all the rates. Master bedroom has …

The Orchid Room (double room)

The Orchid Room (double room)

This is the only room in the main Casa, the original, coffee finca. It has a fabuloso queen bed and a small private bathroom with a view of the…

See all prices

Car RentalsBest deals in town

MOON HANDBOOK: "The best place, highly recommended". Rent with the Pura Vida Hotel, as Alamo has the largest fleet in Costa Rica you will have better options in the event of a problemito.  

Cars delivered to your breakfast table. Of course!! Ask us for some car quotes. We have a partnership with Alamo Costa Rica for 1 reason - they are completely reliable.  There is absolutely no reason why you should start your well deserved vacation with an argument at a car rental counter or the wrong car or worse no car at all. And there are more reasons we chose Alamo over ALL the car companies we know in the country. If you rent at the Pura Vida they will deliver your car at the breakfast table the next day (no need to mess with rental counters at night and take our free taxi to the hotel on arrival) and pickup the car for free at the end of your trip (even if you stay at another hotel).  Did I mention we provide chocolate cake and coffee to the Alamo reps so they are always super happy and energetic in the mornings :-)) as they deliver your car and get you on your way with no rental counter.  No nitpicking at the end of your trip - just hand me the keys and your car is checked in. 

Toyota Yaris

2WD manual or automatic

Larger Toyota Corolla also available - both cars work for MOST of Costa Rica that is paved


4WD Suzuki Vitara/Toyota RAV4 SUV

4WD manual or automatic

The perfect on and off roader for Costa Rican roads, good clearance too


4WD Toyota Prado

4WD automatic for 7 passengers

The ultimate 4WD for the Costa Rican jungle - the favored vehicle I'm sure of former President of the Galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox


Dining at the Pura VidaEnjoy the creative expertise of chef Nhi

From a guest review ". . . the best dinners we could have imagined . . . creativity and aesthetic presentation" Sharon, California on TripAdvisor.

Breakfast included? Of course! Fresh, delicious and rated "best breakfast in Costa Rica" by me and a heap of guests on Tripadvisor - we listen to you. You will have a private dining experience on the Orchid covered terrace of the Pura Vida - exclusively for our guests. You should know we are NOT A SERIOUS RESTAURANT. Chef Nhi cooks for guests "sometimes" but when she does not we have a couple of really fabulous restaurants (and friends) we will refer you to. We do need to know any special dietary needs such as "vegetarian", "no nuts" (except the management), "nothing grown anaerobically" . . . we've seen it all :-). The chef would like you to know that we cannot do a bunch of allergies or she gets pretty crusty (though I should note her dessert crusts are particularly scrumptious).

Click here for more food info

Why not stay an extra day?"READ MORE" for a host of ideas of things to do

We wonder if it may be time to explore your options for retirement or the future . . . it's Costa Rica or Canada eh? . . . start your exploration with one of our private drivers or a rentacar and our advice on cool and least explored places we enjoy.

We can organize day trips to Poas or Irazu and Turrialba volcanoes or an amazing organic coffee tour at a private farm - ask us for a driver/guide ahead of your trip. If you are independently minded we will sit with you and help you plan your routes and things to do and have your rental car delivered to your breakfast table. Need help planning your trip? We have ideas from slightly mad to completely bonkers :-)



PHOTOGRAPHIC DAY TRIPS OF THE PURA VIDA Here are some trips we have enjoyed (in no particular order). Let us know if we can help set up any o…

A School Visit?

Global books for kids program "On the way to class" Can you Pack for a Purpose? Would you like to see something of the future of Costa Rica? …

Visit Poas Volcano

Visit Poas Volcano

LARGEST ACTIVE VOLCANO CRATER: There are very few places in the world where you can drive to within a kilometer of the edge of an active volcani…

1/2 Day Tours

1/2 Day Tours

Here's a curated, biased list of activities and places you should not miss if you have a half-day to spare.

More activities

Location 10 mins from SJO Contact us!

Reservations restricted to those with a sense of humor or accompanied by one. One free airport taxi service for international arrivals. Late model car rentals/4WD delivered to your breakfast table or anywhere you like in partnership with Alamo . . .

Convenient location close to SJO airport, highway 27, Alajuela, downtown San Jose, and pretty much any useful place with access to SJO International airport.  Stay close to SJO without the planes flying overhead and perhaps a fabulous home made bread pudding with your fruit,  granola, yoghurt and fresh juice breakfast too in an open air breakfast area full of orchids.  Gee willikers what kind of hotel choice is this?  Did I mention comfy mattresses, a botanical garden and a home cooked gourmet dinner if you remembered to book ahead (and are kind to our crusty chef)?

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Directions and Such:

On your first night, your hotel should be easy to find. Pura Vida Hotel is about 4 Kilometers from the International airport. Take our free taxi service on arrival (with international flights) and have your car rental delivered the next morning at the breakfast table - ask us how.

Directions in Spanish (for Spanish speaking taxistas)

Say the following in the best Spanish accent you can muster "1500 metros al norte de la fabrica Punto Rojo en Alajuela, al cruce de la carretera de Tuetal Norte y Tuetal Sur en el Hotel Pura Vida." If you hate speaking in tongues, hand the taxi driver this page and point to the LOCATOR pin link.

Address for Interplanetary travelers

Beam your astral navigator to Alajuela, (about 25 KM from San Jose, close to the SJO International Airport) - set your GPS to 10 01 50" N and 84 13' 33" W - you can land your ship near the old Avocado tree, just south of the star fruit tree. Two notes: please do not alarm the guests with a noisy landing and remember Costa Rica is a peaceful country so leave your star weapons and galactic gargleblasters on board.

Normal Address

Pura Vida Hotel
Tuetal Sur de Alajuela
20102 Costa Rica
Old fashioned landline phone: +506-2430-2630 or
whatsapp/cell +506-8701-3411 or

emergency cell (i.e. can't breathe, car underwater etc)+506-8878-3899

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