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Renting an Apartment in Costa Rica

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Renting an Apartment in Costa Rica

Accommodation seems to be needlessly expensive in Costa Rica. With a few exceptions, it is my experience that it is difficult to find a bed for under $8, and most hostels that I have stuck my nose into want $10- $12 per person. When traveling on a $10-$15 a day budget, this is too much money to pay.

The price of accommodation in Costa Rica did not surprise to me, as I have previously walked for hours through Costa Rican cities in search of an acceptably place to sleep. It is my impression that a dorm bed should not cost ten dollars in this country, but this is the price that most people are willing to pay, so this is the price that is charged.

I walked out of an empty hostel in a wayward corner of Heredia the other day after the manager cited a $13 a night dorm bed price. I hesitated at the door for a moment, because I was positive that he would rather have me fill an empty bed for a lesser price than walk away without giving him any money. But no discount was offered, and I could tell by his disposition that he would not take less than $13. I would sleep in the jungle before I paid this price to stay in a dormitory in a crappy hostel in Central America. $13 is what you pay for similar accommodation in the USA or Europe. There is no way that I will pay this here.

So Mira and I were making the rounds of hotels and hostels in Heredia, Costa Rica without much success. We had just came into the country after a sleepless night of fighting with security guards in the Mexico City airport. We were beat, not yet acclimated to the change of weather, and just wanted a place to lay our heads. One crappy hotel wanted $50 for a room, another $26; nobody would budge on their prices. It is not the tourist season; I am not even in San Jose; I know that these hotels were empty; I could not figure out why they would not take a lesser price just to make a little money. Needless to say, this was beyond what I have previously experienced while traveling, as hotel operators usually do not like turning away easy money.

We were walking down a hopeless trail and were very tired. Mira and I began a mild bickering match- a night without sleep often makes it a little difficult to travel with other people the next day. Mira then saw a little sign that offered apartments which was posted in a window.

“Do you want to just get an apartment?” Mira asked me.

I knew very well that I did not want to keep walking around all day. Mira also has a three week commitment to play out in Heredia.

Why not? Why not just get an apartment with a microwave, stove, pots and pans, shower, and couches for a cheaper price than a barren hotel room.

So we contacted the manager, and within five minutes were moved in.

We only plan on staying in this Costa Rican apartment for the rest of this week. Next week, we plan on employing some more clever means of obtaining a cheap bed.

Hotel Accommodation in Costa Rica

Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
Heredia, Costa Rica
January 23, 2008
Traveler Photographs
Vagabond Fieldnotes

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Filed under: Accommodation, Central America, Costa Rica

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3135 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Zhushan Village, Kinmen, TaiwanMap