Hotel: Cabinas Montesol
Location: Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica (de Talamanca) – On the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, among the black sand beaches and jungles.
First impressions: How did I not know of this place before? I have traveled to Puerto Viejo countless times since 2003, and never have I settled on one good place to stay and come back to, until now. Cabinas Montesol is just far enough from town to avoid the bustle and noise, and just close enough to not be a hassle to walk to and from. I loved the open-air ambiance when we first walked in, the clean rooms with hammocks backed up to the jungle, the beautiful wood décor in the common area, and most of all, I couldn’t be happier knowing that a place like this was affordable for a traveler like me. I think I have discovered one of the best hotels in Puerto Viejo.
The property: The hotel is on a backroad, just removed enough from the main road to not hear the traffic. There is a gate at the entrance, not entirely fenced off, but enough to imply a bit of security and privacy when stepping onto the property. There is even a resident dog, ready to bark at anything unwelcome (he is protective of his guests). There are several different sizes of rooms to accommodate singles to groups, and even a stand-alone bungalow that could serve as a family stay or a honeymoon getaway. All the rooms back up to the jungle, and there is plenty of privacy.
What I loved: The bungalow, which included a kitchen, a king bed, a double bed, a bathroom, and a sitting area, was only $55 per night. Budget travelers don’t usually get this kind of luxury! I felt like a queen walking out to my beautiful, private, huge bungalow. I also loved the proximity to town without being in the thick of it.
What I didn’t love: Most places in Puerto Viejo do not have air conditioning, so I wasn’t that bummed about it, and we had pretty good air flow in the bungalow, but the smaller rooms could benefit from A/C. The beds had mosquito nets, but some of them had pretty big holes in them. At the same time, most places don’t offer mosquito nets, so we were still grateful. It’s hard not to love this place.
What’s not to miss: One of my favorite activities in Puerto Viejo is renting a bike (you can get one for $5 up the main street from the hotel) and taking it on a jungle ride to Manzanillo. There is only one road through Puerto Viejo. Take it south and LOOK AROUND. Keep your eyes up (and on traffic, obviously), but if you’re looking enough you will see sloths, monkeys, toucans, spiders, and more. They are there, trust me, you just have to look for them! It’ll be the cheapest jungle tour you ever do, and a fun workout at the same time.
Who should go: This type of accommodations is for all ages. I would definitely recommend the bungalow for families with young children, as that will allow you the most space and convenience. The other rooms are tight, so it’s perfect for couples and travelers who don’t mind being in close proximity to others.
How to book: Find Cabinas Montesol on Hostelworld or use my personal favorite: Booking.com for the best rates.
Hotel: Cabinas Montesol