Lonely Planet: “About 2kms east of downtown are Los Yoses and San Pedro, home to a number of embassies as well as the most prestigious university in the country. College kids are the same world over, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this university district is brimming with the highest percentage of bars and clubs in the city… you’d be hard pressed to find a neighborhood boasting better restaurants than San Pedro and Los Yoses.” Why stay in another neighborhood?
Let’s give you some basic information about our location in San Jose, and about San Jose in general. First off, the international airport, isn’t located anywhere near San Jose, it’s actually not even in the same province. It’s located northwest of the city by about 20 Kms, in a town called Alejuela. So why stay in San Jose? Well, if you are planning on seeing other parts of Costa Rica (we hope so) and are using public transportation, then you have to leave from San Jose almost always, unless you want to stand for 4 hours plus to your next destination.
When people aren’t familiar with San Jose, they really try to stay downtown. Downtown San Jose, is not a nice place, nor is it an ideal place to stay. Most hostels located in the downtown area advise their guests not to go out at night (partially because of crime, mostly because they want to nickel and dime you at their own bar and or restaurant). We are located a few blocks east of the edge of downtown. It’s easily walkable, and even easier to get to in a bus (about 2 minutes by bus). It’s quieter where we are located, safer, and there are more bars, restaurants, stores, etc. near our location. Thinking about staying in Barrio Amon or downtown? Good luck finding a decent grocery store or a bar that’s not overrun with prostitutes. When was the last time you stayed in or near a college town and didn’t have a good time?
The only advantage to staying downtown, is the proximity to bus terminals. So you sacrifice safety, fun, being able to walk around at night, seeing a variety of places to eat, drink, shop, etc. but you can walk to the bus terminal. Staying away from downtown, means a 5 minute ride in a taxi for about $4 US. We think it’s worth it.
Do yourself a favor, you don’t have to stay at Hostel Bekuo, but try to avoid staying in downtown San Jose.
Want to get here from the airport? Here’s how it’s done:
Option 1) By Taxi. Once you clear customs, you will walk past all of the rental car booths and the head outside through a set of automatic double doors. Look to your left, there you will see the Airport Taxi window. Unfortunately you can’t use the window anymore, but if you go to it a driver will approach you. Don’t worry, it’s safe, they have id’s and drive orange taxis if you are in doubt. Tell them you want to go to Hostel Bekuo in Los Yoses (keep our address handy just in case). The current rate is around $30 USD. The ride without traffic, is about 20 minutes (the airport is nowhere near San Jose, so if you’re looking at other hostels, you might be able to find one that’s about 5 minutes closer to the airport).
Option 2) Leave customs, and head to the opposite side of the parking structure in front of the airport. There you will find the public bus stop. Almost any bus that comes through there will be heading to San Jose (the airport is not actually located in San Jose) Ask someone. The fare is about $.50 USD and will drop you downtown. From there, you can take a $3-4 cab ride to the hostel.
Option 3) Do option 2, but when you get off the bus from Alejuala (the airport) walk east on Avenida 2, until you see the bus stop for any of these: San Pedro, Curridabalt, Tres Rios. Any one of these buses will pass one block from the hostel. Get on, sit on the left hand side, and when you see the Subaru dealership, ull the stop cord and get off. Look for a surf shop called Arenas. Walk down the hill past Arenas, perpendicular to the main street the bus was driving on for one block. At the next street, turn to your right, and there’s the hostel.
ATTENTION FOR TRAVELERS USING TAXIS: Please, please, do not believe a cabbie if he tells you we are closed, burned down, whatever. The shit hostels give these assclowns commission to take you there instead of to us. Also, if you have a driver that can’t find us, he’s an idiot, get a different cab. He might just be driving you around until you get sick of it and relent to go to a place he knows. Another common tactic is for cabbies to “call” the hostel to check to see if you still have a reservation, then they get off the phone and tell you that we gave away your room. Don’t buy it. He just fakes the phone call. We don’t give away rooms that are reserved, no matter what time it is or how late you are. period.