The Pura Vida Guesthouse not a regular guesthouse or hotel. There is no official reception and no fancy uniform, and we rent only one or two private bedrooms rooms with one SHARED bath (hot shower). The guesthouse offers a smaller family type accommodation that is simple, economical and comfortable. With a two night stay only 28.00 per night per couple or 14.00 per person. Holidays we may have a minimum stay.
We like yo think of our guests as our family. People often think that our location is our greatest asset, but guests quickly realize the Pura Vida Guesthouse is more than just a great rural location away from the touristy center of La Fortuna. It is a Village with a laid back attitude that draws the right guests who have a special positive energy.
We are not for everybody but the people that find there way to our door tend to be very "Pura Vida" and are a perfect fit to our home.
Located just 30 minutes from the center of La Fortuna with shuttles from 6.00 each way coming twice as day from la fortuna.
In the fun and unique village of El Castillo in Arenal Volcano National Park.
The Pura Vida Guesthouse is part hostel, part guesthouse and 100 percent pura vida. Owned by a mother and daughter team that moved to Costa Rica to start their own Pura Vida adventure.
Where is El Castillo? Just 10 km. off the Rainforest Highway between La Fortuna and Nuevo Arenal tucked between the lake waterfront and the Arenal National Forest you’ll discover one of the most unique places on earth.
The village of El Castillo was created as a result of the 1968 surprise eruption of Cerro Arenal that required the mass relocation of hundreds of families to safer zones. Originally a quiet agricultural centre, El Castillo was soon discovered by a new generation of bohemians looking for the perfect blend of climate and lifestyle.
And it’s no surprise, since El Castillo provides the best views of the volcano or lake anywhere. The unique combination of quiet village life and a growing number of ex-pat enterprises means the area buzzes with activity-from canopy tours and horseback riding to hiking, swimming, canoeing and kayaking. We boast Costa Rica’s largest butterfly conservatory and the ever-popular Snake and Reptile Zoo. Now, a growing arts and music culture is making El Castillo a must-see destination for creative people from all over the world.
Dining choices are varied and growing every year. Getting here is can be challenging- we wish the road was in better shape but in a way, the road is one of the reasons this is such a wonderful place.
Come for a day, a week or stay for a lifetime. However you discover El Castillo, you’ll find us Super! Natural!
Local Activities That can be booked onsite here at the guesthouse Include
- Thermal Hot Springs (Tabacon, Baldi and others)
- Hiking in the forest
- Arenal Volcano National Park
- Night Hikes
- Mountain Biking
- Boat Tours
- Bird watching
- Cerro Chato
- Arenal Ecozoo Serpentarium
- Butterfly Conservatory
- Sky Tram
- Horseback riding
- Hangin Bridges
- Jeep-Boat-Jeep to/from Monteverde
- Lava Trail
- Los Tucanes Trail
- Caño Negro
- La Fortuna Waterfall
- Rancho Margot
- and more
( Pura Vida literally means "pure life" but is the Costa Rican equivalent of Hawaii's Aloha and is used in Costa Rica for hello, goodbye or just to say I am happy, I love and appreciate life, or I am doing great! You will find pura vida is contagious and soon you will find yourself exclaiming Pura Vida!! right along with the "Ticos" the self named nickname of Costa Ricans..Tica if female.)
We love to provide a comfortable, gracious setting. Come stay with us for the ultimate in pura vida laid back life style. Quite simply, you won't find anything quite like Pura Vida Guesthouse Hostel and Spa in all of Costa Rica. 'Come as a guest leave as a friend.'
Mikey is super friendly and knows the area really well, so he can give great advice about what to do. He's cost-conscious and recommends authentic and inexpensive options for hiking and exploring. The place is basic but has everything you need!
The Puravida Guesthouse may be small in size however is large in heart. Michael is the best host ever. He went out of his way to show us a great time with lots of laughs. Michael took us on several adventures and a tour around El Castillo. We stayed 4 nights and would definitely come back to stay here again.
The room is suitable for a short stay. No luxury at all. But very restful. Mikey is a rememberly person. Although we stayed only 1 night we had the opportunity to visit his personal trail to the arenal lake and his food forest.
Outstanding Host of his Guesthouse who is deeply interested in his guests having a fun time. Mikey is a superstar hiker, explorer, and overall adventurer, and can tailor the experience and challenges of exploring the Arenal Volcano area to anyone's needs. Great time! Great guy!
Mikey is an excellent host. My girlfriend and I stayed two weeks at Pura Vida and were completely satisfied. Mikey goes out of his way to make sure you have the trip and experience you want.
Accommodations are a great value, and you get some things that are harder to find in CR: strong internet, hot water, and strong flushing toilets just a few.
Stay here with Mikey, you will get to see a different side of Arenal, literally and figuratively.
Staying at Pura Vida was a delight. Michael was a great host, he kept me updated and was available to advise me even before I came to El Castillo. He is really welcoming and helps you find the best activity.
Pura Vida is well located in El Castillo and there are many things to see in the village. There is a soda rigth next to the house and other places to eat not so far, which is really helpful. You also have a little grocery store across the street.
It is better to have a car if you want to move out of the village easily, but you can also take the shuttle or ask for a ride.
More than the guest house, Micheal is the illustration of the expression "Pura Vida". Moreover, people in El Castillo are really friendly. I stayed there an extra day cause I have really enjoyed the experience. It is a good place to stay for people who are adventurous but also for those who want a quiet escape in a very simple and warm place.
Pura vida, tout à fait mais il ne faut pas s'attendre à un 4 étoiles. L'endroit est bien situé, mais un peu proche de la salle des fêtes avec un match de foot et une fête deux fois dans la semaine jusqu'à trois heures du matin, ce n'est pas de tout repos...
Chambres correctes mais propreté à revoir, notamment dans la cuisine un peu sous équipée et pas très reluisante. Heureusement Michael est là pour vous accueillir avec sa bonne humeur et toujours dispos pour vous renseigner.
A recommander, oui mais pour routard peu exigeant ...
Michael is by far the best host you could hope for on AirBnB. After my experience at his guesthouse I will never use a hotel again! He was fun, friendly, helpful and worth soo much more than the meager money it costs to rent one of his rooms.
El Castillo is also a gem in and of itself. It is within easy driving distance of canyoning, ziplining, hiking, the volcano, the lake - everything (all of which Michael will happily direct you to!). However, at the end of the day you get to escape the hustle and bustle of the tourist scene and settle down in this cute, peaceful, local town with a view of the volcano.
Michael and his guesthouse were by far the highlight of our trip!!
You Should Stay Here. Michael was awesome. He will help you book any tours/activities you want to do, or just let you hang out..you decide. The bed was the most comfortable we had in Costa Rica. Michael was genuinely kind and made us laugh with his great sense of humor. We had a car so we were able to travel to all the local activities including free hot springs, an animal rescue center, hiking to the volcano, etc.
El Castillo de La Fortuna is an adorable community and if you're lucky to experience it with Michael, he'll share all the ins and outs of the area. He's extremely hospitable, knows a lot of people and goes above and beyond to help to ensure your stay is exactly what you're looking for and more. He even went into La Fortuna to help out a guest with ATM troubles she had. We rolled into the village late, and he welcomed us with beers saying enthusiastically, "Mi casa es su casa!" He's a Gringo from California, but has immersed himself in the area supporting the school across the street and building dirt jumps for moto bikes among other things. We can't wait to visit again!