The Pura Vida Guesthouse not a regular guesthouse or hotel. There is no official reception and no fancy uniform, and we rent only three 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.'
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!!
Michael was waiting for us when we arrived and ready to suggest things to do. He is a great host. You need a car to get to this place. It is 18 kilometers from La Fortuna. For us, it was a great location far away from the populated areas but close enough to the natural park.
Michael organized the day we were there and it was phenomenal.
Thank you very much for a great experience.
Robin made our stay in Arenal lovely. She is a great host and helped us book tours and transportation to and from. Robin rocks and El Castillo is a very special town.
PuraVida Guesthouse in El Castillo is a perfect starting point for exploring the Arenal Volcano and its surroundings. The views of the volcano from the guesthouse are just stunning! The guesthouse is located conveniently close to the Arenal Observatory Lodge where we spent a whole day exploring the many different trails on Arenal and Cerro Chato (for only 6$ entrance fee).
Robin is very kind, friendly and hospitable. She made some great suggestions for things to do on our stay in El Castillo. She even explained to us how to reach the place at the Tabacon hot springs which the locals go to and which is free of charge - think of it as an all-natural spa set in the middle of a jungle! What an experience after a day of hiking!
The new owner of the PuraVida Guesthouse, Michael, was also there during my boyfriend's and my visit. This guy really makes a great host! He gave us some good suggestions for places to eat in El Castillo and even accompanied us on some of our hikes. It was a great laugh!
Our room was clean and comfortable. The mattress was just perfect! The shared bathroom was also very clean (just like the rest of the house) and there was a hot shower which actually worked (this is not always the case in Costa Rica)!
All in all, we had a wonderful stay in PuraVida Guesthouse in El Castillo and would love to come back on our next visit to Costa Rica!Thank you Robin and Mikey! Pura Vida!
El Castillo is a great place to stay for easy access to sky trek, the butterfly gardens, the arenal observatory lodge and the hot springs. Robin went out of her way to help us plan our activities and trip and we had a wonderful time.
ROBBIN AND DAUGHTER ARE A REAL TREAT .A MOM AND DAUGHTER TEAM LOCATED WAY OF THE BEATEN (email hidden)E SURROUNDING NATURAL BEAUTY OF THE VOLCANO ,BUTTERFLY MUSEUM AND ORGANIC FARMS ARE A NATURE LOVERS DREAM.THE GIFT HERE IS ROBBINS EXQUISITE SKILLS AS A MASSEUSE , AND AFTER TRAVELLING COSTA RICA'S DIRT ROADS YOU WILL FIND THIS A WELCOMED TREAT. HER KNOWLEDGE AND RELATIONSHIP TO THE COMMUNITY IS STELLAR AND IT SHOWS.. I SAY A TRUE BARGAIN ,I WOULD RETURN THERE IN A MINUTE..
Robin gave us a very warm welcome as if we've known each other for a long time. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Robin's Pura Vida Guesthouse. It's very nicely located in a cute little village, close to the Arenal National Park...there's even a Butterfly Conservatory and an Eco Zoo with different species of snakes and spiders just up the road (10min walk). Robi's a very warm-heartedand helpful host...she even called Europcar for us when ee had a problem with our key and made them come up and bring us a new one very fast!:) Thank your Robin for letting us have such a nice first airbnb experience together.