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!
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.
My girlfriend and I stayed at the Pura Vida Guesthouse in March 2013. Mikey was a tremendous host, giving us great recommendations for hikes, hot springs, zip-lining, etc. He really knows his way around Arenal, El Castillo and La Fortuna, and he has friends/contacts around town that were helpful as well.
We ended up leaving our new hiking shoes behind at the hostel by accident and Mikey actually found them and sent them to us in the US. He went out of his way to help us in every aspect of our stay…just a really helpful, friendly guy.
The hostel itself is not luxurious by any means; just simple, clean and quiet. The shared kitchen is very limited, but there is a little convenience store across the street and a good cheap traditional restaurant next door. El Castillo is very quaint and seemed to have more character than the more touristy La Fortuna. Just be prepared to drive an extra 30 minutes on a dirt road to get there. In two days we ended up hiking the Cerro Chato (no visibility due to rain, but a good hike), doing the tram/trek zip-line, and going to one of the hot springs.
Highly recommended all the way around.
Great host. Friendly and very helpful. Look forward to staying with he again in the future
Pura Vida Guesthouse was an exelent start on our jurney in Costa Rica. Robin helpt us whit almost everything. From finding the right buses too aranging trips and adventure in the nearby surending. Robin know the local people and are very keen too make sure that you will get the most out of the fantastic landscape around Arenal (inculding rainforest, vulcanos, hot springs, horseridning etc. Robin called herself to make a reservations. We went to the most exelent horseriding and we were also visiting the neerby eco-farm Ranch Margot that aslo had Yoga and fantastic food. There is a restaurante right next door open from the early morning till late. Our only misstake was that we only booked the room for three nights, we really hope to be back one day.
The room was clean and had a good bed, it was exactly what we needed for our adventure in Arenal National Park. Robin was an overly gracious host and helped us plan our entire visit to Arenal and book all tours that included the Baldi Hot Springs (awesome! and totally relaxing), white water rafting with the best company in Arenal (Costa Rica Descents) and zip lining (Sky Trek which is spectacular and only 4km away from Pura Vida). We would recommend Robin and Pura Vida to anyone! Thanks for all your help Robin! Mike & Marian
Staying with Robin is like going on spring break to your cool aunts house. She goes out of her way to make sure you are having a great trip regardless of your interests. If you want to skip touristy La Fortuna and get a more authentic country costa rica Robins place will be perfect.
Robin was a wonderful host! Good recommendations, and she even called to book us into things we wanted to do! It is a rough road into El Castillo, but if you have 4WD you should be fine.