JACO, COSTA RICA – ROOM2BOARD, A MILLENNIALS TRAVEL DREAM
Whitney, a travel blogger, recently was a guest at our hostel and wrote this blog about Room2Board. We hope you enjoy it. You can see more pictures and read more here.
When I landed in Costa Rica I really didn’t have a plan, I stayed two boring days in San Jose and then did my research. (Side note – you can totally skip San Jose, it is a yawn-worthy capital city.) I decided I would head to Jaco for the gorgeous black sand beaches and to stay at the Room2Board Hostel and Surf School. I hopped on the public bus to Jaco, Costa Rica, which promptly ran into another bus on the way; everyone laughed, some man came on board to sell us bananas, then away we went!
Do you ever feel like you are just slightly too old for hostels and party vacations but don’t want to be grouped with family and coupling vacation goers or drop major cash to enjoy an exotic week away? Alas, this is probably the traveling conundrum of most millennial travelers – we have jobs, vacation time, still want to party, but are on a budget due to our financial burdens of mounting student loans, credit cards, car payments, and life in general.
Lucky for you, I found the best vacation spot in Costa Rica for millenials – literally. Room2Board is a hostel with direct beach access, hotel like features, and chalk full of young people ready to surf, swim, and party until the sun comes up. Everyone staying there was in their mid-late twenties – I didn’t have that awkward too-old-to-hostel feeling at all.
Owner, Brian, from New York built the property from the ground up catering to a specific age group of people. It was designed like a hostel, each bed has a separate light, fan, and locker with electric outlets inside of them – genius. Other rooms are private with a/c and ensuite bathrooms. The private female dorm had a full ensuite bathroom with an undercounted sink and a spacious shower and daily room cleaning service. At $18 a night, you really can’t get a better deal than that for beach front property.
The pool boasts a massive flat screen where surf videos stream all day/night and a fast slide. I spent one lazy afternoon playing football in the pool with three Canadian Drs. Seriously, where else can you meet three single Canadian Drs on vacation? They also wanted to be featured in my blog on CR – so here you go guys!
I took my very first surf lesson where I spent a solid 12 minutes in the water feeling like I was on the tumble dry setting of a dryer and then let my board drag me to shore before I threw in towel, literally, I threw it on the ground. Exhausted from these full twelve minutes, I watched from the beach as my friend, Mary the British badass, actually got up on the board twice. Mary and I shared a lesson bringing the cost to only $35/pp for an hour-long surf session. If you count the actual time I was in the water this was about $3/minute, not too bad if you need a seaworthy adult babysitter.
Need views of the Pacific without actually getting in the water? The rooftop terrace boasts some of the best views I had seen in all of Costa Rica. After my first and last surf experience, I lounged in a hammock listening to music and watching the tide.
I found the best value to be at the hostel restaurant, however the best places to eat in town are off the side streets. Jaco caters to the throngs of surfers, therefore the main drag has the priciest, and usually tasteless meals. Head to Taco Bar or Namaste off the side streets for good food at a reasonable fare.
Reasonable being the keyword here, Costa Rican prices are on par with American prices.
Did you know the Costa Rica doesn’t have addresses? They actually do not have physical addresses, street names, or house numbers. Super convenient. You might be wondering, how does one arrive anywhere? With difficulty. God bless T-mobile and their unlimited data roaming in 140 countries – I used my google maps to zoom in and find locations and then follow my blue dot on the map to my location.
In lieu of addresses, each location had directions, like in the image below. The problem with this system is that they assume you know where the references are to begin with. This blogger does a great job describing life with no addresses.
(Whitney is right about the addresses in CR – this is Room2Board’s official address, good thing everyone in town knows where it is!)