The Best Villas and Vacation Rentals to Book in San Jose, Costa Rica

San Jose is a bustling city home to a wide range of accommodation
San Jose is a bustling city home to a wide range of accommodation | © Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
Sara Darling

Home to lush rainforests and an astonishing diversity of wildlife, San Jose is the Costa Rican gateway to exploring its natural heritage. Expect to hike and jump into one or two waterfalls, before chillaxing to the sound of tropical birds, pitter-patter of monkeys and uninterrupted view of the sunset, in our pick of the best city and rural home rentals in San Jose. They’re all reservable through Culture Trip so read on and relax – your holiday is as good as booked already.

1. Groovy urban living at The Train


Chic modern room at The Train, San Jose, Costa Rica
Courtesy of The Train / Expedia

Given that this place has such a vibrant co-working and networking hub, you won’t look out of place typing up reports on your laptop in the comfortable communal areas. And if you need to stay awhile, The Train delivers a range of long-stay modern apartments. Located in strategic urban areas, each suite comes with all the home comforts so you can prepare for your important meetings. They are equally popular with families and couples who want the freedom to cook for themselves, or have fussy kids.

2. Valley of the Dreams Eco Lodge, for wildlife wonders

Lodge, Eco-Lodge

Cosy room with forest views at Valley of the Dreams Eco Lodge, San Jose, Costa Rica
Courtesy of Valley of the Dreams Eco Lodge / Expedia

With a yoga deck, fire pit, saltwater pool, nine cabins and a stunning-looking lounge, the Valley of the Dreams Eco Lodge is a slice of paradise in San Jose. Admittedly it might be off the beaten track, but this is a stunning location, in the thick of nature – so you’ll be on tweeting terms with friendly toucans, white-headed parrots and the odd woodpecker, on hand to provide your wake up call. If you’re really lucky, you may spy one of the elusive white-faced capuchins, howler monkeys or three-toed sloths.

3. Rainforest views at Sabinillas Hotels Portal De La Montana


Gardens and pool at Sabinillas Hotels Portal De La Montana, San Jose, Costa Rica
Courtesy of Sabinillas Hotels Portal De La Montana / Expedia

The setting is a winner for starters – this hotel sits within a huge private reserve. At the Sabinillas Hotels Portal De La Montan, one of the most peaceful villas in San Jose, the unique rooms offer breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, ocean and forest. Open your blinds and see the rainforest, grab your shorts and swimmers and canter up to the nearby waterfall on one of the stable horses and return for a relaxing massage. Allow time to linger on the porch after dinner – you’ll get to watch flocks of tropical birds by way of colorful evening entertainment.

5. Family fun at Casa Reflejos


Small pool and terrace at Casa Reflejos, San Jose, Costa Rica
Courtesy of Casa Reflejos / Expedia

Whether you’re traveling solo or with a family, Casa Reflejos has your name all over it: there’s an attractive range of modern one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, all of them perfectly set up for self-catering. More importantly, they’re close to Escazú, a city that’s regarded as one of the trendiest in Costa Rica. Stock up on groceries at the nearby supermarket on your way from the airport, and you can settle in for weeks – particularly since the property has a pool and a whirlpool tub, a gym, sauna, steam room, gardens and grill area.

6. Escazu mansion with private pool, for magnificent views


Garden Terrace at Escazu mansion, Costa Rica
Courtesy of Escazu mansion / Expedia

Many guests check in to this place for the view alone- it overlooks the Escazús skyline from its exclusive setting in the hills. It’s pretty luxurious too, possessed of five apartments with private pools and hot tubs – you’ll live as if you’ve hit the jackpot, sipping morning coffees or sundowners on your terrace. With a fully equipped kitchen, premium bedding and free wifi, you might never want to leave – although the neighboring Multiplaza Mall Escazu and Sabana and Central Parks are well worth a wander through.

7. Treehouse living at Macaw Lodge


view of wooden exterior of Macaw Lodge, Costa Rica
Courtesy of Macaw Lodge / Expedia

You’re never too old to stay in a treehouse. At least that’s what the owners of Macaw Lodge maintain. This is a delightful place to stay in Carrara: an authentic eco-lodge hidden away in the mountains of a national park, and the 12 timber cabins place you at one with nature. Along with a restaurant serving hearty, locally-sourced produce, there’s breakfast included in the room rate, and a relaxed bar – it’s the perfect spot to socialize with your neighbors, before climbing the wooden stairs to the land of nod.

8. Las Yagrumas Condo Escazu, for chic city stays


Las Yagrumas Condo Escazu exterior view, San Jose, Costa Rica
Courtesy of Las Yagrumas Condo Escazu / Expedia

White-leather sofas, glass coffee tables, curious ornaments – your San Jose villa apartment at Las Yagrumas Condo Escazu is very homely indeed. It’s got four ensuite bedrooms, a private yard and a hot tub. Expect housekeeping to pop by and freshen up your bedding and towels weekly – and don’t worry about bringing bathroom potions as everything is provided in this modern, upmarket apartment. It’s even got a garden as well as mountain and city views.

For more great places to stay in Costa Rica, check out our pick of the best boutique hotels in San José, Costa Rica, bookable on Culture Trip.

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