Jungles, killer surf breaks, quiet beaches, nonstop wildlife encounters, fresh juices and farm-to-table fare are all the stuff of Costa Rica. It’s a fresh air, outdoorsmen’s paradise, and as more homeowners join the rental market, the options are multiplying for high-end villas, infinity pools, glamping tree houses and much more.
Here are our top picks for Airbnbs to book now.
Modern Tree House—Playa Grande, Guanacaste
You had us at tree house. This one-bedroom stay in Playa Grande sits above the treeline and offers a Jacuzzi with views of the surrounding green hills. Inside, the vibe is both rustic and modern, with walls of glass, industrial light fixtures and raw wood beams and accents. The owners make additional perks available at an added cost, from organic wines to by-request private chefs.
Remote Hideaway in Sierpe—Puntarenas
If you’re looking to see as much of Costa Rica as possible, the town of Sierpe—roughly 70 miles north of the Panama border—likely shouldn’t be tops on your list. However, if you’re coming to Costa Rica to unwind and relax in the most natural setting possible, then book at this three-bedroom, largely open-air lodge with views of the Sierpe River. In every room, the views of green hills and the river dominate.
Perhaps the best part is that this Airbnb includes it all—from wine and top-shelf liquor, nightly prepared dinners and even a private guide who will take you boating, hiking, fishing or whale-watching.
Beachfront Bamboo House—Osa Peninsula
Fun and funky, this eco-chic, two-bedroom dwelling brings the Balinese look of bamboo beachfront to the town of Puerto Jimenez on the Osa Peninsula. From the outdoor rain shower to the hammock strung on the porch, just 55 yards from the Golfo Dulce, we love the home’s commitment to outdoor living. Surf lessons, board lessons and yoga also available.
Modern Oceanview Villa—Playa Flamingo
Posh can be had at a relatively affordable rate in Costa Rica, as evidenced by this three-bedroom modern villa in Playa Flamingo in the Guanacaste Region. The wow factor is definitely strongest on the deck: the villa’s infinity pool has unobstructed views of Potrero Bay, perfect for epic sunsets.
Inside, this newly constructed home sports clean lines and a minimalist style, with neutral tones and a few pops of color. For an upcharge, a personal chef can also be arranged.
Sleek and Modern—Tamarindo
In Tamarindo, one of the top surf spots in Costa Rica, find this sleek, modern three-bedroom home, just steps from the ocean. One wall of the home is solely composed of black-metal-framed windows, opening to the pool and giving the interior space a sophisticated and airy vibe. Though much of the construction is metal or cement, the overall vibe is warmed up by the addition of basket lights, wood carving artwork and handmade wooden doors. We’re especially taken with the pool area, surrounded on all sides by palms and towering tamarind trees, giving the space a ton of privacy. An added bonus: One of the bedrooms stands separately from the main living space, allowing for more privacy within your group.
Jungle Oasis—Manuel Antonio
You get the best of both jungle and ocean with this three-bedroom jungle oasis in Manuel Antonio, one of Costa Rica’s best spots for wildlife encounters. Even from the pool deck and outdoor dining areas of this home—where you get ocean and sunset views—you can spy squirrel monkeys, howler monkeys, three-toed sloths, mangrove hummingbirds and chestnut-mandibled toucans.
The warm, mostly wood interior isn’t over-the-top luxury, but it is comfortable. Moreover, you’re choosing this Airbnb for its location: It’s a 12-minute walk to the beach and to town.
Plumeria Guest House—Pinilla
Just steps from the latte-colored beaches of Pinilla, a town 30 minutes by car south of Tamarindo, this three-bedroom home offers a private outdoor sanctuary experience at its tamarind-tree sheltered pool area and grassy backyard.
Inside, the home features a lot of raw-edge wood counters and other charming touches, such as the bright turquoise tiled bathroom. With dining and lounging areas outside, it’s easy to want to spend the day lounging—although surf breaks, mountain bike trails, a golf course, a spa and the town of Tamarindo are all just minutes away.
This modern two-bedroom villa in the Playa Guiones region of Nosara, a surf community on the Pacific Coast, offers a bright, airy vibe. Most rooms feature walls of sliding glass doors that open to the outside for an indoor-outdoor living concept.
Head outside to take a dip in the private saltwater pool, just steps from the living area. Next to it, a rope swing bed hangs beneath a tree canopy, offering a shady spot for an afternoon siesta.
Resort Vibes—Santa Teresa Beach
The infinity pool and pool terrace of this Santa Teresa Beach home make you feel like you’re at a resort—albeit one with complete privacy. The terrace, spanning the length of the house, offers uninterrupted views of the ocean and town below. A split floor plan with two master bedrooms on opposite ends of the kitchen-living room area allow for added privacy.
We also love the outdoor grill, wet bar and counter for entertaining—letting you whip up pisco sours and barbecued chicken while taking maximum advantage of the ocean views.
Unique Retreat—Puerto Jimenez
Though it’s hard to tell from the photos, this five-bedroom retreat near the tip of the Oso Peninsula is just steps from the beaches of Pavon Bay. What we love most is the design.
Bamboo supports and green metal roofs make for a playful, angular look that blends seamlessly with the lush outdoors. The home’s living and dining rooms are entirely open air, creating that Swiss Family Robinson vibe. The private pool sits amid a tropical garden, making it likely that parrots and hummingbirds will linger while you soak.