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Hostel Question

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Brooklyn, New York
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13 posts
6 reviews
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Hostel Question

Hello,

I have a very specific question. I am trying to decide between two hostels in Playa Samara. One, Casa Brian, which I've read great things about, is on the outskirts of town, and another, El Cactus, is in the town. Both sound great, though different (have read reviews that El Cactus is less social) but as a solo traveler, I'm wondering whether it would be better to stay in town as opposed to more on the outskirts where I might have to take a taxi on my own (though might meet people at the hostel). I assume taxis are generally safe?

Thanks in advance!

Toronto, Canada
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956 posts
105 reviews
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1. Re: Hostel Question

For location I would choose El Cactus. No need to for taxis. Beach is close. Samara is a great little beach town.

Punta Uva, Costa...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
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6,874 posts
10 reviews
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2. Re: Hostel Question

I would also check Matilori, Franck et Lydie are great hosts and they run a wonderful place. Great location too!

Brooklyn, New York
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13 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: Hostel Question

Thank you both for your responses! I did check Matilori but they are closed during the time I am there. My one concern is that some of the reviews of El Cactus mention that it is not social and as a solo traveler. Have either of you stayed there? Would it generally be easy to meet people in Playa Samara? Thanks!

Nowhere
Destination Expert
for Playa Samara
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3,933 posts
79 reviews
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4. Re: Hostel Question

Well, if you get a better feeling regarding Brian, then there is no need to stay elsewhere. While it is a bit out of town, it's certainly not to the point where it would be bothersome. Along the beach, it will just take a few minutes to make it to main street - not a big deal at all.

Casa Brian tends to have quite the social scene. It's very close to the beach but it is located in a somewhat more basic neighborhood. Still, from what I have heard and seen, people seem to enjoy their stay there.

Brooklyn, New York
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13 posts
6 reviews
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5. Re: Hostel Question

Thanks framptonian! I appreciate your advice as well. What you said is very helpful! I have a tough time making decisions and suppose I will have to just go with my gut at some point. On a different note, I see you're a destination expert for Playa Samara --do you have an idea of what the dengue situation is like there now? Most of the articles I've found about the epidemic are from 2013. Thanks!

Nowhere
Destination Expert
for Playa Samara
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3,933 posts
79 reviews
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6. Re: Hostel Question

Dengue comes and goes but I am not aware that it would pose a particularly high risk to the average tourist. It was a bit higher last year but the country took quite a few steps to reduce Dengue rates. Most tourists tend to apply insect repellant anyway and doing so will reduce the already low risk of contracting Dengue to negligible.

To give you an idea of how tough it is to get Dengue: It took me ten years of not wearing repellant to finally get it. Ten years of potential daily exposure...

Naturally, there are no guarantees, but I wouldn't make Dengue concerns a priority.

Costa Rica
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25,655 posts
25 reviews
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7. Re: Hostel Question

The risk of dengue can also depend on the time of year you visit. Right now, there's little danger.

The cases of dengue tend to "build up" as the rainy season builds up. But this year has been drier than normal - and predicted to be drier the rest of the year - so the number of cases may be significantly less than last year.

But using whatever repellent that works for you is the best thing to do. Dengue mosquitoes are active during the day and like shady places.

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