Playa 506 Hostel & Restaurant puts you right on one of the best Caribbean beaches in Costa Rica, Playa Cocles. Take a tour of the property & discover why it’s the perfect base for exploring around Puerto Viejo.
Playa 506 Hostel Location
Playa 506 Hostel is located 2 km outside of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca on Cocles Beach.
The world-renowned surf is a short walk away & so good during the right conditions that periodic competitions are held there.
Puerto Viejo & the nearby Cahuita National Park should be on any one month Costa Rica itinerary.
Under normal conditions, it is also very beginner friendly since the water is shallow & the bottom is sand. We also saw a lot of boogie boarders taking advantage of the waves so don’t feel like you need to be a surfer to enjoy them.
Even when the waves are kicking, you can still enjoy wading in the water & body surfing a bit since the slope is very gradual. If that is not to your liking, then enjoy laying on the fine sand.
It is the perfect graininess falling somewhere between powder (too small & sticky) & coarse grains (too large & rough).
The beach is also lined with palm trees that provide shade throughout the day. All this is at your doorstep at Playa 506 Hostel!
Playa 506 Hostel: Rooms
Playa 506 Hostel is comprised of private rooms, dorms with communal areas, camping & a restaurant/bar.
All the accommodation options have shared bathrooms.
Let us here at DIY Travel HQ take you on a closer look around, so you can decide which room option works best for you.
Playa 506 Hostel Private Rooms
The three private rooms at Playa 506 Hostel are located above the restaurant with access from a rear staircase. Each room has a secure gate for ventilation along with a solid door for privacy.
Two of the rooms are fitted with full-sized beds with swan towels, while the third has a couch with the double bed in the canopy accessed by a ladder.
The shared bathroom is just outside the three rooms on the 2nd floor & has hot water showers. There is also a balcony that has nice views of the restaurant’s beach seating.
You can relax & catch up on some reading in the hammock, or just take a load off at the wooden table & chairs.
Playa 506 Hostel Dorm Rooms
The original intent for Playa 506 Hostel was to offer a fabulous experience for backpackers & vacationers alike.
Each dorm room has a max of 4 built-in bunk beds decorated with a stylized sheet. There is also a personal lamp & outlet for each bed so you can control your own schedule & safely charge your electronics.
You can also secure all your belongings in the lockers provided both in the room & outside by the bathrooms.
Another convenient feature are the staircases that lead up to the top bunks in lieu of a traditional bunk bed ladder. Playa 506 Hostel took dorm rooms & upped the playing field.
There is also camping in the rear of the property with access to lockers, bathrooms, & the kitchen.
Males & females have identical shower blocks next to each other, with 3 showers & 2 toilets in each one.
Showers have traditional hot water controlled by two taps with good water pressure. Sinks are located on the veranda & even have paper towels!
Playa 506 Hostel Kitchen
The kitchen at Playa 506 is well-stocked with two countertop stoves, fridge, crockery & toaster. Basic staples like oil & salt are also provided for communal use.
You can buy groceries 300 meters south at the local supermarket, or in Puerto Viejo as well. Prices tend to be similar at both places.
The seating includes a long table & two long ‘bars’ with stools. Wi-Fi reaches here & everywhere else on the property too.
A complimentary breakfast is included at Playa 506 Hostel. It’s served between 8:00-10:00am & includes toast, jams/butter & fruit (watermelon, bananas, etc.) – a tray of eggs is also brought out if you would like to cook your own.
Playa 506 Restaurant
The restaurant at Playa 506 Hostel is one of the highlights of the property. It’s located in a large, open thatch-roof structure, supported by a huge tree in the middle with branches & leaves stretching out of the roof – it’s spectacular!
The furnishings & design are also very cool. The tables are made out of recycled wood panels & the high chairs are made of metal or wood too. Seat cushions add splashes of of colour.
If you prefer something more relaxed, head to the hammock swings!
Playa 506 restaurant is open until 6:00 pm, after which it turns into a low-key bar until 10 pm.
Menu items include:
- Fish & Chips: C$4,500 / $8.00
- Ceviche: C$4,000 / $7.25
- House Salad: C$3,500 / $6.25
- Veggie Burger: C$4,700 / $8.50
Drinks include cocktails, wine, coffee & juices – no soft drinks. Local, foreign & craft beers are available from C$1,500-C$2,500 / $2.75-$4.50.
Playa 506 Hostel Beach
During the day & at night you can enjoy your meal and/or drink in the restaurant, or right on the beach in front – yes, Playa 506 is a beachfront hostel!
There are wooden & deck chairs on the sand, shaded by palm trees – hanging out here is at your own risk though, as the sign says “Beware of Falling Coconuts!”
There are hammocks strewn between the palms, with a view to the ocean.
The landscaping & lighting are well done at Playa 506 – it might be one of the few places where it looks just as good, or even better, at night 🙂
Other Features at Playa 506 Hostel
- Bicycle rental & parking
- Hammocks around the dorm porch
- Giant Jenga in the garden
- Book exchange
- Maps & tour information
Playa 506 Hostel & Restaurant Owners
Now that you have a feel for Playa 506, let’s see if your image of the owners matches what you expect. Bryan & his business partner Francesco both love to travel & have had the “we should open a hostel” chat several times. Well, on one trip to Costa Rica they saw a property in disrepair that they liked & put in a bid to purchase it. They continued on their trip, forgot about their offer, & only found out their bid was accepted several months after being back in Florida.
The Venezuelan & Italian duo then flew back to Costa Rica, filed the paperwork, & started making their dream a reality. First came the restaurant, then the dorms, & finally the private rooms when one of the owners went away on vacation! Although the hostel is less than one year old, the friends seem to have a sustainable system to allow them to still enjoy life. They alternate taking month long trips & completely switching off so they can continue to explore the world!
What’s Next for Playa 506?
Now that some of the kinks are ironed out, staff are trained, & a routine established Bryan wants to improve upon the hostel atmosphere.
He sees more group activities in the future that really turns the hostel into more than just a bed for the night – Bryan’s first two additions are a slack line & jumbo Jenga, with more fun & games to come!
Attractions Near Playa 506 Hostel
Similar to Montezuma on the other coast, there is a lot of activities easily reached from Playa 506.
Here are some of the highlights that can be reached by bus or bicycle:
- Playa Cocles at your doorstep
- Cahuita National Park (beautiful & pay-by-donation)
- Snorkeling Locations
- Punta Uva (walk-in)
- Arricefe (walk-in)
- Manzanillo (walk-in)
- Cahuita National Park (tour)
In a Nutshell
Location: Playa 506 Hostel is located roughly 2 km south of Puerto Viejo
Prices: Private rooms $50-60, Dorms $20 & Camping
Amenities: breakfast, lockers, private light & outlet, Wi-Fi, kitchen, common areas, bicycle rental
- Phone: 2750 3158
- Email: [email protected]
- Website:: Playa 506
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***The Final Word – We wish we had budgeted more days for Puerto Viejo so keep an open schedule when visiting.***
What common activities would you recommend for hostel Playa 506?
* We enjoyed a complimentary stay at Playa 506 – thank you to Bryan for hosting us. We only recommend great value accommodation that we would choose to stay at regardless & as always, all opinions are our own.
Visited in January 2017