Rocking J's

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Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

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Rocking J's Puerto Viejo Reviews

andrejav andrejav
751 reviews
Second time around :) Apr 27, 2014
Second time around in Puerto Viejo and I simply did not even think about staying anywhere else aside of good old Rocking J’s. It is in the same place, has the same great vibe, but few things have changed and let me address them .

First and the most important, J’s ark is DONE! Three level container based construction that J tends to use in the case of flooding, or any kind of disaster looks pretty sound and has an interesting shape… J has made top floor into his living quarters and bottom floor has large dormitory for people that like beds over hammocks or tents. Also horse stables that were only for horses few years ago, now host cool private rooms all covered in tiles and creative designs. Another expansion is right behind the reception area and it is a large dormitory. This time I stayed in really cool private duplex room with super sexy mirror that covers whole wall . Good times!!

Aside of expansions in dormitories and rooms, nothing really changed. Place is still full of right people, good old backpackers, vagabonds and very interesting characters. I stayed whole week and got one day free heheheh. Main reason for staying that long is to make my own mosaic! AND I DID IT!!! It took me some 5 days to finish this large piece, and I am very happy with the result. For all of you that are tempted with doing the same thing (and it is easy to be tempted with the sheer amount of artwork that surrounds you in this hostel) I must tell you that it is very hard to collect the tiles from the large heap of broken tiles and make them proper shape. Also, there is no too many colors to choose from so your “art” has good chance to end with whatever you can scramble instead of making it right…

Restaurant that is part of the hostel is still going very strong and food is excellent. Another new thing is fire place and lots of seating between the hostel and the beach. J also has thing for crates and he made some kind of castle/seating area in the garden. It looks cool, but I never seen anyone hanging in that area, there is simply too many great places to enjoy.

So, this place is still five stars perfect cool travelers hostel. Warmly recommended.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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BackpackerRenny Backpack…
4 reviews
Cheap, adventurous, party hostel Dec 04, 2014
I really liked this Hostel! You have a few options, take a Hammock, a tent, a shared room, or a super expensive room that I never looked into! The staff were super friendly, always open in the day as a place to watch football, have a drink, or play some pool! I met so many lovely people here and the atmosphere was always fun.

I personally didn't enjoy the hammocks, couldn't sleep in them and I had a friend sleeping that was work up by 2 people bumping into here, enough said! So I grabbed a tent, with a bed inside and it was lovely.

5/10 minute walk into town and right on the edge in you want to explore some of the beaches along the big stretch heading away from town!

Fully reccomend this place to anyone wanting to meet people and have a bit of fun,

P.s. The beach is about 20/30 steps from the back entrance!! Bonus!!
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
andrejav andrejav
751 reviews
Rocking J Rocks ! Apr 10, 2011
Around 600m from the bus stop, Rocking J is more than worth carrying your backpack rain or shine… It is a compound of decorated buildings with the green area in the middle, roughly speaking. Everything has some writings, some tiles, mosaics, tables everywhere, places to chill, hide from the sun, rain… Very picturesque place, with so many goodies for your eyes that they should make tourist tours of the place hehehe. There are two floors, first one is camp for tents that you bring and two hammock sheds. I slept in one of these hammocks, and it is super good. Every spot has its own large locker that fits everything you can bring. Second floor has tent city and some private rooms. Everything is nicely painted because everyone can do his art, painting, doing mosaic, carving…

Hammock area that I slept in has around 40 hammocks in two rows, and you have to duck and go through the middle between the ropes in order to get to your own place. Hammocks are very strong comfortable, nicely lifted from the floor, and just right distance from other people. You get one sheet to cover yourself, and it was always fresh enough for a nice sleep. Bathrooms and showers are in different stalls, and there is only cold water available (which is ok, because it is warm outside). There are bathrooms all around (really everywhere), nicely decorated, all in tiles, clean and always running water.

There is around 30 meters to the beach, but sand covers only few meters into the water, and then sharp coral takes over. For a good beach you have to walk south additional 500 meters which is very pleasant due to the nice sand and lots of trees and palms that are making perfect shade. Other beach is totally sandy, but has lots of rip-currents, so be careful. That beach is long and scarcely can you find some people and few surfers trying waves.

Rocking J’s has lots of games to play, they rent equipment such as surfboards, or bicycles, and they can organize travel tours around the area. Adjacent to the hostel there is a restaurant that is surprisingly good, starting with food taste, presentation and service. They also have pretty cheap and tasty breakfast.

Puerto Viejo is small village and you can get some great coffee or a bit expensive but generally very good meals anywhere you go. Bus station is just a small selling office, and there is also a shed, if the rain starts.

J rocks, and he is constantly improving his place with new tile mosaics and drawings. You can just tell him your idea of what you want to make, and he’ll see if he can place it around the compound. If I had some time to spare, my “art” would cover piece of the wall for sure…

There is nothing even close to originality of this hostel in Costa Rica and actually this concept of favoring hammocks, than tents, and just having a bit of rooms works like charm, and everyone seems to be super happy.

Recommended !!!
Awesome English grass courtyard. L…
Beach in the front
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
kelleb says:
nice review! I stayed here in a hammock too, loved it !!
Posted on: Apr 11, 2011
Marina2710 Marina27…
18 reviews
Rockin' J's the place to stay on the Costa Rica Caribbean Mar 03, 2011
This is the place to stay!!! For $4 a night you can sway in a hammock 30 yeards from the Caribbean water or observe as the giant blue crabs crawls out of their homes along the fence. This is party central in Puerto Viejo avery night.

I stayed there during Costa Rican's school week off and the place was packed. All night long they drank and partied. Late at night, the 'guard' if you can call him that, shoo-ed us out of the hostel premise and onto the beach where there is a bond-fire pit. They played music and danced all night long. Some people go further down to the water for drunk swimming or romance....

Dont go there if you want a quiet, clean, relaxing place to stay. The bathroons are sufficient and so are the showers, but they are not what I would call nice. The lights in the bathroom and shower stalls are timed, with the switch on the outside.

There is a restaurant on site and it has better food than most places in town. The joint is run by two brothers who are half American. They are very mellow (smoke pot with their guests) and live bands some on the weekends. They also host sand building contests and drinking/dancing contests.

If you don't like the hammocks (they are very comfortable though) you can rent a tent (not very quiet) or a room ( but those are few in number and are usually booked). There are cubbies you are assigned to store your stuff.

This might sound like a dump, but I would recommend it to anyone traveling to Puerto Viejo and I would go back there myself anytime. The hostel surfaces (tabletops, walls, cubbies, ect) are covered in 'things'. Go there to see what I mean.

To summarize, its an amazing experience and great bang for buck. It is not directly in the town center, but in a village that small its not a long walk either. The better beackes are ouside of town, but towards and past Rockin' J's. Its a nice fifteen minute scenic walk though the forest and along the coast.
Reception Desk
Bathrooms....not the best, but the…
gorillagirl28 gorillag…
1 reviews
Rocking J's: A Unique Experience! Sep 21, 2011
I stayed at Rocking J's for a whopping three weeks this past November and it was one of the most unique places i've ever stayed. I say "unique" because while it was exactly what i was looking for, it was not what several of my friends were looking for.

If you're looking for a high energy environment, then this is the place for you! It was a party non-stop for the entirety of my stay, which suited me just fine. There were always new (and old) people around to meet and hang out with. The hostel provided not only an amazing Mexican restaurant, but also information on local tours, bicycle rentals and live music.

The accommodations are pretty interesting. We had the choice of staying in a dorm room (private, 2 and 4 bed rooms), staying in one of their tents (all together in an upper level ) or getting one of the hammocks in the hammock pavilion.

The only downside might be the safety. Everyone gets their own private locker and as long as you're mindful you should be ok, but we did have a few small things stolen from our dorm room. Once again, as long as you're mindful and keep an eye on your things, it should be fine.

Also, the beach is RIGHT there, with it's own private entrance to the Caribbean beach and a bonfire most nights, Rocking J's is a fantastic place to stay in Puerto Viejo if you're looking for a fun environment filled with new friends.
Chelsea25Q Chelsea2…
3 reviews
Not so Great Apr 08, 2011

I went to Rocking J's when i was in Costa Rica because everyone said it was so awesome. It was cool to see everything covered in art made by broken tiles but in general that is not a good enough reason to stay here.

The room was way small and hot!

The kitchen was really greasy and the stove scary to light!

You can hang out here in the daytime anyway so you dont need to stay here overnight.

It is also far from the grocery store and most of the little shops.

It is good if you want to sleep in a hammock for like 5$. But you may get mosquito bites
orryjohnston orryjohn…
3 reviews
Oct 19, 2010
Awesome partys almost everynight, very sociable place, people from all over, there constantly, very relax and laid back during the day
melsadventure melsadve…
19 reviews
Rocking J's not so rocking Jun 07, 2010
Great place to meet other people but almost to big to. No internet available (unless you count the terminal in the bar which is slow and costs a fortune!). No breakfast included but a great restaurant. Beds were pretty uncomfortable but the place oozes charm. Security is an issue so lock your bags away at all times!
ppaulnyc ppaulnyc
1 reviews
Rocking J in Puerto Viejo May 09, 2010
This is a backpacker's oasis. Interesting people from all over although Canadians, and Americans are the majority, there is a healthy presence of European and South Americans. Puerto Viejo people are great, friendly and English is widely spoken in this little town.

A must stop when in Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast.
ppaulnyc says:
Much Appreciated GPat... Thanks for stopping by... peace!
Posted on: May 16, 2010
Glynnes says:
Nice! Thanks from New York City;-D
Posted on: May 09, 2010
kelleb kelleb
22 reviews
Jan 09, 2009
Definitely a fun hostel environment. Young party crowd. Staff very nice and attached restaurant @T E's is amazing!! Dorms are really gross (dungeon like) I stayed in the hammock area for $5/night... LOVED it.. at first wasn't sure but it turned out to be super comfy and the concept of 30 other hammocks in the same area I thought was fun. Otherwise there are tents w/ bedding, or if you have your own hammock you can hang yours.

They have assigned lockers (HUGE-backpack, everything you could possibly have will fit in it, they provide lock&key). Right on the beach however the beach area is not that nice (caribbean side) and you can't really swim in it. Puerto Viejo in general is a laid back rasta town. I spent a week there which was plenty. Nonetheless, Rockin' J's is definitely worth stopping at.
#10 was my bed for a week :)
the beach is in the backyard of th…
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
kelleb says:
their website is, I'm not sure but you probably could book on hostelworld or one of those but I just showed up which I think is most common in CR, otherwise there is a number you could call ahead
Posted on: Dec 20, 2010
Jacqinmiddenamerika says:
Woohoo congrats on your featured review!! :-)
Posted on: Nov 01, 2009
HCSmooth66 says:
Congrats on the feature, Kelle. It's back to Wisconsin for me today. As is often the case I'm certainly ready for my trip to come to an end and sleep in my own bed again.
Posted on: Nov 01, 2009
chrystina930 chrystin…
8 reviews
cheap, relaxing, wild fun by the beach Jun 01, 2009
i spent 5 nights here at Rocking J's. i had the time of my life. there was always something to do. i was there for st. patty's day and they had festivities to celebrate it all night. you can either stay in tents, hammocks, private rooms, dorms. there are community bathrooms located in the middle of the hostel.

pro: the restaurant has AMAZING food, the hostel is amazingly decorated by fellow travelers, tons of hammocks to lay around, book exchange, clean bathrooms/showers.

con: it stays pretty loud til late so either stay up and party with those backpackers making the noise or bring some earplugs, showers are cold (but feel good after being on the beach all day).

conclusion: i would highly recommend this hostel to anyone going to puerto viejo. its so easy to meet other travelers here, and it's not too far from where all the bars/shops are.
where the tents are. the provide t…
where the tv/movie room is located.
the beach right by rocking j's.
the tents. they have a mattress in…
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
mikewill86 says:
HI! I travelled around Costa Rica a couple of years ago, its amazing! Wish id have stayed here though, I love the fact that you can sleep in a hammock and the place looks really chilled out, perfect!
Posted on: Nov 01, 2009
redheadsdontdye redheads…
1 reviews
Hammock Hotel on the beach Jul 26, 2009
Beautiful little hostel/hotel right on the beach in Puerto Viejo. You can rent a hammock or tent for the night for very cheap, they also have dorms, cabinas and suites available. Kitchens and bathrooms/showers are shared and everyone is given their own personal locker for their belongings.

There is a restaurant/bar attached and a place to rent bicycles right outside of the entrance.

The entire place is brightly painted and almost all surfaces and floors are covered in mosaics. Very aesthetically pleasing with chill atmosphere.
Eric says:
Didn't stay here, but came here a few times just to get drinks. Friendly staff and a neat setup.
Posted on: Jul 26, 2009
bspitel bspitel
2 reviews
Feb 18, 2007
This is the hostel where you want to be. It is clase to the action, but not too close. This hostel offers dorm rooms, hammocks for rent, and tents to sleep in. It is located right off of the beach and it is a great spot to meet tons of cool people. Rocking J's has a cafe, bikes for rent and tours suh as the kayaking tour. The only thing that I was not too fond of was the showers. They are set on timers and located on the main ground where all the people are. To turn the showers back on, you would have to reach out to turn the dial back on (which did happen to me). They could be a little cleaner as well.
The hang out area
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
spurgistan spurgist…
1 reviews
Jun 16, 2007
Easily the best hostel I've ever stayed at... The rooms are worth the 12$ a night investment, but hammocks work fine for half that if you feel like scrimping... but the atmosphere makes the hostel, and you don't find a more eclectic bunch of surfers (mostly, I didn't really surf much, but it's what you go to PV to do) many places besides at Rockin' J's.
hammock hotel
treehouse. make reservations for t…
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
narmour says:
Rockin J's rocks!!! everything from the mexican cantina food to the chilled out (joint) chainsmoking owner (J) to the hammocks EVERYWHERE to the beach to the absolutely everything about this place just screams GOOD TIMES!!!!!
Posted on: Jun 19, 2007
spursbackpacker spursbac…
53 reviews
Dec 19, 2006
The famous place to sleep in all of costa rica is like a mini Glastonbury,, so i love it. The place is decorated in cut glass and tiles, there are two dragons that protect the gates of the entrance. ok weird huh, but utterly fabulous tho. Choose either a hammock, dorm, tent or private room, we opted for the private room, tho i would of done the hammock,, but my friend has this thing about getting bitten by mozzies.. our room is costing only 10,000c which is good for a private room, no shower tho. there are plenty of toliets and showers all over the place, and also a kitchen to save money on, there is a gate at the back which lets you go to the salsa brava beach, and right next door to Rocking J is a shop, bike rental place and the friendly irish pub, tho not run by anyone with a irish accent..

I personally like it here, because the place has just a great vibe, you feel part of a communtiy and everyone has been friendly to us.. we didnt reserve a room, just showed up, and at this time of year, its still got room.. tho the girl did say that the price ups on Christmas eve-day.. so best get your purse out..

Also there is on site rentals, boards, bikes, masks and flippers, and they also have a restuarant which does mexican food, we had the nachos and sandwhich, very tasty and cheap..

You will like it here if you are, up for hammocks, into new age, can handle the rock concert style loos, and luke warm showers.. if your more a clean freak or posh bird, then stay away,,, go somewhere else, because you will find fault in everything that makes this place original..
Part of the amazing art work all a…

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