4-Day Costa Rica Itinerary: Coastal Luxury & Adventure

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Advisor - Lisa Gentile
Curated By

Lisa Gentile

  • Costa Rica

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Beaches

  • Family Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • International Travel

  • Luxury Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • 4 Days in Costa Rica

  • Relaxing

  • Outdoors

aerial view of green land meeting blue coastline
Curator’s statement

Costa Rica is a mesmerizing blend of culture and biodiversity. In a time before zip lines, I grew comfortable there with bullfrogs skipping under cafe tables, lizards skulking above hotel beds and succulent fish dinners served at family restaurants on the sand. Costa Rica is still a wild and wondrous place and the modern Gulf of Papagayo provides every imaginable way to explore the intersection of sea, sand, mountains, and forests around Culebra Bay. This 4-day Costa Rica itinerary works as a quick getaway or as a leg of a longer journey.

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Day 1: Arrive at the Gulf of Papagayo

aerial view of land meeting body of water

The city of Liberia is a gateway to western Costa Rica and is therefore a great place to start this 4-day Costa Rica itinerary. Fly into Liberia International Airport (LIR) or arrive by ground transportation from another area in Costa Rica, then rent a car or take a shuttle bound for the Papagayo Peninsula. The drive ranges from 45 to 60 minutes.

After checking in at your hotel, head to La Reserva at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo to taste infused rums and create your own blend under the guidance of a rum master specialist. Stretch your legs on the shimmering beach at sunset before taking an elegant table at Pesce for dinner. Another tempting way to settle in would be at
Chao Pesao at Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo, which serves up a sharable tasting menu, live music, an innovative mixology program and a premium spirits selection.
Or, head to Matiss at El Mangrove, Autograph Collection, which features International dishes and cocktails in an open-air restaurant with an ocean view.

Day 2: Get Local

monkey hanging in the trees during daytime

Today is about getting acquainted with the neighborhood. Meet up to 15 troops of monkeys on the Peninsula Monkey Tour, take a sloth tour or participate in community activities.

Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo partners with Crescendo Juntos to provide guests with customized volunteer experiences that make a positive local impact. For an even more personal experience, Andaz and Crescendo Juntos will take Andaz guests to the town of El Triunfo to visit family farms and pick produce for a custom chef’s dinner that evening.

In the afternoon, lounge by the water or take a class: rum and chocolate, coffee, mixology, enology or cooking.

If you are not having Andaz’s farm-to-table dinner, try Dive Bar at posh Papagayo Marina
Andaz Beach House for a beach grill and games.

Day 3: Dial Up the Adventure (a must for any 4-day Costa Rica itinerary!)

people in a kayak surrounded by trees during daytime

It’s day 3 of your 4-day Costa Rica itinerary, and it's a choose-your-adventure kind of day. The West Coast is known for surfing, so get your lessons here. Scuba divers and snorkelers can plumb legendary spots with guides and even plant coral fragments that will help revitalize the ecosystem. Prefer to keep your head above water? Try whale watching, sport fishing or a catamaran cruise. Land options range from ropes courses and zip lines to mountain biking and rainforest hikes. If it’s on your wish list, it’s probably here.

Reflect and restore at the spa, either ONDA Spa & Wellness Sanctuary at Andaz or the Spa at Four Seasons. A pure cacao and banana leaf wrap is a perfect way to ease into another glorious sunset.

For dinner consider Malu at El Mangroove, Autograph Collection for Mediterranean fare or
Palapita Tap House at Four Seasons for street food and locally crafted beer.

Day 4: Head Home or Trek On

man wearing coral shirt and white shorts playing golf with mountains in the distance

Resorts on the peninsula offer a range of kayaks, boards and snorkeling equipment to guests. Take the morning to practice surfing or play an early round at Ocean Course at Papagayo Peninsula before returning home via Liberia International Airport. Looking to extend this 4-day Costa Rica itinerary? Head south for the Nicoya Peninsula for more fun and adventure.

Advisor - Lisa Gentile

Travel Advisor

Lisa Gentile

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Costa Rica, and our series on adventure travel.