Costa Rica's Nature and Elegance: A Seamless Fusion

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Curated By

Laura Vaughn

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  • Costa Rica

  • Nature Escapes

  • Adventure Travel

  • Outdoors

  • Sightseeing

  • Mountains

A waterfall in the rainforest in Costa Rica.
Curator’s statement

Nestled between the Pacific and Caribbean, Costa Rica emanates mesmerizing beauty and a lively spirit, captivating hearts worldwide. Personally, I hold a deep affection for this enchanting land, repeatedly returning to indulge in its natural wonders. The Papagayo Peninsula stands out as one of its cherished treasures, where lush rainforests seamlessly meet unspoiled beaches. From the breathtaking cloud forests to its unparalleled biodiversity, Costa Rica proudly displays its exceptional natural marvels. Within the Papagayo Peninsula, this allure gracefully merges luxury with ecological mindfulness. Against the backdrop of turquoise waters and exhilarating adventures, the peninsula stands as the quintessential fusion of opulence and Costa Rica's warm embrace, offering me the chance to both seek thrilling experiences and immerse myself in the unmatched beauty that defines the country.

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Where to stay Costa Rica

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Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

Enjoy simple life at the Four Seasons with the canopy plunge pool suite, sunset views and breakfast in bed.

Fora Perks
  • When you book Four Seasons through Fora, you will enjoy exclusive Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits. Your advisor will be pleased to give you more details.

Andaz Costa Rica Resort At Peninsula Papagayo

A beloved beach escape on 1,400 acres of the Papagayo Peninsula, with three beaches, a golf course and guided nature adventures.

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  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Casa Chameleon Las Catalinas

Contemporary and refined, each of the 21 sunset villas feature their own salt water plunge pool, mesmerizing Pacific ocean views from its location located near Las Catalinas.

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Things to do Costa Rica

People during daytime on the beach

To access the Papagayo Peninsula in Costa Rica, consider flying into Liberia International Airport (LIR), conveniently situated near the region. The Papagayo Peninsula, located in the northwestern part of Costa Rica along the Pacific Ocean, is renowned for its stunning coastline, upscale resorts, and lush landscapes. While driving is an option, road conditions can vary, particularly in remote areas. Travelers seeking convenience and comfort might prefer to rent a car if they're confident navigating, or opt for a driver to smoothly navigate the local terrain. This peninsula offers a wealth of captivating activities that celebrate Costa Rica's natural beauty and vibrant culture. Here are some remarkable experiences to relish in this remarkable region.

Zipline Adventures

Traverse the lush canopy of the peninsula's rainforests on a zipline, offering an exhilarating way to spot diverse wildlife and soak in breathtaking views from the treetops. Expert guides ensure safety while you experience the thrill of flying through the vibrant jungle.

Underwater Exploration in Culebra Bay

Dive into the depths of Culebra Bay's marine wonderland, where coral reefs and marine life create an enchanting underwater world for snorkelers and divers. With clear waters and diverse marine species, it's an ideal spot to witness the vibrant aquatic ecosystem.

Papagayo Marina

Discover the upscale Papagayo Marina, where luxury yachts and fine dining converge. Stroll along the waterfront, absorbing the elegance and enjoying a taste of the high life. The Marina's stunning views of the bay provide the perfect backdrop for a leisurely afternoon.

Rincón de la Vieja National Park

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Rincón de la Vieja National Park, with hiking trails leading to bubbling mud pots, thermal springs, and opportunities to witness wildlife up close. The park's volcanic landscapes create a unique setting for outdoor exploration.

Golfing at Peninsula Papagayo

Tee off against the stunning backdrop of the Pacific Ocean at the Peninsula Papagayo Golf Course, offering a challenging and picturesque golfing experience. The well-designed course provides a blend of enjoyment and scenic beauty.

River Safari at Palo Verde National Park

Embark on a river safari through Palo Verde National Park to observe crocodiles, monkeys and a plethora of bird species thriving in their natural habitats along the riverbanks. An expert guide enhances the experience by providing insights into the region's ecology.

Cultural Exploration in Liberia

Explore the vibrant city of Liberia, where markets, museums and historic architecture offer insights into Costa Rican culture and history. Engage with locals, sample traditional dishes and discover the city's rich heritage.

Sunset Catamaran Cruise

Cast off on a catamaran cruise during the enchanting sunset hours, savoring the stunning coastal views, enjoying refreshing drinks, and spotting playful dolphins. The tranquil setting of the ocean at dusk creates a romantic and memorable experience.

Exploring the Beaches of Papagayo Peninsula

The Papagayo Peninsula is blessed with a collection of diverse and picturesque beaches, each offering a unique coastal experience. From tranquil hideaways to vibrant beach towns, the peninsula's coastline is a playground for relaxation, water sports and natural beauty.

Playa Panama

Adjacent to Playa Hermosa, Playa Panama offers a quieter ambiance and gentle waves, ideal for families and those seeking tranquility. Its stunning views and serene atmosphere make it a favorite spot for relaxation.

Playas del Coco

A lively beach town, Playas del Coco combines beach relaxation with entertainment. Enjoy water sports, beachfront eateries and a vibrant nightlife scene, making it a hub for both daytime and evening activities.

Playa Ocotal

With volcanic sands and excellent snorkeling opportunities, Playa Ocotal invites visitors to explore its underwater wonders. Diving enthusiasts will appreciate the diverse marine life and striking underwater formations.

Playa Nacascolo

Accessible by boat from Peninsula Papagayo, Playa Nacascolo offers exclusivity and seclusion. This hidden cove is perfect for a private beach day, surrounded by pristine nature and the soothing sound of the waves.

Indulgence in Serenity: Spa Retreats

Costa Rica's spa offerings are a haven of relaxation and rejuvenation, drawing inspiration from the country's natural beauty. From seaside sanctuaries to jungle escapes, each spa promises a unique blend of indigenous therapies and modern techniques, guaranteeing a harmonious wellness experience.

Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo

Nestled on the Papagayo Peninsula, this luxury resort offers a serene oasis at the Onda Spa. The spa's holistic treatments utilize local ingredients, while the setting overlooking Culebra Bay enhances the sense of tranquility.

Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

The Apuane Spa at this iconic resort presents an array of therapeutic options, including indigenous-inspired treatments and personalized wellness programs. With breathtaking ocean views and private treatment suites, relaxation here is unparalleled.

Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa

Situated at the base of the Arenal Volcano, Tabacon boasts natural hot springs that fuel the grandeur of its spa. Surrender to the healing properties of volcanic waters as you enjoy thermal pools, cascading waterfalls and a range of therapeutic treatments.

Nayara Springs Spa

Another gem near Arenal, Nayara Springs Spa is a hidden retreat enveloped in lush rainforest. The spa's open-air bungalows offer rejuvenating treatments that incorporate local ingredients and ancient techniques, all set against the backdrop of the volcano.

JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa

Set on Playa Mansita, this resort's spa offers a fusion of indigenous Costa Rican elements and contemporary therapies. The Hacienda-style architecture, coupled with treatments like volcanic mud wraps, creates a uniquely rejuvenating experience.

Places to eat & drink Costa Rica

Wow cafe

Costa Rica's culinary scene is a vibrant reflection of its diverse landscapes and cultural heritage. From coastal gems to lush interiors, the cuisine draws inspiration from the freshest local ingredients. Savor the taste of "casados," a traditional dish featuring rice, beans and a variety of proteins. Experience the rich flavors of plantains, yucca and fresh seafood that grace every plate. The fusion of indigenous ingredients and international influences creates a unique gastronomic journey, where vibrant markets, farm-to-table concepts and charming street vendors all contribute to a tapestry of flavors that is uniquely Costa Rican.

Prieta Beach Club: Nestled within the Peninsula Papagayo community, Prieta Beach Club offers an upscale dining experience with stunning ocean views. Their menu showcases fresh seafood, locally sourced ingredients and inventive dishes that reflect Costa Rica's flavors.

Makoko Restaurant: Situated at the Andaz Costa Rica Resort, Makoko Restaurant embraces farm-to-table dining with a focus on sustainability. The culinary team crafts dishes that blend international techniques with local ingredients, resulting in a culinary journey inspired by the region.

Marea Restaurant: Found at the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica, Marea Restaurant celebrates Latin American cuisine with a focus on local and organic ingredients. The menu highlights Costa Rican flavors while incorporating influences from across the region.

Poro Poro: A hidden culinary gem within the Papagayo Peninsula, Poro Poro offers an exceptional dining experience in a picturesque setting. With its emphasis on local ingredients and creative presentations, Poro Poro delivers a gastronomic journey that resonates with the region's unique flavors.

Need to Know

Looking for more Costa Rica travel tips? Check out Fora Advisor Wendy Wallace's guide, Family-Friendly 6-Day Costa Rica Itinerary.

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Travel Advisor

Laura Vaughn

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