Image courtesy of Pacuare Lodge
Planning a trip to Costa Rica’s chill eastern coast? Then you need to know all about the top Caribbean resorts in Costa Rica. Below, we’ll give you the lowdown on our five favorite Costa Rica Caribbean resorts, plus travel tips for visiting the area.
To make the booking experience even better, plan your travel to Costa Rica with a Fora Advisor. They’ll handle all the heavy lifting, so you can focus on the fun. Better yet, booking with an advisor means free VIP hotel perks and upgrades, all for the same price as booking your trip yourself.
First, is Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast worth visiting?
When people think of visiting Costa Rica, they usually think about adventures in Northern Costa Rica’s jungles, exploring the coast of the Osa Peninsula (check out our Osa Peninsula itinerary) or relaxing on the Papagayo Peninsula. So how does the Caribbean coast stack up?
The Papagayo Peninsula (on the Pacific coast) is Costa Rica’s most visited region…
With only a handful of exceptions, the Papagayo Peninsula features Costa Rica’s most upscale resorts and attractions. If you want a taste of luxurious nightlife in Costa Rica — the best fine dining, plus elegant bars and clubs — it’s typically best to stay near the Papagayo Gulf, which is also one of the best places to stay in Costa Rica for couples.
But this peninsula is just as gorgeous as Costa Rica’s forested interior. And while Papagayo is luxurious, it doesn’t lack outdoorsy adventure. (Our Nosara, Las Catalinas and Montezuma itineraries prove this point.)
…But Tortuguero & Puerto Viejo de Talamanca (on the Caribbean coast) are absolutely worth visiting, too
As exciting and beautiful as the Papagayo Peninsula is, it’s not the only place worth visiting in Costa Rica. The country’s Caribbean coast is just as gorgeous and invigorating.
The difference is that this coast has a very relaxed and casual vibe, even in the more upscale areas like Puerto Viejo de Talamanca and Tortuguero — which, despite their bohemian feel, are still among the best places to stay in Costa Rica.
Tortuguero is an isolated refuge away from the bustle of the bigger cities. It’s a great place to unwind and enjoy nature (see our Tortuguero itinerary), while Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a little more upbeat. In fact, the latter is a great place for a Costa Rica girls’ trip (or even a Costa Rica bachelorette trip), as it blends beautiful ocean scenery with a relatively mellow, but still fun, nightlife.
The 5 best Costa Rica Caribbean resorts
Now that we’ve established that Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast is worth visiting, let’s get into our five favorite Caribbean Costa Rica resorts.
1. Tortuga Lodge
One of the best all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica for families, Tortuga Lodge is an adventure resort that’s deceptively close to the Caribbean coast. The resort feels like it's buried deep in the rainforest, but the Atlantic is only a short boat ride away via the country’s intercoastal waterway.
What makes the Tortuga Lodge special, even among other Caribbean Costa Rica resorts, is that each bungalow is only a few yards away from the rainforest. Thousands of species can be observed right from your villa, or from the open-air bars.
Chat with a Costa Rica travel advisor for more details (and A+ perks) on Tortuga Lodge. And if you’re intent on visiting the country with kids, why not check out our family-friendly Costa Rica itinerary?
2. The Manatus Hotel
The Manatus Hotel is an upscale Caribbean resort in Costa Rica’s Tortuguero region. This boutique-style resort offers luxurious villas, like Tortuga Lodge, but there’s a bit more separation between the resort and the surrounding rainforest. Still, for those who like to explore, the non-resort grounds of Tortuguero National Park are a quick trek away.
Beyond the lush accommodations, you can sample gourmet Caribbean cuisine at the hotel’s Ara Macaw restaurant.
3. Mawamba Lodge
Mawamba Lodge offers a similar experience to Tortuga Lodge, and places you right in the thick of the rainforest. The focus of this Costa Rica Caribbean resort veers toward more adventurous activities, like canoeing along the shores or hiking the nearby mountains.
However, Mawamba Lodge’s best feature may be its proximity to local sea turtle nests. Between September and December, baby sea turtles begin their frantic march to the sea at dawn — a spectacle few other places in the world offer.
4. Hotel Aguas Claras
Arguably the most luxurious Caribbean resort in Costa Rica, the Hotel Aguas Claras is found south of Tortuguero, in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. The vibe here is much more relaxed, with an emphasis on the classic bohemian culture you might expect from a Caribbean town.
Check in with a Fora travel advisor for the full scoop on Hotel Aguas Claras.
5. Pacuare Lodge
Pacuare Lodge is another high-end jungle resort in Costa Rica, and is run by the same group behind Tortuga Lodge. While the two resorts offer a similar experience, Pacuare Lodge sits on the Pacuare River in the middle of the rainforest, both of which inform the resort’s excursions and layout.
The setting is less bohemian, a departure from typical Caribbean Costa Rica resorts, and emphasizes adventure amid the verdant rainforest that surrounds the otherwise elegant resort.
Note that Pacuare Lodge is also a bit further from the coast than the other resorts.
Plan your perfect stay at a Caribbean Costa Rica Resort with the help of a Fora Advisor
Book your stay at a Costa Rican Caribbean resort with a Fora Advisor and gain access to all sorts of awesome hotel perks and upgrades. Plus, advisors can help you plan everything from seeing the top Costa Rica landmarks to exploring the Osa Peninsula wilderness — all with insider tips and for the same price as booking directly.