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Papagayo, Costa Rica

Beautiful views, luxury resorts, and white sand beaches

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Papagayo

The Papagayo Vibe

The Peninsula Papagayo is home to stunning views, white-sand beaches and turquoise waters. Most of the nicest resorts in the country are located in this area due to its proximity to the Liberia International Airport, great weather, and nice scenery. 

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Papagayo Weather

The Guanacaste region has some of the best weather in the country year-round. 

During the dry season (from end of December until end of April) everything turns brown from the lack of rain. It is not unusual to see forest fires in February and March when everything is very dry. It almost feels like Arizona with the dry arid climate.

Personally, we like to visit this area between May and the end of July. At this time of year, everything is green again and the area actually looks really pretty. There is typically a daily afternoon thunderstorm that comes like clockwork every afternoon at about 2pm for about an hour.

Wake up early and enjoy the beautiful morning before the storm rolls in.

Between August and December, the temperatures cool off a bit and there is more rain, as the rainy season is in full swing.

In our opinion, if you are unsure about the weather while you are planning to visit Costa Rica, this is the area to visit. Overall it seems to get far less rain than most of the country.

Papagayo Transportation

Getting to Papagayo

To visit Papagayo it is recommended that you fly in and out of Liberia International Airport. From this airport, it is only a fifteen-minute drive to Papagayo. 

Most resorts will offer a shuttle service. However, if they do not, you can always get a quote from our favorite shuttle service, Adobe Transfers.

BOOK A PRIVATE SHUTTLE

Another option is to rent a car. If you would like a car for the extent of your trip, check out our absolute favorite rental car company in Costa Rica, Adobe. Adobe has given us a 10% discount plus many other perks to pass on to you.

FIND OUT HOW TO GET UP TO 10% OFF YOUR CAR RENTAL IN COSTA RICA!

 

Getting Around in Papagayo

To get around in Papagayo you will most likely depend on day tours provided by your resort or pre-booked by you. 

If you would like to explore the surrounding areas on your own, renting a car is the best way to do that. 

 

Our Transportation Suggestion

If we were visiting a resort in Papagyo, this is what we would do… 

– Fly in to Liberia International Airport instead of San Jose.

– Take a private shuttle from the airport to the resort.

– Spend the first several days soaking up the resort amenities and relaxing.

Rent a car for a few days to explore on our own. Adobe will deliver your car to your resort at no extra cost to you. 

– Instead of paying for a shuttle back to the airport, return your rental car to Adobe’s office next to the airport on your last day. They will give you a free shuttle ride to the airport. 

Things to Do in Papagayo

All resorts will be happy to organize activities for you. Just note, that if you organize activities through your hotel in this area you may pay a lot more than if you organize them yourself. This isn’t always true, but it is worth comparing prices. All the tours we included below offer transportation from the Papagayo area. If you take our suggestion of renting a car for a few days to explore on your own, we have included some ideas for that as well.

Visit the Nearby Beaches

The Papagayo beaches all have white sand and crystal clear, calm turquoise waters.

Relax With a Spa Treatment

I believe that all the resorts I listed in the accommodation section offer spa services. We especially like the option of having an open-air massage with the Gulf of Papagayo behind in front of us.

Take a Catamaran or Sailing Tour

A catamaran or sailing tour is the perfect way to explore this beautiful Pacific coast area. Some tours include snorkeling, sunset views, a meal, and cocktails.

Go Deep Sea Fishing

Are you ready to enjoy some world-class mahi-mahi or marlin fishing on the Pacific ocean? Plan a deep-sea fishing tour! Most resorts are happy to cook up what you catch as your dinner.


Go Scuba Diving

If you love diving, there are several reefs and tons of marine life in the waters surrounding Papagayo. Go out with an experienced guide and find all the best spots.

Visit Rincon de la Vieja National Park

Rincon de la Vieja is a great spot to visit if you would like to see a volcanic activity up close and personal. There are also tons of adventure activities to do in this area. We have. a complete guide to Rincon de la Vieja for more info.


Take an ATV Tour

ATV tours will get your adrenaline pumping and can be a great way to explore some off-road destinations in the Guanacaste region.

Go Ziplining

Visit Diamonte Eco Park for a fun-filled day adventure with zip lining, hanging bridges, nature trails, and lunch. Note, the ticket we included below is for people who can get their own transportation to the park.


Go Horseback Riding on the Beach

Take a private horseback riding tour along the beach. This is fun to do in the evening while the sun is setting. Also, the guide Randy is the absolute best.

Visit Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

This is an impressive nearby waterfall that you can swim under. It is the perfect family-friendly day trip. If you have a car, this is something you can easily do on your own. Check out our Llanos de Cortez guide for more info.

Expand Your Coffee Palette

Take a coffee tasting tour and learn all about Costa Rica coffee beans and tastes.

Papagayo Hotels

If you are looking for a luxury experience, this is the place for it. All accommodations are actually resorts. Some are all-inclusive and for adults only. 

Secrets Papagayo – An adults-only resort with tons of amenities. Secrets has locations throughout the world and is a popular all-inclusive resort option for honeymoons.

The property has four restaurants, one cafe, five bars, 24-hour dining services, a fitness center, spa, beach access, yoga classes, and so much more!

Occidental Papagayo – Another beautiful adults-only hotel. Keep in mind that the facilities are a bit older than some other places, but the prices are also much more reasonable than other places on this list.

The resort has multiple estaurants, bars, pools, tennis courts, a fitness center, beach access, and more!

Kasiiya Papagayo – A small boutique all-inclusive resort with only five rooms. You can’t get much more luxurious than this spot. The resort has a restaurant, spa, surfing, yoga hiking, and more!

Andaz Papagayo – The Andaz by Hyatt is a luxury hotel at its finest. Everything here feels perfect.

Andaz is great because it offers an upscale experience for couples or families. For example, there is a swimming pool reserved just for adults as well as one for families. Also, it is possible to stay here as an all-inclusive resort or to opt for a lower-cost option in which meals are not included.

Planet Hollywood -This is the perfect super fun family resort destination. It just opened in late 2018 so everything is modern and top-notch.

The property has multiple restaurants, multiple bars, a kids club, pools, beach access, and more!

If you are traveling with kids, this place will be so much fun for the entire family. 

El Mangroove – The property has two restaurants, spa, beach access, a beautiful pool, and more! Also, the grounds here are beautiful. You will feel so secluded in luxury. 

The Four Seasons – This is often considered the most luxurious of resorts in Costa Rica. In fact, many famous faces have stayed here in the past including the Kardashians, Beyonce & Jay Z, and Justin Bieber. 

The property has four restaurants, four pools, two private beaches, and more!

Booking.com

Papagayo Restaurants

All restaurants in this area are in the upper price bracket. However, all of these places are excellent and worth the price tag. 

Abbocato – Everything here is excellent. This is one of our favorite dinner spots. 

The Dive Bar – The Dive Bar is definitely not an actual “dive bar”. It is located next to the marina for a nice dinner with an ocean view. They serve delicious fresh food. 

Rio Bhongo – You can not beat the views and atmosphere of this restaurant located in the Andaz Resort. 

Nemare – Located next to the gold course at the Four Seasons, here you can enjoy large portions of seafood, fish, steak, and more. 

Poro Poro – Located next to the Four Seasons resort, this place serves fresh seafood, fish, and more. I would classify this as extremely elevated Costa Rican food.

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Papagayo Travel Tips

If you are looking for luxury, this area will always be our number one spot for you. We think it is the perfect honeymoon destination. 

This area is really safe (especially within resorts), but always keep an eye on your belongings.

Keep in mind that Costa Rica as a whole is an expensive country. It will always be cheaper to stay in a resort in a place like the Dominican Republic or the Bahamas. However, we think that the service, raw beauty of the landscape, and surrounding nature can’t be compared. 

Custom Papagayo Trip Plan

Would like a more customized Costa Rica experience?

Just fill in our Costa Rica Trip Planner form!

One of our favorite Costa Rica experts will contact you and help with the entire Costa Rica planning process. 

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