Most people associate Costa Rica with pristine beaches and lush jungle, but it is also home to many amazing golf courses.
The warm weather, blue skies, exotic backdrops, and well-maintained courses make golfing in Costa Rica something that should be on every golfer’s bucket list.
Golfing is not an overly popular sport in Costa Rica, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some excellent local players and courses.
Most of the golf courses throughout the country are located in resorts and are geared towards more experienced players.
The courses near the capital, San Jose, tend to be cheaper and better suited for less experienced golfers.
Let’s go through all six of the best courses so you can determine which ones you want to visit.
Cariari Country Club
The Cariari country club is located only about a 10-minute drive away from the San Jose International Airport. Although the course is technically in the city near the airport, it is peaceful with tree-lined fairways and views of the surrounding mountains.
This course was designed by the late US golf pro George Fazio in 1973.
In the past, it was somewhat of a celebrity destination. Bob Hope, Joe DiMagio, and John Wayne are all said to have played here.
This course is considered the national course of Costa Rica.
Par for this 18 hole course is 71. It was designed to be played in a little under 4.5 hours. It is considered a moderate to difficult course.
The golf course is open from Monday to Friday from 6:00am to 5:00pm and from 6:30am to 5:00pm on Saturday and Sundays.
- There is a restaurant in front of the golf course and a snack bar at hole 10.
- There is a golf shop located on the property which sells a variety of gear.
- Caddies are not required but are available.
Parque Valle del Sol
This is a popular course with locals. It is located in the town of Santa Ana not too far from the San Jose International Airport.
The Valle del Sol course was designed by United States golf course architect Tracy May. It’s a beautiful course with open fairways surrounded by large trees. The grounds are carefully maintained with surrounding flower gardens.
If you would like more detailed info on the course, the Villa del Sol website has a breakdown of each hole.
This course has a par 72 and is 7,022 yards.
Green fees are $69 which includes one round of golf on the 18 hole course as well as access to the driving range.
The club offers various lessons such as private lessons, golf camp for kids, beginner lessons, and more.
There is a pro shop where guests can rent clubs or gold carts.
There is a small cafeteria type restaurant located on the 19th hole.
You can easily book a tee time or get in contact with Valle del Sol through their online booking form.
Trent Jones II Golf Course
The Trent Jones II course is located in the luxurious Reserva Conchal resort located between Tamarindo and Playa Flamingo. This resort is only about a 1.5 hour drive from Liberia International airport.
From my research, this course is only open to resort guests. If you are interested in staying at Reserva Conchal you can book your stay through their site.
This championship golf course was designed by famed golf architect Robert Trent Jones II. It is well designed and maintained and is a certified Audubon property. In fact, every day at 3pm it is possible for resort guests to take a wildlife golf cart tour through the course.
The course is 7,021-yards and has a par-71.
From December 1st – May 31st: $160 for 18-holes / $100 for 9 holes after 1pm / $25 for junior play (under 13 years old)
From June 1st – November 30th: $135 for 18-holes / $90 for 9 holes after 1pm / $25 for junior play (under 13 years old)
There is a pro shop on site as well as the possibility for lessons.
Also, something fun, in the evening the course hosts a Glow Party in which there are putting-green laser games, fluorescent balls, driving range glow golf, cocktails, appetizers, and more!
To book a tee time you can contact [email protected]
You can also read more about the course here.
La Iguana Golf Course
La Iguana golf course was designed by Ted Robinson and provides stunning views of the Pacific coastline during play. This course is located within the Los Suenos Marriott Resort property on Playa Herradura. This is only about a 1.5-hour drive from the San Jose International Airport.
The course is 6,698-yards with a par of 72.
A normal 18-hole round of golf at this course costs $195.
However, they offer a great deal in which you can reserve a standard room at the Marriott for two adults and up to two children which includes breakfast and one round of golf for one person at only $279. Seems like a pretty great deal to me! Especially because the resort is a really great place for all ages and interests.
You can find out more on the Marriott website. To find the deal, click, “Deals and Packages” on the reservation page and search for the Golf Escapes! package.
There is a pro shop and it is possible to take lessons.
Hacienda Pinilla golf course is located in a picturesque community near Tamarindo. The course backs up to the Pacific coast, with two of the holes located on cliffs overlooking the crashing waves.
It is possible to rent a vacation house in this community.
The course was designed by golf course architect Mike Young. One of the most interesting things about this course (in my opinion) is that it is certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. It’s not unusual to see plenty of wildlife as you play.
The par is 72 with a course of 7,272 yards.
November 1st- March 14th: $175 for 18 holes / $90 for 9 holes / $90 for twilight play
March 15th- May 14th: $125 for 18 holes / $65 for 9 holes / $90 for twilight play
May 15th – October 31st: $150 for 18 holes / $75 for 9 holes / $90 for twilight play
Twilight play is considered any play that starts after 1pm. I highly suggest doing this because not only is it cheaper, but you can try to time it out to get to hole 15 and 16 as the sun set is setting. These are the two holes which have direct ocean views.
The sun sets between 5:30 and 6pm depending on the time of year.
There is a nice beach club restaurant on the property. It is also possible to rent clubs or take lessons at this course.
The best way to book a tee time or get more info is by contacting Hacienda Pinilla through their website.
Arnold Palmer Ocean Course
The Arnold Palmer course is located at the world class Four Seasons Resort on the Papagayo Peninsula. This is considered one of the most luxurious resorts in the country and the course was ranked one of the top 100 courses in the world outside of the US by Golf Digest.
The course was designed by Arnold Palmer. It boasts a backdrop of stately trees and ocean views. The course is immaculately maintained.
The par for this course is 72.
The course offers club rentals, a pro shop, a driving range, putting greens, and complimentary transportation between the course and the main resort lobby.
Map of Costa Rica Golf Courses
We created this map of the golf courses in the country to give you a better perspective on where each one is in relation to where you plan to visit.
Must Know Info About Golfing in Costa Rica
- There is typically a dress code for golfing in Costa Rica. For men, it is fine to wear a polo shirt and golf pants. For men, the same is acceptable as well as skirts. You do not typically need golf shoes, but closed-toed shoes are required.
- Don’t forget sunscreen and a hat. The sun in Costa Rica is extremely strong
- If you plan on having a relaxing vacation in Costa Rica, I suggest considering a stay at one of the resorts listed above with a course. That way you can play as much as you want and enjoy the amenities of the resort.
- If you are traveling with some of your golfing buddies, I suggest checking out Airbnb’s. Sometimes it is possible to rent a whole stunning villa for your group at a very fair price.
- It is always possible to rent clubs at each course, but if you plan on playing golf for every day of your vacation it might be more affordable and preferable to actually bring your own clubs.
Are you ready to play golf in Costa Rica? If you have any questions please leave them in the comment section below. We are happy to help you out as best as we can.
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