Costa Rica’s Natural Wonders: Top Resorts for Beach Bums & Jungle Explorers

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vibrant orange sunset in costa rica
A vibrant orange sunset captured from Playa Danta in Costa Rica. Photo credit: Liana Moore

Costa Rica is a small but mighty country. Located in Central America, the country has a Pacific coast as well as a Caribbean coast. Cloud forests, powerful waterfalls, dreamy sunsets, sun-soaked beaches, impressive volcanoes and cloud-covered mountains are all packed between these coasts, offering endless variety to travelers.

Kick off your Costa Rican adventure by staying at Hacienda Altagracia, a luxurious resort in the mountains. If you’re more of a beach bum, visit Hotel Nantipa, located in beautiful Santa Teresa. Traveling with kids? Four Seasons Resort at Peninsula Papagayo is for you. Whether you’re a surfer, a honeymooner or a solo traveler, we’ve got you covered with our roundup of the best resorts in Costa Rica.

Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo offers unparalleled luxury. The resort manages seaside mansions, private jungle estates, romantic villas, canopy suites and dreamy guest rooms, many including amenities like private pools, screened-in terraces, glass walls and modern furniture.

Located in beautiful Guanacaste, a Costa Rican province known for its breathtaking beaches and year-round hot weather, the Four Season offers endless outdoor activities, including surfing classes, beach yoga, coral planting, mountain biking and zip lining. Take a mangrove boat tour, see monkeys or go white-water rafting.

The resort is also family-friendly, with a kids club and a teen center. While the kids are entertained, unwind with a facial, massage or body ritual at the on-site spa. If you’ve worked up an appetite, select one of the resort’s eight different dining options, which include a tapas bar, a poolside cocktail bar and an elegant Italian restaurant.

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Hotel Nantipa

Santa Teresa is one of the most popular beach towns in Costa Rica. Located on the Nicoya Peninsula, this town is known for its dreamy sunsets, palm-lined beaches and hippie shops. Take your trip to the next level by staying at Hotel Nantipa, a beachfront boutique hotel in the heart of the city.

Accommodations include bungalows, suites and a villa. Rooms boast floor-to-ceiling windows and private patios that look out over the ocean or into the lush gardens surrounding the hotel. If you’re hungry, visit the luxury hotel’s beachfront restaurant, serving international classics with a Costa Rican twist.

For ultimate relaxation, visit the Numu Wellness Center, which offers a range of spa treatments including massages, scrubs, facials and holistic treatments. The center also coordinates yoga, pilates and HIIT classes.

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Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo

Also located on Peninsula Papagayo in Guanacaste, Andaz Costa Rica Resort is a beautiful seaside hotel with spacious penthouses, villas, suites and guest rooms, tucked right into the jungle. With wall-to-ceiling windows and earthy decor, guests will feel like they’re living in a treehouse.

Rooms either look out over Culebra Bay or into the jungle. Most rooms come with a river stone shower and a balcony, though guests can pay extra for a suite with a private plunge pool and a separate work area. When guests aren’t taking advantage of in-room dining, there are four on-site restaurants serving seafood, Latin American classics, Caribbean cuisine and plant-based favorites.

in-room dining. The resort organizes a variety of events, including Latin dancing, art classes, meditation, snorkeling and mixology classes. Those wanting to see more of the country can also go on an organized day trip to Monteverde Cloud Forest or Arenal Volcano. Go white water rafting or horseback riding in the jungle.

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The Westin Reserva Conchal, an All-Inclusive Golf Resort & Spa

Enjoy the “Pura Vida” lifestyle at The Westin Reserva Conchal. This beautiful beach resort is located in Guanacaste, beside the popular beach Playa Conchal. The resort spans 2,400 acres, which includes a wildlife reserve home, a stretch of coastline and an 18-hole golf course.

Guest rooms and suites are earthy and modern, with private balconies, plush bedding and waterfall shower heads. There are also larger suites that accommodate families. Make traveling with kids even easier by taking advantage of the family club lounge and the dedicated Family Concierge.

Those in search of an outdoor adventure can spend the day kite surfing, diving, rafting, hiking, traveling in cable cars or exploring hanging bridges. The resort includes a beach club with a golf course, an event center and swimming pools. On-site dining options include a juicery, a pool bar, a swim-up bar, a seafood restaurant, a steak house and much more.

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Hacienda Altagracia

Sit back and let Hacienda Altagracia do all the planning. Tucked into the mountains of Pérez Zeledón, this all-inclusive resort is part of the Auberge Resorts Collection and promises a laid-back, relaxing getaway. A stay at the resort includes a domestic charter flight to and from San Jose Airport, as well as a designated experience designer to help you plan the perfect trip. Food and alcoholic drinks and wellness programming are also included in the cost.

Guests can book either a one-bedroom or two-bedroom “casita,” which feature spacious patios, chic decor and lots of natural light. For added luxury, select a casita with a private pool or swinging bed.

The luxury resort features an adults-only infinity pool, a natural river bath, a kids’ splash pool and a hydrotherapy center. Guests looking to leave the resort can take a day trip to Uvita, or embark on an outdoor adventure, such as white water rafting, tree climbing, zip lining or an bird’s eye tour of Costa Rica in an aircraft.

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Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort

Experience Manuel Antonio National Park at a luxurious beachfront and rainforest resort. Located in Quepos, Arenas del Mar sits in the jungle among sloths and howler monkeys. Guests also have direct access to two beaches, Playitas Beach and Espadilla Beach.

The resort’s 37 suites and guest rooms look out over the sparkling Pacific Ocean or into the jungle. Amenities include king-sized beds, rainfall showerheads and plush bedding. There are also larger rooms that can accommodate up to eight guests. For ultimate luxury, select the Ocean View Premium Suite, which looks out over Manuel Antonio National Park and has an outdoor hot tub.

When you aren’t drinking cocktails on the beach, select one of the many activities listed in the resort’s tour book. These include a guided tour of the national park, surf lessons, a nature night walk, a hike to Nauyaca waterfall and much more.

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JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa

Enjoy all that Guanacaste has to offer at this JW Marriott resort. Just minutes from Tamarindo, the resort offers the perfect balance between relaxation, natural beauty and outdoor adventure. Lounge beside the resort’s outdoor pool, take a dip in the ocean, shop in Tamarindo, replenish at the spa or break a sweat at the onsite fitness center.

Wind down in one of the resort’s chic and spacious guest rooms or suites. There are rooms with private whirlpools, beautiful views of Playa Mansita or private terraces. Satiate any kind of craving by visiting one of the resort’s eight dining options, which include a steak house, a rum bar and an Asian fusion restaurant.

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Tabacon Grand Thermal Spa & Resort

Soak in a steamy natural hot spring beneath Arenal Volcano. That’s what you’ll get at Tabacon Grand Thermal Spa & Resort. Located in La Fortuna, this 5-star hotel is best known for its luxurious hot springs, heated naturally by the volcano. Pools range in temperature between 72 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

Guest rooms are modern and spacious, with plush bedding and large windows. If you’re celebrating a special occasion with your loved one, stay in the honeymoon suite, an adults-only room that comes with a private plunge pool heated by thermal water.

When you’re not relaxing at the hot springs or enjoying a luxurious spa treatment, let the resort plan your next outdoor adventure. Go on a rafting adventure, hike to a waterfall, drive an ATV, go on a sky trek or head on a day trip to Arenal Volcano National Park.

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