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Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica:

Ecologically Friendly Adventure and Luxury in Paradise

Looking for true immersion into nature, amazing food, luxury accommodations, incredible excursions and plenty of adventure? 

Peninsula Papagayo is THE perfect place for your next tropical escape. This tiny paradise in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste region is one of my all-time favorite places that truly has it all, and I cannot wait to go back!

Ready to book your Costa Rican adventure? Reach out here and we’ll take care of every detail, so all you have to do is pack. 

With so much to do, you’ll probably need a week there just to see and enjoy everything (especially with a family). Here are some of the highlights:

Beach on Peninsula Papagayo near the Four Seasons Costa Rica

Arrival and Transportation

After a brief 3-hour flight from Miami, you land at Liberia Airport, a seamless entry point to Peninsula Papagayo due to its proximity and ease of access. Smaller than San Jose, this clean, modern airport is easy to navigate and you move quickly through their efficient customs process – so you can start exploring right away. Rental cars, though off-site, are readily accessible via a convenient shuttle service; with Waze (in English) for navigation, car travel throughout the region is the perfect option. 

Four Seasons Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica

Luxurious Accommodations

We stayed at the very tip of Peninsula Papagayo, in the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica, which offers both private homes and villas in addition to the main site, an Arnold Palmer golf course, a tennis center, restaurants, a spa, fitness center and more. The entire peninsula is the first ecologically-friendly luxury resort venture in Central America, created by two corporations, with two main properties: Four Seasons and Andaz by Hyatt. (While there are other properties nearby, they are not part of this exclusive section that we stayed in.)

Once through the gate, you take a meandering 10-15 minute ride through stunningly landscaped grounds on the beautiful hilly Pacific coast to the main resort and hotel. You will also see private residences and villas available for rent, offering luxury amenities and options for a variety of excursions and adventures. These are up on the hill offering breathtaking views; some have private pools and lots of space for larger groups, sleeping up to eight adults and six children. 

The resort room at the Four Seasons, which we stayed in, was truly amazing. Very well-situated and laid out, with tons of room to sleep four, the feature I absolutely loved was that it was right on the water, which is extremely rare. From a covered, screened-in porch, you can see monkeys swinging from the trees; it was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I left the door open and just listened to the waves crash all night long. 

We did visit Andaz, and I would say it’s great for families that are looking for activities but don’t necessarily want the beach, because you do have to take a golf cart or a boat to the beach from Andaz. They don’t have a big beach area, whereas Four Seasons has a coastline on both sides. 

Our room at the Four Seasons Costa Rica, in Peninsula Papagayo, right on the water
Peninsula Papagayo, where the resort is surrounded by natural habitat

Immersion in Nature

Lush landscapes surround the resort, and much of the peninsula is undeveloped, so you can explore pristine nature preserves with diverse ecosystems, and witness a huge variety of wildlife in its natural habitat. Surrounded by coastline, The Four Seasons offers what’s called “Papagayo Explorers”, where family members become explorers; they have excursions where you can go looking for monkeys, waterfalls, and butterflies, or go birdwatching and hiking right outside your door.

The Palmares Preserve, deep inside the peninsula, is comprised of protected wildlands and three different ecosystems in less than a square mile, which you can explore from the land, air and water. 

The Nacascolo Basecamp Nature Center, where most of the expeditions and discoveries depart from, also offers eco adventures of all kinds. There’s also a full team of scientists and staff offering nature tours; they study the habitat, work on conservation and maintain the wildlife refuge; it’s fascinating to talk to them about their work.

Peninsula Papagayo on a hike into nature
Fitness center at Four Seasons Costa Rica, where you can take spin class with a view of palm trees and the ocean

Activities and Adventure for Everyone

The peninsula is the perfect destination for adventure travelers and outdoor enthusiasts; you don’t have to drive hours to find something for everyone in your party to do every day. We were almost overwhelmed by how much there was to do – from golf, tennis, nature walks, private classes, sound baths, swimming, snorkeling, paddle boarding and surf camp, a luxurious fitness center and spa at the hotel alone, you also have zip lining, aerial trekking, off-roading, mountain biking, e-biking tours, wilderness hikes, and deep sea fishing. 

Each day can be something different, usually offered by the hotel or a nearby activity center. You can choose from a waterfall hike, a cultural road trip, a day in the rainforest, river rafting, mountain biking in the La Vieja mountains, mangrove tours, outrigger riding, bioluminescence, night walks, bird watching, coral gardening, coral planting, and more… all just within the peninsula. 

Now if you want to see volcanoes, that will be a bit of a drive away, but you may not have time with all of these possibilities!

Boating in the Pacific Ocean off of Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica
Dave Hoffman from The Curated Travel Collection with bartender at La Reserva during private rum tasting at Four Seasons Costa Rica

Vibrant Flavors and Culinary Excellence

With plenty of great options right there on site at the Four Seasons, we had some truly memorable meals and experiences. First, there’s Añejo, the hub down the stairs from the lobby serving tapas, aperitifs and incredible cocktails. A lively atmosphere with a DJ at night makes it lots of fun for gathering before or after dinner. Then you have Pesce for local seafood, Italian pastas, an incredible wine list, and a panoramic ocean view. La Reserva, the rum bar, offers private tastings (which we did and loved!), including a rum and chocolate tasting that you’ll need to book in advance. 

The all-day, outdoor restaurant on site is Bahia, a wood-burning Latin grill with locally-sourced ingredients and local flavors. We only ate there for breakfast and lunch and I was in heaven with their incredible green juices and healthy options, especially since I was primarily a pescatarian at the time. There’s also Nemare at the golf course clubhouse, an incredible steakhouse where you can see the most amazing sunsets. They will carry you there in their sprinter van from the hotel, and it’s absolutely worth it. 

Finally, there’s Palapita, located at the tennis center, offering Costa Rican street food and locally crafted beer as well as the Virador Beach Club, with breathtaking views of the beach, Eastern Mediterranean flavors and fresh seafood.

Lunch at Bahia, at the Four Seasons Costa Rica

Well, there you have it…I cannot recommend Peninsula Papagayo enough! I’m reliving so many amazing meals and experiences now as I tell you about them, and would love to share this amazing place with you. It truly is paradise. 

If you’re ready to book your private waterside room or private villa in beautiful Peninsula Papagayo, reach out today and we’ll make your dream tropical adventure come to life.

Relax, we’ll take care of everything,

Amy Westerman
The Curated Travel Collection

P.S. For more of our travel stories, tips and trends visit our blog.