The world's happiest country? No need for an army? A life expectancy of 80 years? 98% literacy rate? Carbon neutral by 2021? What more can you say about Costa Rica? The rest of us could learn a thing or two...
The secret is out, Costa Rica is one of the most spectacular countries in the World. Virgin cloud forests, pristine white sand beaches, and biodiverse rain forests carpet the country. Logistically Costa Rica is easy to get to with Liberia International Airport offering direct flights from more than ten North American destinations. The minimal time difference (similar to Nicaragua) ensures guests enjoy every hour of their stay.
When Peninsula Papagayo opened its' doors in 2004 it became Central America's first environmentally friendly 5-star resort community. We personally own two of the 29 private luxury villas on the peninsula. Casa Caiman and Villa Nambi are the only fully staffed villa rentals in papagayo. We are also the only villas that include a boat... much less two! The premier coastal development in Central America committed to preserving 70% of the land as a nature preserve; a commitment that holds true today. This abundance of nature is what makes Peninsula Papagayo one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. The region is home to more than 500,000 species representing 5% of all life forms on the entire planet.
What to do?
Northern Costa Rica has a couple world famous surf breaks. Surfers from around the world come to Guanacaste to surf Ollies Point and Witches Rock. Best season July–September. An hour away by boat and intermediary/advances waves.
The north west of Costa Rica is renowned for its fishing and we have the perfect setup to put you on the fish. With outriggers, downriggers, GPS, quad engines and professional fishing equipment, our 40’ Barker Boatworks motor catamaran and experienced captain will give you and your family the best chance of bringing back dinner. Common species include – Yellowfin Tuna, Marlin, Sail Fish, Mahi Mahi, Snapper and Wahoo. Fishing is good year around.
During your stay the boats are yours! The papagayo marina makes a day on the boat a breeze. Playa Coco is just 20 minutes across the bay where you can enjoy lunch and cocktails. Have your chef prepare a private picnic or spend the day towing the kids on tubes, banana boat, or hydrofoil.
Playa Prieta Beach Club
While staying at Casa Caiman you have access to the Private Four Seasons’ Arnold Palmer Championship Golf Course. Arguably the finest Course in Central America, that finished an 18 hole renovation in November '23. This course will take you meandering through the hills and sea cliffs that make up the Papagayo Peninsula. Because of the exclusive nature of this course you won’t spend much time waiting for the group in front of you. Early morning is the best time to play to avoid the afternoon heat and evening glare.
We keep a set of two of Men’s and a set of Women’s clubs at each villa, feel free to use them!
Rent up to 12 Wave Runners and you can have the whole family in on the fun. Ask your concierge for details.
Snorkeling and Spearfishing
Located just south of Lake Nicaragua, Guanacaste provides a respite from the trade winds that rip across southern Nicaragua from January to May. This calm equates to comparatively clear water and great spearing conditions. The geographically diverse coastline with bays and islands also helps protect dive sites from swell and strong currents. All this equates to great spearing! Northern Costa Rica has some of the best Pargo diving in the world. Ask your captain to take you to some of our secret spots. Always dive with a buddy and keep eyes on the boat. Spear guns, equipment and wetsuits are included in your stay. Signed waiver required.
Other than your in house chef, there are a handful of fine dining options on Peninsula Papagayo. During your stay at our high end rentals in Papagayo, you can dine at the Four Seasons, Prieta Beach Club, Andaz, Exclusive Resorts, Marina and Golf Clubhouse ; our concierge will lock in your required reservation!
Playa Prieta Beach Club
During your stay you and your family will have the ability to purchase day passes. The club includes a two story gym, spa, restaurant, bar and grill, pools, kids club, and more. The large beach front pool overlooks the breathtaking Prieta beach.
Tubing, Wakeboard, Wakesurf, Foilboard
Papagayo Bay is a great place to spend some time on the boat. Ever wonder what it feels like to fly? Give the hydro foil a try! Tubes and a banana boat are great for kids and families. Lather on the sunscreen, buckle up your life jackets and enjoy some fun under the sun.
Private Beach Picnic
There are a handful of secluded enclaves to the north that your captain can bring you to by boat. Your butler will pack a picnic basket and a cooler to set up shop under some shade. The early evening 3pm –5pm is the best time to be out. Explore a sea cave while your at it and enjoy a sunset on the ride home
An incredible way to explore Costa Rica without spending hours in the car. Safe and reliable outfitters exist just beyond Liberia Airport. They will take you above jungle rivers looking for sunbathing crocs, over the peaks of active volcanos and down Costa Rica’s rugged coat before returning to a breathtaking sunset over the vast Pacific. If it’s in the budget this is hard to beat.
During the ‘rainy season’ –June through October, Costa Rica’s lush mountains feed into some sporty rivers made perfect for rafting. End the day by enjoying a natural waterfall pool. There are a few river options to float. Our recommendation is an outfit out of Canas, about 1 hour 30 minutesaway.
Rain Forest Waterfall Hike
Costa Rica has 28 National Parks made up of lush virgin rain forests. Rincon de la Vieja National Park is located just East of Libera. About a 1 hour 30 minute drive from your high end vacation rental in Papagayo, the park offers: Breathtaking Hikes, An active Volcano, Boiling Mud, Hot Springs and Waterfalls. Hikes range from 30 minutes to over 2 hours.
With so many canopy tours to choose from, you might as well do it right. We have two favorites: right here on the peninsula there is a brand new high ropes and zip line course or venture offsite to Diamante Eco Adventure Park. It is a 45 minute drive. Large expansive zip lines will get the adrenaline going as you race above the jungle canopy. The park also is home to many exotic animals: Jaguars, Mountain Lions, Crocodiles, Monkeys, Sloths and Birds are some of the spectacular species you will see.
Costa Rica has 12 eco-systems and is home to 921 species of birds! Believe it or not, the best place to see the birds in Guanacaste is via the Papagayo Golf Course! The Papagayo Adventure Club offers daily tours with a knowledgeable tour guide. The wildlife center is located next to the driving range and practice facilities.
There are also plenty of options to get off trail via horseback. A beautiful outfit that explores rain forest and jungle is an hour and a half away at Playa Conchal. Great for kids and horse lovers. Best early morning or evening to escape the heat. Wear pants and get after it partner!
If horseback isn’t your cup of tea give the old iron horse a go. Tico Tours out of Playa Hermosa will set you up with as many ATV’s as you need. You will explore rain forests, beaches, rivers and more.
Costa Rica has 67 volcanos, of which 6 are active. Arenal is far and away the most famous Volcano in Costa Rica. Here you could spend a week exploring this bio-diverse metropolis. Some activities we recommend are waterfall repels, night time nature tour and the cloud forest coffee tour.
Visit Playa Coco
Located just across the Papagayo Peninsula and visable on the left as you drive into Papagayo is Playa Coco. This is the closet beach town to Peninsula Papagayo. There are plenty of shops and restaurants to visit if you feel the itch to get off the peninsula. A couple of tried and true dining options are: Zi Lounge and CocoNutz. About a 45 minute drive but you can also take the boat (25 minutes), the captain will drop you off at the beach (keep your phones dry!).
Visit Playa Tamarindo
Far and away largest beach town in Guanacaste. Tamarindo is home to a younger crowd and the nights are filled with dance and drink. A great beginners surf break is located at the river mouth, just be sure to ask about any resident crocodiles (no joke). Sharky’s is Costa Rica’s first and only true sports bar. If you need to watch a game, they will have it.