Vibrant Luxury at the W Costa Rica – A Hotel Review

The W Costa Rica – Reserva Conchal is the ultimate choice for someone looking for bold, expressive style, and a food and drink menu and service to match. If you want unparalleled views of the Guanacaste jungle and a toes in white sand experience, this is the place for you.

W Costa Rica Pool

We spent 3 days here and put together this W Costa Rica review to help you decide where to stay when visiting Costa Rica! If you’re looking for Costa Rica travel inspiration, we also compiled a 1 week Costa Rica itinerary with all of our favorite sights.

Read More:

Westin Costa Rica, an All-Inclusive Resort: Hotel Review

Andaz Costa Rica Resort: Hotel Review

Disclaimer:  Our stay at the W Costa Rica – Reserva Conchal resort hotel was compensated. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and as always, all our opinions on this W Costa Rica review and what to do are our own. Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. Click here for the full disclosure statement. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support us!

W Costa Rica Location

The W Costa Rica Reserva Conchal Resort is conveniently located in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica. The resort is a 1 hour drive from Liberia International Airport, which most guests will arrive at. Alternatively, if you arrive in the capital city San Jose, you will have at least a 4.5 hour drive, or you can take a 50 minute domestic flight to nearby Tamarindo.

The W Costa Rica is located in the exclusive Reserva Conchal. This private reserve is home to the W Costa Rica, the Westin Costa Rica, luxury private residences, a golf course, and beach club. The area is extremely peaceful and quiet, full of the amazing Costa Rica nature, and has ocean views and sea breezes.

W Costa Rica Azul Beach Club

The W Costa Rica Resort does not provide shuttle service, however they can organize private transfer for you from Liberia, Tamarindo, or San Jose airports. Alternatively, taxis are readily available at the Liberia airport, however are estimated at $120 USD each way. If you don’t have a private transportation organized, a rental car is a great option. All major brands are located at Liberia International Airport, and having a rental car in Costa Rica is a great way to explore on your own. Both valet and self-parking are complimentary.

W Costa Rica Arrival

When arriving at the W Costa Rica, you will first have to enter the private grounds of Reserva Conchal. After confirming your reservation at the W hotel, you will be let in at the entrance gates and given directions to the resort. It’s a 5 to 10 minute drive to far end of Reserva Conchal. The drive is totally worth it though as the W Costa Rica has one of the best views of the surrounding exotic landscape.

W Costa Rica Reserva Conchal

As you drive towards the entrance, you will pass by the towers that house all of the rooms and suites, before arriving at the impressive round entrance area. In typical bold W style, the entrance is a large circle painted in bold red, with a covered area where you will be greeted by the valet.

As we arrived during COVID-19 times, safety precautions were in place such as hand sanitizers and all staff were wearing face masks throughout our entire stay, as were most guests except when at the pool or dining at a restaurant.

Check-in was completed quickly and easily, there is also a special line for those with Marriott Bonvoy elite status to make your experience as fast and efficient as possible. While checking in we were surprised with one of the most impressive drink displays we have ever seen. The welcome drinks were served in custom glasses, and the elaborate mixology display was highly entertaining and an amazing first impression of the W Costa Rica.

W Costa Rica Welcome Drink
W Costa Rica Sangria

Once we had enjoyed our welcome drink, we were escorted by golf cart by the bellman up to our room, where we enjoyed a second welcome drink in our room; a specialty sangria mix.

W Costa Rica Rooms

The rooms and suites of the W Costa Rica Resort are primarily located in three high-rise style towers slightly uphill from the main building area with the lobby, main restaurant, bar, and pool. The rooms and suites in these towers each have a private balcony, beautiful marble bathroom, and W MixBar, complete with a surfboard as the bar top. The W Costa Rica also offers Sunset Tree House suites located below the main building area amongst the mangroves.

W Costa Rica Style

During our time at the W Costa Rica – Reserva Conchal Resort, we stayed in a Spectacular Ocean Escape King Room. The room was boldly styled, similar to the rest of the resort, but included a lot of natural touches and local flair. The floor to ceiling sliding glass door was a highlight, allowing you fully open the room to the warm Costa Rican fresh air.

The bathroom was equally luxurious as it was full of marble and included a spectacular rain shower, complete with its own glass door to the balcony. The extremely comfortable bed and plush chaise lounge, made relaxing in the room an easy task. The MixBar included an assortment of alcohol and mix drinks for a fee, but also complimentary bottled water and a coffee machine. This gives you everything you need to enjoy the beautiful Costa Rican sunsets: A beautiful view, comfortable chair, and drink in hand. Pura Vida.

W Costa Rica Sunset

Additionally, the room and bathroom were extremely well-stocked with W branded amenities such a shoe shine kit, sleep kit, and other toiletries if needed.

W Costa Rica Amenities

Everywhere you go at the W Costa Rica, you’ll be impressed by the vibrant and bold style that gives everything a great vibe. Included in the main lobby and check-in area are and impressive open-air Living Room bar, as well as the Cocina de Mercado, main restaurant.

W Costa Rica WET Deck

As you walk through this main area to the main pool, you are greeted with excellent views of Reserva Conchal and the surrounding ocean. The main pool area is called the WET Deck, and has lots of places to lounge and relax around the pool, as well as the Latitud 10 Norte Restaurant to serve drinks and snacks poolside.

W Costa Rica Pool Lounge
W Costa Rica Infinity Pool

This main area of the resort is located uphill from the beach, and amongst the lush tropical jungle. There is a pathway down to the beach and Zona Azul Beach Club which you are free to walk or take a golf cart. Golf carts travel back and forth quite frequently, or it is about a 10 minute walk. Halfway to the beach you’ll pass by the AWAY Spa & FIT area for all of your spa relaxation needs and a fitness center to stay active.

W Costa Rica Beach Club

Once at the Zona Azul Beach Club, you’ll instantly be relaxed and enjoying the Pura Vida Costa Rica lifestyle. The W Costa Rica Beach Club is beautifully designed with an infinity pool in amongst the mangrove forest. The open deck includes the restaurant and bar area of the Zona Azul Beach Club, as well as a games room and activities center.

However, if you want to get down to the Zona Azul Beach Club but you don’t feel like walking or taking a golf cart, you’re just in luck. The W Costa Rica also has an impressive zipline, where you can race high-speed above the trees down to the beach. The zipline has limited hours, so be sure to check those out once you arrive at the W Costa Rica Resort.

W Costa Rica Playa Conchal

While down at the Zona Azul Beach Club, make sure to take a walk out onto the beautiful white sand beach of Playa Conchal. This was one of the nicest beaches we found in Costa Rica, and we wish we could have spent even more time here enjoying this stunning landscape. The water was perfectly warm and clean, and you have views all-around of Reserva Conchal.

As a guest of the W Costa Rica, you can also access the driving range, putting green, and 18 hole Reserva Conchal golf course.

W Costa Rica Dining

The W Costa Rica Resort had some of the best food we tried throughout our one month in Costa Rica. The meals and drinks were focused on bold flavors and fresh ingredients for the best culinary experience.

The main restaurant is Cocina de Mercado which serves up international cuisine for breakfast and dinner. Here we enjoyed an excellent breakfast buffet with an emphasis on quality and freshly prepared items, as opposed to large amounts of preprepared items so common at many buffets. The outdoor seating at Cocina de Mercado is a perfect way to have a relaxing morning with coffee. Just watch out for the overly friendly coatis! These cute racoon-like animals were definitely accustomed to people leaving food outdoors; be sure not to feed them and enjoy them from a distance.

W Costa Rica Floating Breakfast

For lunch, you can opt to eat the WET Deck poolside or at your cabana. The items on offer include salads, grain bowls, and flat breads – perfect for a light bite while relaxing near the pool. Of course, the bar is also fully stocked, and the bartenders are ready to prepare some amazing cocktails.

Alternatively, you can head down to the Zona Azul Beach Club for lunch. The menu is impressive with lots of Costa Rican influence, including fresh seafood and locally sourced produce. Lunch at the Zona Azul Beach Club was our favorite meal at the W Costa Rica where we were again treated to an over-the-top mixology drink display, with a custom drink served in coconut shells. Everything we ate here was delicious, but the ceviche and sea bass were truly impressive.

W Costa Rica Ceviche
W Costa Rica Mixology

For dinner, the boutique restaurant Latitud 10 Norte is also available for an elevated 7-course dining experience with unique fusion dishes with Latin American influence.

W Costa Rica Conclusion

The W Costa Rica – Reserva Conchal is a modern and vibrant oasis in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle. This is a great resort hotel for anyone looking for fun, bold luxury design, delicious food, and great service. The W Costa Rica has everything you need for your next vacation to Costa Rica.

Check availability at the W Costa Rica – Reserva Conchal for your vacation!

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W Costa Rica Resort Review
W Costa Rica Resort Review

Westin Costa Rica, an All-Inclusive Resort – A Hotel Review

The Costa Rica Westin Reserva Conchal Resort is one of the few all-inclusive style resorts in Costa Rica. At the Westin Costa Rica, you have a huge family-friendly swimming pool, multiple dining options, and the beach all at your disposal. Everything you need for an amazing all-inclusive Costa Rica experience can be found here at the exclusive Reserva Conchal.

Westin Resort Costa Rica Pool

We spent 3 days here and put together this Westin Costa Rica hotel review to help you decide where to stay when visiting Costa Rica! If you’re looking for Costa Rica travel inspiration, we also compiled a 1 week Costa Rica itinerary with all of our favorite sights.

Read More: Andaz Costa Rica Resort Hotel Review

Disclaimer:  Our stay at the Costa Rica Westin Reserva Conchal was compensated. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and as always, all our opinions on this Costa Rica Westin review and what to do are our own. Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. Click here for the full disclosure statement. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support us!

Westin Costa Rica All-Inclusive Resort Location

The Westin Costa Rica All-Inclusive Resort is conveniently located in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica. The resort is a 1 hour drive from Liberia International Airport, which most guests will arrive at. Alternatively, if you arrive in the capital city San Jose, you will have at least a 4.5 hour drive, or you can take a 50 minute domestic flight to nearby Tamarindo.

The Westin Costa Rica is located in the exclusive Reserva Conchal. This private reserve is home to the Westin Resort, the W Costa Rica, luxury private residences, a golf course, and beach club. The area is extremely peaceful and quiet, full of the amazing Costa Rica nature, and has ocean views and sea breezes.

Westin Reserva Conchal Pool

The Westin Costa Rica Resort does not provide shuttle service, however they can organize private transfer for you from Liberia, Tamarindo, or San Jose airports. Alternatively, taxis are readily available at the Liberia airport, however are estimated at $120 USD each way. If you don’t have a private transportation organized, a rental car is a great option. All major brands are located at Liberia International Airport, and having a rental car in Costa Rica is a great way to explore on your own. Both valet and self-parking are complimentary.

Westin Costa Rica All-Inclusive Resort Arrival

When arriving at the Westin Costa Rica, you will first have to enter the private grounds of Reserva Conchal. After confirming your reservation at the Westin, you will be let in at the entrance gates and given directions to the resort. It’s an easy 5 minute drive to the lobby at the Westin Costa Rica Resort.

Westin Costa Rica Lobby

As we arrived during COVID-19 times, safety precautions were in place such as hand sanitizers and all staff were wearing face masks throughout our entire stay, as were most guests except when at the pool or dining at a restaurant.

Check-in was completed quickly and easily, there is also a special line for those with Marriott Bonvoy elite status to make your experience as fast and efficient as possible. As the check-in area is in a separate building relatively far from the main resort area, you will then be taken with your luggage by golf cart to your room.

Westin Costa Rica All-Inclusive Resort Rooms

The rooms of the Westin Costa Rica Resort are located in multiple buildings set amongst the palm trees and lush greenery of Costa Rica. Each building houses 8 rooms, and are set around the main resort area such that they are all easily walkable to the restaurants and pool. If it’s raining or you would prefer not to walk, you can always call for golf cart service to wherever you want to go in the resort.

Westin Costa Rica Buildings

During our time at the Westin Reserva Conchal Resort, we stayed in a recently renovated Junior Suite with King Bed. There was more than enough space in the suite for all of our luggage, with a private bedroom area and open sitting area with comfortable seating and work station. The trademark Westin Heavenly bed, was downright heavenly and we slept fantastic. The bathroom was small, but perfectly functional and included a rainforest shower.

If you get hungry or thirsty while in your room, the Westin Costa Rica has a complimentary minibar in each room along with an in-room coffee machine. However, you will need to call to have them replenished during your stay.

Westin Costa Rica All-Inclusive Resort Amenities

The check-in area and lobby is a 10 minute walk up hill from the main resort area, however you only need to go there at the beginning and end of your stay, so it’s not an issue at all. The main resort area is anchored by the massive lagoon-style pool, which is one of the largest pools in Latin America. The pool is so large it has lounge chairs for everyone, and includes a swim-up bar, volleyball net area, “beach” area, as well as an island.

Westin Costa Rica, an All-Inclusive Resort – A Hotel Review 1

The main pool area is also right near the beach access to the beautiful Playa Conchal. When facing the water, if you go to the right the beach and sand area is limited as there are lots of trees right on the beach, however if you go left you will find more expansive sand. Note that like all beaches in Costa Rica Playa Conchal is a public beach, so bringing valuables is not recommended.

Surrounding the open walkways near the main pool and beach entrance are all of the dining options. You really are spoiled for choice here with Italian, Asian fusion, Latin, and more international cuisines.

Westin Costa Rica Pool

With the Westin Reserva Conchal being an all-inclusive resort, it obviously includes all food and drinks, but also all non-motorized water sports, the Westin Kids Club, and nightly shows and entertainment.

While technically in the Reserva Conchal grounds, and not specifically in the Westin Costa Rica boundaries, just a short walk away is the Heavenly Spa by Westin. This spa area is definitely worth a visit as they have a beautiful outdoor relaxation area after using one of their many services.

Westin Heavenly Spa Costa Rica
Westin Heavenly Spa Costa Rica

You can also find a world-class golf course at Reserva Conchal, tennis courts, lots of walking and biking trails, and a beach club. Don’t forget to take a walk along the beach at sunset, we highly recommend it!

Westin Costa Rica Resort Sunset

We hope that this Westin Costa Rica Resort review provides you with all the information you need to decide if this all-inclusive resort is right for you and your family when visiting Costa Rica.

Westin Costa Rica All-Inclusive Resort Dining

The Westin Costa Rica Resort is one of the few all-inclusive options in Costa Rica. This means that all meals, as well as drinks are included; as is 24-hour room service. Note that dinner reservations are required for the restaurants that serve a la carte.

The main restaurant and buffet is Mitra, open for every meal of the day. Here you can find a large buffet selection, perfect for those with families and young kids.

For lunch, one of our favorite options is Spirula Trattoria which serves delicious pasta and a large selection of wood-fired pizzas. We loved their pasta and pizzas so much we came back here multiple times.

Westin Costa Rica Pasta
Westin Costa Rica Lunch

Alternatively, quick lunch bites are available poolside at El Ranchito, and a mix of Costa Rican and American cuisine can be found at Caracola.

Read More: W Costa Rica – Reserva Conchal Hotel Review

For dinner, Manglar focuses on fresh seafood and salads and had a bright and beach-style design. If you are feeling like some Asian food, Bamboo offers a mix of Chinese, Thai, and Japanese meals. Lastly, you also have the option of Faisanella for dinner, which serves up a mix of international cuisine.

Westin Costa Rica Sushi
Westin Costa Rica Bamboo Restaurant

If you’re looking for a drink or two, all restaurants serve alcohol, as does the swim-up bar, the Bar Imperial with televisions for sports fans, and the lobby bar at the resort entrance. We found the all-inclusive food options to be diverse and quality similar to other all-inclusive resorts we have been to in Mexico at this price point.

Westin Costa Rica All-Inclusive Resort Conclusion

The Westin Costa Rica Resort at Reserva Conchal is a great family-friendly all-inclusive resort that caters to someone who likes to have everything included in one place. The food options provide lots of diversity, and the location in Costa Rica is excellent.

Check availability at the Westin Costa Rica All-Inclusive Resort for your vacation!

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Westin Costa Rica Resort Hotel Review
Westin Costa Rica Resort All-Inclusive Hotel

Tropical Paradise at the Andaz Costa Rica Resort Papagayo – A Hotel Review

The Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo is one of the best resorts in Costa Rica, combining an intimate setting amongst the lush tropical greenery, ocean views, and beachside relaxation. When you’re not at the beach or pool, this resort offers amazing dining to satisfy everyone. Everything you need for an amazing Costa Rica adventure can be found here.

Andaz Costa Rica Resort Aerial View

We spent 3 days at this incredible hotel and put together this Andaz Costa Rica Resort Papagayo hotel review to help you decide where to stay when visiting Costa Rica!

If you’re looking for Costa Rica travel inspiration, we also compiled a 1 week Costa Rica itinerary with all of our favorite sights.

Read More: The Westin Reserva Conchal Costa Rica Hotel Review

Disclaimer: Our stay at the Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo was compensated. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and as always, all our opinions on this Andaz Papagayo review and what to do are our own. Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. Click here for the full disclosure statement. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support us!

Andaz Costa Rica Resort Location

With a versatile country such as Costa Rica, you have the difficult decision of choosing a luxury jungle retreat, or beachside bliss. Luckily, with the Andaz Costa Rica Resort Papagayo you get the best of both worlds. Located in the Guanacaste province, the Andaz Costa Rica Resort is only a 30 minute drive from Liberia International Airport, which most guests will arrive at. Alternatively, if you arrive in the capital city San Jose, you will have a 3.5 to 4 hour drive, or you can take a 50 minute domestic flight.

Andaz Costa Rica Main Pool

The Andaz Costa Rica Resort is located on the exclusive Peninsula Papagayo. This private peninsula is home to the Andaz Resort, a Four Seasons hotel, luxury private residences, a golf course, and marina. The area is extremely peaceful and quiet, full of the amazing Costa Rica nature, and has stunning ocean views.

The Andaz Costa Rica Resort does not provide shuttle service, however can organize private transfer for you. Alternatively, taxis are readily available at the airport and there is no need to make a reservation in advance; just be sure to negotiate your rate before setting off. Rental cars are also plentiful, and having a rental car in Costa Rica is a great way to explore on your own. Both valet and self-parking are included as part of the resort fee.

Andaz Costa Rica Resort Arrival

When arriving at the Andaz Costa Rica Resort, you will first have to enter the private grounds of Peninsula Papagayo. The entrance is long, grand, and impeccably well-maintained. After confirming your reservation at the Andaz Papagayo, you will be let in and given directions to the resort. It’s an easy 5 minute drive across the peninsula before you head downhill towards the ocean, and the Andaz Costa Rica Resort. As you drive up to the Andaz Costa Rica Resort, the buildings are obscured by the lush tropical trees, but once you arrive you are presented with a beautiful entranceway to the main open-air check-in area.  Don’t miss an icon of the Andaz Costa Rica Resort, the bright purple VW van!

Andaz Costa Rica VW Bus

As we arrived during COVID-19 times, safety precautions were in place such as hand sanitizers and all staff were wearing face masks throughout our entire stay, as were most guests except when at the pool or dining at a restaurant.

Check-in was completed quickly and seamlessly, there is also a special line for those with World of Hyatt elite status to make your experience as fast and efficient as possible. We were offered water and chocolates, and were provided with an overview of the resort areas. As our room wasn’t quite ready yet, we were offered to have lunch while we waited, which we happily obliged.

Andaz Costa Rica Resort Rooms

The rooms of the Andaz Costa Rica Resort are located in multiple buildings set amongst the palm trees and lush greenery of the peninsula. Each building is easily walkable to the restaurants and pool, however you can also call for golf cart shuttle service to wherever you want to go.

Tropical Paradise at the Andaz Costa Rica Resort Papagayo – A Hotel Review 2

Courtesy of www.hyatt.com

All of the rooms at the Andaz Costa Rica Resort have a familiar modern design, characteristic of Andaz properties. The design is clean and includes lots of natural and local touches, unique to the Andaz Costa Rica Resort.

Andaz Costa Rica View

During our time at the Andaz Costa Rica Papagayo Resort, we stayed in a King Bed with Partial Bay View. We loved the floor to ceiling windows which brought nature right to you, but due to the design of the rooms, was still completely private. The bed was heavenly comfortable, and we loved the large size of the room which included a work desk, sitting area, and lots of storage. The standout feature was the river stone rain shower which was incredible. The shower was huge, and features both river stones for your feet, and a floor to ceiling glass door which can be completely opened.

Andaz Costa Rica Resort View

If you get hungry or thirsty while in your room, the Andaz Costa Rica offers a complimentary minibar with snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as lots of water bottles and a coffee machine.

Andaz Costa Rica Resort Amenities

Without being there, it can be hard to picture how the resort is laid out. From the main entrance building where you check in, the majority of all amenities are to the right-hand side. To the left-hand side you will find some conference and meeting rooms, the Andaz lounge, and a wellness area. Below this area is the Chao Pescao restaurant.

As you move right from the entrance area, a pathway uphill leads to buildings numbered 1 to 4 where the rooms and suites are located. This pathway ends at the Onda Spa and fitness center. If you take the downhill pathway, there are buildings 5 to 7, as well as the main amenity area which includes the Rio Bhongo restaurant and three pools. At the end of this pathway is the Ostra restaurant and the adult-only pool. Both the main pool are and adult-only pool area have a large number of lounges with umbrellas, however if the resort is busy you won’t want to wait too long to claim your spot near the pool.

Andaz Costa Rica Pool Lounge
Andaz Costa Rica Pool

From the main amenity area, you can pass between the pools and take another pathway downhill to the Sombrero Oscuro Beach area. The beach here is okay, there are some watersports and massage vendors. Mostly, you will come down here to take the free boat shuttle to the second beach, which is 5 minutes away and is larger and more pristine, and also includes the Andaz Beach House.

Andaz Costa Rica Beach

At the Andaz Beach House, there is a large tree-covered area with lounges and sitting areas, as well as the Beach House restaurant where you can order snacks and drinks throughout the day. There is a large swimming area at the beach, and the option to try snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding on a complimentary basis.

With the Andaz Costa Rica Resort being a part of the Papagayo Peninsula, you also have the ability to access the many running, walking, and biking trails throughout the peninsula. If you love to golf, the Palmer Signature Course has stunning views everywhere you turn, and the club also includes tennis courts, mountain bike rentals, and more.

The Andaz Costa Rica also offers some excellent classes that you can take part in. Highlights are the Barista Class where you can learn about Costa Rica’s coffee culture and how to prepare the perfect cup; the Ceviche Class where you can learn the Costa Rican way to prepare this delicious dish; and the Mixology where you will prepare some great new drinks.

Andaz Costa Rica Adult Pool

We hope that this Andaz Costa Rica Resort review gives you the perfect overview of all the hotel amenities so that you are ready to make the most of your stay at this beautiful Costa Rica resort in Guanacaste province.

Andaz Costa Rica Resort Dining

The Andaz Costa Rica Resort offers an impressive array of dining options for a smaller resort, with each focusing on Latin American culture, and authentic local ingredients.

Andaz Costa Rica Rio Bhongo

The main restaurant located overlooking the main pool area is Rio Bhongo. Here they offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between. The breakfast buffet is large and comprehensive, featuring a number of unique items, as well as a smoothie bar and coffee bar where you can customize some of your favorites. Rio Bhongo also offers a diverse lunch and dinner menu, and is the place to go when you might be eating at odd times of the day due to jetlag or your travel and adventure schedule.

Open only for dinner, you have Ostra and Chao Pescao. Ostra is designed in a way to feel like you are dining at a private residence, and is known for it’s incredible and numerous ceviche offerings on top of it’s focus on fresh, local seafood. You’ve haven’t truly visited the Andaz Papagayo if you haven’t tried more than one of the ceviche dishes from Ostra!

Read More: W Costa Rica – Reserva Conchal Hotel Review

Chao Pescao is a lively Latin American themed bar area, which offers amazing small plates so that you can sample dishes from throughout Latin America. If you dine here on the right night, you will even find live music. The building here is impressive, as is the bar area. Be sure to make time in your schedule to have at least one meal here. Highlights of our meal at Chao Pescao were the Pollo Caribeño and Camarones al Ajillo.

Andaz Costa Rica Hummus
Andaz Costa Rica Bar

Additionally, if you’re spending the day at the Andaz Beach House, don’t worry about going hungry. The off-site beach house has a great snack and lunch menu to keep you satisfied throughout your time here.

Andaz Beach House Sign
Andaz Costa Rica Beach House

We always like to specifically highlight coffee, as it’s such a large part of our morning routine. As mentioned above, Rio Bhongo has a coffee bar which is open all day, where you can get great barista drinks and coffee throughout the day. This is also where the Barista class is offered.

In-room dining is also available if you prefer to enjoy a meal in bed or from your private terrace, from 6:30 AM to 10:00 PM every day.

Andaz Costa Rica Resort Conclusion

The Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo is a really well-rounded resort, with an amazing pool area, beach access, large and stylish rooms, and superb dining options and culinary classes. The location is perfect for a mix of the Costa Rica beach and jungle experience.

Check availability at the Andaz Costa Rica Resort Papagayo for your vacation!

Pin this post to your Costa Rica travel Pinterest board to save the best place to stay when you are planning to visit beautiful Costa Rica.

Andaz Costa Rica Resort
Andaz Costa Rica Resort View

Ultimate 1 Week Costa Rica Itinerary

Costa Rica is a fabulous Central American country that packs so much nature and diversity into an area smaller than the state of West Virginia. Whether you are looking for a hiking adventure to beautiful waterfalls, exploring diverse rainforests and nature parks, or relaxing and surfing by the beach, Costa Rica offers it all!

There is so much to explore in Costa Rica, it can be a bit overwhelming when you first look into planning a trip to the Pura Vida country. We spent a full month in Costa Rica to be able to put together the ultimate one week in Costa Rica itinerary for you, to make your travel planning easier!

Costa Rica Volcan Arenal

Disclaimer: Europcar Costa Rica provided us with our rental car for the duration of our Costa Rica itinerary. Sky Adventures Arenal provided us with the ziplining experience. All opinions are our own. Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. Click here for the full disclosure statement.

Top Things to Do on the Ultimate One Week Costa Rica Itinerary

With a one week Costa Rica itinerary you can see a large part of what makes Costa Rica so enticing for visitors. After having spent one month in this beautiful country, we compiled all our favorite locations and put them together in this itinerary for you. Of course, you can organize your own Costa Rica itinerary as you see fit, however if you do plan to see the below locations, we recommend doing them in this order (or reversed) so that you don’t spend too much time crisscrossing the country!

Bajos del Toro Area

Arrival into San Jose

Most people will arrive into Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) near San José. This is the main international airport in Costa Rica, and likely the one you will arrive at. The other international airport is located near Liberia, in the northwest area of the country, about a four-hour drive from San José.

Many flights arrive into San José during the middle of the day, so it’s nice to pick up your rental car, a few supplies, and get acquainted with Costa Rica before heading out the next morning. There is a large Wal-Mart near the airport which can be perfect to pick up a diverse mix of supplies and groceries before heading out too far.

Our favorite hotel near SJO airport is the Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen, which is located about a 15 minute drive away. The hotel is close to all of the action and shopping near San José but it feels like you are staying far out in the countryside. The hotel has two large outdoor pools, walking paths, and a driving range if you’re looking to get a bit of exercise after a long flight.

Costa Rica Itinerary Marriott Hacienda Belen

Additionally, the rooms are large and bright, with many having beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. Settle in for a good night’s sleep before getting up early to head for a hike in Bajos del Toro.

Day One: Hiking in Bajos del Toro

Bajos del Toro is a wonderful region in Costa Rica which is quite literally overflowing with beautiful hikes and waterfalls. You can find some of the most stunning waterfalls in Costa Rica here, however it is still relatively under the radar compared to the more popular tourist trail locations.

The drive to Bajos del Toro takes about 1.5 – 2 hours, and covers some very steep and narrow roads. Once there, you have so many beautiful waterfalls to choose from. Here’s a list of some of the more popular waterfall hikes to get your started, varying in difficulty and length:

  • Catarata del Toro (1.3 mile / 2.1 km loop, steep with lots of steps)
  • Blue Falls of Costa Rica (2.8 miles / 4.5 km return, moderate with established trail)
  • Catarata Vuelta del Canon (8.7 miles / 14 km return, requires multiple river crossings)

The Catarata Vuelta del Canon is a highlight of the area, featuring an impressive double waterfall in a stunning, lush green setting. This hike however does require a guide as you are hiking through private property and you will encounter 8+ river crossings, in each direction. If you’re hiking in the rainy season, expect a lot of mud and water. The river water is cool, but not glacial cold. It’s all worth it though once you reach the end of the hike at the beautiful waterfall. The blowing mist and lush green mountain sides give an ethereal feel to this location which can’t be missed.

Catarata Vuelta del Canon Costa Rica

We organized a local guide with the help of Senderos Del Toro Tours. If you’re in the area and interested in this hike or any other, check them out on Instagram and the can help you out!

After spending a good part of the day in Bajos del Toro, it’s time to hit the road to take in one of Costa Rica’s most famous volcanoes, Volcan Arenal. It is a 2 hour drive from Bajos del Toro to Arenal. If you didn’t pack your own snacks, grab a quick meal in Bajos del Toro before heading out.

Day Two and Three: Adventure at Volcan Arenal and La Fortuna

The town of La Fortuna and surrounding area including Volcan Arenal is a tourist hotspot in Costa Rica, and for good reason! La Fortuna is an adventure-tourism mecca, with it being a great base to go ziplining, volcano hiking, whitewater rafting, waterfall rappelling, mountain biking, and more. Plus, once you’re done you can relax at one of La Fortuna’s 12 popular hot springs!

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We suggest planning an adventure each day while in the area, and experiencing one of the hot springs. The small town of La Fortuna has a nice walkable town square with lots of great restaurants serving up delicious meals made from local ingredients. Be sure to wander the side streets to find some of the best shops. The Organico Café is one of the best in the area with amazing healthy options including gluten-free, diary-free, vegetarian, and more.

The Ultimate Ziplining and Canopy Walk Experience with Sky Adventures

If you’re looking to go on a ziplining adventure, and you should be because it is one of the most typical Costa Rica experiences, then look no further than Sky Adventures Arenal for the ultimate experience. You will get the typical Costa Rica ziplining experience of traveling through lush rainforests, but you will also get outstanding views of Volcan Arenal and Lake Arenal.

Skyline Adventures Arenal Area

The ziplining experience includes 7 different cables where you will experience speeds of up to 43 mph (70 km/h) all the while traveling up to 656 feet (200 m) in the air, across cables up to 2,460 feet (750 m) in length! It’s a truly impressive experience, and the best zipline experience we have had anywhere in the world. The ziplining experience also includes a ride in the Sky Tram and a visit to La Mano del Arenal, a giant hand sculpture with an amazing view.

Mano del Arena Costa Rica Itinerary

In addition to the ziplining, you can choose to hike the trails at Sky Adventures Arenal to visit some waterfalls and suspension bridges, high up in the jungle canopy.

Lake Arenal

The Lake of Arenal is actually mand-made, created in 1979 for a hydroelectric project that at the time, provided energy for 70% of Costa Rica! The lake is the largest in Costa Rica, and also a great location for kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddle boarding, as well as kite surfing and windsurfing.

One of the most iconic views in Costa Rica is of Lake Arenal with the distinctive Volcan Arenal in the background. The top of the mountain is often covered in cloud, so if you end up seeing Volcan Arenal in all of its glory, count yourself lucky! A great place to view the lake and volcano is from the Mirador la Armonia campsite and viewpoint. This is a great place to bring a picnic lunch and relax out in nature, enjoying the view! There is also a toilet onsite, plus a small shop with snacks and drinks.

If you are looking for an adventurous trip and love camping, make sure you check out the Ultimate Costa Rica Campervan Experience with Pura Van.

Night Sky in Arenal Area Costa Rica

Day Four and Five: Above the Clouds in Monteverde

As the crow flies, Monteverde is not far from La Fortuna and Arenal, however there are no roads that directly connect the two tourist hotspots, so you will have to drive west along Lake Arenal from La Fortuna, and then south through more twisting roads to reach Monteverde. This is a great location for two days, allowing you to take in the amazing nature, views, and restaurants on offer.

Monteverde is famous for its cloud forests. You may be wondering what exactly is a cloud forest? A could forest is actually a type of rainforest, but at a much higher altitude of 3,000 to 8,000 feet (914 to 2,400 m). Cloud forests are often blanketed in mist and clouds, giving them their name, and also include an incredibly diverse mix of flora and fauna.

Manuel Antonio Rainforest Costa Rica

If you didn’t manage to go ziplining in Arenal, Monteverde is the next best location and there are multiple tour companies available. In addition, Monteverde is a popular place to go on nature walks through the cloud forests. Hiring a guide is optional, and based on preference. You will no doubt see and learn way more by using a guide, however you can still see a lot on a self-guided tour, but you might just miss that sloth lounging in a nearby tree!

Monteverde also has one of the most diverse sets of accommodation in Costa Rica, so you should be able to find the perfect hotel, bed and breakfast, or hostel to suit your needs. Owing to its popularity as a tourist destination, Monteverde has a ton of great restaurants serving up all kinds of cuisine.

Day Six and Seven: Surfing at Jaco and Playa Hermosa

Have you really been to Costa Rica if you haven’t seen their gorgeous beaches? Costa Rica has a great mix of beaches, ranging from white-sand to black-sand, and rugged rocks to never-ending flat sand. There are a number of popular beach areas, namely in Guanacaste province in the northwest Punta Arenas, along the southern west coast.

The Nicoya Peninsula is beautiful and includes the surfing hotspots of Tamarindo, Nosara, and Santa Teresa, however it is sufficiently far from San José that it is difficult to include in a one week Costa Rica itinerary. Alternatively, the beach and surf town of Jaco and nearby Playa Hermosa offers up just as much surfing, a vibrant expat community, and everything else you will need for your Costa Rica beach experience.

Nosara Surfing Costa Rica Itinerary

Jaco is a 2 to 2.5 hour drive from Monteverde. Just like the road into Monteverde, the road down is equally steep and twisty. Take your time and enjoy the views on the way to the coast. Once you reach Jaco, you’ll find everything you need in town for groceries, restaurants, and cafes. A great café to try authentic Costa Rican coffee is Café Bohio, and if you’re looking for a fun evening with live music, great food and drinks, try out PuddleFish Brewery.

Heading just a little bit further south you will find the picturesque Playa Hermosa. Note that there are multiple Playa Hermosa’s in Costa Rica, so keep that in mind when doing any additional research on what to do in the area.

Costa Rica Beach

Playa Hermosa is incredibly large, and surprisingly quiet, allowing for perfect walks along the beach, taking it all in.

Option Extra: Drive to Manuel Antonio National Park

The Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the smallest national parks in Costa Rica, yet it is also one of the most visited. At just over an hour’s drive south of Jaco, it is easily accessible as a day-trip or addition to your one week Costa Rica itinerary. The park is so popular due to it’s truly incredible biodiversity, packed into such a small area. Here you can see sloths, monkeys, toucans, and many other of the amazing plants and animals that call Costa Rica home.

Monkey in Manuel Antonio Rain Forest

The park is located at the end of the road in the town of Manuel Antonio. There is a large number of hotels and restaurants in the area, owing to the park’s popularity. You can choose to walk through the park on your own or hire a guide. We found that the park was sufficiently busy that there were groups of people watching the sloths and monkeys, such that if you didn’t have a guide you would still get to see these amazing creatures.

Alternatively, if you decide to hire a guide, it can be quite reasonable and you will learn so much about the plants and animals in this incredible park.

After spending your time in Jaco, and possibly Manuel Antonio, head back to San José to catch your flight home.  The drive back to the capital is about 2 hours. Plan extra time for traveling to San José as traffic jams are quite common, especially on weekends, and anytime near rush hour. With that, you’ve successfully completed the ultimate one week Costa Rica itinerary!

The Next Trip Top Five Tips for the Ultimate Costa Rica Itinerary

We’ve put together a list of our top tips for you to have the ultimate one week Costa Rica itinerary.

Rent a Car with Europcar Costa Rica

While Costa Rica is not physically a very large country, it can still take a very long time to get between popular locations due to there being limited roads, and the roads being full of sharp curves, steep hills, and slow trucks. Public transportation does exist, but is not really suitable for the ultimate one week Costa Rica itinerary, as you would spend half of your time taking and waiting for public transportation.

That’s why having a rental car is almost essential. Europcar Costa Rica has a large inventory to choose from so that you can select the size of car you need, and whether or not you want to have a 4×4 for piece of mind, or for some of the more off the beaten path destinations. Four our trip we picked up our Europcar Costa Rica rental car from San Jose International Airport. The pick-up process was quick and easy, and they conveniently send pictures of the car to you at the beginning of the rental period to document the condition of the vehicle when you pick it up.

Costa Rica Itinerary Europcar Rental

We had a Hyundai Tucson 4×4 for our Costa Rica itinerary, and it was perfect for our trip. It handled the steep hills, rough gravel roads, and everything else with ease, all the while getting great fuel economy, and being fully loaded with charging points, Bluetooth, and all the creature comforts we needed. We can highly recommend Europcar Costa Rica for you rental car needs during your one week Costa Rica itinerary!

Prepare for Changing Weather

Costa Rica has a dry season from December to April, and a rainy season from May to November. That being said, you can have significant rain in the dry season and lots of sun in the rainy season. The dry season will have consistently better weather, and is the preferred travel time, however don’t count out the rainy season!

During the rainy season it will likely rain at least once per day, either in the morning or the evening. In Costa Rica it rarely rains for a whole day straight, meaning that if you are traveling to Costa Rica in the rainy season, you should be prepared to adjust your schedule to the timing of the rain.

Try the Local Food

Costa Rica is not known for the most exciting food scene; however, they do have an abundance of fresh local fruits and vegetables as well as seafood, allowing for some delicious meals. You will find that almost all typical Costa Rican meals have a side of Gallo Pinto, a flavorful dish of rice and beans. You may then also have a portion of fish or meat, and a small salad. Alternatively, gallo pinto is popular for breakfast, served alongside eggs, bacon, and fried plantains.

Remember that Costa Rica is Not Cheap

Many people assume Costa Rica is cheap based on it’s location in Central America, however you’ll be in for quite a shock if that’s what you’re expecting going in. Prepare for food and dining prices consistent with what you will find in the United States, Canada, or Europe, similar to gas prices, and the costs for tours and other items. It is possible to have a budget trip to Costa Rica, however this just takes a bit more planning and more self-guided tours and homecooked meals.

Enjoy the Pura Vida Lifestyle

Not everything in Costa Rica will be exactly as you are used to. Driving and transportation take considerably longer than you may be used to, you might not be able to find the food you are used to, and services might be slower or later than expected. However, Costa Rica embraces the Pura Vida mentality, which literally means a pure life, or simple life, however in Costa Rica Pura Vida means much more than that. It is commonly used as a greeting and encapsulates Costa Ricans desired way of life: laid-back, stress-free, and happy.

If you encounter anything frustrating, just remember Pura Vida, and enjoy the nuances of travel and rich cultural experience of traveling in one of the most beautiful countries.

Ultimate 1 Week Costa Rica Itinerary 4

Frequently Costa Rica Itinerary Questions

We answer some of the most popular questions about visiting Costa Rica to make your trip unforgettable.

How Many Days Do You Need in Costa Rica?

Despite being relatively small geographically, Costa Rica packs in a lot of amazing sights, making it a destination that many people come back to again and again. The perfect amount of time for a trip to Costa Rica is entirely dependent on your schedule, but we would suggest at least 1 week, with 2 weeks being ideal. Of course, you could spend a month in Costa Rica and still not see everything! With a one week Costa Rica itinerary, you can get a great sense of what makes Costa Rica so famous and take in many iconic locations.

How Dangerous is Costa Rica for Tourists?

Costa Rica is one of the safest countries in Central America, however you should always keep your safety in mind. Violent crimes against tourists are quite rare, however petty theft from unattended cars or while on the beach is relatively common. If you keep aware of your surroundings, and always lock up your valuables and don’t leave anything in view in the car, you should be fine. Additionally, it’s highly recommended not to drive at night, or travel alone at night or on the beaches. If you are sticking to the main tourist areas, Costa Rica is very safe for all travelers.

How Easy it to Travel in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a surprisingly easy country to travel around on a self-guided vacation. Most people speak English, however the further from the tourist trail you go, the more likely you will need some basic Spanish skills to communicate. Many places accept credit cards, or even USD cash, however it is best to have some Costa Rican Colons with you at all times for smaller purchases. Driving in Costa Rica is straight-forward, but it is best to drive more defensively than you do at home as not everyone follows all of the rules, and you should also not drive in the dark. Costa Rica is a great country to travel to if you’re new to traveling in foreign speaking countries.

When is the Best Time to Visit Costa Rica?

The most popular time to visit Costa Rica is from December to April, during the dry season. Visiting during this time will guarantee you the best weather, which is perfect for a shorter one week Costa Rica itinerary. If however, you have a bit more time and flexibility to your schedule, visiting during the rainy season of May to November will provide you with incredibly lush and green rainforests, fewer crowds, and more affordable hotel rates.

Have You Been to Costa Rica?

If you’ve already been to Costa Rica, let us know if there is something missing from this one week Costa Rica itinerary, otherwise be sure to pin this post to your Central America Pinterest board to plan your trip to Costa Rica!

Save this post on Pinterest to plan your Costa Rica trip!


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