Quiet Beachfront Resort Adorned with Local Artists' Work
Alma del Pacifico Beach Hotel & Spa has a sun-splashed Costa Rican seascape almost to itself. The resort sits along a 4-mile stretch of Pacific coastline, which is lined with almond trees and verdant palms. Except for the sound of breaking waves and the distant calls of scarlet macaws, the oceanfront is silent. You might see the occasional surfer visiting this area to avoid the crowds to the north, or a few beach-goers combing the shore for sand dollars and seashells. But this is mostly a quiet oceanfront setting, a quality that helped it earn a Travelers’ Choice award from TripAdvisor in 2013 in the category of small hotels.
Inside the garden bungalows, abstract paintings and colorful tapestries created by local artists showcase the region's vibrant culture. The hotel's open-air restaurant serves authentic Costa Rican cuisine prepared using fruits and vegetables plucked from the property’s gardens. The property also has a seaside spa and two swimming pools surrounded by tiled fountains and flower gardens.
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica: White Sands and Rainforest Tours
Manuel Antonio lies on Costa Rica's west coast, on a spot discovered in 1519 by Spanish explorer Ponce de León during his quest to find the Fountain of Youth. The area is characterized by white-sand beaches and the biologically diverse ecosystem that flourishes within Manuel Antonio National Park. On nature trails winding through the jungle, you might see three-toed sloths, white-headed capuchins, mantled howler monkeys, and black iguanas. You can also take guided and independent tours through the foliage on an ATV, zipline, or caffeinated sloth. The thick forests eventually give way to crescent beaches such as Playa Manuel Antonio, a snorkeler's haven with coral reefs, secluded coves, and ancient turtle traps.