6-Day Costa Rica Vacation with 4-Star Accommodations Near Playa Herradura
Included in this vacation:
- Round-trip airfare
- 6-days/5-nights of accommodations at the 4-star Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort in Herradura, Costa Rica
- Daily buffet breakfast for two
Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort is bounded by Pacific beaches on one side and more than 1,000 acres of unspoiled rainforest on the other. There's so much entertainment packed into this family-friendly resort that Travel + Leisure ranked it among Costa Rica's best hotels and one of the world's best hotels for families. Play a round at the 18-hole La Iguana Golf Course, or take a dip in the meandering outdoor pool, which goes past bridges, canals, and swim-up bars. Hotel staff can also help coordinate off-site excursions, from rainforest canopy tours to scuba diving.
For onsite dining, you can choose from five restaurants—La Vista Restaurant serves tipico Costa Rican cuisine al fresco, and chefs craft Latin American entrees from fresh ingredients at Nuevo Latino. For a drink, sample one of 30 different blends of coffee at Casa del Cafe. The evening can come to a relaxing close at Puesta del Sol, where the staff hand-rolls cigars for guests amid views of the Pacific sunset.
A private balcony looks out onto the jungle foliage in each rainforest-view room, which is outfitted with IPod docking stations, satellite TV, and snuggly down comforters. The on-site Sibo Rainforest and Spa Retreat pampers clients with vichy showers, couple's massages, and revitalizing body treatments infused with orange oil, coconut oil, and hydrating mud masks.
Puntarenas, Costa Rica: Surfing Beaches and Tropical Rainforests near San José
As recently as 20 years ago, Playa Herradura's distinctive charcoal gray beaches were untouched, except by small groups of local fishermen. Today, the bay's peaceful waters are perfect for swimming, scuba diving, and sportfishing, attracting visitors drawn to a setting that's relatively quiet compared to other beaches in Puntarenas.
That said, in Puntarenas, you’re never far from a beach. Costa Rica’s biggest province, Puntarenas occupies a long, thin section of the country alongside nearly 500 miles of Pacific coastline. Overlooking the Gulf of Nicoya, the town of Jacó attracts surfers from all over the globe thanks to its consistently big waves and good breaks. The best wave chasers make beelines for Playa Hermosa, a 6-mile stretch of black sand that’s considered one of Central America's top surfing destinations.
Though beaches are a big draw, Puntarenas also has a wide variety of national parks and nature reserves—part of the reason Costa Rica has become such a popular destination for ecotourism. Just a few miles inland from Jacó, Carara National Park is the country’s northernmost tropical rainforest. The park provides shelter for poison-dart frogs, two-toed sloths, and hundreds of scarlet macaws (a rare sight in most parts of the country). Los Quetzales National Park lies to the southwest in the neighboring province of San José. The park features 14 ecosystems in the Cordillera de Talamanca mountain range and is named for one of its most colorful inhabitants: the quetzal, a lime-green and scarlet bird.
The capital San José is located about 60 miles northeast of Jacó. By day, the big city bustles with open-air artisan markets and street vendors selling tamales and pupusas (corn tortillas stuffed with cheese and meat). By night, flashy discos can be found in all flavors, from ultra-sophisticated to full-on rowdy. Wandering the streets of San José, you'll encounter a confluence of architecture styles—part Spanish, part Moorish—and some of the older neighborhoods still have homes made of wood and adobe.