Tropical Beachfront Resort with Outdoor Adventures
Below the surface of Costa Rica's Papagayo Gulf, schools of brightly colored fish dart and weave among marine forests, part of a majestic underwater world that remains largely unknown to humans. But the spirit of exploration is alive and well here, as is evidenced by the underwater shadows of sailboats that bob atop the waves, manned by the staff of Ocotal Beach Resort. For guests at this Pacific coast hotel, daily snorkeling trips are just one option for taking in the boundless natural wonders in this corner of the world. The perennially sun-soaked resort is a haven for those seeking both an escape from the daily grind and an opportunity to take in some of the planet's rarest and most beautiful ecosystems.
A shuttle whisks guests from Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport to the resort, where tropical fruit cocktails and fresh flowers welcome them to their beachfront standard rooms. Decorated with natural wood accents, each room connects to a private terrace featuring panoramic ocean views. Two queen-size beds accommodate post-travel siestas, but guests can also opt for a lounger by the pool or on the resort's secluded beach. When the sun sets, a visit to the beachfront Father Rooster Bar & Grill promises music, dancing, and drinks into the wee hours.
Following breakfast on day two, the gulf's crystal waters become a playground for a fully guided snorkeling tour. The resort provides all the necessary gear, including a boat ride to prime viewing spots where seahorses, manta rays, and schools of tropical fish typically gather to reenact Jacques Cousteau films. An introductory scuba-diving course taught in the outdoor pool outfits beginners with the skills they need to dive deeper, and the class can be expanded to include PADI scuba-diving certification for an additional fee. On day three, the adventure moves back to dry land—or, rather, above it—as travelers whiz along 11 suspended cables on a zipline tour of the surrounding forest.
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica: Rare Wildlife and Dazzling Landscapes
The Papagayo Gulf boasts a reputation for world-class scuba diving and sport fishing, and Ocotal Beach Resort facilitates both. But the region's dry tropical forests provide an equally dazzling environment to explore, particularly Santa Rosa National Park, which sprawls for more than 120,000 acres across a peninsula 15 miles north of the resort. Encompassing 10 distinct ecosystems, the park is packed with trails that wind past waterfalls, beaches, and scenic vistas that present opportunities to see jaguars, sloths, and hundreds of species of birds. For couples looking for a night on the town, the nearby village of Playa del Coco offers a robust club scene with DJs spinning dance remixes of chart-topping bird songs.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.