Condo-Style Living in One of the World’s Most Ecologically Diverse Locations
Volcanoes, beaches, cloud forests, and the sea overflow with a variety of flora and fauna in Costa Rica, which covers only 0.3% of the planet’s surface but is filled with more than 5% of all life forms on earth. You can experience this ecological diversity without ever leaving the Vista Bahia Beach Resort. Hike around the property to visit a hilltop where a troop of howler monkeys sleeps or to see tide pools where sea slugs and fish get trapped in volcanic rock at low tide. In rentable kayaks, you can tote snorkeling gear to the secluded Blanca beach, where divers recently spotted several whales.
The resort, which sits on a small volcanic peninsula, is surrounded by trails equipped with bridges and viewing platforms for navigating the land and spying brightly colored tropical birds, Brazilian aardvarks, and monkeys. The wildlife is most active in the early morning and just before sunset, but all day long, hikers can gaze upon the three volcanoes in the distance and the surrounding dry tropical forest.
When you’re not exploring the trails, there’s plenty to do at the resort. An onsite restaurant serves local and American cuisine in an open-air environment, and at the bar, you can cool off with a smoothie or a beer. You can also unwind at the pool or take a trail down to the tranquil waters of Playitas beach. For great snorkeling, grab a kayak and paddle out to Playa Blanca and Playa Jicaro; if you’re feeling tired, there’s a water-taxi service that can drop you off and pick you up at snorkeling sites.
Each of Vista Bahia Beach Resort’s condo-style rooms features a full kitchen, dining area, and separate bedroom.
Guanacaste, Costa Rica: Forested Mountains and Legendary Surfing Beaches
The province of Guanacaste in northwestern Costa Rica takes its name from the guanacaste tree, an umbrella-shaped species also known, less flatteringly, as the earpod tree. These trees blanket the slopes of the Guanacaste and Tilaran Mountains, sheltering the coastline from rainstorms and keeping the beaches fairly warm and dry even during the rainy season (from May to mid-November).
Stick to the shore of bustling Playas del Coco and you'll find plenty of waterfront activities as well as a lively nightlife scene. But it's worth heading farther afield to take in some of the province's national parks. Starting in October, Marino las Baulas National Park serves as a major nesting ground for leatherback turtles. And in the north, Santa Rosa National Park is known for its legendary surf breaks, including one made famous by the documentary The Endless Summer II.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.