Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

COSTA RICA TRAVEL GUIDE

Cocles Beach in Limón, Costa Rica

Costa Rica Hotels, Restaurants, Spas and More

Costa Rica is a traveler's dream with rainforests, active volcanoes and great surf spots. Exploring this diverse country offers the chance to see a wealth of animals, from a variety of monkeys to toucans, butterflies and sloths. Add to this a vibrant culture and a relaxed, friendly attitude, and you have the perfect antidote to the toxic pace of modern life. Highlights include the remote jungle of the Osa Peninsula, the Amazon-like canals and fauna of Tortuguero National Park, the lush landscape around Arenal Volcano and the misty, magical Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve. The spirit of "Pura Vida" makes visitors feel right at home.

A beautiful sunset seen from The Retreat in Costa Rica

HEAVEN ON EARTH
The Retreat, Costa Rica

A mere 30-minute drive from San José International Airport, The Retreat transports guests to a tranquil mountainside paradise. With only nine rooms spread across 8 acres, this secluded sanctuary is the place to be for those seeking peace of mind.

TOP SPAS
The Best Spas in Costa Rica

The Costa Rican "Pura Vida" isn't just the country's slogan. It is a way of life symbolizing the enjoyment in simply living happy. Experience your own "pure life" at one of Costa Rica's best spa destinations.

The Retreat, Altos del Monte


Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica

TOP ROMANTIC DESTINATIONS
Costa Rica

Stunning natural rainforests and exotic landscapes make Costa Rica not only a superb romantic getaway, but also an eco-friendly one. There are so many romantic things to see and do in Costa Rica, including a trip to the Irazu and Poas volcanoes or La Paz Waterfall and Butterfly Gardens.



TRAVEL FEATURE
Pacific Explorer Cruise

Experience untouched Costa Rican nature and the Panama Canal on this small yet intimate cruise from the Cruise West company, where fresh ingredients — and food for thought — replace fancy ballrooms and glitzy entertainment.

Pacific Explorer ship on our Panama Canal and Costa Rica cruise




ARENAL VOLCANO

RAINFOREST ROMANCE
Nayara Hotel & Gardens
One of the most romantic resorts in Central and South America, this rainforest retreat is the epitome of luxury. The open-air spa is set against the backdrop of the still-active Arenal Volcano and its bungalows come with a private terrace and two-person hot tub.

The Nayara Suite has canopy beds, a wrap-around terrace overlooking the Arenal Volcano and a secluded private garden


Tabacon Hot Springs
THE SPIRIT OF PURA VIDA
Tabacon Hot Springs
The famed Tabacon Hot Springs Resort & Spa, nestled against active Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica's Northern plains region, offers a labyrinth of hidden thermo mineral pools, cascading waterfalls and rivers to lounge in, set against lush foliage and bright, large tropical flowers.


GUANACASTE
A beach at Hacienda Cabo Velas
PRIVATE ESCAPE
Hacienda Cabo Velas

Few properties in the world are as select and as secluded as Hacienda Cabo Velas. It is part of the small Sanctuare collection, a new breed of resort group that is upping the ante on the definition of privacy.

TOP 10 DIVING HOTELS
Ocotal Scuba Diving Resort

Discover massive schools of fish, rays, jacks, whale sharks, giant mantas, sea turtles, bull sharks, white tip sharks and dolphins at the only all-in dive resort in Costa Rica, which is situated along Costa Rica's Northern Pacific coastline and offers panoramic views.
Ocotal Scuba Diving Resort

SANTA TERESA & MALPAIS
A room at the Milarepa Hotel in Costa Rica, one of our Top 10 Value Hotels Worldwide
TOP 10 VALUE HOTELS WORLDWIDE
Hotel Milarepa
Asian architecture and a beautiful setting are combined at the Milarepa Hotel, a collection of four exotic bungalows. Surrounded by pale golden beaches, tide pools and densely wooded hills, the property offers the splendor of nature along with water activities.


TAMARINDO
TOP 10 YOGA RETREATS
Los Altos de Eros

Day-long yoga immersions in a place of stillness and peace. A lush spa carved into the side of a hill. Healthy cuisine with an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables. Do we have you sighing yet? This luxurious hilltop retreat's name roughly translates to "the heights of love," and the designation is indeed apt.
A massage bed at Los Altos de Eros

The Casita Mandrina Suite at The Painted Pony Guest Ranch in Casagua, Costa Rica
TOP 10 RANCHES WORLDWIDE
The Painted Pony Guest Ranch
The Painted Pony Guest Ranch is a 50-acre, family-owned property just minutes from the coast. You can spend your days riding through area ranches to small towns, where you can stop at a local cantina for a taste of Guanacaste culture.

For more information visit the Costa Rica Tourism and Travel Bureau

Guides for other parts of the world

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GAYOT's list of the best luxury trains has exciting excursions on as many continents as possible, from dramatic treks across the Austalian Outback to elegant tours through the great cities of Europe.
Situated in scenic locales from Napa Valley to Champagne, France, these iconic wine routes boast world-class vineyards, charming towns and unforgettable views.