Costa Rica: Pura Vida

Costa Rica: Pura Vida

An Arnold Palmer-designed golf course, incomparable tropical beauty, white-sand beaches, first-class resorts and dining—Peninsula Papagayo is a dreamy all in one

Sit back, relax, and imagine a land with lush rainforests, bright blue-and-green coastal waters, sparkling white-sand beaches, and towering volcanoes, with idyllic tropical weather and endless outdoor activities. At the end of an adventurous day, picture yourself winding down in a hammock on the beach, cocktail in hand, listening to the waves crash and colorful birds chirping in countless trees. Locals live by the motto pura vida, meaning “pure life.” No wonder Costa Rica is increasingly becoming a favorite vacation destination.

Situated on the North Pacific corner of Costa Rica, many consider Peninsula Papagayo Latin America’s crown jewel. Spread over 1,400 magical acres with stunning views from every hilltop bluff, it’s the ultimate playground for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering fishing, surfing, hiking, golfing, zip-­lining, mountain biking, water activities, and many ways to just relax.

Golfing in Paradise

Peninsula Papagayo is home to one of the most impressive golf courses I have ever set foot on. Designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer, this 18-hole, par-72 championship course has the resort golfer in mind. This stunning piece of property sits on the tip of Peninsula Papagayo, nestled in the mountainside along the Pacific Ocean. The 6,788-yard masterpiece winds its way through 125 acres of forest, valleys, and cliffs. Dramatic elevation changes, wide fairways, and large greens provide a fair but challenging test of your golf game. Reaching the signature par four, 436th yard, sixth hole, you feel as though you have arrived at the top of the world. The elevated tee is situated more than 200 feet above the dog-­legged fairway below and the putting green is perched on a cliff just above the ocean. With jaw-dropping views on nearly every hole, plus the company of more than 100 species of birds and white-face monkeys swinging from trees, you might be distracted from your golf game by all the natural beauty. However, a little sacrifice to your score is worth it. Peninsula Papagayo’s Ocean Course found its way onto Golf Digest’s “Top 100 Golf Courses Outside the United States.”

The signature par 3, 7th hole. A popular hang out for the local white faced monkeys

Four Seasons, Five Stars

The peninsula features two first-class resorts, both offering out-of-this-world service with their own distinct character and charm. Four Seasons resorts are continually recognized as the elite home away from home for the world’s luxury travelers. The Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo is no exception. The only five-star resort in the country, it recently underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation and offers its guests the perfect balance of luxury and adventure. Located just 40 minutes from the international airport in capital city Liberia, the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica is set on a peninsula in Guanacaste surrounded by two golden-sand beaches. The perfectly manicured grounds feature three pools, each room includes a private balcony with sweeping ocean views and contemporary, luxury furnishings with an authentic local feel thanks to Costa Rican designs and art.

The par 4, 333-yard 15th with a well guarded green surrounded by breathtaking rainforest

The resort has multiple dining options with local and international cuisines utilizing a farm-to-table dining approach for the freshest and most delicious food. Bahía Grill features Latin American flavors, with indoor and outdoor seating options. Dine with a panoramic view of the ocean at Pesce, an Italian seafood kitchen where the chef adds a local flare. Nemare is a premium steakhouse overlooking the golf course, where on the beautiful outdoor deck or in the chic indoor space you will enjoy the finest cuts in the country. Añejo is an indoor-outdoor casual-dining option in the center of the resort, displaying beautiful ocean views, the perfect spot to get a quick bite, coffee, or a fresh juice on your way out to enjoy the day.

At the end of your adventurous day, there is no better place to unwind than the newly reimagined Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica Spa, which includes 18 treatment rooms, tranquil relaxation lounges, spa, steam, sauna, and gym. The menu of specialty massages includes the bamboo massage, using fresh bamboo stems to deep pressure points and relieve muscle stiffness and stress.

Rest assured that during your stay at the Four Seasons you will experience the utmost luxury, serenity, and fun, while the service will exceed your expectations.

Aerial of the par 3,17th green, with playa prieta just steps away from the 16th fairway

Andaz’s Tropical Touch

Just down the road is the Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo. Andaz is Hindi for “personal style,”celebrating the individuality of each guest and the uniqueness of the property. Its laid-back vibe will capture you from the moment you arrive in the open-air lobby. The welcoming staff greets you for a quick and easy, one-on-one check-in process in the comfort of a cozy chair instead of the typical standing counter. The resort captures the magic of Costa Rica’s pristine natural beauty with a sense that it sits in the middle of the rainforest, with breathtaking views of Culebra Bay, and 153 luxury guest rooms, including 21 well-appointed suites with modern designs.

Bike path winding through Peninsula Papagayo

The Andaz features four amazing dining options. Rio-Bhongo is the main open-air restaurant, featuring all-day local cuisine. When the sun sets it becomes a popular gathering spot for dinner and drinks, offering brick-oven empanadas and pizzas as well as grilled meat and seafood entrees along with specialty cocktails. For the ultimate in Latin American tapas, head down to Chao Pescao, where you will enjoy a taste of Latin home-cooking in a relaxed atmosphere with views of Marina Papagayo and Culebra Bay. Along with live music, you can experience an innovative mixology program where you will learn to mix some local favorite cocktails and wind down from your adventurous day. Ostra, the resort’s signature restaurant, serves the freshest locally sourced seafood. With a unique ceviche bar, you can personalize your perfect mixture for the chef to prepare. The outdoor patio is a beautiful setting among the rainforest, and the private, cabana-like booths offer a romantic haven. Don’t be surprised if you hear howler monkeys in the trees surrounding the restaurant.

The 5-star Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

The Andaz Beach House is a unique dining experience on Nacascolo Beach just a few minutes away. You can enjoy locally inspired, casual favorites such as salads, tacos, burgers, and fresh fish with your toes in the sand. Along with dining, the Beach House offers games and endless water activities such as paddleboarding, canoeing, water biking, and snorkeling.

To unwind and experience the ultimate in relaxation, head to the 11,000-square-foot Onda Spa, with its nine treatment rooms, including three outdoor spaces where you will be serenaded by local birds. In the Onda Spa couples’ suite, enjoy side-by-side treatments along with a luxurious soaking tub and private
relaxation area. Unwind with one of the sumptuous treatments featuring local ingredients, traditional techniques, and a team of trained experts.

The Andaz Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

Living The Pura Vida

If you want to be among the fortunate few who call Peninsula Papagayo home and live the pura vida lifestyle, opportunities are now available. For the first time in more than a decade, Peninsula Papagayo is offering a new residential phase at the Four Seasons Private Residences. Its eco-chic Prieta Bay Collection is part of the destination’s $100M reimagination now well under way. The newest development consists of nine Four Seasons Estate Homes and 11 Four Seasons Private Villas, stunning residences perched high on the hilltop bluff directly between two beaches; the white-sand Playa Virador to the south and Prieta Beach to the north, which is also home to the first-class Prieta Beach Club, only available only to homeowners. The stunning villas start at 4,876 square feet of living area, priced from $3.9M.

For more information, contact Steve ­Grubba at steve.grubba@ppgy.net.