With beautiful white-sand beaches, renowned national parks and exciting rain forest excursions, Guanacaste, Costa Rica provides endless adventures for travelers of all ages to enjoy. Whether you’re craving a romantic getaway for two or a fun-filled escape for the whole family, make the most of your journey to beautiful Guanacaste with exclusive travel deals from Vacations by Marriott. With your transportation and accommodations taken care of, you can focus on planning your agenda. Or, you can leave that to us, too:
Day One: You land at Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia, Costa Rica around noon, then work your way through customs and collect your luggage. You are immediately greeted with beautiful views as you travel through Guanacaste Province and the laid-back beach town of Tamarindo to the spectacular JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa – one of the region’s top resorts. Your deluxe oceanfront room will offer a magnificent sunset view a little later, but right now you’re looking to cool off a bit and head down to the massive, infinity-edge pool. You gaze out over the ocean for a few minutes, take a deep breath and grab a beach chair as an attendant comes by with a cool drink. A little while later, you’re back on the balcony to watch as the sun dips beneath the sea before heading down to the resort’s Sabanero Steak House for dinner. The Angus strip is complemented by Costa Rican “gallo pinto” – a rice and black bean stir fry popular with “Ticos” (locals) and a nice glass of wine. Your luxury vacation in Guanacaste is well underway.
Day Two: One of the interesting facts about Costa Rica is that more than 25 percent of the country’s landmass is legally protected from development. Much of this land is in the form of national parks, and this morning you’re off to visit Las Baulas National Marine Park, just north of Tamarindo. The park is famous for its sea turtle nesting grounds, but you’ve decided to tour an estuary to see some of the region’s other wildlife. You board a small boat and glide through the canals, hearing the howler monkeys before you spot them and locating some big crocodiles in the water. You’re also able to snap some pictures of colorful birds before returning to shore. To refuel, you take a walk through town to enjoy lunch right on the beach at Pagas Surf Club. Next, you meet up with the guys from Pinilla Canopy Tour, don a harness, listen to some safety instructions and are soon on your way down the first of eight different zip lines. The terrain is wild and the scenery is awesome, and you leave full of adrenaline and ready to unwind a bit in that nice JW Marriott pool.
Day Three: This morning, you start with a leisurely breakfast at the resort before heading over to Wahoos Water Sports, where you have a couple of different activities planned. You’ve never ridden an ATV before, so you’re excited to get on four wheels and go off-roading around the trails near Playa Negra and Playa Avellana. It’s great fun, and you’re pleased at how well you handle the big machine through the rougher terrain. A little while later, you hop aboard a power catamaran and head up the coast for some snorkeling. You’ve been waiting to get into the warm, clear water, so once you’ve got your mask in place and your fins on, it’s off the boat to check out the undersea world. The reef is teeming with fish, and you spot a couple of sea turtles leisurely cruising by. The boat is well-stocked with fruit, snacks and Imperial beer, which tastes extra-refreshing on a warm afternoon. You eventually return to shore a little tired, but pleased with all of the new experiences you’ve enjoyed the past couple of days.
Day Four: It’s your final full day in Costa Rica, and you’ve decided to travel about 30 miles from Guanacaste to immerse yourself in the dense jungle scenery of Rincón de la Vieja National Park on a guided hike. After you arrive at Buena Vista Lodge, you meet your guide and set off on one of the park's rugged yet well-maintained trails. From the very first step, the tropical sights and scents sweep you away to another world. The 1.9-mile (3-km) route takes you past babbling creeks and gently flowing streams, with prominent views of the park's imposing namesake volcano. You stop to enjoy the beauty of three different waterfalls – Azufrada, El Tobogan, and La Salitral – and are actually able to cruise down a natural waterslide at El Tobogan. You make a relaxing trek back to the lodge and eventually return to the resort in time for a massage at the spa and dinner at Tamarine, where the seafood teriyaki caps off another amazing day. Your visit to Costa Rica has been full of the “pura vida” (“pure life”) you hoped for — and so much more.