The directions read like instructions to an underground party: turn left at the Do It Center, cross the bridge, and drive through the endless sugar cane fields until you reach the fork in the road. These aren’t the actual directions to Papagayo in case you started loading up the car. If they were, the last bullet point would be something about, you’ll know you’re there when you see hand-trimmed lawns and Disney-perfect palm trees, adorning the longest cobblestone driveway in the world.
To put it simply, Papagayo may not be authentic Costa Rica, but it is something worth experiencing by contrast. You just have to see it.
So let’s get this much out of the way. Here’s the real map to Papagayo:
The Four Seasons resort covers most of the peninsula of Papagayo, but that doesn’t stop you from hitting one of her two beaches. To be sure, there are two, one on each side of the finger. Each one is beautiful and overlooks one of the two views: Culebra Bay to the south and this little thing called the Pacific Ocean to the north.
Culebra Bay is a bay that connects the chain of beaches known as Playas Del Coco. The Pacific Ocean connects a chain of beaches called Planet Earth. Just kidding. Anyway, they’re both great views. If you can’t decide which one you want to visit more, don’t lose any sleep. The walk from one beach to the other will take you about one minute. In fact, you can run back and forth all day if you want.
Both beaches are legally accessible to the public, as long as you’re willing to make the drive, and valet your car. There are several bars and restaurant options at The Four Seasons, and as far as I know, you can access them all. They probably won’t let you run a tab though. If you want to go it cheap, pack a lunch, and skip the fancy stuff.
If you want to make more than just a beach day out of your trip, you can make arrangements to play some golf on The Four Seasons course. It’s easily the best course in all of Costa Rica. On top of the usual gallery of onlookers for your game (howler monkeys, coatis, and parrots) you will appreciate the quality one expects from a brand like The Four Seasons. In fact, this course has been designed by Arnold Palmer. Yes, THE Arnold Palmer.
It will take you about an hour and a half to get there from Tamarindo central. Plan on making a day of it and save yourself the stress of trying to do too much. If you haven’t found out yet, you will soon learn that Costa Rica doesn’t allow laundry lists of plans for any given day. You can plan one, maybe two things if you’re experienced, but that’s pushing it. In general, having one good thing planned for your day is about all you will get to. Slow down. You’ve earned it.
Horizon Pacific Management & Rentals is located in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Horizon Pacific offers vacation rentals, property management, long-term rentals, as well as a complete concierge service. Providing you with a local contact during your stay, Horizon Pacific is a company you can trust, with the experience you need.