Best Places To Stay Guanacaste Costa Rica – With easy access to active volcanoes, lush rainforests, bubbling hot springs, and abundant wildlife, Costa Rica’s best all-inclusive resorts are never far from family vacation ideas. While it’s home to some of the world’s best beach resorts, this tiny Central American country of just 19,700 square miles is also home to 29 impressive national parks, including the world-famous Arenal Volcano National Park. It is not uncommon to see sloths, pangolins, monkeys, tree frogs, sea turtles, and maybe even a jaguar in the wild.
Inland and adventurous families can enjoy zip lining, horse riding, trekking and abseiling in the forest. On the water, surfing, diving and rafting are popular vacation activities. Of course, there is plenty of sun, sand, beaches and resorts for those who want to do nothing but relax.
Best Places To Stay Guanacaste Costa Rica
Costa Rica has beach resorts along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, but on the Pacific side you’ll find some of Costa Rica’s best family-friendly all-inclusive resorts. Here’s a list of the best all-inclusive properties and rainforests in a country with a national motto that translates to “live life” or “enjoy life.”
Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica
The Westin Reserva Konchal’s freshwater pool is the perfect place to spend an afternoon in the sun (Photo: Westin Reserva Konchal)
About an hour’s drive from Liberia International Airport (LIR), the eco-friendly 2,400-acre Westin Reserva Conchalis, Costa Rica is all-encompassing, nestled among rainforests and beaches on the country’s northern Pacific coast.
The resort’s all-inclusive dining package includes an a la carte or buffet breakfast, plus lunch, dinner, snacks and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) from any of the on-site bars and restaurants. The Westin Family Kids Club is included in your room rate, as are non-motorized water sports, tennis courts, board games, nightly entertainment, and Wi-Fi.
Golf, spa treatments and other water sports (motorized, diving, fishing) are available for an additional fee. The resort’s family suites are a big plus, as are the many freshwater pools that allow families to split up and swim together.
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On Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, the nearly 300-room Planet Hollywood Beach Resort overlooks the lush and vibrant hillsides at the base of the Papagayo Peninsula in Guanacaste province. This highly themed Costa Rican resort appeals to kids and teens alike with movie memorabilia, a walk of fame, a red carpet, and the Stars Kids Club. Other family-friendly amenities include two pools, a splash zone, a fitness center, a spa, and seven different on-site restaurants.
To help guests get to know Costa Rica better, Planet Hollywood offers Papagayo Bay tours that include canopy tours, zip lining, horseback riding, snorkeling, sailing, and even jungle dinosaur encounters. The price of the inclusive package includes unlimited dining without reservation, 24-hour room service and all beverages (domestic beer, cocktails and selected international brands).
Just 50 minutes from Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose, the Fiesta Resort is close to Puntarenas International Airport (SJO) but still right on the beach. This all-inclusive Costa Rica resort sits on a beach on the dark volcanic sand of the Pacific Ocean and has more than 400 rooms, many with two bedrooms—perfect for a family vacation.
Most food and drink at the resort’s four restaurants, Kids Club for ages four to 12, Youth Club for ages 13 to 17, recreational activities, use of non-motorized land and water sports equipment, evening entertainment, and gratuities. Fiesta Resort is not only budget-friendly compared to the more luxurious all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica, but it’s also owned and operated by a Costa Rican family—a great choice for families who want to support the locals.
Best Beaches Guanacaste Costa Rica
Puntarenas is a port town for large cruise ships, but the cruise ship dock is about 20 minutes away from the beach resort. The advantage of cruise line port cities is easy access to shopping, dining, and tours and excursions for cruise ship passengers.
Across from Parque Nacional Marino Las Baules, the all-inclusive Costa Rican Occidental Tamarindo is located on Langosta Beach (Photo: Occidental Tamarindo)
The Occidental Tamarindo is a 200-room beach hotel located outside the town of Tamarindo in the northwestern province of Guanacaste. The hotel is located on Langosta Beach, facing Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas (Las Baulas National Marine Park). The all-inclusive price includes all meals at the buffet restaurant, snack bar and fast food at the pool area.
Other activities and amenities include volleyball, sand soccer, tennis courts, tour concierge, entertainment programs, live evening entertainment, taxes and gratuities. Langosta Beach is popular with surfers and an important nesting site for leatherback turtles. The beach is certified with the Blue Flag for excellent hygiene and safety.
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Families familiar with the Dreams Resorts and Spa brand located throughout Mexico and the Caribbean know what to expect at Dreams Las Marias Costa Rica. Surrounded by mountains and lush forests, Dreams Las Marías Costa Rica is a special location next to the beach and bay of El Jobo.
All resort rates in Costa Rica include spacious accommodations, unlimited access to eight restaurants, kids club, youth zone, pool and beach access, non-motorized water sports, diving lessons and live nightly entertainment.
The family-friendly Hotel Riu Palace in Costa Rica has four pools and a water park overlooking the ocean (Photo: Hotel Riu Palace)
At the beachfront Riu Palace Hotel Costa Rica, which has 538 guest rooms and suites, kids will love the Splash Water World water park and slides (plus four other pools) and the RiuLand Kids Club. Parents will appreciate the Renova Spa and two-bedroom family suite with bathtub.
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Located on the edge of Matapalo Beach in Guanacaste province, adjacent to its sister resort, Hotel Riu Guanacaste, this Costa Rican beach resort’s all-inclusive option includes meals, snacks, beverages, 24-hour room service, sports, activities and day. And the night. Recreation and an introductory scuba diving course.
In addition to the buffet restaurant, Hotel Riu Palace also has four themed restaurants for the whole family.
Splash Water World at Hotel RIU Guanacaste is the perfect destination for a family vacation in Costa Rica (Photo: Hotel RIU Guanacaste)
A sister hotel to the new Riu Palace Costa Rica, the 700-room Hotel Riu Guanacaste is right next door, overlooking Matapalo Beach. Riu Guanacaste has a Splash Water World water park and slides, as well as the RiuLand Kids Club. The Riu Guanacaste has more room options than the Istana Riu and, like its sister property, offers two-room family suites.
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Similar to the Riu Palace, the Costa Rican resort’s all-inclusive rates include meals and snacks at five different restaurants, beverages, 24-hour room service, sports and activities, day and night entertainment, and an introductory scuba lesson. The Riu Palace Hotel is the newest and most modern of the two all-inclusive Riu hotels, but more expensive than the Riu Guanacaste.
Barcelo Tambor’s pool features a waterfall and kid-friendly theme in one of the most beautiful parts of Costa Rica (Photo: Barcelo Hotel Group)
Surrounded by lush gardens, waterfalls and rainforest, the 400-room Barceló Tamborresort overlooks Ballena Bay, one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful coastlines, and offers direct access to Tambor Beach. Standard rooms at this resort in Costa Rica have two beds and can accommodate up to four people. The two-room suite includes a living room with a sofa bed, perfect for families.
The resort’s all-inclusive rate includes three daily buffet meals and other à la carte restaurants available for an additional fee. Activities for children include a kids’ club for four to 12-year-olds and a house for 13- to 17-year-olds. The spacious pool has a waterfall and the water sports center offers windsurfing, boogie boarding and kayaking.
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This all-inclusive Costa Rican resort features several family rooms in Jimmy Buffett’s signature style (Photo: Margaritaville Beach Resort)
Anyone familiar with Jimmy Buffett’s Parrothead brand will feel comfortable grabbing an ice-cold drink at the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar and Grill inside the Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa Flamingo, a 120-room resort in Guanacaste province. Across from Flamingo Beach, the resort’s all-inclusive Costa Rican accommodations include a variety of family-style rooms, including studios with kitchenettes, suites with bunk beds, and two-bedroom suites.
Margaritaville’s all-inclusive option includes three meals and snacks at one of the resort’s four restaurants, drinks, popcorn and soft drinks at the resort’s cinema, use of boogie boards on the beach and a free bicycle rental.
The local Best Western Jaco Beach Resort is a smaller, more budget-friendly all-inclusive Costa Rica resort option than some of the larger, more luxurious properties. All-inclusive rates provide unlimited access to food and beverages, and families can dine at three different on-site restaurants, including the buffet-style El Puerto.
Riu Guanacaste Cost Rica
The beachfront room has two beds, a private balcony and free Wi-Fi. The resort has several pools, including one for children, playgrounds, volleyball and tennis courts, and plenty of beach activities. (The hotel is steps away from Jaco Beach and a 10 minute walk to Jaco Town with more shops and restaurants).
Hotel staff can arrange tours and excursions to other Costa Rican attractions
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