As a kid, I visited Costa Rica once on a family surf trip. I still remember the white sand beaches with gentle waves, the friendly locals, and the incredible flora and fauna of the rainforest. I was recently invited to stay at the Four Seasons Costa Rica on the idyllic Peninsula Papagayo and it was even more stunning than I remembered. We spent the weekend sailing through the Gulf of Papagayo, relaxing on the beach, and immersing ourselves in the local philosophy of pura vida. And of course, enjoying the many amenities of the Four Seasons.
Peninsula Papagayo is located on Costa Rica’s north Pacific coast. This remote 1400-acre peninsula was formed by volcanic activity and sculpted by wind, rain, and sun over thousands of years. Today, it is home to 31 different beaches, two luxury resorts (the Four Seasons and the Andaz), a marina, and an Arnold-Palmer designed golf course. However, thanks to a government mandate stating that 70% of the land must remain undeveloped, the vast majority of the peninsula is wild and a nature-lover’s dream.
The Four Seasons Costa Rica
The Four Seasons Costa Rica is ideally positioned on a narrow stretch of the peninsula. Guests are treated to views of the water on both sides and have access to two golden sand beaches. At a high enough vantage point, you can see the Gulf of Papagayo to your right and Culebra Bay to your left.
The Four Seasons Costa Rica recently underwent a major renovation and the aftermath is stunning. It felt fresh and vibrant and the epitome of eco-chic. I especially loved the resort’s use of locally sourced materials, its seamless melding of indoor-outdoor spaces, and incorporation of its natural surroundings.
The Miramar Suite
Since we were traveling with two other couples, we stayed at the three-bedroom Miramar Suite. From its position on a hilltop, we had an incredible view of the beach below. The Miramar Suite is the perfect mix of secluded and accessible. Though it’s just a short golf-cart ride away from the resort, we felt as though we were in a private residence in the middle of the jungle. I could have happily stayed there all weekend long! Only the lure of a day on the sea pulled me away…
Sailing through the Gulf of Papagayo
We spent a blissful Saturday sailing with friends through the Gulf of Papagayo. Catamarans are one of my favorite boats and this one was ideal for navigating the calm waters and coves of Papagayo. The scenery from the boat was truly spectacular and the cliffs descending into the Pacific Ocean covered in subtropical vegetation reminded me of Puerto Vallarta, one of my favorite coastal destinations in Mexico.
After sailing for an hour or so, we anchored at a little cove for lunch. There we feasted on grilled lobster, which was some of the best I’ve ever had. We spent the afternoon swimming, exploring the beach, sipping sweet coconuts, and taking siestas in the sun.
On our way home, we watched the sun set and enjoyed the company of our friends with drinks in hand. Needless to say, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.
Prieta Beach Club
On Sunday, we stayed land bound and enjoyed a relaxing day at the Prieta Beach Club. I really loved the aesthetic and vibe of Prieta and it has something for everyone. While kids splash in the pool, adults can lounge in the cabana beds or enjoy Costa Rican meets Baja California cuisine under the palapa.
Pura Vida: A Way of Life
In Costa Rica, you’ll hear the saying pura vida constantly. Before this past trip, I thought it was just a touristy catchphrase. On this trip, however, I learned that Pura vida is at the core of Costa Rican life. It means simply “pure life” and it sums up the ticos philosophy: Enjoy life and be happy. After two days on this stunning peninsula, I began to understand what pura vida is all about. But a weekend is far too little time to take advantage of all this spectacular peninsula has to offer. In the meantime, I’ll be counting down the days until my return to the Four Seasons Costa Rica.
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