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Papagayo, Costa Rica: A Traveller’s Guide to the Best Things to Do

Article by Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah

Posted: April 6, 2023

Papagayo is a popular travel destination in Costa Rica, known for its stunning natural beauty, luxurious resorts, and exciting adventure activities. Located in the northwestern region of Costa Rica, Papagayo is a breathtaking peninsula that stretches out into the Pacific Ocean. This stunning destination is a true gem of Central America, featuring lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters. The area is also known for its luxury resorts, making it a popular destination for travellers seeking a relaxing and indulgent getaway. Papagayo is situated near the city of Liberia and is part of the Guanacaste province, which is known for its biodiversity and stunning natural beauty. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both, Papagayo offers an array of activities to suit your preferences. From exploring the region’s diverse wildlife to relaxing on its pristine beaches, there’s no shortage of things to do in this idyllic paradise.

Hiking in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park

The Rincon de la Vieja National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. This park is home to an active volcano, hot springs, waterfalls, and lush forests. Visitors can hike the trails to explore the park’s diverse flora and fauna, or take a guided tour to learn more about the region’s geology and ecology.

Horseback riding in the Guanacaste Province

Horseback riding is a popular activity in the Guanacaste Province, where visitors can explore the region’s picturesque countryside and coastline. Experienced riders can take a tour through the forests and mountains, while beginners can take a leisurely ride along the beach.

Snorkelling and scuba diving at the Catalina Islands

The Catalina Islands are a popular destination for snorkelling and scuba diving, offering visitors the chance to see an incredible variety of marine life. The crystal-clear waters around the islands are home to colourful fish, sea turtles, rays, and even sharks.

Ziplining through the Papagayo Peninsula’s tropical forests

Ziplining is a thrilling adventure activity that allows visitors to see the beauty of the Papagayo Peninsula from above. There are several zipline tours in the region, including some that offer stunning views of the ocean and mountains.

Soaking in natural hot springs in the Arenal Volcano region

The Arenal Volcano region is known for its natural hot springs, which are believed to have therapeutic benefits. Visitors can relax in the warm, mineral-rich waters while enjoying the stunning views of the volcano and surrounding forests.

Surfing and beach yoga in Tamarindo

Tamarindo is a popular beach town that offers visitors the chance to surf some of Costa Rica’s best waves. The town also has several yoga studios that offer classes on the beach, allowing visitors to practise yoga while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Spa treatments at Papagayo’s luxury resorts

Papagayo is home to several luxurious resorts that offer a range of spa treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps. These treatments are a great way to unwind and relax after a day of adventure activities.

Meditation and nature walks in the Las Baulas National Marine Park

The Las Baulas National Marine Park is a protected area that is home to several endangered species, including leatherback sea turtles. Visitors can take a guided nature walk to learn more about the park’s ecology and conservation efforts, or participate in a meditation session on the beach.

Visiting local museums and art galleries

Costa Rica has a rich cultural heritage, and Papagayo is home to several museums and art galleries that showcase the region’s history and art. Visitors can learn about the indigenous cultures of the region, as well as contemporary Costa Rican art.

Whitewater rafting on the Tenorio River

Whitewater rafting is a thrilling adventure activity that allows visitors to experience the beauty of Costa Rica’s rivers and forests. The Tenorio River is a popular destination for rafting, offering Class III and IV rapids that are sure to get your heart racing.

Kayaking and paddleboarding along the Pacific coast

Kayaking and paddleboarding are great ways to explore the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Visitors can rent kayaks or paddle boards and explore the coves and bays along the coast, or take a guided tour to learn more about the region’s wildlife and ecology.

Mountain biking through the Guanacaste mountains

Mountain biking is a popular activity in the Guanacaste mountains, where visitors can explore the region’s rugged terrain and stunning vistas. There are several mountain biking tours available in the region, ranging from easy rides to challenging singletrack trails.

Fishing for marlin and sailfish in the open sea

Costa Rica is known for its world-class sportfishing, with marlin and sailfish being the most sought-after catches. Visitors can take a guided fishing trip from Papagayo and experience the thrill of reeling in one of these trophy fish.

In conclusion, Papagayo, Costa Rica is a destination that truly has it all, offering a plethora of activities for travellers seeking adventure, relaxation, or a blend of both. And, if you’re interested in exploring the region further and giving back to the community, you can even consider volunteering with GVI in nearby Cimarrones. GVI offers a range of programs in Costa Rica that allow volunteers to make a meaningful impact while experiencing the country’s natural beauty and culture. So, whether you’re volunteering with GVI or simply enjoying a vacation, Papagayo is a destination that promises to leave a lasting impression. With its breathtaking landscapes, stunning beaches, and array of activities, Papagayo is a must-visit destination that will leave you wanting more.

By Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah is a freelance writer from New Zealand with a passion for outdoor adventure and sustainable travel. She has been writing about travel for more than five years and her work has appeared in print and digital publications including National Geographic Travel, Conde Nast Travel, Business Insider, Atlas Obscura and more. You can see more of her work at petrinadarrah.com.
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