Costa Rica has been a destination for black girls for quite some time, and the reasons why are rather simple: there is something for every type of traveler.
Not only is it a culturally rich and vibrant country, Costa Rica has incredible biodiversity, volcanoes, beautiful beaches, tropical rainforests and wildlife. Located in Central America, close to the equator, Costa Rica is a tropical oasis. Did I mention it’s also an Instagram lover’s dream? And it’s only natural that when you’re living your “pura vida” life, you’ll also discover some of Costa Rica’s 12 different life zones. Costa Rica keeps over 20% of its land in protected zones and national parks, so you’re bound to find some undeveloped gems as well.
Although it’s a small country – geographically speaking – the level of worthwhile experiences certainly packs a punch, so you can visit different regions (or even the same ones) and have completely unique experiences.
If you’re not sure where to start when planning your Costa Rica getaway, here’s how to do the destination, two different ways.
A perfect destination for those seeking luxury and tranquility, Punta Islita is a peaceful escape for those looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Especially for the black girls who are out here prioritizing rest of. Located in the province of Guanacaste on the Pacific coast, as part of the Nicoya Peninsula, it consists of two small, pristine and untouched connecting beaches, a charming church in the small village square and beautiful little bays separated by 80 million year-old volcanic rock towers .
Nicoya has been voted one of the best Blue Zones in the world and with some of the best hotels in the area, this beach is very popular with couples planning their next wedding venue. Renowned among the best eco-luxury beach hotels in the area, is Hotel Punta Islita, which offers the most authentic luxury rooms and villas in Costa Rica. This intimate retreat is nestled in dense rainforest on a sheltered Pacific cove with two pools, a private beach, two restaurants, reached by a 30-minute domestic flight to Punta Islita Airport or a 2.5-hour drive if flying into the airport of Liberia. a spa and 54 uniquely designed rooms and villas with private verandas and hammocks, some with private decks, outdoor pools and more. You’ll feel at home away from home with the resort’s family style, but if you want privacy and seclusion, this is the perfect place to escape the clutches.
Perched above Guanacaste’s rustic coastline, the hotel offers some of the most scenic views in Costa Rica. Vibrant local culture and rich scenery are some of the factors that make this 300-acre property a secluded eco-escape.
Activities available from Hotel Punta Islita include hiking, surfing, horse riding, bird watching, kayaking and village tours, so the day will never be idle. The resort’s Agro-Marine culinary experience includes Zero Km menus featuring seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and from the property’s organic garden, as well as local seafood. Local flavors inspire Alma Restaurant, where exquisitely prepared dishes reflect Costa Rica’s ethnic diversity with sweeping ocean views. Aura Beach Club serves familiar favorites in a relaxed tropical garden by the free-form pool and beach.
The Outdoor Museum of Contemporary Art of Punta Islita combines the social concept of art and creative thinking as a generator of sustainable development. At the House Museum, artists teach various workshops and develop activities for San Jose in coordination with the Costa Rican Art Museum.
But, if a secluded getaway isn’t what you’re looking for, there’s always…
If you want something more central, Papagayo is located in Guanacaste, near the Liberia International Airport. Rest and relaxation always go hand in hand at Papagayo Bay, with breathtaking ocean views and intimate surroundings and activities, as well as lush tropical vegetation at every turn. If you enjoy lazy days at the beach, catamaran cruising and relaxing by the pool, this is your place.
It is this unique combination of tourism and nature that makes Papagayo a great destination for many types of travelers — solos, families and couples. The area’s beloved location, balanced between pristine ocean and protected forests, offers a wealth of daily options, making it a no-brainer when trying to decide what to do each day.
The ocean is perhaps the area’s greatest asset, offering everything from rigorous sea kayaking to some of the area’s best diving. Papagayo is also a popular choice for honeymooners, thanks to its secluded setting and romantic activities such as couples’ spas and evening sunset sails.
The area takes its name from the stunning bay that borders the beach, but there is no official town. For shopping, sightseeing and other services, head south to Hermosa and Coco beaches.
Fun and family-friendly, El Mangroove on Papagayo Bay is ideally located for a Costa Rican coastal adventure. Take to the seas to spot stingrays, dolphins and turtles (and humpback whales if you’ve timed your visit right) or settle in for the sunset with sand beneath your feet at Matiss beach restaurant. The massages are done in the mangroves, under the cover of a cabana, but with Mother Nature all around.
85 suites with luxurious beds, spa-like bathrooms, balconies or terraces with hammocks complement local artwork and natural wood accents. The authentic Costa Rican culinary experience on offer uses local, seasonal produce and ingredients in restaurant menus that frame the stunning views of Papagayo Bay. Makoko’s menu ranges from modern Costa Rican to international, with plenty of local seafood. The more casual Matis is the place for burgers, pizza and poolside cocktails like the Mon-key, made with cold brew Costa Rican coffee, Jim Beam bourbon and house cinnamon syrup.
The resort’s sustainability efforts are seen in the eco-design by Costa Rica’s most prominent architect, Ronald Zurcher, and the support of the surrounding community that offers authentic local experiences. Visitors can discover the culture of the Chorotegas, one of the main indigenous groups of Costa Rica, famous for their agricultural excellence and their handmade ceramics following the tools and techniques of their ancestors.
And there you have it — Costa Rica did it two ways. However, whichever you choose is sure to be the time of your life!