Where to Stay in Guanacaste Costa Rica: Top Picks and Guide (2023)

Guanacaste, Costa Rica is a breathtaking destination known for its stunning beaches, vibrant towns, and numerous outdoor activities. With its rich natural beauty and unique cultural experiences, Guanacaste has something to offer every traveler. Choosing the perfect place to stay is an essential part of planning your trip to this tropical paradise, as different towns and areas offer diverse experiences and accommodations.

Tamarindo, a lively town on the coast, boasts fantastic beaches and is an ideal destination for watersports enthusiasts. In particular, surfing is a popular pastime in Tamarindo, making it the perfect spot for adventure-seekers. Besides enjoying the pristine beaches, visitors can also witness turtles nesting during their season or explore the local Saturday farmer’s market for a taste of the region’s gastronomy.

If you are looking for a luxurious getaway, Las Catalinas offers upscale, adults-only boutique hotels like Casa Chameleon with unbeatable ocean views. When selecting where to stay in Guanacaste, consider your preferences for activities, scenery, and accommodations, as each area provides a unique and memorable experience. Whether you opt for a bustling coastal town or a serene escape, Guanacaste, Costa Rica is ready to welcome you with open arms.

Where To Stay

Best Regions to Stay in Guanacaste

Guanacaste is a beautiful province in Costa Rica, known for its stunning beaches, lush jungles, and vibrant local culture. In this section, we’ll explore a few of the top regions to stay in Guanacaste: Tamarindo, Playa Flamingo, and the Papagayo Peninsula.


Tamarindo is a popular tourist destination famous for its lively atmosphere, impressive surf breaks, and beautiful sunsets. One of the best places to stay in Tamarindo is the Cala Luna boutique hotel, which offers chic, contemporary rooms with an enviable location right on Playa Langosta.

Fun Fact: Tamarindo hosts the annual Tamarindo Art Wave, a 3-day event showcasing local and international artists exhibiting their works throughout the town.

Things to do:

  • Surfing at Tamarindo Beach
  • Wildlife watching at Marino Las Baulas National Park
  • Exploring the nearby mangroves on a guided kayak tour

Playa Flamingo

Playa Flamingo is known for its upscale resorts, beautiful white sand beaches, and stunning coastline view. This region offers a peaceful and luxurious getaway, perfect for couples and families looking for a relaxing vacation. Some of the best hotels in Playa Flamingo feature amenities such as private balconies, infinity pools, and oceanfront dining.

Interesting Story: Playa Flamingo is said to be named after the bright pink flamingos that can often be spotted in the area.

Things to do:

  • Snorkeling and diving at the Catalina Islands
  • Sailing expeditions along the coast
  • Taking a yoga class on the beach

Papagayo Peninsula

The Papagayo Peninsula is an exclusive resort area offering luxury accommodations and pristine beaches. With direct flights into Liberia airport from destinations like LAX, reaching this region is convenient, taking about 30-45 minutes by car. While staying here, you’ll have access to excellent amenities, such as private beaches, golf courses, and high-end spas.

Fun Fact: The Papagayo Peninsula is home to the famous Four Seasons Resort, which hosted the wedding of Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.

Things to do:

  • Exploring the Papagayo Gulf by boat
  • Ziplining through the surrounding rainforest
  • Golfing at one of the world-class courses

Types of Accommodations


Guanacaste offers a wide range of hotels for every type of traveler. From budget-friendly options to luxurious stays, you’ll find something suitable for your needs. Look into places like Liberia with 58 hotels and Tamarindo with 281 hotels for a more cosmopolitan vibe. For a quieter ambiance, smaller towns such as Playa Conchal and Carrillo offer cozy hotels as well.

TownNo. of Hotels
Playa Conchal32


For a more luxurious stay, consider booking a resort. These accommodations provide an all-inclusive experience with amenities like spas, golf courses, and fine dining on-site. For example, check out the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo with its 18-hole golf course, or Secrets Papagayo, one of the few all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica.

Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals can provide a more personalized and private experience compared to hotels or resorts. Guanacaste offers plenty of stunning vacation rentals, often featuring amenities like kitchens, private pools, and beachfront locations. To find the perfect rental for your stay, browse websites like Airbnb, VRBO, or Tripadvisor.


For budget-conscious travelers or those who value social experiences, hostels are a good option. In Guanacaste, you’ll find numerous friendly hostels with shared rooms or private rooms at affordable prices. These accommodations often provide guests with communal kitchens, shared bathrooms, and common areas to meet fellow travelers and exchange stories about your Costa Rican adventures.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Did you know that Guanacaste was named after the national tree of Costa Rica? The region got its name from the majestic Guanacaste tree, which provides shade and beauty to the landscape. It’s a symbol of growth and protection for the local people.

Things to do

While staying in Guanacaste, be sure to explore the many activities the region has to offer. From hiking through national parks to surfing on pristine beaches, there’s something for everyone. Popular destinations include Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Palo Verde National Park, Tamarindo Beach, and Montezuma Waterfall. Also, don’t miss out on the vibrant local culture by participating in traditional activities such as Costa Rican cooking classes, visiting local artisans, and attending festivals celebrated throughout the year.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Place to Stay

Proximity to Attractions

When choosing a place to stay in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, consider the proximity to attractions such as beaches, national parks, and local towns. Staying closer to these attractions will save you time and enable you to explore more of the area. For example, staying near Playa Langosta offers easy access to nearby hotels and restaurants, while being close to a beautiful beach.


Guanacaste offers accommodation options for various budgets, ranging from luxurious resorts to budget-friendly hostels. When deciding on a place to stay, keep in mind your budget and desired level of comfort. For instance, Cala Luna is a chic boutique hotel located on Playa Langosta, offering a luxurious experience at a higher price point.


It is important to consider the amenities you are looking for when choosing your accommodation. Guanacaste has hotels with amenities such as:

  • Pools
  • Spas
  • On-site restaurants
  • Fitness centers

For example, Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica offers four pools, two private beaches, a golf course, a gym, a business center, and four restaurants for an all-inclusive experience.


When selecting a place to stay, consider the availability of transportation options, as some hotels in Guanacaste have more remote locations that may require a rental car or hired driver to explore the local area. Peninsula Papagayo is one such area with limited public transportation options, making it essential to plan your mode of travel accordingly.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Did you know that Guanacaste is known for its tropical dry forests and savannas? This unique environment makes it an excellent location for walking, horse riding, and exploring the mud pots and sulfur waters of Parque Nacional Rincón de la Vieja.

Things to do

In Guanacaste, you can enjoy various activities such as:

  • Surfing on world-renowned beaches
  • Wildlife watching in national parks
  • Horse-riding through picturesque landscapes
  • Relaxing on pristine, sandy beaches

With a friendly tone of voice, I hope these tips will help you find the perfect place to stay in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Enjoy your adventure in this beautiful region!

Family-Friendly Options

Guanacaste, Costa Rica is a fantastic destination for families looking for a memorable vacation. With its stunning beaches, diverse wildlife, and numerous activities, there are plenty of family-friendly accommodation options to suit different needs and preferences.

One excellent choice for families is the Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica, an all-inclusive resort that offers a wide range of activities for both adults and kids, such as table tennis, snorkeling, wind surfing, and volleyball.

Another great option is the Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa Flamingo, which boasts family-oriented amenities, comfortable accommodations, and easy access to beautiful beaches.

For those seeking a more intimate, boutique experience, consider staying at Rancho Armadillo Estate, a quaint mid-range hotel with only six rooms. This charming estate feels like a bed-and-breakfast, providing personalized service for families.

If you’re looking for a luxurious getaway near Guanacaste Airport, the Hilton Garden Inn Guanacaste Airport is a perfect choice. This stylish hotel offers comfortable rooms equipped with WiFi, microwaves, and refrigerators. Plus, it’s conveniently located with a free shuttle to and from the airport.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Did you know that Guanacaste is home to several of Costa Rica’s national parks? These parks protect the diverse flora and fauna found in the region, such as the Rincon de la Vieja National Park which houses an active volcano, hot springs, and a variety of wildlife.

Things to Do

While staying in Guanacaste, there are numerous family-friendly activities to explore, such as:

  • Visiting one of the area’s beautiful beaches, like Playa Flamingo or Playa Tamarindo
  • Discovering the unique wildlife at Palo Verde National Park or the Ostional Wildlife Refuge
  • Taking a guided tour through the tropical dry forests at Santa Rosa National Park
  • Exploring the Arenal Volcano and its surrounding hot springs, waterfalls, and suspension bridges
  • Going on adventurous excursions, like zip-lining, ATV riding, or white-water rafting

With its diverse range of family-friendly accommodations and an array of exciting activities, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, is a top destination for a fantastic family vacation.

Romantic Getaways

Guanacaste, Costa Rica is a beautiful destination for couples looking to escape on a romantic vacation. With stunning beaches, lush forests, and incredible wildlife, there is no shortage of dreamy experiences for you and your partner to share.

One of the top romantic hotels in the area is Tamarindo Bay Boutique Hotel. This adult-only hotel is just a short walk from the lively downtown of Tamarindo, making it an ideal place for couples looking for a balance between relaxation and excitement.

Another great option for couples is the Glamping Hotel Flor y Bambu in Playa Grande. This unique hotel offers a blend of luxury and adventure with cozy, stylish glamping accommodations in a gorgeous natural setting.

While staying in Guanacaste, there are plenty of romantic activities and experiences to enjoy together. Some recommendations include:

  • Taking a sunset cruise along the picturesque coastline
  • Enjoying a couples massage in the privacy of your hotel or at a nearby spa
  • Exploring secluded beaches and hidden coves ideal for picnics and relaxation
  • Trying your hand at fun water sports such as surfing, paddleboarding, or kayaking

Fun Fact

Did you know that Guanacaste is home to several nesting sites for endangered sea turtles? Couples visiting between October and March may have the unique opportunity to witness the incredible spectacle of sea turtles nesting on the beach at night, a truly unforgettable experience!

Things to do

During your romantic getaway in Guanacaste, you and your partner may also enjoy:

  • Visiting the Rincon de la Vieja National Park for hiking, hot springs, and wildlife spotting
  • Ziplining through the lush canopy of the tropical rainforest
  • Taking a couples’ cooking class to learn how to prepare delicious Costa Rican cuisine together
  • Exploring local art galleries and craft shops for unique souvenirs and memories

Guanacaste has all the elements for an unforgettable romantic escape filled with beautiful nature, exciting activities, and exceptional accommodations.

Eco-Friendly Lodgings

Guanacaste, Costa Rica is known for its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and commitment to eco-tourism. Here are a few eco-friendly lodging options where you can enjoy Guanacaste’s natural wonders while minimizing your environmental impact.

Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas

Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas is located right on Playa Langosta, on the outskirts of Tamarindo. This chic hotel takes pride in its contemporary design, featuring light and airy rooms with soft hues and luxurious bathrooms. Guests can enjoy spotting exotic wildlife or surfing the waves, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and eco-conscious travelers.

Ten North Tamarindo Beach Hotel

Another great option is the Ten North Tamarindo Beach Hotel, which is just a three-minute walk from the beach. The hotel offers a variety of room types for varied travelers, including regular rooms as well as one to two-bedroom apartments. Amenities include a pool, excellent WiFi, and free parking to ensure a comfortable and eco-friendly stay.

The Westin Reserva Conchal

Ranked as the best value green hotel in Guanacaste, The Westin Reserva Conchal offers an all-inclusive golf resort and spa experience. Guests can indulge in guilt-free relaxation thanks to the hotel’s commitment to sustainable practices and green initiatives.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Guanacaste’s name comes from the iconic Guanacaste tree, which is native to the region. The province takes its commitment to nature seriously, boasting numerous eco-friendly lodgings and attractions. So, while exploring this beautiful destination, you’ll be contributing to the preservation of its precious ecosystem.

Things to Do

When staying in Guanacaste, there’s no shortage of eco-friendly activities. Embark on guided wildlife tours to discover the region’s diverse flora and fauna, take surf lessons, or simply relax on its golden sand beaches. Don’t forget to explore some of the many national parks and preserved areas, such as Rincon de la Vieja National Park, to experience the area’s stunning biodiversity up close.


Guanacaste, Costa Rica, offers a wide range of accommodation options and activities for visitors. With its beautiful beaches, rich wildlife, and welcoming locals, it’s no wonder this region is a top travel destination.

Some popular places to stay in Guanacaste include Playa Hermosa, Playas Del Coco, and Matapalo. These towns boast stunning shorelines, ample beach activities, and vibrant local cultures. For a more luxurious stay, consider the Azul Ocean Club Hotel, located on Playa Azul beach. This hotel offers a perfect blend of nature and beach life, with opportunities to go birdwatching at the nearby Palo Verde National Park.

A fun fact about Guanacaste is its important role in Costa Rican folklore and history. One of the best ways to dive into this rich cultural heritage is by visiting Café Tío Leo, where you can take a cultural tour that explores traditional crops and stories. Tío Leo himself will guide you through the coffee harvesting process and expand your knowledge on sugar cane and chocolate.

When it comes to activities, there are plenty of thrilling options to explore in Guanacaste. Discover its stunning coastline through water sports such as surfing, snorkeling, or kayaking. Set off on a hiking adventure through its lush national parks, or indulge in birdwatching at sites such as Palo Verde National Park. The possibilities are endless in this fascinating region.

In summary, your stay in Guanacaste is sure to be filled with breathtaking natural beauty, captivating cultural experiences, and exhilarating activities. We hope this information helps you make the most of your upcoming visit to this captivating corner of Costa Rica!

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