Adventures from Costa Rica’s Peninsula Papagayo
By Candyce H. Stapen
Explore Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province in style by staying at the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo. Costa Rica’s first real luxury property, the Four Seasons is within driving distance of a variety of eco-adventures.
At the Witch’s Rock Canopy, just minutes from the resort’s drive, we got a monkey’s eye view of the rainforest. Clipped into a harness and hooked to a cable strung between platforms perched high above the ground, we glided through the forest.
At first, my daughter and I hesitantly inched off the platforms, some 20-feet high. Soon Alissa whooped with joy as she zipped through the treetops. I, however, kind of yelped, especially when I realized there were ten more jumps. Alissa eagerly crossed rope bridges and scampered up towering trunks to fly across ravines 75-feet below. I persevered, but so timidly that I caused a treetop traffic jam. By the last jump, I finally relaxed enough to enjoy the experience.
On another adventure, we explored Rincón de la Vieja National Park, about 1.5 hours away by car. The park’s highlight is its volcano. We followed trails that looped us in front of bubbling mud pots and alongside fumaroles belching sulfur. Other paths took us by thick ficus trees, past hanging vines and lush ferns. We also saw monkeys agilely swinging from branch to branch.
Alissa and I grew fond of the howler monkeys that live in the trees at the Four Seasons Resort. In the early morning and late afternoon, we listened for their guttural cries. One day from the spa terrace, we watched a troop make their way through the tamarind trees edging the beach.
The spa, offering massages, facials and wraps, is just part of the hotel’s pampering. The resort features over-sized rooms plus suites and villas, many of which come with canopied terraces and plunge pools. There are two beaches, four pools, a golf course, a children’s program for ages four to 12, a teen center and several restaurants, including Di Mare, a fine dining option specializing in Italian cuisine and seafood.
The Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo is the first hotel to open as part of the Peninsula Papagayo development project. With the slow-down in the economy, the resort may remain the only hotel for the near future. The 155-room resort, a 45-minute drive from the Liberia airport, is the best place to combine luxury and eco-adventures in Costa Rica.