Why is the Papagayo Region (Pacific North West) So Popular?
Welcome to the Papagayo Region of Costa Rica’s North West Coast – better known as the Gold Coast. The Papagayo Region includes the beach communities of Playa Panama, Playa Hermosa, Playas del Coco, Playa Ocotal and Playa Matapalo, as well as the land encompassing the Papagayo Peninsula. Be sure to check out our Maps Page showing the locations of each of these beach towns within the Papagayo Region. Less than 20 years ago this region was virtually untouched as tourists had to fly into San Jose and then drive a long 280 Kilometers of a potholed narrow mountain highway to visit the beautiful beaches of this area. This all changed in 2004 when the Guanacaste International (Liberia) Airport truly opened with flights from all over North America. Previously the airport only saw a few charter flights come in to accommodate a few smaller all-inclusive hotels like Villa Sol. With the opening of the Four Seasons Resort, the JW Marriot and other major hotels, tourism kicked into high gear. The area saw a gold rush of tourists wanting to holiday in the best beach weather in Costa Rican and to buy property. The area exploded with action that carried on till the world wide real estate collapse of 2007. Still, those who bought in Costa Rica did not see their values drop significantly and unless they really had to sell due to issues up north, not many buyers or sellers suffered significantly. The area continues to see improvements with a planned expansion of the Four Seasons moving forward, plus the new Planet Hollywood hotel and the Papagayo Marina opening. And there is more to come with the planned improvement of infrastructure – improved roads plus the new water system currently under construction which will bring in much needed water to the beach areas. This will result in the construction of more high end hotels and of course more condo projects and housing developments.
Our region is the closest beach area to an international airport. Only 25 – 30 minutes to any of our beaches from Guanacaste International (Liberia) Airport. No long drives to hit the surf and sand. You can land in the newly renovated modern airport and be on the beach in less than two hours including immigration plus checking into your hotel or condo or home! Our area sees the most sunshine in Costa Rica and lower humidity - this combination justifies our claim of the best beach weather in Costa Rica. With the great weather and infrastructure (roads, water, medical) improving almost daily, the Papagayo region has a lot to offer. Adventures abound – snorkeling in pristine safe waters, scuba diving, world class surfing, sport fishing, or head to the mountains for a completely different set of adventures – we have it all. Each of our five beach areas have their own unique personality as you will find as you explore our website. This area offers great property opportunities for the budget-minded up to the high end buyer looking to buy a beautiful ocean view home for less than half the price of similar homes in California or Hawaii or other resort areas. Our prices are still relatively low compared to these areas.
We have the best beach weather with no rain from December to April and a beautiful green season from May to November. Our green season is becoming more popular as people realize the rains are only for an hour or two a couple of times per week and they lead to spectacular sunsets! October can be a little soggy depending upon the year. Our area is a tropical dry forest so you can go from dried out to lush green very quickly. You will see some of the photos on our website that show this phenomena. Keep in mind that the beautiful Guanacaste Mountains are only a short 1 to 2 hours drive away. You can leave the hot dry summer and be in the cool mountains in short order. The mountains offer a whole new raft of adventures from zip lining, horseback riding, hiking through the rain forest, river tubing and rafting plus incredible hot spring experiences.
Playas del Coco is the main community is the Papagayo Region, providing many of the necessary services for the area – banking, mechanics, hardware stores, grocery stores, souvenir/clothing stores, bars & restaurants. Liberia, the capital city of the province of Guanacaste, is a short 40-minute drive away from the beach communities of the Papagayo Region. In Liberia you with find full scale grocery stores like PriceSmart, Wal-Mart, Peri, Super Compro, Maxi Pali plus a myriad of shops, gas stations, retail stores, mechanics, hardware stores Restaurants offer great food, including typical Costa Rican “sodas” and more familiar eateries such as McDonalds, Taco Time, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut.
The Costa Rica Government has big plans for this region and these plans will move forward as they consider the Papagayo Region to be the crown jewel of tourism. Slowly but surely they are moving toward making this happen so stay tuned.
Be sure to check out our section on Tourist Services for suggestions on accommodations, restaurants, tours & adventures, shopping, and professional services in the Papagayo Region.