Papagayo Region Introduction

Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Buying and Selling Property in Costa Rica, FAQ's, Guanacaste Tourism, Investing in Costa Rica, Papagayo Region, Vacation in Costa Rica

Introduction to Papagayo Costa Rica

Let me give you a little background on our area.  Playa Hermosa is part of a group of beaches that make up what is known as the Golfo de Papagayo:  Playa Ocotal, Playas del Coco, Playa Hermosa and Playa Panama. We are located in Guanacaste province on the NW Pacific coast region of the country – known as the ‘Gold Coast’.  Costa Rica is very reminiscent of Hawaii in the 60s and 70s with active volcanoes, spectacular beaches, and great climate.  Costa Rica is recognized worldwide for its biodiversity, housing over 5% of the world’s plant and animal species, has no army and prides itself on good education and healthcare systems.

Although tourists have been coming here for years, just recently investors from all over the globe are increasingly attracted to the peaceful lifestyle and excellent infrastructure that Costa Rica has to offer.  Over the last few years, Guanacaste has been the focus of that investment, and most recently, the Gulf of Papagayo.

Papagayo Region

The Daniel Oduber Liberia International Airport (LIR)

The new Liberia airport, with its new $18 Million terminal is located just outside of Liberia, the capital of the Guanacaste Province and is only 20 minutes away from our beaches, with daily commercial flights from Delta, United, American, Jet Blue, Southwest, Alaska, KLMUS Airways, Air Canada, Air Transat, Sun Country, Sunwing,  West Jet, Edelweiss Air and Frontier.  Sansa provides an extensive in-country and regional network of flights daily to all corners of Costa Rica.

Now tourists and investors alike can arrive in a matter of only hours from their doorstep to our area and be on the beach within minutes of exiting the plane.

The airport has been constantly expanding to meet the increased demand.  The most recent expansion is to significantly improve the facilities for private jets.   Link to Tico Times article detailing plan for new Private Jet Terminal

The Solarium Center is just across from the Liberia International Airport and boasts a 169 room Hilton Garden Inn and conference center along with a massive mixed retail/warehouse complex.  The brand new state of the art Coca Cola Bottling plant opened in Solarium and there is now a Price Smart (Costco in the United States).

Add to that, newly paved roads, municipal water, new developments, excellent private schools, first-rate medical and dental services, great golf courses, world-class fishing and scuba diving, pristine beaches and some of the best surfing in the world – you begin to see the allure.

The Four Seasons and other Hotels

Their newest gem to the Four Seasons family was an investment of over $500 million into the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo with a 181 Room Hotel, an Award winning Arnold Palmer Golf Course and amenities directly across the Gulf of Papagayo from our beaches.   There are two newly minted luxury hotel within minutes with the Hyatt Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort opening a 153 room upscale, super chic property in December 2013 right next to the Marina Papagayo and the Costa Rican controlled Enjoy Group inaugurated in January 2014 Hotel Marriot El Mangroove Autograph Collection , an 85 room hip and high end beach side hotel just steps from our Playa Panama Tres Amigos Office.  The RIU Hotel Group out of Spain has just completed the second of three hotels that it is building on nearby Matapalo Beach, just 20 minutes from our offices and now have the Hotel RIU Guanacaste with 701 rooms of all inclusive pleasure and the just completed Hotel RIU Palace Costa Rica, an upscale all inclusive property with 538 upscale rooms. RIU just announced they are adding an additional 300+ rooms on the same property along with numerous new amenities.

New Project that are under way or coming soon are:  The Waldorf Astoria Guanacaste is now under construction on the fame Cacique Peninsula right between Playas del Coco and Playa Hermosa. The One and Only Papagayo is coming soon to be built on the south end of Playa Hermosa and will be Costa Rica’s first 7-star hotel.

Six Senses Papagayo is coming soon to a beach you know and love soon.

Peninsula Papagayo is adding to the already impressive list of luxury resort names and has almost finished the NEKAJUI, Ritz-Carlton Reserve.

Just south of the Papagayo area is the The Discovery Land Company project called the Zapotal Golf and Beach Club bringing another level of luxury to an already luxury filled area.

For a list of my favorite local hotels and places to stay go to my post “Where do I Stay When I Come To Costa Rica”

The Sol Melia Papagayo Bay Hotel and Resort is underway on the North end of Playa Hermosa Bay as well as the Planet Hollywood Hotel next to the Marina Papagayo and there are currently plans for over a dozen resort hotels to be built here in the Papagayo Region including the Ritz Carlton, Miraval Hotel and Spa, One & Only, Marriot, Aman, Rosewood, Viceroy, Starwood Luxury Collection, Canyon Ranch and Andre Agassi Resorts and a Bulgari Hotel at the Peninsula Papagayo.  There are plans for a major marina in Playas del Coco to compliment the newly opened Marina Papagayo adjacent to the Four Seasons Resort.   Just up the road from our office is the new Vista Ridge Golf and Country Club which is a change of pace from the pristine championship resort courses and includes luxury homes and single family golf lots.  All of this has everyone very excited as property values, tourism and business will skyrocket over the next few years making this one of the best investment opportunities in the world.

There are many reasons why the majority of investment is focused on the Papagayo Region.

Proximity to Hospitals and Medical Care

Hospital San Rafael El Arcangel opened in downtown Liberia at the beginning of 2013 and has 24-hour emergency care and 40 different specialty Doctors on staff to provide affordable, quality full-service care.   There are plans to construct two more hospitals in the area a Hospital La Catolica and a Hospital Clinica Biblica medical center directly across from the new airport.

Useful Links:

Hospital San Rafael Arcangel


The Papagayo Region and the Northwest coast of Costa Rica have the best weather in the country, with over 320 days of sunshine. The beaches of the Papagayo are the best in the country, as they are the only beaches that are not surfing beaches, making them excellent for resort and residential tourism. Snorkeling, scuba, fishing and a number of other water activities are very popular here.

The Papagayo is the only area in Costa Rica that has a dry season; everywhere else just has a LESS rainy season. You see the majority of Costa Rica is a rain forest, which is gorgeous for visiting, but not necessarily where you want to invest or live, as it never stops raining. The Papagayo, from December to May has not one single drop of rain. It reminds us of Southern California, as there is almost no humidity. June to November, is very similar to the weather in Florida, with just a couple of hours of afternoon showers every week. We only have one rainy month, October, which truthfully is quite enjoyable.


The Papagayo Region is known as a community of Americans and Canadians. Many people choose this as their home or retirement as there are a number of foreigners that live here.

Also, because there are so many Ex-Pats living here, and the resorts nearby, almost all the Costa Ricans speak English. It makes it very easy to adapt, as you don’t have to worry about learning fluent Spanish right out of the gate.


Since so many North Americans are relocating with children to the Papagayo area, we have seen some wonderful private bilingual schools open in this area over the last few years. If you would like more info on the schools please let me know


Due to all of the growth and development in this area, the Papagayo Region has some of the best roads in the country. It is one of only a fraction of areas that has access to municipal water and high-speed internet, as well as all of the comforts of home. There are dozens of restaurants in the Papagayo area and shopping as well, and with all of the malls and marinas being built, those comforts will only increase.


Because so many Ex-Pats call this home, as well as the affluent Costa Ricans who own weekend beach houses here, the area has all of the amenities that we have come to expect and need. We have dozens of restaurants, some of the best I have ever eaten, as well as Coffee shops and bars. We have multiple pharmacies, grocery stores, and markets, along with gyms, spas, hair salons and other comforts of home. We even have a movie theater. And with the city of Liberia just 30 minutes away, there is nothing that we ever have to do without. Yet the best part is: it is still Costa Rica. Even with all the development, it still feels like a Latin American country with Monkeys and parrots in every tree.

Playa Hermosa and the surrounding Papagayo beaches

Playa Hermosa and the surrounding beaches are famous for their spectacular ocean view properties and year-round sunshine. Although most of us come to Costa Rica with the vision of living on the beach, we soon find out that living on a hill, overlooking the Gulf of Papagayo and the Pacific Ocean offer views that are unmatched anywhere in the world. Once you have seen this in person you are drawn back time and time again. There are a few fabulous new communities with ocean view lots, currently selling at this time.  These are all gated communities with paved roads, electricity, municipal water, cable TV, phone and internet access.  Lots in these developments run anywhere from $100,000 to $300,000 depending on size and view.  This is a steal compared to other areas of the world and even Costa Rica.  Having lived in Southern California for 10 years, I was blown away at what my money could buy me here in this area. A view like this in Hawaii or Malibu California, if you could still find one, would run into the millions of dollars. Over the last 5 years, we have seen some phenomenal homes built on these hills and a few of them can be purchased for the right price. Obviously, with the downturn in the US economy, it has never been better to be investing in Costa Rican Real Estate.

I tell most of my clients that investing in Costa Rica is not like investing in the States or Canada. You can’t just buy anywhere. You have to pick your spots. The government of Costa Rica, compared to other Central American countries, is very well off.  But they do not have an unlimited supply of money.  So when they decide to focus on an area, like they have here in Guanacaste, they are going to make sure it succeeds.  They can’t afford to make a mistake, because they can’t afford to throw money away.

The government has decided that this is where all of their investment dollars will be going over the next 10 years.  They have sunk millions into upgrading the infrastructure: roads, municipal water, telephone, internet and cable and satellite TV.  They have backed hundreds of projects from golf courses to resort hotels to marinas and have even expanded the airport to handle all of the incoming traffic.  Putting your money into the Papagayo Region is about as safe of an investment as you can get.

What I am seeing, is that due to the strength of the US housing market and Stock Market back home, and the renewed confidence in the direction of the economy, more and more people are looking to diversify their portfolios. Offshore investments, such as Real Estate in Costa Rica, leads the list. And as more and more baby boomers regain their losses from the 2009 debacle, they are choosing to retire to paradise, here in the Gulf of Papagayo, Guanacaste. Also, with all the growth of the Liberia International Airport, the vacation rental market is booming, creating even more opportunities for financial gain and growth.

It has the best weather, the best beaches, the calmest bays, a brand new Airport and multiple Hospitals.

Guanacaste will ALWAYS be Costa Rica’s baby

The Papagayo Region is the crown jewel!

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June 2023
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