Just returned from a marvellous week's vacation on the north-west coast of Costa Rica. Spent a very relaxing and enjoyable time at the Grand Papagayo Resort located high on a hill-top overlooking the Gulf of Papagayo and the Pacific Ocean beyond. This luxuryresort has everything! Exotic tropical grounds, wonderful accomodations, excellent food, very friendly and accomodating staff, and a long, curving beach of golden brown sand.
The drop in elevation from thecentral building/lobby and most of the hacienda-style lodgings down to the beach is considerable (but very good exercise especially after the sumptuous meals to be indulged). Protected by a peninsula from the ravages of the Pacific, the beach is usually gently lapped by waves, which makes swimming and snorkeling, or just strolling in the surf a real pleasure. Coral reefs abound just yards from the shore and form the habitat of many marine animals and plants. The regular in and out progression of low and high tides serves to reveal a diorama of vastly different littoral scenery. At low tide, otherwise submerged rocks and ancient outcrops of lava are dramatically revealed. Hours later, these are obliterated from view by the invading high tide that ends with the gentle waves lapping the vegetated shoreline. A remarkable transformation.
Because this long stretch of wonderful beach serves only one resort, it's never crowded. In fact, at sunrise and during main meal times, we found ourselves sometimes the only humans there. However, armies of hermit crabs of all different sizes took advantage of this relative quiet to scurry across the sand down to the water's edge and back to their tiny lairs in the cliffs on land. Birds cicling overhead screeched as the yspotted fish in the water below and then dove in. Monkeys could be heard chattering to each other (but not seen)in the deep green foilage of thetrees that overhang the beach.
Hi CurtieJoe...Heading to the area next week. Staying at a small spa resort I believe relatively close to where you stayed. Did you fly into Liberia airport? How was the weather? Winds? We usually stay in southern Costa Rica in February so we are trying northern Costa Rica in January? Did you do any activities while you were there? I hear there is a nice day sail? Any day trips you would recommend?
We flew into Liberia airport just a 20 minute van ride from our resort. It was the end of the "wet' season but the weather was just great. Warm, calm, sunny days with quite some humidity. Clouds formed usually in late afternoonfollowed by an hour-long warm downpour around dinner time.
Recommend the three off-resort excursions we went on. Each a full-day long and about $100 US per person per trip. Canopy Tour (zip lines high in treetops in rainforest) near Rincon De La Vieja (dormant volcano); Arenal Volcano (only active volcano in CR) is a breath-taking sight even after a 3-hour van ride from resort) and Gulf Of Papagayo Water Excursion for snorkeling, beachcombing for shells and fishing. All are excellent experiences. others are also availablethrough travel desk at your resort.