Ocean breeze–paired treatments at Las Brisas Wellness Center
Sunset cocktails at El Mirador Bar—try the famous tico sours
Long strolls along the white sand Espadilla and Playitas beaches
What To Know
It’s a three-hour drive from San Jose
Monkeys and raccoons regularly raid the decks
The resort’s concrete buildings aren’t the most stylish
Rainy season is from May to November, but showers typically happen at night
Parking on site
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Luxe eco-resort with top-notch restaurants, a serene spa, and killer rainforest and beach vistas
Down-to-earth eco-chic comes standard at this 11-acre rain-forest-and-beach resort with a conscience. A go-to hideaway for adventure-seeking, luxury-loving travelers, Arenas del Mar harmoniously mixes creature comforts with authentic experience, without disturbing its pristine Pacific coast location. The setting is one of the resort’s greatest assets, and each of the 38 rooms and suites has a spectacular view of either the rain forest or one of two white sand beaches on the Pacific. Adding to the mix are perks such as high-speed Internet, flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers and organic toiletries in the spacious marble and mosaic bathrooms. The real showstoppers, however, are the inviting private decks. For the best views—and wraparound terraces with private hot tubs—choose the beautiful Ocean Breeze Suites. Foodwise, it’s a feast. Arenas del Mar showcases local specialties with a seasonal twist, as well as standard international fare—mango strudel with ice cream, perhaps? The Mirador restaurant fittingly features plenty of fresh fish and, with a lofty position above Espadilla Beach, provides a spectacular spot for watching the sunset. There’s a more casual café next to Playitas Beach that serves breakfast and lunch and organic, shade-grown coffee from Finca Rosa Blanca, Arena del Mar’s sister property. After a day of outdoor pursuits (take your pick from kayaking, ziplining, whitewater rafting and more), unwind with an algae and clay wrap or a cappuccino scrub at Las Brisas Wellness Center. Or, for a different sort of wellness, take the Easy Being Green tour with the resort’s sustainability coordinator, who will explain the resort’s environmental program and its commitment to the local community.
In the Area
Take in Manuel Antonio National Park’s sparkling white sand beaches, clear waters, coastal rain forest and mangrove swamp, all filled with abundant wildlife: 109 mammal species and 184 types of bird. With more than 856 species of bird, Costa Rica is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Head out early in the morning with a naturalist guide and spot tanagers, euphonias, flycatchers, robins, woodpeckers and myriad other exotic birds. Be gutsy and head out into the nature reserve surrounding Arenas del Mar at night. You might spot snakes, spiders, opossums and owls – a one-of-a-kind chance to experience the thrill of seeing nocturnal wildlife in its natural habitat. The resort offers one of Costa Rica’s coolest boat trips; marvel at islands with jagged rock formations, towering cliffs and nesting grounds that are home to 16 species of marine bird. The cruise is best at sunset, when the sky turns multihued. Fly through the very top of the rain forest canopy on a ziplining tour, filled with animal sightings. Don’t miss the Tarzan Swing!
Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
Playa Playitas Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
How to Get There
Flights are available to Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) from major U.S. cities on a variety of carriers. Transfers to/from SJO are approximately $195 for 4 people, each way, and can be arranged through the property.