Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort
What We Love
- The magical combination of beach and rain forest
- Popular with both honeymooners and families
- 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
- Free WiFi
- 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
- Eco friendly
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
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!
How to Get There
We were 2 families visiting Costa Rica June 2018 and stayed at Arenas Del Mar for 5 nights. Our family of 5 (2 adults and 3 kids ages 5, 8 and 9) stayed in an ocean view premium suite. It was perfect for our family with 2 separate sleeping areas, gorgeous balcony and view. The customer service at this resort was wonderful. The resort is on cliffs overlooking the beach. They have golf carts with drivers to get you around the resort. A great surf beach called playa espadita was a golf cart ride away where my husband (an intermediate level surfer could head down to catch some waves). For the beginners like myself and the kids was just a walk down to more manageable waves for us. You can rent boards and boogie boards from the resort.
We ate breakfast at the resort every morning which was amazing. If we had an early morning excursion we would order breakfast the night before so when we showed up the next morning it was ready for us to eat and go. We at dinner at the resort 3 nights and off resort 2 nights. My husband and sons went fishing and caught a ton of mahi mahi which the resort chef graciously prepared for us.
There are 2 pools are property. One is near a semi private beach. This is not a great beach for swimming due to the rocks but my kids loved finding hermit crabs, playing in sand, and in pool.
The amount of wildlife you see at the resort is amazing including sloths and monkeys. We loved our time here and would definitely be back!
My family and I had an incredible vacation here. The staff was super friendly and the location was incredible. Great breakfast and food. Very nice rooms. I loved walking up and down hill with the option for amazing beach walk as well.
I cannot begin to describe just how unbelievably amazing this place is. From the moment our transportation picked us up from the airport the service was excellent. The views from this resort are breathtaking! If you want the best experience in Costa Rica this is the place to stay. You will get the best of both worlds, awesome ocean front view and rainforest. The staff was so friendly and nice. We are definitely coming back.
The setting is beautiful, the staff is great, the food was AMAZING. We were pampered by the staff, the excursions we booked thru the hotel were spot on and very enjoyable and well organized. We loved this place and we plan on returning.
This resort is incredible. Amazing views, wildlife, beaches, staff, food/drinks, and amenities! Everyone and everything was wonderful! Excellent attention to dietary needs for food allergic guest including baking a special allergy friendly birthday cake the entire family could eat!