Rainforest and Cloud Forest
It’s not surprising that the majority of Costa Rica’s international luxury resorts are in the Papagayo region since it has more dry, hot sunny beach weather than anywhere else in the country but some people are surprised that the lack of rainfall also means there’s no rainforest here. In fact during the dry season many of the trees drop their leaves and the landscape can look more like a desert than a jungle.
Many people also ask us if they can visit Monteverde cloud forest on a one day tour but the distance and rugged road for the last hour or so put it out of reach. To experience the cloud forest from the northern Guanacaste beaches it’s strongly advised to book at least one night’s stay in a Monteverde lodge.
There are some pretty good sized resorts on the gulf of Papagayo but nothing like the ten thousand room megalopolis complexes found on the Maya Riviera or other long time beach resort destinations. There are a few in the planning stages, but for now the resorts in Guanacaste have a smaller more personalized character.
All Inclusive Never Means All Inclusive
Just in case this is your first experience with the term all-inclusive we want to warn you that it’s never quite all pre-paid and there are different levels of inclusion. Most Costa Rican all-inclusives are not packaged with airfare because many people only spend part of the time at the beach resort and the remaining time in a rainforest lodge or other inland destination. Most include your room, meals and national brand alcoholic beverages, but not tours and activities like golf or zip-lining.
Just be sure to know what you’re buying in advance and budget accordingly for the things you want your personal “all” to include.