Seclusion seekers are in luck on Papagayo Bay holidays – this wedge of coast is home to hush-hush beaches, squirreled-away hotels and loads of wildlife.

R&R pro

Papagayo Bay isn’t what you’d usually class as a resort. And that’s the beauty of this straight arrow. It’s cracked the relaxed holiday formula – putting all sorts of development on the back-burner. All that’s left is a scoop of silky beaches, thick jungle and some hot-to-trot hotels.

Postcard playas

This hunk of coast isn’t short on retreat-and-relax beaches. There’s Panama Beach, which goes easy on facilities – imagine chocolatey sands, palms and barely any people. Or you can hit the H20 and go surfing, kayaking or paddle-boarding off Playa Arenillas. Even Coco Beach – the busiest of the lot – is still sleepy by Costa Rican standards.

Green fingers

There’s no forgetting you’re in Costa Rica here. Howler monkeys hang out in the trees, iguanas sunbathe on the sands, and toucans croak like frogs. For an even bigger dollop of nature, make the hour-and-a-half’s drive to Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park. Here, you can go full Bear Grylls and swim in waterfall plunge pools or hike to hot springs.

At a Glance

  • Up sticks to Panama Beach
  • Plant yourself on a hilltop for views over the Gulf of Papagayo
  • Go for a slap-up meal at Coco Beach