When you read the words ‘golf course’, images of the Florida fairways and Scottish mists are likely to spring to mind. But one of Costa Rica’s best kept secrets is the stunning golf courses that pepper its expansive wilds. If you like to combine a relaxing holiday with tee time, this could be your next destination. And with several resorts combining the two, there’s never been a better time. But just which are the best golf resorts in Costa Rica to experience? We have the ultimate guide to those lush fairways of this tropical paradise.
One of the finest things about choosing this option is, your golf-opposed loved ones will have so much to do! Guaranteeing you more time on the green. Whether they’re into cute or dangerous wildlife, surfing, high octane activities, or being pampered into a coma!
We cover all bases, so you don’t have to. What facilities do these hotels cover that will keep everyone happy? Which resorts have the best escapes for couples, families, and large groups. We have options for the most fiercely independent amongst you, and options for those who don’t want to lift a finger. But above all, we have the word on some of the finest fairways known to man. Prepare the bucket list, and dust off that nine-iron.
Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica
The first of our golf resorts in Costa Rica is an absolute gem. The Four Seasons chain needs no introduction, so you can expect the very best of everything here. Brimming with facilities, including four pools and restaurants, two private beaches and a spa, this is a haven for families and large groups. Bedrooms are light and spacious, bedecked with accents of the continent, beautiful ensuite and in-room dining area. Guests can also rent a free-standing villa with one, two or three bedrooms, often with their own pool. Situated within the beautiful grounds there is a children’s playground, and a range of outdoor activities can be booked through the resort, including cycling, canoeing, tennis, and a host of water sports.
And of course, the golf course! This is a stunningly designed (by Arnold Palmer no less) fairway. Surrounded with undulating hills and elevated greens, complete with an incredible view over Bahía de Culebra, this has been ranked one of the top 100 courses outside of the United States. Plus, the surrounding forests allow you to keep an ear out for monkeys playing in the branches. With nature and sport brushing this close, this will feel like your own little slice of heaven. Guests can rent equipment, brush up on their skills at the driving range or putting green, and shop for new tees or threads at the pro store. Complimentary transport from the lobby to the course is also included.
Address: Liberia Guanaste 26Km al Norte del Doit, CR-G, Peninsula Papagayo, 05000, Costa Rica
Best for: Family
The Westin Reserva Conchal
For the ultimate in relaxation, the Reserva Conchal all-inclusive resort is your guy. Guests need not lift a finger whilst here if it doesn’t suit them. And with the serene jungle setting of the resort, a peaceful day lounging by one of the two outdoor pools would be tropical heaven! There is also a wonderful spa, with treatments costing additional charges. Vacation packages include all meals and selected drinks, but upgrade to the Royal Beach Club rooms for premium drinks options. Alongside this, you also get access to the adults only lounge and pool, tailored concierge and butler service.
Rooms are beautifully appointed with all mod-cons, bright accents, a seating area, ensuite bathroom and air conditioning. With ten restaurants to choose from offering a range of international and traditional cuisine, guests will be spoiled for choice.
Sadly, a day spent golfing is not included in the cost of your stay, but the Reserva Conchal golf course is well worth the cost. A range of rates are available, and if you’re committed you can even sign up for Golf Club membership. Book the golf clinic to improve your technical ability, shop at the pro store, or simply head to the fairway for 9 or 18 holes. The award winning course was designed by Robert Trent Jones II, and as such has some pretty interesting elevations and sweeping greens peppered with lakes and sand traps. Set between the lush forests and glittering ocean, views are as breathtaking as the course is challenging.
As night falls, guests can also enjoy a little nighttime golf! With additional lighting, glow in the dark golf balls, entertainment and food. This is the perfect place for a couples who share a love of world class golf.
Address: Playa Conchal Guanacaste Cabo Velas, 50308, Costa Rica
Best for: All-inclusive Couples
Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Gold Resort
For golfers with a family to entertain, the Los Sueños Marriott is a fantastic golf resort in Costa Rica for you. Nestled on the Pacific coast at the mouth of the Gulf of Nicoya, the tropical hills, miniature islands and vibrant ocean form a stunning backdrop. A vision of the natural beauty of the country has been sculpted into the resorts aesthetic. Trees and lawns congregate around a sprawling lagoon pool, looking out toward the ocean. This is a great option for families, with a kids club available throughout the day. And for guests without kids, the adults only swim-up rooms will help to segregate a little. The beachfront property is stylish and spectacular, and at a fairly decent price per night.
And when it’s time for golf, the La Iguana golf course is waiting for you! This 18 hole course is a par-72 championship fairway designed by Ted Robinson, taking your through valleys lines with forest and out through to those coastal views. Both professionals and hobby golfers will feel right at home here, and instructors are on hand to help with improvements. For world class golf, look no farther than this Costa Rican course. Tee times are bookable from 7am daily, closing shortly before 4pm. The driving range is also open between these times.
Address: 800 meters west of Herradura entrance, Puntarenas Province, Playa Herradura, 60101, Costa Rica
Best for: Families
Tango Mar Beachfront Boutique Hotel & Villas
This boutique hotel offers pure tranquility, with a lagoon pool overlooking the private beach and gently lapping waves. Facing back towards the mouth of the Gulf of Nicoya, the secluded spot offers a chance for golfing fans to get away from it all. From the ‘Tiki’ style design of the minimalist en-suite rooms, to the sprawling gardens and calming ocean sounds. Two restaurants serve Italian an international fare, with a pool bar reserved for delicious cocktails and light snacks. There is a tennis court for guests, and all manner of outdoor activities can be booked through the desk. Embark on a tour of the neighbouring Tortuga Island (just twenty minutes by boat) before ending the day with a relaxing massage at the sumptuous in-house spa.
What separates Tango Mar from other golf resorts is the fact that this is a 9, rather than an 18, hole course. This may put some off, but its really the terrain and difficulty of the par 3 and 4 golf course that sets it apart. Plus, it has been recognised as a great place to ‘tune up’ that short game. The price of green fees are also fairly reasonable, and its location in Playa Quisales on the peninsula is second to none. Wild cliff-side oceans connect with tropical forests and its native wildlife to create a tantalising feast for the ears and eyes. As golf resorts in Costa Rica, this is one which will keep on surprising you.
Address: Carretera Cobabo Peninsula of Nicoya Tambor Tambor Costa Rica, Costa Rica
Best for: Couples
Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belen
The Hacienda Belen tops Golf resorts in Costa Rica with its range of facilities and all-out style, as well as its proximity to the bustling city of San Jose. Just fifteen minutes drive from the hotel! Being so near to a city means there is lots to entertain. And when it’s time to rest, your hotel is an island of peace and tranquility. Originally a coffee plantation, the grand mansion-like buildings now house a collection of sumptuous bedrooms with modern furnishings and minimalist luxury. And with five restaurants, two outdoor pools, spa and driving range, guests will never be bored. The Kuö Spa uses natural, local ingredients like coffee and volcanic ash, creating a range of beauty and wellbeing treatments. It might be a little way from those Pacific ocean views, but the setting certainly makes up for it.
The one difference that must be addressed compared with other golf resorts in Costa Rica, is that this is a driving range, rather than an actual course. This could be a deal breaker to some, though the driving range is well-equipped, and great for a morning or afternoon tune-up before hitting the fairway. There are several courses close by, including Cariari Golf Course and the Costa Rica Country Club.
Another caveat is that the Marriott do charge an additional fee to have in-room wifi.
Address: 700 metres west from Bridgestone/Firestone, La Ribera de Belen, Heredia
Best for: Couples etc
JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa
For an excellent golf resort, spa and all-round palatial experience, Marriott has something special up their sleeve! The JW Marriott ocean golf resort has an 18 hole golf course, and some of the most picturesque views you have ever seen. It’s horseshoe shaped hotel buildings look more like the home of a cartel boss, with manicured gardens to match. Bedrooms are well appointed, with pieces of chintzy furniture giving just the right edge of comfort. Many of the ensuite bathrooms also contain a freestanding bathtub, setting the luxury off nicely. Family rooms are available, ensuring larger groups are comfortable, and many offer a spacious sitting area. Kids are well catered for, with an outdoor playground, boardgames, a kids club and babysitting service. There are also six restaurants available on-site, meaning everyone is well catered for.
Located on the beachfront, and with a large outdoor swimming pool, there is lots to entertain. And many spaces to relax and listen to the waves. But those keen golfers will be eager to check out the superb course. One of the finest Costa Rica golf experiences, with next level views over the coast as you play. Located close to the course is also an equestrian centre and a tennis courts. If you are looking for an active holiday for a family of varied interests, this is a hotel for you.
Address: Hacienda, Guanacaste Province, Pinilla, 50309, Costa Rica
Best for: Families and couples
Hacienda Pinilla Villas
The Hacienda Pinilla villas are a great location for families and couples who prefer the independent experience. Though with the touch of luxury that creates that holiday feeling! Staying in hotels can often feel restrictive, but when you book a holiday rental such as this, families and larger groups are free to spend more time together. Featuring a full kitchen, dining and living area with flatscreen TV, private terrace and wifi throughout, this is a true holiday home. Two and three bedroom villas are spaced out through the grounds, often with a private pool. And guests also have access to tennis courts, lush walking trails, spa and fitness centre, as well as the Avellanas Beach Club.
Access to two beaches gives the opportunity to take on some of the best surf in Costa Rica, and only 15 minutes drive away in Tamarindo beach. Here you will find many stores and restaurants, as well as another excellent sandy beach.
And, of course, guests have access to the Hacienda Pinilla golf course. Envisioned and designed by the architect Mike Young, this is a course that really pays homage to the undulating wilds of this beautiful land. Interestingly it has been awarded title as a Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, due to its respect for the landscape and wildlife. But this par-72 course also provides a challenge to even the most finely tuned golfer. Luxury golfing at its finest, the Hacienda Pinilla golf course also has a restaurant and pro store on site. Pick up your threads to look and feel the part, and relax with a delicious meal or a cocktail afterwards. With sumptuous beauty like this, you might even be able to persuade uninspired family members of the virtues of a round of golf.
Address: Carretera a Playa Avellanas, Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo, 50309, Costa Rica
Best for: Independent travelers and large groups
How much does it cost to play golf in Costa Rica?
Prices do vary depending on location and popularity, but the average cost for 18 holes is between $60-$250 USD. Avoiding high season (mid December to April) and weekends is the best way to keep costs down if you are looking to save some cash.
How many golf courses are there in Costa Rica?
There are 12 large golf course in Costa Rica, though only 6 are deemed worthy by professionals and serious hobbyists. Amazingly, this central American country is a top golfing location, with a few of the best courses on the list of top 100 golf courses outside of the United States.
And a few of them are listed in our review of the best golf resorts of Costa Rica! The Hacienda Pinilla golf course is one, alongside the Marriott Reserva Conchal. We also mentioned the Cariari Country Club just outside San Jose, though this sadly does not have accommodations. Valle del Sol is another great 18 hole course also close into San Jose and with gorgeous views of not one, not two, but three amazing volcanoes. The Barva, Poas and Iravu.
This concludes our whistle stop tour of the best golf resorts in Costa Rica. We hope you have found something to inspire you to hop on a plane and experience it for yourself. Aside from world class golf, the country is rich in wildlife, outdoor adventures and beautiful beaches. Come for the golf, stay for the awe-inspiring vibrancy and variety!
And if you are feeling adventurous, perhaps combine this trip with a hop over to Mexico. Tulum and Playa Del Carmen are sure to give you another side to beach life and Latin American adventure!