Punta Islita, Costa Rica
Hotel Punta Islita
What it is
Tucked on 300 acres of lush jungle with its own beach, this eco-luxury resort is renowned for its inclusive amenities, from ziplining to horseback riding.
What it isn't
Lacking anything. There’s a treehouse-inspired herbalist spa and a hilltop infinity pool for guests 16 and up, plus a beachside pool for all ages.
What we think
When you picture Costa Rican paradise, you’re likely picturing this place. Hotel Punta Islita has all manner of exploits included (gratis!) in its Authentic Costa Rica program, including guided hikes to spot howler monkeys, sunset horseback rides along the beach, and making sand candles or painting the cinematic landscape on the shore with local artisans. Guest rooms are adorned in knotty wood detailing, all with generous balconies fitted with hammocks, many that overlook the sea—the perfect place to perch in your robe after raiding the mini bar. It’s worth upgrading to a Junior Suite for your own al fresco whirlpool—honeymooners, take note—or even a 2-bedroom villa, where the private plunge pool has a postcard-worthy ocean and mountain view, plus plenty of emerald grass to roam.
You're here because
You need to fully chillax, and the two topnotch restaurants on the property mean you don’t have to leave the property unless you want to. You’re particularly excited about the poolside beach club where you can tuck into brick oven pizza while ogling red macaws darting from tree to tree.
Deep in the misty tropical forest, you can hear some 35 birds calling...and thanks to your guide, even see them up close with a telescope and binoculars. If it was possible to bottle this heavenly sound so you could play it whenever, you absolutely would.
Restaurants & Bars
Pacifico restaurant - Highlights locally-sourced ingredients to promote sustainability and ensure an authentic Costa Rica culinary experience
Los Cocos restaurant & bar - A relaxed tropical ambiance and a delicious menu of beachside snacks and lunch favorites
Bar de Harry - The perfect place to enjoy a signature tropical cocktail, a favorite glass of wine, or a refreshing smoothie
A 75-mile drive from Liberia International Airport (yes, they’d be happy to arrange a shuttle or private ground transportation). While you’re in Punta Islita, be sure to explore Camaronal National Wildlife Refuge, where you can spot leatherback, olive ridley and hawksbill sea turtles thanks to local conservation efforts.