Costa Rica’s fabulous year-round sunshine, balmy weather and remarkable championship golf courses are fast earning the country the reputation as an “ace” place for world-class golf.
The best part? Located just a few hours’ flight away from North America, Costa Rica’s weather is best when all points north are frozen in winter’s icy grip. Missing the long, verdant stretch of a fairway in December? This tiny Central American nation’s endless summer of sunshine just gets blazing in December and lasts through April. Even in rainy season (May to November), most mornings are cloud-free and sunny to early or mid-afternoon. With sunrise at about 5:00 am, you have plenty of time for a round of 18 holes.
Costa Rica’s golf courses, spread across the country mostly along the Pacific Coast and in the Central Valley, all have their unique distinguishing features. Blue ocean, sandy beach, lush vegetation, rolling hills, woods, lakes, mountains … and where else might you spot monkeys, toucans, parrots and other tropical wildlife while teeing up? A friend of mine playing on a well-known Central Pacific course once had his ball stolen off the green by an iguana thinking it was an egg!
Costa Rica travel experts Team CRT propose four fetching golf vacation packages playing Costa Rica’s top golf courses. With more than 20 years of experience on the ground in Costa Rica travel, Team CRT knows the best of the country, what to do and see, and they personalize it for you. You’re a golfer and you’re traveling with folks who aren’t? Team CRT kindly recommends tours for non-golfers in each itinerary.
North Pacific Golf Package – 4 days and 3 nights, arriving at the Guanacaste province’s Liberia International Airport. You’ll enjoy 3 nights at the Westin All-Inclusive Beach & Golf Resort, right on the stunning white sands of Playa Conchal. Challenge yourself with a day of golf on the Resort’s par 71 Robert Trent Jones designed 18-hole course. With panoramic views of the blue Pacific, the course meanders through rolling hills with sun-drenched fairways bordered by native forests. There are enough lakes and ravines to put a premium on accurate approach shots to large Bermuda greens, manicured just like those at U.S. country clubs. Your next day’s adventure is the nearby Hacienda Pinilla Golf Club. Relish playing on the 7,300-yard, par 72 masterpiece golf course created by famous international golf architect Mike Young. Picturesque scenery, immaculate conditions, and frequent glimpses of exotic wildlife shape the natural landscape of this certified Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary. Non-golfers can choose tours to Miravalles Volcano with natural hot springs, waterfalls, horseback riding, and the gorgeous beaches and amenities at the resorts.
North Pacific Golf Package II – 6 days and 5 nights, arriving at the San Jose International Airport. Spend your first and last night’s of your golf vacation at Wyndham’s Ramada Plaza Herradura hotel, near the airport and next door to the Cariari Country Club Golf Course. You’ll head north to the Guanacaste Pacific Coast for days 2-5, staying at the Westin All-Inclusive Beach & Golf Resort at Playa Conchal. As with the shorter North Pacific itinerary, you’ll play on both the Westin’s Robert Trent Jones golf course and Hacienda Pinilla Golf Club’s Mike Young golf course.
Central Pacific Golf Package – 4 days and 3 nights, arriving at the San Jose International Airport. Stay at the magnificent colonial-themed Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort, recognized by Travel & Leisure Magazine readers as one of the “World’s Best.” Located on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast at Playa Herradura, just one hour from the San Jose airport, Los Sueños is a spectacular resort with a luxury marina, water sports, spa, tennis courts, private beach, and an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Ted Robinson. The par 72 course, nestled between rainforest and beach, makes you think and play shots carefully. The course plays long and it makes you drive the ball; if you don’t position the ball well you can be in trouble. Mesmerizing scenery includes friendly monkeys and brilliant Scarlet Macaws. Make sure to also visit the nearby famous Manuel Antonio National Park, with its jewel-like beaches and plentiful wildlife.
San Jose Golf Package – 4 days and 3 nights, arriving at the San Jose International Airport. Home for your golf vacation is the Wyndham Ramada Plaza Herradura hotel, next door to the Cariari Country Club Golf Course. Once a coffee plantation, the Cariari Golf Course was designed by golf architect George Fazio and built by his now famous nephew, Tom Fazio. This par 71 course measures 6,590 yards from the championship tees, is heavily wooded, with narrow fairways and a few fairway bunkers; the greens tend to be on the large side with sand traps around them. Day 3 brings you to the Valle del Sol Golf Course, designed by famous golf architect Tracy May. Just 15 minutes from San Jose in a valley called Pozos de Santa Ana, the par 72 championship 18-hole golf course has spacious undulating fairways surrounded by lakes and trees that attract diverse wildlife. The greens are smooth and fast, and each hole offers an average of 4 to 5 tee positions for various levels of play.
Costa Rica’s amazing natural attractions, of course, make it an incomparable vacation destination. Team CRT gives you expert guidance and personalized service while they help craft your tailor-made Costa Rica vacation. Vacation packages, beach destinations, nature tours, adventure tours, relaxation vacations, family vacations, honeymoons, Fly & Drive packages, sport fishing trips, golf vacations – they handle it all. Whether you just want a travel agent to help you choose where to stay, where to go, and things to do, or if you want a full tour operator to take care of complete details, Team CRT is your Costa Rica vacation expert.
By Shannon Farley