Tucked away on the Pacific Coast in Costa Rica’s northern Guanacaste region is a 2,300-acre resort community that pairs luxury with a peaceful, natural environment unlike any other. Reserva Conchal is home to some of the most vibrant beaches in Costa Rica, hugged by rugged cliffs and lush greenery. There is no better winter retreat.
Costa Rica was one of the first countries to welcome back tourists amid the pandemic, and with precautions in place, they’ve ensured the safe travel and accommodation for thousands of tourists. Getting to Reserva Conchal couldn’t be easier since many major cities fly directly to Liberia, a McGhee-Tyson-sized airport centrally located in the northern region of the country. Upon landing and maneuvering through customs, a reserved shuttle will take you and your travel buddies to the property. (I highly recommend family-owned 506 Transfers to take you wherever you want to go during your stay.)
There are a couple of Marriott hotels on the property - the W Hotel and the Westin - but if you want an ultimate luxury experience with at-home comfort, consider renting Casa Breeze, an American-owned 5,500 sq. ft. home on the 18th hole of the Robert Trent Jones II golf course. The house boasts five bedrooms, each with their own private bathroom. (Two of the bedrooms have queen-bunks, perfect for kids and adults alike), and there’s an additional 4,000 square feet of outdoor living space scattered throughout the property. Enjoy the game room, the swimming pool, or relax on the main patio and watch the golfers play through. Enjoy iguanas in the yard and tropical birds flying overhead. With a fully-equipped kitchen and a maid on staff, there is nothing to worry about other than deciding what activities you want to enjoy each day.
Casa Breeze guests have access to the Beach Club, which is only a 60-second ride away in a golf cart. The club is home to two restaurants, a spa and fitness center, a substantial swimming pool, and an easy stroll to Playa Conchal, a private white-sand beach with sparkling turquoise water. Bike rentals are free via reservation, as are stand-up paddle boards and kayaks.
Once you’ve had your fill of watersports, enjoy a hike on one of the many forest trails in Reserva Conchal, or go on horseback, to catch a glimpse of the howler monkeys hanging overhead. Or, shuttle north to the Diamante Eco-Adventure Park for zip-lining through the forest. Here’s a tip: If you opt for the Wildlife Sanctuary pass, plan to arrive in time for the morning sloth feeding. Lucy is slow but diligent and a joy to watch.
Off Playa Flamingo, not far north of Reserva Conchal, is Lazy Lizard Sailing, a family-run catamaran company who knows all the best snorkeling spots off the northern coastline. Four hours on the water - either in the morning or on a sunset cruise - with unlimited drinks and the best tacos you’ve ever eaten will round out your winter Costa Rican experience.
The unofficial motto of Costa Rica - Pura Vida - translates to “the simple life,” and it evokes exactly the cheerful, welcoming disposition of the locals. They couldn’t be more pleased to have Americans visiting their country again. Traveling to Costa Rica for vaccinated travelers is straightforward with a digital health pass and travel insurance. However, since travel rules continue to change across the globe, it’s important to stay atop entry requirements as you plan your trip.
This winter, don’t let the short days and long cold nights get you down. Instead, escape the gray winter of East Tennessee and soak in the warmth of the Costa Rican sun at Reserva Conchal.
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