10 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Costa Rica in 2023

Costa Rica continues to be a fashionable ‘bucket-list’ vacation destination for people all over the world. By promoting conservation within the tourism industry, the country set the standard for eco-travel among local and international tourists.

Known for diverse ecosystems, including active volcanoes, unspoiled beaches, and lush jungles, it’s easy to understand why the beloved paradise is a number one choice among vacationers. It’s also why travelers choose to do liveaboards in Costa Rica.

Not a fan of the boating lifestyle? Staying at an all-inclusive resort in Costa Rica is the next best thing. With an estimated 5% of the world’s flora and fauna found on this “rich coast,” the country boasts some of the finest rainforests.

Whether you want to be in an environment where you can dive, explore the rainforests, or be close to the hustle and bustle of the cities of San José or Jacó, this guide has you covered.

The Top 10 All-Inclusive Resorts Costa Rica in 2023

All All-Inclusive Resorts in We've Visited:

What’s Special About This Resort

This eco-friendly resort has studios with whirlpool tubs and a white sand beach worth coming for. With water activities galore, superb sunsets, and endless entertainment for kids, Margaritaville Playa Flamingo is an excellent vacation destination for families of all sizes.

The all-inclusive plan consists of 3 daily meals, snacks, and unlimited house-brand drinks. It doesn’t include room service or airport transportation. If you’re curious about everything this resort offers with its all-inclusive plan, click here.  

Things we like:

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    You can get scuba diving training at the resort
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    The resort upkeeps everything from buildings to the amenities and beyond
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    The rooftop bar has live music from time to time
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    There are plenty of things to do and places to eat near the resort
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    The resort offers several adult- and kid-friendly activities

Things we don't like:

  • check-markYou have to cross the road to get to the beach
  • check-markWi-Fi signal can be spotty depending on the room
  • check-markSome rooms don’t have the best views
  • check-markIt can be tricky trying to secure a lounge chair at the pool
Read full review

Where to Book:

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Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa Flamingo

Best for Maximum Relaxation

What’s Special About This Resort

Located on 2,400 acres, couples, families, and groups will enjoy the area’s pristine natural beauty and experience the highest standards of leisure and wellness. It’s Latin America’s first carbon-positive hotel, with a large portion of the property set up as a wildlife refuge and set aside as untouched natural forest and mangrove.

From non-motorized sports to all meals, drinks, and entertainment, the all-inclusive experience covers you. The offer includes access to the tennis court until 6 PM, nightly shows, and Westin Kids Club. Discover what the resort has included in its all-inclusive plan on its main site.  

Things we like:

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    You get quick and easy access to Playa Conchal beach
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    The outdoor pool has a stunning view of the ocean and the surroundings
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    On-site golf course
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    You can choose to stay in the adults-only or family-friendly areas at the resort
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    There’s a lot of wildlife at the resort

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe resort is dated and could use renovations
  • check-markYou need reservations for a-la-carte restaurants
  • check-markIt can get noisy at the pools when the guests start blasting their own music
  • check-markNot all rooms come with an ocean view
Read full review

Where to Book:

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Westin Reserva Conchal Golf Resort & Spa

What’s Special About This Resort

Copa De Arbol is the place for an authentic vacation in the jungle. Located in Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula, the resort’s private cove is only accessible by boat, and the property, consisting of several villas, can be rented out privately for large groups.

The All-Inclusive package includes three full meals per day. Drinks and alcoholic beverages are not included in the all-inclusive package. Birdwatching, paddleboarding, and kayaking are all included. Click here for more information.   

Things we like:

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    The staff is outstanding
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    It’s a great honeymoon destination
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    The remote location makes it a true heaven away from the hustle
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    You can book a wide variety of exciting and memorable tours
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    The 4-tiered pool with jacuzzi has a great view of the ocean

Things we don't like:

  • check-markYou can only get there by boat
  • check-markIf you don’t like to be one with nature, this isn’t the place for you
  • check-markDrinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are not included in the package
  • check-markThere’s no nightlife
Read full review

Where to Book:

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Copa De Arbol Beach & Rainforest Resort

Best for Partygoers

What’s Special About This Resort

This renowned and affordable hotel chain is known for its radical dance parties and talented DJs. Couples and families are all welcome. It offers wide-ranging entertainment programs and various activities that appeal to both big and small kids alike.

Get the all-inclusive package and access the three swimming pools, a whirlpool bath, several on-site restaurants, a wide range of entertainment programs, and a water park open six times a week. Check out all you can get if you book your all-inclusive stay here. 

Things we like:

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    Rooms facing the mountains have some of the best views
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    Guests have quick and easy access to Playa Matalapo beach
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    There’s a good choice of restaurants and well-prepared food
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    You don’t have to pay extra to visit the water park
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    The jungle location means you get to wake up to the sounds of monkeys and birds

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThere aren’t many attractions within walking distance
  • check-markYou need to make reservations for a-la-carte restaurants
  • check-markThe resort tends to get crowded during the weekends when locals come for the day
  • check-markSome of the rooms are dated
Read full review

Where to Book:

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Hotel Riu Guanacaste

What’s Special About This Resort

Dreams Las Mareas Resort caters to both families and couples yet still maintains a small-town feel since it’s nestled in a sheltered cove in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean side, away from the more populated districts.

Built within an area that also includes two national parks and a wildlife refuge, Dreams Las Mareas Resort & Spa is the only all-inclusive resort in Jobo Bay, which is filled with calm waters that are great for swimming.

The all-inclusive ‘Unlimited Luxury’ package includes access to gourmet restaurants, top-shelf drinks, and day and nighttime entertainment. You’ll have to pay for spa treatments, so keep this in mind when booking your all-inclusive vacation. See all that’s included in your package here

Things we like:

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    The property is stunning, and the views are to-die-for
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    There are several pools on the property
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    The clubs for kids and teens are great
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    The all-inclusive package covers almost everything
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    Common areas and all the surroundings are well-maintained

Things we don't like:

  • check-markIt’s far from the airport and other places of interest
  • check-markThe wait for restaurants can be long
  • check-markThe noise from the other rooms can be annoying at times
  • check-markSome complaints about the food being mediocre at best
  • check-markThe timeshare sales pitch is unnecessary and time-consuming
Read full review

Where to Book:

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Dreams Las Mareas Resort & Spa

Best for Surfers

What’s Special About This Resort

Exclusive to Langosta Tamarindo Beach, the laid-back Occidental Tamarindo Resort is situated steps away from a major surf destination. The bustling local community that parallels the beach ensures that there is always something to do or see in town.

Nightly live entertainment and dancing, as well as entertainment programs geared to children and adults alike, are a part of the resort’s all-inclusive program. On-site food and beverages are included in the rate too. See what else is included here.  

Things we like:

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    The resort is on the affordable side with an oceanfront location right on Playa Langosta
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    The staff is great and receptive to any request
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    The pool always has free chairs for lounging
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    The buffet restaurant is great
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    There’s good live entertainment for kids and adults

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe beach isn’t the best for swimming due to the strong currents and many rocks
  • check-markWi-Fi signal isn’t always reliable
  • check-markIt’s not a luxurious all-inclusive resort
  • check-markThe property has signs of age
  • check-markFood options can get repetitive
Read full review

Where to Book:

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Occidental Tamarindo

Best for Cultural Exploration

What’s Special About This Resort

Only an hour’s drive from San José, the Fiesta Puntarenas Resort allows guests to explore the urban charms and cultural attractions of the nation’s capital. You’ll have plenty of time to party and relax here; the proximity of the city and the beach is ideal for guests who want to be part of the action and get away from it all at the end of the day.

The all-inclusive package offers access to 4 restaurants and 7 bars, unlimited alcoholic beverages, and tons of activities like games and nightly entertainment. You’re also allowed to use the kids’ and teens’ clubs and four outdoor swimming pools and whirlpools. Here’s everything included in your all-inclusive stay. 

Things we like:

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    The rooms are clean, and some of them have whirlpool tubs
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    Tour guides are friendly and helpful
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    There are supervised programs designed for kids and teenagers
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    The resort has several pools and a kids’ swim area
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    The spa treatments are great

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe food is hit or miss depending on the restaurant and day of the week
  • check-markThe staff isn’t overly friendly
  • check-markThere are long lines to check in and check out
  • check-markMost rooms are outdated
  • check-markThe resort becomes packed on Saturday, which leads to a lot of noise
Read full review

Where to Book:

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Fiesta Puntarenas

Best Adults-Only

What’s Special About This Resort

Exclusive to honeymooners and couples, the adults-only Azura Beach Resort is located in a secluded bay at Samara Beach, Guanacaste. For mature vacationers looking to get away and find tranquil privacy, “Pura Vida” is rule number one at the Azura Beach Resort.

The 24-hour fitness center, outdoor pools, and five restaurants are a part of the all-inclusive package. You also have five modern and luxurious suites to choose from and a seemingly infinite supply of alcoholic drinks, juices, and soft drinks. Check out all that’s included in your all-inclusive stay at the resort.    

Things we like:

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    The rooms are clean and modern
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    You can hear monkeys squeaking from your balcony
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    The resort is located just 3 km away from Samara village center
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    You have access to on-site kayaking and other water sports
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    The food and drinks are delicious, although, at times, repetitive

Things we don't like:

  • check-markHousekeeping service isn’t the most accommodating or timely
  • check-markSometimes the resort doesn’t have hot water
  • check-markThere can be language barriers with some staff
  • check-markSome of the common areas aren’t well-maintained
Read full review

Where to Book:

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Azura Beach Resort

Best for Off The Beaten Path

What’s Special About This Resort

Surrounded by deep verdant valleys and dark gray sand beaches, the Barcelo Tambor is a unique getaway for guests who want privacy and incomparable luxury. Tambor Beach on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula is nestled in Bahia Ballena, known for its peaceful, calm waters and relative solitude.

Go for the all-inclusive package that includes food and drinks at local restaurants and bars, sports like bungee jumping and kayaking, and all kinds of entertainment. It also gives you access to the Barcy Club, the children’s club where they can play from 9 AM till 5 PM. Click here to find out more about the all-inclusive offer. 

Things we like:

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    The beach is quiet and remote, with not too many people around
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    The outdoor pool complex is fun to spend an afternoon at
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    Some rooms have a great ocean view and even a hammock for an afternoon nap
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    The food at local restaurants is of good quality
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    The resort has plenty of amenities to entertain kids

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThere aren’t many bars at the property, which means that often you’ll have to wait in line to get a drink
  • check-markThe ‘Premium’ package doesn’t offer much except for a separate room for snacks and drinks
  • check-markYou might need to get to the beach at the crack of the down to secure a chair
  • check-markThe list of drinks is limited
  • check-markThe service is below average when compared to other resorts in the country
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Barcelo Tambor

What’s Special About This Resort

The city-meets-the-beach vibe rules at the Best Western Jacó Beach, centrally located in the hotspot where families, couples, and friend groups can enjoy the 2.5-mile-long stretch of the playa and indulge in nightlife. The town of Jacó is also about a half hour away from the Carara Biological Reserve, popular with bird watchers but also is home to crocodiles, monkeys, and jaguars.

The all-inclusive package offers guests unlimited access to food and drinks and breathtaking ocean views. The resort doesn’t have a fitness center, nor does it provide complimentary breakfast, which is something to keep in mind. See the details of what’s on offer here

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4

Things we like:

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    It’s an affordable option
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    The staff is pleasant and accommodating
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    The property and the surroundings are well-maintained
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    The resort has an outdoor pool and a separate pool for kids
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    There’s entertainment for kids and adults alike

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe property is dated
  • check-markThere isn’t much variety in restaurants, meals, or snacks
  • check-markThe rooms tend to be on the noisy side
  • check-markThe resort doesn’t supply beach chairs
  • check-markThe rooms lack basic amenities like a mini fridge
Read full review

Where to Book:

best-western-jaco-beach-resort

Best Western Jaco Beach All-Inclusive Resort

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Feel like getting out of the resort? Check out the History & Culture of Costa Rica

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Characterized by the phrase ‘Pura Vida’, which translates to English as ‘real living’ or ‘filled with life,’ Costa Rica was first visited by Christopher Columbus in 1502. It remains one of Central America’s oldest democracies, with no national army. With a population of just a little over 5 million, it’s a go-to tourist destination for those who like spending their holidays outside, where they can spot iguanas and have vegan pancakes for breakfast.

Officially founded in 1821, Costa Rica became an independent republic in 1921. Known for its wide range of national parks and nature-based activities like ziplining, river rafting, cave tubing, and canoeing, it’s one of those places where you’ll feel one with nature.

  • Pura Vida

Costa Rican culture is closely tied to Pura Vida, which signifies pure life, or a life lived in happiness, health, and purity. It’s often used as a greeting or a farewell that locals and internationals have come to accept and use daily. The Nicoya Peninsula, located in Guanacaste, is an example of the place on earth where people practice the Pura Vida they preach. Belonging to the five Blue Zones, known for the inhabitants living longer and healthier, it’s where the approach to food and nature is as spiritually healthy as it gets. More and more regions in the country are starting to adopt the same mindset and way of living.

  • Biodiversity 

Although Costa Rica is small, it accounts for a whopping 5% of the entire world’s biodiversity. With over 500,000 species of flora and fauna, the country is committed to preserving it the best it can. This means there are plenty of natural attractions worth visiting, like Manuel Antonio, with monkeys and steep hills in the jungle being the main allure, and Corcovado National Park, with crocodiles and jaguars attracting visitors from all over.

We recommend visiting Rincón de la Vieja National Park, where the volcanic activity is high and thermal waters are abundant. It’s an excellent place to explore with the help of a guide who’ll show you the best of the hot springs, mud baths, and cenotes. The Río Sarapiquí Region is another bucket list spot worth checking out. Tourists come here to stay at the eco-lodges and visit Braulio Carrillo National Park, that’s home to Brava Volcano, with 500 bird species, 135+ species of animals, and 6000 species of plants and trees. You should also check out Tabacón Hot Springs, Osa Peninsula, Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, and Tortuguero Village & Jungle Canals.   

  • Local cuisine 

There isn’t one Costa Rican cuisine, but a combination of Caribbean, Spanish, South American, and American. The staple foods are rice, beans, and plantains, among other things. You can make various meals with these ingredients, with Gallo pinto (“spotted rooster”) being the country’s most widely known national dish. It’s a common meal to have for breakfast that consists of rice, beans, and a mix of cilantro, garlic, onions, salt, and a Costa Rican condiment called Salsa Lizano. This dish is usually served with eggs, corn tortillas, plantains, or sour cream natilla. 

Tamales (corn-based dough with meat or beans and cheese), empanadas (savory pastry), arroz con pollo (rice with chicken), Casado, and olla de carne are some of the most popular meals in Costa Rica. Arroz con pollo comes with vegetables like peas, beans, corn, or carrots, while olla de carne is a weekend dish also known as beef and vegetable stew. Casado is another traditional lunchtime meal consisting of white rice, beans, veggies, protein, and plantains. As for dessert, tres leches is a sponge cake made with three types of milk: condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream.

When in Costa Rica, don’t forget to join the locals during Cafecito at around 3 PM, when Ticas and Ticos gather to have a cup of coffee with white bread or a pastry. And, if you’re a coffee person, it’s worth booking a tour around the Central Valley to explore a coffee plantation from the inside out and learn more about the beans and the coffee-making process.

  • Full of color and talent

Costa Rica isn’t all about nature — it also has a rich art culture that showcases the origins of the local people and their traditions. Many artists from Costa Rica are internationally recognized, which inspires up-and-coming artisans to continue creating.

One of the best places to witness some famous artists’ work is San Jose, where street art is abundant. We also recommend you visit Museo de Arte Costarricense, or the Costa Rican Art Museum, which houses large collections of art from all periods.

Sculpture is big in Costa Rica too. Francisco Zuniga is one of those sculpturists whose work has been spotted across the globe in places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Priscilla Monge is another Costa Rican artist known for her experimental paintings and sculptures. Her work has reached the Tate Art Gallery in London.

FAQ

Frequently asked questions

Are all-inclusive in Costa Rica worth it?

If you want a relaxing vacation with all the planning done for you, booking your stay at an all-inclusive resort in Coast Rica is the way to go. It removes the guesswork and allows you to enjoy your leisure time at your own pace. That said, you might want to venture out and explore the country in more detail. Reserving an excursion at your all-inclusive resort is an option, but so is downloading a map and investigating the wild on your own.

Costa Rica is known to be relatively safe if you’re worried about safety when staying at the resort. Not only do resorts have security, but the country is also safe for solo travelers. Even if you decide to stay at an Airbnb, you should be safe if you avoid isolated areas.

Is Costa Rica cheaper than Mexico?

Both destinations are popular among tourists because pleasant weather, sandy beaches, and a sea of entertainment draw in locals and internationals alike. That said, there are certain differences that can make or break your vacation.

Costa Rica is the best choice for those who like staying in the jungle and the wildlife. If you’re a fan of the outdoors and can’t imagine a vacation without a handful of nature-based activities, booking your stay here might just be what you need. The wide array of beaches and long stretches of terrain makes it an exciting holiday spot where you’ll be able to relax and forget about the mundane realities of life.

Mexico will be a better alternative if you’re a big foodie who likes immersing themself in a new country’s culture. From authentic dishes and stunning beaches to cenotes and Mayan ruins, you’ll experience it all and feel like you’re a part of the community.

Price-wise, Mexico tends to be a little more affordable than Costa Rica. Costa Rica is generally safer, although both destinations are safe if you’re aware of your surroundings.

P.S. Costa Rica attracts eco-conscious and health enthusiasts more so than Mexico, thanks to the healthy food options and a tropical jungle-like setting.    

What month is the best in Costa Rica?

It’s recommended that you visit Costa Rica in the winter or early spring to catch the best weather. This is the time of the year when the rainfalls aren’t as prevalent, and it’s as dry as it gets. Expect it to be busy during this time of the year, with tourists flocking to the beaches and national parks while the weather is good.

May to June is also an excellent time to stay in Costa Rica due to the fewer tourists and more possibilities to surf. You’ll experience more rainfall, but you won’t have to fight for the spot to take a picture of the wild animal or wait for the day when the waves are appropriate for water sports.

If you want to visit in July or August, it’s best to stick to the northern Pacific coast, which doesn’t get as much rainfall as the rest of the country. This is known to be the whale- and sea turtle-watching season, with the former found around Dominical and the latter — in Tortuguero National Park’s coastline.

Avoid visiting in September and October when the roads are covered in mud and the heavy rain makes it difficult to spot wildlife.

What resort should I go to in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is home to all-inclusive resorts for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a resort where your significant other and you can get pampered in a romantic setting or a family that needs a resort with kid-friendly activities, Costa Rica has it all. Here are our favorite all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica:

Dive into our detailed guide for more all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica.

What’s the best way to get around Costa Rica?

If you’re traveling from afar, getting a flight is the easiest way to get to Costa Rica. If you’re already in Costa Rica, take a bus, and you’ll be at your destination in no time. Luckily, the public transport system in the country is great and affordable. Remote areas are easily accessible by bus too.

Another option is to take a private shuttle bus that’s pricier but significantly quicker. Beware of renting a car since it can be a lot more expensive and challenging due to the roads having tons of potholes and dangerous drops.

If you are staying at an all-inclusive resort, they may be able to help arrange your transportation.

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