Costa Rica is truly spectacular at ground level, but find a bit of elevation in certain areas and your mind will be blown. There are expansive and panoramic views (miradores) to be found all over the country, over the Pacific Ocean, the Central Valley, the capital city, over massive volcanoes, and deep into dense rainforest. Some of the best miradores are found at exquisite restaurants, hotels, and spas.
Kura Design Villa is an adult-only boutique hotel located up on a private ridge behind the Ballena Marine National Park in Uvita on the Pacific coast. This luxurious and eco-friendly hotel offers guests beautifully expansive panoramic views of the park and the Pacific Ocean. From the infinity pool, the views seem endless. This is an ideal honeymoon and romantic getaway location. The rooms, restaurant, bar, spa, and property are all divine.
Los Altos de Eros is a heavenly place to stay or just come up for a spa day. The small boutique bed and breakfast is elevated in the hills behind Tamarindo. The remote and high elevation offers guests vast views of the valley and forest below and of the Pacific Ocean. It is breezy, quiet, secluded, and romantic. The spa, rooms, food, yoga shala, pool area, and views are out of this world.
Hacienda Alta Gracia is a relatively new “boutique hacienda” overlooking the Valle del General in San Isidro del General. Every part of this 350 hectare property offers the most incredible views. This luxurious, yet authentic hacienda offers guests the most magical setting to enjoy a nature and adventure filled trip in Costa Rica. Enjoy authentic regional cuisine, horseback riding, hiking, cultural outings, yoga, spa treatments, and some of the best panoramic views in the country as part of your stay.
Arenal Observatory Lodge and Spa is situated between the Arenal volcano and the beautiful Lake Arenal. This is the closest accommodation that you can get to the famous volcano! The views of the volcano and the breathtakingly beautiful surroundings make this location one of the best in the area. Even when you are dining, your jaw will drop in awe at the panoramic scene before your eyes. The Lodge is also conveniently located close to all of the adventure activities that you could possibly want while visiting La Fortuna and the Arenal volcano.
Aside from being a prime location for birdwatching with the possibility of seeing the majestic resplendent quetzal, Mirador de Quetzales is a family owned and operated cabin lodge that offers guests some pretty splendid panoramic views of primary and secondary rainforest. The refreshingly cool climate up here also makes it a pleasant place to go hiking and exploring. The views from the cabins and surrounding property and forest are quite incredible.
On the north end of Lake Arenal on the way to La Fortuna from the Guanacaste side, is one of the most delicious cafes in all of Costa Rica. Macadamia Restaurant and Cafe is a small open air restaurant with macadamia nut shell floors (on the patio), a surreal 180 degree view of the lake and surrounding valley forest, and homemade, organic, and locally sourced breakfast and lunch items. If you are going to visit Arenal, you must stop at this cafe. The combination of food, perfectly crafted juices and coffees, the most picturesque breakfast/lunch view ranks Macadamia Restaurant and Cafe as a top choice for panoramic miradores in Costa Rica.
As you drive south from Paraiso toward Orosi, you will come across Mirador Orosi. This is a lovely and picturesque place to stop and rest, have a picnic, take advantage of an incredible photo opportunity, or just breathe in the captivating view of the beautiful Orosi Valley. There is a playground for the kids, grills available to have a little lunch cookout, picnic tables, restrooms, and free parking.
The Chirripo National Park is home to the highest peak in Costa Rica, Mount Chirripo. The summit of this colossal mountain is 3,724 meters/12,215 feet high. On a clear day from the top, you can see both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts and oceans. Hiking this beast is for the brave and adventurous at heart. Aside from the incredible panoramic views all along this hike, the flora and fauna is quite spectacular too.
These recommendations were updated on July 12, 2017 to keep your travel plans fresh.