The Top 6 Spots for Owning a Vacation Home in Costa Rica

Home sweet second home | © Brad Coy/Flickr
Home sweet second home | © Brad Coy/Flickr
Photo of Jenn Parker
27 April 2017

The secret is out – Costa Rica is an amazing place to vacation and invest in. Before you buy, be sure to spend some quality time here, do your research, and work with a highly reputable and professional real estate agent or company. Your dream vacation home is possible in one of these six incredible locations – your second home is out there!

Playa Flamingo

Playa Flamingo is located just 30 minutes away from the lively bustling town of Tamarindo. It is the ideal location for those looking for a bit of luxury, tranquility, and a lot of impressive ocean views. Playa Flamingo is a crescent moon-shaped white sand beach that is perfect for picnicking and swimming. There are a handful of little restaurant and amenities in the area, but it is definitely a bit more quiet here. The location makes it convenient to venture to Tamarindo and the other surrounding beach towns for a change of pace or a little nightlife. There are great beachfront villas and luxury homes nestled into the mountainous areas to the east.

Balcony view | © Kansas Photo/Flickr

Playa Danta

Las Catalinas is a new up and coming beach town in Guanacaste. The idea was to create a community that is in harmony with nature. There are shops, restaurants, small inns and hotels, recreational areas, and parks that are all within walking distance of each other, while the town itself is free of motorized vehicles. A 1000-acre dry tropical forest reserve is on one side of the community and two beautiful beaches make up the other side. There are great hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails throughout the reserve, and the ocean side is perfect for paddle boarding, kayaking, and swimming. This is where luxury, sustainability, and community coincide, making it a great destination for a family vacation home.

Pretty private | © Carles Company Soler/Flickr


The Papagayo Peninsula covers 18km (11 miles) of coastline, 13 km (8 miles) of rugged bluffs, and 21 secluded and spectacular beaches. While this peninsula is surely a slice of heaven, it does come at a hefty price – Papagayo is luxury at its best. There are incredible houses, condos, and villas for sale in this exclusive community. It is only 30 minutes from the Liberia Airport, but feels like a world away from everything. There is a private beach club, a golf club house, the Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course, a tennis complex, and concierge service, on top of all sorts of outdoors activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, fishing, hiking, and biking, just to name a few. There is also a very impressive marina and marine bar and restaurant.

This could be your home | © Angus Chan/Flickr

Esterillos Este

Esterillos Este is located between Jaco and Manuel Antonio in the central Pacific region. It is a place that has remained a bit under the radar, but is a wonderful location to purchase a vacation home, as properties here can be a bit more affordable than the above three locations. This is a great beach community that is suited for surfers, beachcombers, wildlife lovers, and those who enjoy fishing. This area is often passed by in favor of the bigger tourist areas like Jaco and Manuel Antonio, which actually makes this a very peaceful and pleasant place to vacation. It is conveniently located near a lot of different attractions and activities.

One of many beaches in this area | © The LEAF Project/Flickr

Nuevo Arenal

Nuevo Arenal is located on the northeast side of Lake Arenal near the base of the perfectly picturesque Arenal volcano. This small community has a surprising selection of restaurants, bars, shops, and fun night life options. Nuevo Arenal is an ideal choice for those interested in vacationing in a stunning lake and mountain setting where wildlife is abundant and plant life is dense and vibrant. The lake offers incredible bass fishing, as well as a great place to go paddle boarding, kayaking, and boating, with waterfalls and hot springs close by.

Community by the lake | © Bruce Harlick/Flickr


The small town of Atenas with incredible views of the Central Valley is the ideal spot for those looking for a peaceful, laidback, and friendly place to relax and have some down time. The weather here can’t be beat either, and is very different from the heat the rest of the country experiences. It is also only an hour away from the Pacific coast and right by the protected Cerro Atenas zone, which covers a vast expanse of forests. This is off the beaten tourist path, but a truly special place to unwind and enjoy the simple pleasures of Costa Rica.

Fancy a back yard like this? | © Dave Lonsdale/Flickr

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