Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
In northwestern Guanacaste, just south of the Hilton Papagayo
The Occidental is located on the Papagayo Gulf in northwestern Guanacaste, a dry, sparsely populated area of the country that's known for its beautiful beaches (including ones where sea turtles nest), surfing, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, and its string of large resorts. The region is home to seven national parks, including Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park, where visitors can hike past boiling mud pots and smoking fissures. Guanacaste has a lower elevation than other areas of the country and an arid climate, so there are no rain forests here, but the dry tropical forests are still wild-life rich: Visitors can spot howler monkeys, sloths, white-faced capuchin monkeys, and iguanas.
This 169-room all-inclusive beach resort offers plenty of bang for the buck, with a big pool, outdoor massage huts, a poolside lunch buffet, multiple bars and upscale restaurants, and a slice of Costa Rican sand. The adults-only resort is geared toward couples looking for a quiet, romantic stay.