Images of Western Costa Rica

sugar beach guanacaste costa rica

Sugar Beach, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

A few weeks ago, Adam and I headed down to Costa Rica to attend a family wedding and see what all the fuss is about this tourist-beloved, eco-conscious country. After a long weekend by the beach in northwestern Guanacaste, a spectacular drive down the Pacific Coast to the wild, remote Osa Peninsula, and a night in the capital city of San Jose, the fuss has now been seen…and believe me, we’re on board.

Here’s why, in pictures:

Harbor at Flamingo, Guanacaste at sunset

Flamingo Harbor at sunset

Honeymoon Island, 5 miles off the coast of Flamingo

hotel sugar beach guanacaste costa rica

Grounds of the Hotel Sugar Beach

Summer is the green season in Costa sometimes it rains.

But of course, that's why the foliage is so lush and green.

It certainly makes the potholes easier to see...

...and the "road rivers" more like fjords than mere puddles.

By the roadside, you're likely to see cows...

...and horses.

Palm oil is big business in Costa Rica, and you'll often see big loads of palm nuts enroute to aceite processing plants.

Roadside palm plantations stretch back into shadow.

Sometimes you'll find yourselves alone on the road...

...and sometimes, not so much.

There's a brand new highway from Manuel Antonio to the Osa Peninsula. In some places, it's finished...

...but in others, it's more of a work in progress.

In Costa Rica, sodas are both informal diners and the crackers that are served with ceviche.

At one roadside soda near the Osa, coffees came with a view and pancake/cookies.

At Finca Kobo, a cacao plantation in the Osa, we shared a delicious trio of homemade chocolate treats.

At Hacienda Baru in Dominical, a jungle walk led to...

...a windswept beach we had all to ourselves.

A beach near Corcovado National Park was just as empty and even more wild.

On the property at El Remanso, you can rappel down four different waterfalls...or just see them.

In the Osa, homesteaders don't always have immediate neighbors.

The beehive ginger (Zingiber spectabilis) is both waxy and inherently fabulous.

In Manuel Antonio, butterflies aren't always polite...

...and bugs aren't necessarily smaller than a breadbox.

Same story with the iguanas.

Sit still long enough in the Osa jungle, and a toucan is bound to perch nearby.

A heron, on the other hand, is far more likely to take off.

And while Osa monkey sightings aren't a guarantee, it's best to be prepared.

Be prepared = sit still on a deck with a view of the jungle treetops and wait for nature to...happen.

A few Costa Rica resources:

Hotel Sugar Beach
Hacienda Baru
Si Como No Butterfly Botanical Garden
El Remanso


TWT Travel Binder: Costa Rica


  1. OUT freakin’ STANDING photo visit to Costa Rica. Love this! After pressing the ‘submit comment’ button, my next step is to hit the ‘Stumble’ buttom.

  2. Oh, that’s gorgeous, and I love all the different points of view. Inspires me to want to go see what all the fuss is about now! Besides I could live off of ceviche, crackers and chocolate.

  3. very lovely… never seen that side of costa rica ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Great photos, Melanie! Having never been to Costa Rica, I’m certainly adding it to my list. Or, you know, I can just stow away in your luggage during your next visit. Looking forward to reading more about the trip! – Jodi

  5. It’s so beautiful there! The Toucan is so cool and I really love the deck view WOW I would love to visit one day.

  6. Fabulous post! I really like how you include all these different things, not merely (however amazingly stunning they are!) views! Really nice! I want to go to Costa Rica now!
    I must say those chocolate things look delicious! And that beehive plant, well all I can say is WOW!

  7. Thanks, everyone! I can hardly wait to tell you more about our trip — I feel like I’ve been away from the blog (and home) for ages. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Gorgeous! Thank you for taking me on a trip with nature. I love the secluded beach. It may have a spot on the sand with my name on it!

  9. Hi Melanie,
    Great post. The pictures in your blog are so beautiful. I feel how happy your trip. Thank you for sharing.

  10. What great scenery. I love the shots taken from inside the vehicle ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. LOVING this post! My fiance and I are planning to get married in CR next summer and Hotel Sugar Beach is on the top of our list. Your pictures are gorgeous and inspiring. Cannot wait to go back to CR next summer. Thanks for the great pics!


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Melanie Waldman, Sheila Beal. Sheila Beal said: RT @travelswithtwo Little toucans, sassy butterflies & a cockroach as big as a breadbox: Images of Western #CostaRica - […]

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