This resort was full of potential!
The spot was beautiful. The beach was pretty, and full of local colour. The tide pools and the sunset were fabulous. The walk to the next beach, Playa Buena, was short and painless -- and it was an even nicer beach. The pool is nice -- yes there were a couple of crabs in it, but the kids enjoyed it. If you have a small child, bring a lifejacket.
The Howlers on site were great to watch. Mom and baby got close enough for pictures. The 12 or so monkeys circulated around the resort every day. People at other, larger resorts said they didn't have that.
Juan Carlos is the one to see for tours. Isabel and Swiss Tours are fine, but Juan Carlos is the guy. He will take good care of you.
One of the parts that was a miss was the food. It was definately authentic -- Juan Carlos told us that rice and beans and salad were part of most Costa Rican lunches and suppers. You'll see that, and some beef with attitude, at most meals. Bring some hot sauce, snacks for the kids, and low expectations and you'll be fine. The price was low enough that we could have eaten out in Coco Beach for a couple of nights. They ran out of Vino Tino every night and several juices ran out most nights. The bar closed at 10 on the dot every night.
The nights were quiet. There was one night with entertainment -- a pair of Costa Rican singers. What a great night! Everyone sat around the "stage" area, drinking whatever was left in the bar, and having a great time. It was intimitate and thoroughly enjoyable. That night we saw what this place could be -- with a little love.
The "Pure Adrenaline" tour at Rincon de la Vieja was beyond amazing. Horseback riding, tubing, a great lunch, ziplining, rapelling, climbing, and hot springs -- all in one day! Book that with Juan Carlos -- about $125. For a family experience, Congo Trail 1/2 day ziplining was great. Our five year old and their grandparents enjoyed the experience.
In the end, should you go? If it's a deal, you can't beat the location. Plan on bad food, great tours nearby, and a couple of nights out for dinner.
ps - Bring some school supplies (new -- not your old stuff!) for the kids in Panama -- they could use the help. Nice 5-subject spiral notebooks are needed by all new high school students but are actually more expensive there than here. Pencil crayons and sharpeners are always great too. Enjoy Costa Rica!
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- Also Known As:
- Sol Papagayo-Nakuti Hotel Playa Panama
- Sol Papagayo Playa Panama
- Sol Papagayo-Nakuti Resort Costa Rica/Playa Panama, Guanacaste