Visiting Costa Rica has become increasingly popular in recent years, not least because its strikingly diverse terrain of lush forests, wildlife reserves and tropical beaches offers a little something for every traveller. Beach lovers head to Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula’s palm-fringed coastline for sun and surf. Nature-seekers make their way to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca before venturing inland to zip line over the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and hike up Arenal Volcano. Native Costa Ricans being incredibly tourist-friendly and welcoming people from all over the world with open arms is fuelling the country’s gentle tourism boom. And a growing number of Costa Ricans (especially in the tourist industry and professional fields) speak English.
A beautiful, car-free and entirely walkable new beach town, situated along the shores of the Pacific in Guanacaste province in the northwest of the country, Las Catalinas was purpose-built to create a healthy, sustainable, fulfilling and fun lifestyle for its residents and visitors, and make it easy to connect with nature. And the water in the bay of Catalinas – on both sandy Danta and its smaller companion beach Danita – is incredibly calm for central America, making it perfect for SUP and snorkelling.
Perched above Danta Beach, Santarena Hotel taps into Catalinas’ boho lifestyle, not least with its organic approach to wellness and dining. The elevated local cuisine is strictly farm-to-fork with a focus on sustainability. And guests are encouraged to make the most of their stay by hiking and mountain biking through the tropical forest inland or kayaking and scuba diving along the coast.
Back at base, 45 individually-designed rooms feature king-sized beds, timber floors fashioned from sustainable woods and large bathrooms with locally sourced amenities. Most boast private balconies adorned with handmade Cuban-style pressed tiles. Neutral colour palettes offset with bursts of aqua and sea blue provide a calming yet vibrant atmosphere.
A roof-top lounge and swimming pool completes the offering to make Santarena Hotel the perfect base from which to explore Costa Rica’s coastline and tropical dry forest.