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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Papagayo Bay

Papagayo Bay Holidays

Papagayo Bay holidays are a little bit special. This area of outstanding natural beauty is not just gorgeous beaches, breath-taking views and year-round sunshine. Papagayo Bay has also established a sustainability programme for hotels and resorts in order to protect the surrounding ecosystem. And what an ecosystem it is. The bay sits in front of dense green jungle, home to howler monkeys and toucans. You can watch as hermit crabs and iguanas scuttle across the sands. It's a town-less resort so you won't find the usual tourist traps here, just a few top-notch hotels communing happily with nature.

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Get your daily dose of Vitamin D

Holidays to Costa Rica start at the beach, and Papaya Bay has 12 beauties to choose from. If you're looking for somewhere with a bit of va-va-voom, head for Playas del Coco. Originally a fishing town, now bars and restaurants aplenty line the shore, ready to accommodate for a night on the town. Playa Ocotal is a smaller, more serene beach, excellent for scuba diving and snorkelling. On a good day, you can spot the odd turtle or manta ray. Playa Hermosa is an outstanding Blue Flag beach, and another great place for water sports such as sea-kayaking and banana-boating. Playa Panama, with its calm waters and gentle waves, make it the perfect beach to head with the family.

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  • Costa Rican Colón
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Wow at the wildlife

If you want to see something truly unique, book an excursion to Ostional, one of the world's most important turtle-nesting beaches. From September to November, you can watch an evening arribada, where thousands of turtles come back to the beach every year to lay their eggs. To contribute to protecting wildlife, take a trip to SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary and Refuge, where injured animals are rehabilitated, and orphans are looked after. You'll learn about Costa Rica's conservation programmes and see monkeys, porcupines and opossums. If birds are more your bag, head for Palo Verde National Park, which is home to over 300 species of birds.

A nature lover’s paradise

Pull on your walking boots, strap on your backpack and hit the hiking trails on your Papagayo Bay holiday. There are three national parks close enough to visit on a day trip, each offering a unique experience. Barra Honda has 42 limestone caves, some of which have never been explored. One houses a colony of around 5000 bats. A professional guide will take you on a tour if you're game enough to go underground. Santa Rosa National Park is almost 50,000 hectares with a wide range of habitats to hike to, including tropical dry forest, beach, mangroves and a farm. Rincón de la Vieja National Park has two volcanoes to trek up, hot springs to relax in and beautiful waterfalls to cool you down.

Adrenaline junkies ahoy

Papagayo Bay offers plenty of adrenaline-inducing activities. Parasail over the Pacific Ocean, or reel in a marlin on a fishing boat. Learn to surf in Playa del Coco, or zip through the rainforest on a canopy tour at Witch's Rock. Explore the coast on a jet-ski tour or grab a paddle and go kayaking in the sea. For a more leisurely experience, there are several golf clubs in Papagayo, with awesome views across the ocean, a backdrop of active volcanoes and lush green fairways.

After the sun goes down

Papagayo has a reputation for its sedate nightlife, but that doesn't mean you'll be bored. When the sun sets, take a catamaran tour and see this sensational shoreline in an entirely different light. You may even spot manta rays, turtles and dolphins as you sail across the ocean. For dinner with a difference, gaze up at the southern sky through a powerful telescope while dining on gastronomic delights. For more evening action, the local restaurants in Playa Hermosa often have live music on the menu, and from December to April outdoor concerts are held on most nights.

With temperatures of between 26? and 33?, Papagayo Bay has a typically tropical climate, which means sunshine in abundance. The bay offers the best of Costa Rica's natural beauty, and numerous activities to keep even the most active of holidaymakers entertained. Papagayo's most redeeming feature is its splendid views. In the day, enjoy breathtaking vistas. At night, witness the best sunsets Costa Rica has to offer. Book a romantic getaway or an adventure holiday to one of the country's most luxurious destinations.