Costa Rica is a tropical paradise. It’s the most-visited country in Central America, and is known for its ecotourism, inviting a new type of eco-tourist to visit its national parks and protected environmental areas.
If you’re looking for a scenic, beautiful sporting activity to partake in while you’re in Costa Rica, spending some time on one of their gorgeous golf courses is a worthwhile way to wile away a few hours.
Not only will you get some fresh air in an environmentally-friendly place, but you’ll also be able to marvel at Costa Rica’s natural beauty while you swing your driver or calculate the distance of your putt.
Here are the golf courses in Costa Rica that you should play a round on if you get a chance.
Four Seasons Golf Club
Veteran golf pro Arnold Palmer designed this stunning course at the Peninsula Papagayo Resort, which weaves its way through the Nasacola Forest, becoming one with the landscape.
Dog legs abound on this course, as the fairways follow the natural contours of the land. Another interesting feature that makes playing this course challenging is the elevation change.
The course’s signature hole, the 6th, “El Bajo”, is a 438-yard killer of a hole and may throw beginners off their stride. It’s a par-4 with a difference. The fairway bends to the left before plummeting more than 200 feet to the green!
The elevated tee offers magnificent views across the Bahía Culebra and the Pacific Ocean, making the difficulty of the hole pale in comparison. Water hazards come into play on a good few holes, with some holes featuring natural creeks crossing the fairways.
The combination of spectacular views, ocean air, and fascinating yet challenging gameplay makes the course one that should be on every golfer’s bucket list!
Reserva Conchal Golf Club
Another breathtakingly beautiful course, this one is set in the 2471-acre forest reservation of Reserva Conchal.
You’ll be hitting your golf balls down very straight fairways, but be aware that if you go wrong, you’ll land up in the forest on either side. Don’t mistake straight fairways for an easy game, though.
Most holes feature bunkers that challenge your straight drives. The greens can be tricky, many of them with a little slope that can add an extra shot or two to your total if you aren’t on-point. It’s also often windy here, which adds an extra challenge to the game.
One of the most interesting things about this course is the array of wildlife that you’re likely to come across. Iguanas, snakes, raccoons, mischievous monkeys, exotic birds, and the unique coatimundi can be seen on every hole.
If you aren’t a guest at the Westin Hotel, the owner of the golf club, you’ll need to call and book ahead.
Valle del Sol Golf Course
This semi-private course is fun for pros and forgiving enough for beginners to have a good time. It starts with a bang, on a 365-yard, par-4. With a left-curving dog leg, a sneaky bunker, and an out-of-bounds area on the right, you’ll need to be accurate off the tee.
Once you make it past that, you’ll find wide fairways, undulating greens, and a good mix of long and short holes. Like the other courses in the area, the views are breathtaking, adding as much to the experience as the golf does.
Don’t get complacent when you reach the 18th hole. It’s a staggering 643 yards from the tee, with an out-of-bounds area on the left that you’ll need to avoid on your drive.
A multi-level green hides behind a large tree on the right-hand side, so you’ll need to zig-zag your way to victory on this hole.
La Iguana Golf Course
This par-72 course puts you right in the tropical rainforest, playing some great golf in a picturesque setting. You’ll marvel at the magnificent, hundred-year old trees and the Costa Rican coastline.
As you make your way across these holes, you’ll spot monkeys, colorful macaws, and other unique Costa Rican wildlife. If you don’t get distracted by the beauty of the forest and the visits from the fauna, the golf is enjoyable too!
It keeps you on your toes, with a mixture of short and long holes, including some tricker-than-they-look par-3s. Sloping greens add an extra element of challenge, but even if you do fall behind on the scorecard, this course is so scenic that it’s well worth your time.
Hacienda Pinilla Golf Course
Renowned golf course architect Mike Young is the mind behind this course. It’s another spectacular course that navigates through forest and along the coast line. Imagine it – a wall of deep green, gigantic trees on one side, and the wide-open blue sea on the other.
Interestingly, this course has earned a name for itself as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. This means that not only does it offer a superb golfing experience, but it also takes care to preserve the natural environmental habitat through which you meander as you play.
It’s a fairly straightforward golf course, with spacious, flat fairways and decent-sized greens lined with bunkers. There’s no need to worry about losing your ball in water, as water hazards are on-existent. Unless you overshoot the green by a lot and end up on the beach, you’ll be all good!
Playing at any one of these golf courses in Costa Rica is well worth a few hours of your time! While a good pair of golf shoes can make a lot of difference to your performance and fatigue on the course, golf courses in Costa Rica allow you to play in a pair of tennis shoes, as long as they’re not too grippy.
Whether you’re an amateur, an intermediate, or a pro golfer, these courses will provide you with a good mix of relaxation in a beautiful environment, and golfing skill challenge!
When in Costa Rica, whatever you do, you don’t want to miss a chance to be out in the fresh air with those amazing views around you. Golf is the perfect way to do that!