Costa Rica has long been famous for its excellent coffee and bananas, but equally splendid is its ecotourism. Travelers are drawn to the distinctive beauty of its tropical coastline. No more beautiful spot exists in the country than the region called Papagayo which runs along the Golfo de Papagayo on the northwest Pacific Coast of the Guanacaste Region.

Formed by volcanic activity and shaped by the sea weather, Papagayo features some of the world’s most pristine white sand beaches that eventually give way to lush tropical forests. Lauded as one of the first countries to develop and maintain ecotourism, the Costa Rican government has mandated that 70% of Penisula Papagayo must be kept natural. This means that lucky tourists can spy howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, and an amazing array of tropical birds such as the Great Macaw, to name just a few of the marvelous flora and fauna in the area.

Sunset on the Gulf of Papagayo, Guanacaste, Costa RicaCosta Rica boasts a tourism industry that garners the country over $2 billion per year. Undoubtedly, many of the tourists flock to the natural hideway feel that areas like Papagoya feature. There are about 15 miles of coastline sporting 31 separate beaches in the Papagoya area. Though somewhat underdeveloped due to the country’s pro-ecology laws, the magnificent Arnold Palmer golf course has been constructed and is a mecca for golfers around the world. The Four Seasons Resort has pioneered plans for more resorts and golf courses in the area. For example, a private 18-hole course designed by Jack Nicklaus is scheduled to open in 2014.

A large marina called Marina Papagayo opened to boaters in January of 2009. Though still in the early stages of its development, Marina Papagayo will eventually hold up to 450 boats at one time for sport fishing and businesses as well as pleasure yachting.

Since so much of Papagayo has been kept natural, it is a haven for outdoor pursuits. A list of these pursuits would be very long, but deep sea fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, windsurfing, sea kayaking, white-water rafting, forest canopy tours, and horseback riding are world famous and common to the area. Tourists come to the area to hike the dense national forests. The historic communities and local cuisine are also one-of-a-kind and worth a trip to experience.

In all, it is very difficult to match the kind of natural beauty one can experience in the Papagayo region of Costa Rica.