While Costa Rica may not be recognized as an international golfing destination, to any golfers that visit, we recommend you give Costa Rica golf a shot! Golf vacations are constantly becoming more popular; with brand new courses scattered around the country and various businesses devoted tourists’ golfing experience, more people are discovering Costa Rica’s unparalleled tropical golfing.
The first ever golf course in Costa Rica was constructed near San Jose in 1944. Just 9 holes long, the Costa Rican Country Club was the only course in Costa Rica until an 18-hole course was built in the ‘70s. Costa Rica golf grew rapidly with the rampant influx of tourism in the ‘90s.
Since becoming a world premier vacation destination, a plethora of championship style 18 hole golf courses have been built in popular areas. Recently, Arnold Palmer designed and sponsored a course in northern Guanacasate, which is said to be of the best in the country. Many of the premier courses are extensions of luxury hotels, a few of which reserve play to guests only. This needn’t cause worry, since there are plenty of great courses that anyone can play!
If golfing is penciled in as major activity during your trip to Costa Rica, there are certain times of year that could be better suited for the Costa Rica golf experience. For example, in the Guanacaste region – a northwestern province of Costa Rica – September and October typically produce heavy rains. During these months, courses can be more difficult to play. However, weather patterns vary. In the Central Valley, weather is fairly mild year round. If you plan on golfing mostly in the San Jose area, just come down to Costa Rica whenever it suits you best!
In Costa Rica’s central valley is the Cariari Country Club – the most renowned course in Central America. Designed and built by George Fazio and Tom Fazio respectively, the tree lined course plays long and narrow. One of the more tropical courses in Costa Rica is La Iguana, designed by Ted Robinson Jr. Sitting on the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by rainforest, La Iguana is the epitome of Costa Rica golf. Submersed in beauty, the course is challenging yet peaceful.
It is best to plan ahead on any vacation to Costa Rica. If you want to do a good deal of golfing, map out your schedule ahead of time and book your tee times as soon as possible. Even if you’re planning on coming to Costa Rica for a regular vacation, if you have any interest in golfing, we highly recommending the Costa Rica golf experience.