It’s not a stretch to call Costa Rica the purest embodiment of a natural paradise. Its dense jungles and rainforests are beyond lush, while the Pacific and Caribbean waters sandwiching it are the picture of crystalline. There’s exciting wildlife—white-faced monkeys to whales, turtles to panthers—and the technicolor sunsets that overtake the evening sky and burn for what feels like hours are easily among the world’s top three. While the last decade has bestowed the Central American country with a bit of a party-scene reputation, a return to nature is what 2020 and new sustainable tent-based resorts such as Kasiiya Papagayo are delivering.
Forget what you knew about glamping, because Kasiiya’s solar-powered tents are no standard issue eco-resort design. Designed by acclaimed architects AW2, these air-conditioned canvas suites are hardly summer-camp fodder. Instead, they’re spacious, sophisticated and five star all the way, with massive wooden decks for not only outdoor showers but hammered copper bathtubs where only the monkeys and birds can spy on you. Just five total tents split between the tree-canopied beachfront and hilltop (these boast epic sunset views and humpback watching opportunities during mating season, and one has its own private yoga platform seemingly floating above the ocean) give each couple ample private space to enjoy well-stocked cooler boxes, dreamy timber king beds and inspiring nature-focused books.
Opened in December after three years of building and perfecting the experience are 123 untamed acres with plenty of room to play without seeing anyone else. There’s a secret beach within kayaking distance where you might spy massive turtle tracks (for a romantic evening they’ll even set up a private dinner there), paddle boards ready for jaunts through the water teeming with tropical fish and a local guide on hand for nature walks. After each outing expect cold towels and refreshments such as fresh mint lemonade—the hospitality is out of this world. The movement coach, Bruno, is leads newlyweds through personalized sessions in the Jungle Gym incorporating ceiba tree climbing, parkour moves and animal walks inspired by local wildlife, and the Costa Rican healer, Yamuna, can take them through intuitively customized treatments tied into the universe and surrounding nature.
Couples can go deep-sea fishing, after which the chef will cook their fresh catch for dinner—a regular practice, since all the seafood served is local, from massive shrimp to lobster to mahi mahi. There are headlamps provided to wear at night coming and going from the stunning main lounge and restaurant—or “upstairs” to the chef’s table and sunset platform, where there’s also a telescope for stargazing—for three-course dinners highlighting the vibrant flavors of the region. The waiter might bring you a bluetooth speaker so you can choose between listening to the symphony of the geckos and cicadas each night or your own tunes. Being all-inclusive, organic and locally sourced breakfasts and lunches are also as elaborate as guests wish, and served on the communal patio or in their suite. But not to worry—horseback riding, biking and hiking are available to balance out the indulgence.
Nayara Tented Camp
Just beyond Kasiiya there’s surfing, scuba diving and zip lining to be done, plus a slew of other pursuits. But inland Costa Rica has a lot to offer, too. Make it a double—or even triple—glamping extravaganza with the addition of another new tented property. Nayara Tented Camp in Arenal Volcano National Park features 18 luxury tents with indoor and outdoor showers, plus a plunge pool that’s filled with healing waters from a nearby hot spring. The brand-new escape has a swim-up bar, Asian restaurant and shares six more dining options with sister properties Nayara Springs and Nayara Resort, Spa & Gardens. Share their open-air spa, too, cantilevered over the rainforest, when not watching the hundreds of bird species native to the park, whitewater rafting or visiting the property’s sloth sanctuary.
And Kinkara, a retreat in Cerro Chirripó (Mount Chirripó is Costa Rica’s tallest peak) previously only bookable as a buyout, is now welcoming lovebirds to its 800 eco-luxe acres and 31 premium tents with locally handcrafted furnishings dotted along the riverbank and Mandala Garden. For fun there’s a luxurious bath house featuring rainfall showers with spectacular views, yoga and meditation, river hikes, mountain biking and ancient cacao ceremonies. True to natural form, the culinary program is Ayurveda-inspired and harnesses hand-picked produce from the 10,000-tree-strong food forest for exciting, curative dishes referencing Mesoamerican heritage. How’s that for a nature lover's paradise?