Los Sueños is a newly completed resort destination in Costa Rica that boasts luxury hotels, picturesque golf courses and spectacular ocean views. Over the past decade it has become a sportfishing hub, as the harbor provides access to some of the best deep sea fishing opportunities in Central America. There are plenty of amenities on offer – such as a village mall, and cafes and restaurants – which make vacationing a breeze.
Not only is Los Sueños a tourism hotspot but it also attracts affluent long-term residents. With this newfound wealth comes world-class yachts and charters that take visitors on once in a lifetime journeys out at sea. Globally renowned fishing events are held in Los Sueños every year and when you throw in the fact that the town can be reached in an hour from the Costa Rica Airport, it’s no surprise that the community here continues to flourish.
Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort is the most famous accommodation in Los Sueños. This luxury hotel is nothing short of an oasis where you can relax in comfort at the resort in between each new adventure – whether it be big game fishing, hiking in Carara National Park or teeing up at the on-site golf course. When staying at the Marriott, or any other luxury villa in Los Sueños, you will be spoilt for choice in terms of awesome things to do.
While it’s possible to do activities on your own (for example: hiking and golfing), the most thrilling experiences need to be organized with a tour operator in the Los Sueños area. In this regard, no other company compares with Adventure Tours Costa Rica. You can book everything from ATV rides through the lush rainforest, to sportfishing charters with the goal of catching a marlin or two, with this Tripadvisor Hall of Fame travel agency.
Below we outline the top Los Sueños tours that they offer, and include a few recommendations for travelers who wish to stick to a budget and take independent journeys (not booked through tours). Together these suggestions make up the 10 best things to do in Los Sueños. There is something for everyone to enjoy on this beautiful stretch of Costa Rican coastline, and your trip can be as tranquil or as action-packed as you please.
10 Best Things To Do in Los Sueños
1. Round of 18 Holes at La Iguana Golf Course
La Iguana Golf Course at Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort is an 18 hole champion course. The surrounding rainforest transports golfers into a pristine setting where each hole is enjoyed with different views. The course was designed by the American golf course architect Ted Robinson to seamlessly blend in with the landscape. Exotic plants, banana trees, orchids, and wildlife like monkeys and birds, can be seen while you play.
This golf course is open to the public, not just Marriott guests, every day from 6:20am – 3:50pm. And the driving range is open from 7am – 3:50pm. Since this is such a popular course, it’s wise to book a tee time in advance. Fees differ depending on the time of day you go but to get better value for money, golfers should enquire about a package which includes a deluxe room at Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort with a free round of golf per day.
2. Sportfishing Charter in the “Fishing Capital of the World”
Los Sueños is regarded as the “Fishing Capital of the World”. Billfish (a group of saltwater fish with long, pointed bills) are prominent in these waters – especially marlin and sailfish. But there are other species to be found such as roosterfish, snapper, wahoo and yellowfin tuna. The Los Sueños Marina is equipped with a large fleet of vessels that can take you and your pals on a sportfishing charter that you will cherish forever.
By booking your Costa Rica fishing charter with Adventure Tours Costa Rica, you will be led to the most abundant areas by knowledgeable captains who will help you haul up the fish of your dreams. Like any fishing trip, nothing is guaranteed – as populations increase and decrease through the year – but when billfish are in season, your boat could catch up to 30 in a day. Half or full day options are available, depending on your preferences.
3. VIP Carara National Park – Private Rainforest Hike
Carara National Park doesn’t get as much attention as Manuel Antonio but it’s no less beautiful. Situated just 15 miles from Los Sueños, nature and wildlife lovers can discover untouched Costa Rican biodiversity here in an area twice the size of Manuel Antonio. The VIP Carara National Park Private Rainforest Hike with Adventure Tours Costa Rica takes guests through incredible flora and fauna in the company of a certified naturalist guide.
Expect to see a variety of birds: macaws, hummingbirds, kingfishers and more. Their chirping and playfulness will captivate you. Yet, the birds are only the beginning because it’s not uncommon to spot poison dart frogs, capuchin monkeys, and two and three-toed sloths. Lunch is included on the tour and will be authentically Costa Rican. The only things you need to bring are water, appropriate shoes and clothing, and binoculars.
4. Tour de 7 Pueblos – ATV, Waterfall & Lunch
This four hour ATV Tour from Los Sueños with Adventure Tours Costa Rica (one of their most popular tours by the way) has it all: ATV riding through ever-changing terrain, passing by local pueblos, swimming in a waterfall and lunch consisting of an authentic Costa Rican meal. The four hours flies by. An experienced guide leads the ATV convoy through dense rainforest, unique countryside, beach views, flowing rivers and majestic waterfalls.
The highlight for most customers is getting the chance to experience that famous Costa Rican “Pura Vida” by jumping off a platform at a waterfall into the refreshing pools below. It’s the perfect way to cool down, and clean yourself up a bit, after getting all sweaty and muddy on the ATV tracks. Another highlight is having lunch at a hidden farm and restaurant. It will be some of the most authentic and delicious cuisine you try in the country.
5. Los Sueños Canopy Tour – Rainforest Zipline
Ziplining is an activity the whole family can enjoy – you are never too young or old to fly like a bird from one rainforest canopy to the next. The guides working with Adventure Tours Costa Rica ensure your Los Sueños Canopy Tour is a safe and exciting experience, so your age or abilities should never be a concern. All of the equipment is inspected on a routine basis and the guides must be government-certified in order to lead the tours.
As fun as the actual ziplining is, some of the most awe-inspiring moments come from standing on the elevated platforms and looking out at the views. Spotting a scarlet macaw or white-faced monkey in their natural habitat is very special and it’s a regular occurance on this tour. This canopy adventure lasts two hours, so if you are looking for a family-friendly way to spend the morning or afternoon in Los Sueños you can’t go past it.
6. Beaches in the Los Sueños Area by Motorbike
Being on the Pacific Coast, Los Sueños is blessed with gorgeous beaches that you can find both in the resort town itself and in the wider area. Renting a motorbike in Los Sueños or Jaco with Adventure Tours Costa Rica is easy as they have a range of bikes available, and you can use these to go exploring. Playa Herradura is right by the marina and it offers a lovely long stretch of sand to walk on. This is a great place to start beach hopping.
If you head south you can find Jaco Beach, which in addition to the town, makes for a great visit. Sunsets here are breathtaking. Further south is the surf beach of Playa Hermosa. It might not be the best for swimming but it’s still worth checking out. North from Los Sueños you have Playa Mantas and this is a superb spot for a swim. The waters are calm and it’s rarely crowded. Of course, there are more beaches that you could discover in this region.
7. Beginner Surfing Lessons at Jaco Beach
Jaco is a town located 15 minutes from Los Sueños and its slightly curved beach runs for two and a half miles. There is a designated swimming zone to keep people safe from the breaks and rips, alongside areas to practice your surf. The waves in Jaco are some of the most reliable in Costa Rica which makes it a phenomenal place to learn how to surf. You can get in touch with a surf school in Jaco to book lessons for a couple of days.
Hopefully, by the end of your sessions, you will be standing up and ready to tackle bigger waves. Most beginners start at the southern end of Jaco Beach and then progressively venture further north as they gain more confidence, because the waves are larger and have more punch there. Both the rainy and dry seasons offer decent swells but the wet season, from May to November, is considered to have better conditions for surfing.
8. Tortuga Island Party – Catamaran Day Trip
The uninhabited Isla Tortuga is the very definition of paradise. Turtle Island is ideal for day trips to enjoy the pristine sandy beaches, endless palm trees and crystal-clear waters. With Adventure Tours Costa Rica, you can book the Tortuga Island Party Tour which transports you via catamaran across the Gulf of Nicoya in less than an hour each way. The experience includes free margaritas and rum punch for you to drink throughout.
If that wasn’t enough, you might even catch a glimpse of dolphins or whales jumping from the water on the journey there and back. And once at Tortuga, the fun doesn’t stop: enjoy an eco-hike through the rainforest, snorkeling excursions and a free banana boat ride that will produce some spontaneous laughter for sure. None of these activities are forced on you though, so you can always just opt to relax on the beach if you so wish.
9. Naranjo Rafting – Whitewater Class IV
If you have experience with Class IV rapids or want to fill your adventurous soul with a new challenge, then the Naranjo Whitewater Rafting with Adventure Tours Costa Rica may be the perfect option while visiting Los Sueños. But make no mistake about it: these are advanced level rapids that are characterized by powerful and unpredictable movements. First-time rafters should build up their confidence by doing an easier ride beforehand.
For four hours you will be winding and weaving your way through rocky bends and craggy curves, and dramatic gorges and canyon walls, before floating slowly out into the Pacific Ocean. One key thing to note is that the Naranjo Rafting tour isn’t just Class IV stretches for the entire journey. Some parts are relaxed as you glide past lush riverbanks and jungle flora. The vegetation and wildlife you can see at certain points are remarkable.
10. Restaurants in Los Sueños to Stay Fueled
The population of Los Sueños, when you count the nearby villages, is roughly 10,000 people and is only growing. As development has continued at the resort and marina, fantastic restaurants have popped up to serve the local clientele. Visitors to Los Sueños can be assured that there are plenty of places to go out for a nice meal. Lanterna Italian Steakhouse, for example, is one such establishment offering classy steaks and pizzas for lunch/dinner.
They have al fresco dining on the marina, making it an ideal spot in the afternoon or evening. The Hook Up is another restaurant that you can head to but this time for all meals of the day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. They serve up the Costa Rican breakfast Gallo Pinto – rice and black beans with scrambled eggs, fried plantains and sour cream. For something different, check out Bambú Sushi and Asian Cuisine to try sushi and seafood.