More about Allegro Papagayo
That's why we went to Costa Rica. Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular, and Costa Rica is one of the easiest destinations, but not as popular as many others. There is no minimum residency requirement, and no blood tests.
We had our wedding at the resort (Occidental Allegro Papagayo) so they took care of obtaining a lawyer to preform the ceremony and also all the nice details of the wedding (cake, flowers, decoration, dinner, champagne, fruit basket).
Erika Dinarte, the wedding planner at Allegro Papagayo, was great, so helpful and we are so happy to have had our wedding in this lovely country, surrounded by closest friends and famiily. Erika has left the resort, but you can still contact her replacement, Russell Lopez, at the address below (August 2004).
Action Packed, with time to relax!
My fiance and I just returned from the Allegro Papagayo. We stayed at the resort from December 14-21st. We were sooooo glad to come back on Tuesday instead of Monday cause we heard it was -30 in Toronto..hahaha. This has to be one of the most exciting and at the same time relaxing holidays that we have experienced.
The food was excellent, tons of fresh fruits, excellent meats and fantastic mixed drinks. This resort is rated at a 4 star and it definitely deserves it. Yes, we too read the reviews from lots of other people and trust us when we say that if you are not a "tight ---" then this is the place for you. We never had any problems with the staff, but as everyone knows when you are on vacation things are slower and more relaxed, so chill out!
Rooms were clean, pool was clean, bartenders were friendly, beach club was great, no gym or stocked fridges in the rooms. Didn't see too many night shows because we wanted to get up really early and enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery but saw them practicing all day long and looked great.
The one thing we would have to mention is that as people have stated before in reviews, that the locals from San Jose and surrounding area are allowed onto the resort from Friday to Sunday. They get cheap deals and by doing this the resort gets really, really busy. Make sure to get to the buffet and bar earlier otherwise you will be waiting in a line (never bothered us). Patience is a virtue!
During the week we were there we took part in several excursions. Our first was the Mega Tour Combo that we booked through Allegro Tours. Michael Mills a fellow Canadian has transplanted himself to Costa Rica and puts tours together. We booked all of our tours through him a few months before we left which was excellent. We wished we had have done this with other vacations to the Caribbean before. His website is ---.
The Mega Tour Combo was fantastic, without a doubt. $120.00USD got you the following, a canopy tour through the jungle, a ride on an amazing and wild waterside through the jungle, a costa rican lunch (buffet), a horse back ride through the amazing jungle and a relaxing time at a thermal spa. It also included a private air conditioned van to transport you everywhere through out the day.
Our second tour was to Palo Verde National Park. This trip was $75.00USD which included the following, a private van to a small mangrove, a boat tour through the mangrove into the National park, a costa rica lunch (my favorite one of all) and a stop over in Playa De Coco for a little souvenier shopping. During this tour we say soooo much including, crocodiles, howler monkeys, white faced monkeys (which I got to feed), blue heron, iguanas and much more.
If you would like to find out more please feel free to email us at email@example.com. We took over 150 photos with each one being different and unique. We hope that you enjoy this resort and beautiful place as much as we did! We will defintely be returning to Costa Rica in the near future. We like to try out different resorts all the time, but for those of you who are wondering, yes we would stay at this resort again.
great people , great unspoiled country
Allegro Papagayo by Occidental in Costa Rica
Pat & Reece, Newmarket, Ont
We have traveled extensively all over the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America for over 35 years now and now feel compelled to finally write a review. This is our second trip to Costa Rica and this trip confirms what we felt the first time we were there.
This country has the largest diversity in landscape we have ever seen, one hour you can be laying on a beach, next hour be in a rain forest or at any number of completely different valleys or mountainsides. There are a tremendous number of different eco-tour options which you can take to fully experience all of the natural beauty of this unspoiled country.
We had a smooth check in when we arrived at our hotel and were in our room within the hour (on Dec. 28th the busiest period of the year, not bad) .the room was fine as were all the facilities. The hotel is on a Cliffside so you use shuttles to move up and down the hill. We never had to wait more than a few minutes for a ride. The food is as good as we would expect for a hotel in this category, always lots of choice. Neither our friends nor we experienced as much as an upset stomach and that's a first with me. We had brought down our own liquor and wine after our unfortunate experience at the Santana Beach hotel in D.R. last year where both were of such poor quality that they were undrinkable. No such problems here, Brand name liquors, and the wine was Concho Toro from Chili which I drink at home, needless to say we were happy campers.
The dance troop type of entertainment is typical; they entertain the kids for an hour beforehand and seemed to have a good turnout
We believe what can make or break any holiday is the people you have to deal with. At this hotel the staff is friendly, your servers smile and seem to enjoy their jobs and the facilities are clean and well maintained. What a pleasure.
The extent of our complaints would be no facecloths some days or the maid forgetting to reload the coffeemaker in the room. There is only one ale carte restaurant which can be booked the day before. The tenderloin steak we had was excellent; others ordered huge lobsters for a $20 up charge.
We thought the water excursions were expensive seadoos were $90 per hour, the sunset cruise was $70 in a small boat. We took their boat to coco beach at $25 a person and then were told to stay together as a group and our escorts would take us into stores they recommend, supposedly
For our safety (commissions or kickbacks anyone?!), this is baloney and an insult to the Costa Rican people (ticos) who are the nicest and most honest people you will ever meet. We went our own way and spent time in the local bars and stores. As on our previous trip to this country no problem anywhere anytime with the locals who never bother you.
Costa Rico is excursion country and you can go on your own or by large bus arranged by the tour operator. We recommend you use someone like True Tours. Best eco tours of Costa Rico. Luis used to drive transport truck in Ontario so we felt very safe with him at all times, speaks English well. His trusty sidekick’s name is Danny who you will act as your guide all day long. The best part is it costs less than a bus excursion. $120 a day! $150 a day with guide. This is for your own 12 person bus!.
I am not talking per person so get a group together; you pay your own way into the sights you go to see.
We had Luis take us to Hotel Borinquen, an upscale spa (online at borinquenresort) we spent the day there with Danny. They have a rain forest trail where we saw monkey etc. then to the steam baths, mud spa and hot spring tubs, pool and Jacuzzi. All for $40 per person, they serve an excellent 3 course lunch for $10. Afterwards our guides stopped wherever we wanted for a beer or a picture. You cannot beat this for value and we highly recommend these amiable guys.
In closing I will relate our experience on new year’s eve. The hotel was packed so we were sitting in an overflow area having arrived late for the festivities. The area we sat in was served By a kid who must have been brought in from “inland”. We just couldn’t get any service out of this boy, because every time some young thing came walking by wearing a halter top and micro min skirt with pierced navel he would seen halfstep, jaw open, in frozen animation, mesmerized. Rather than *** and complain we just cleaned up our own dishes, poured our own wine and watched the kid. It was hilarious. Thank you Allegro, we had a great trip.
Will not come back!
This hotel is the worst hotel I stayed for last few years.
1. Lot of teenagers, noise everywhere...
2. A/C in rooms are VERY noisy- could not sleep all night...
3. No beach at all, unless You'll take a boat to a Beach Club. But seats are limited - only 10 people per trip and it is just 4 trips per day.
4. There is no walkways in this place - if You want to walk, You could do it just around the pool.
5. The pool is dirty in the morning, they are starting to clean the pool around 9:00 AM.
6. Night performance is totaly not professional.
Food was OK - nothing impressive, but good quality.
Stuff was friendly, but not much what they can do.
Last year we were in Dominican - it was like day and night.
Will not come back!
So Much Fun....
Just got back last Monday night from 2 weeks at this resort and had the BEST time. I was there the first week on my own and met so many people and had a great laugh. Did 2 tours the first week. I did the Palo Verda National Park Tour and the Sky Walk in the Rain Forest tour. Both were amazing. So well organized and the guides are just amazing. Very friendly and full of information. Both trips took about 2 hours to get too but no big deal. The time seemed to go by quickly. The second week my boyfriend showed up and we had such a fantastic time. He loved the place. We did a tour that we booked through the hotel (a boat tour) and the Mega Combo tour. The Mega tour was the highlight of the trip. So amazing. Saw some wildlife and a Tarantula. Very exciting. Take lots of film as you'll need it. Rooms were fine. Clean and I had no problems with anything being taken. We were in building 11 which was a good one as you don't have to take the shuttle up to your room. Food was great. Always something to eat so you'd never go hungry. They also have a snack bar which had great hamburgers, hotdogs, french fries and taco's. They weren't so great actually but no biggy. The weather was insane. So incredibly hot but I loved it. The only thing my boyfriend and I wasn't fussy on was that the locals were able to come to the resort on the weekends. Not keen on that. It didn't ruin anything but it just made it busy on Saturday. They come in Friday night mostly and they're gone by Sunday. The rest of the week was dead which was nice. So it's just the weekend that gets a bit busy. Al lot of kids too. The entertainment was ok. They try their best which I like and they constantly practice. We didn't watch too many of the shows. The resort is in the middle of nowhere so you're stuck unless you take a taxi somewhere but then there's no where to really go. I liked it because it was quiet and you were able to relax. Except on the weekend. Haha! But you have to do some tours as they're just amazing. I would definately go back to this resort as I just love Costa Rica. Beautiful country with friendly people. The restaurant is great. You can make 2 reservations per week but get friendly with some waiters there and they invite you back. They did with us so I got to go 3 times in one week. It's nice and the food is fabulous. I heard the steak wasn't so good though but I never had it so no comment on that. I did however have the chicken, ribs and lobster. All of which were so amazing. Especially the lobster. There's an extra charge for that but I thought it was worth it. Fantastic food. The Beach Club is a must as well as it's white sand and so peaceful. Our resort is black volcanic sand. No big deal. It's kinda neat to see but soooooooo hot. Make sure you have shoes. The Beach Club has nice white sand but it's broken shells so it hurst your feet. Again, you need shoes. But it's fun over there. You can go everyday if u want, you just have to make reservations. We loved it. It was a nice break from the resort. Go on a Saturday to get away from the locals on the resort. They have a bar over there and lunch. Fresh fruit and hotdogs and tacos. I think that's it. I personally had a fantastic time. 21 rolls of film. That should be an indication.
Feel free to email me with any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
tough one to please
We went to costa rica july-aug04 great time. My wife I vacation differently. She likes to lay around and do nothing,and I cannot sit still for a minute. and I usually wind up venturing off by myself, but not this time. Thanks ricardo of vargas tours my wife needed a vacation from our vacation. Non stop action. Vargas specializes in small group tours instead of the usual tours where you feel like a herd of cattle.
Scuba diving and fishing they coordinated through resort divers. I am a relatively new diver so it was awesome. We both are die hard fisherman, so for us to say the fishing was great is an understatement, between the two us 13 yellow fins, 10 wahoo, 3 mahi, 2 sailfishand 1 bluemarlin all in caught on one trip. We took some fish back to hotel chef prepared for my wifes dinner.
The hotel was clean and very scenic, I am a picky eater and I was able to leave the table stuffed every night. The only negative was the desserts other than that everything was great.
The staff was very friendly,especially arturo general manager any concerns go directly to him.
For any further information contact me at email@example.com
Loved the resort and the people!! Great relaxing, adventure filled location.
Booked w/travel agent thru vac-express. No problems with flight, transfers from airport were included & we arrived within 35mins. Checkin took about 5mins-rcvd info in Eng about the resort-I had done lots of background work via net already. Resort is breathtaking at all hours thru-out the day. Shuttles ran smoothly, we also enjoyed walking to the lobby or diff bldg levels. It was just myself and friend in my group but I brought walkie talkies since the resort is so large- it made things easier since we like to venture off. The rooms were the usual resort room. Tv has cable with all the channels for home for those that want to be keep up with the news- span/eng language spoken. Tune into cnn or tv guide channel for time updates if you dont have a watch. Hardly any small face towels but it wasnt a problem- we brought our on. No iron in the room- we didnt need it. Small refrigerator & coffee maker- leave note if you want your coffee supply refilled or get an unlimited amount at the buffet restaurant. Our a/c leaked but there is a rug in the room plus 2 trash cans- so we used that. The maid noticed and cleaned up the mess. We made no complaint because we were hardly in the room. There are 2 restaurants to make reservations- Mexican (sea bass in great) and Steak House (t-bone or beef tenderloins & salads are great) We ate at both twice. We were there Jan8-Jan15 7 nights. The meals always had lots of varieties- you could create your own waffles, choose your ingredients for your omelets, lots of pastries, muffins & other breads available, at least 8 different types of meats cooked different ways for each meal, delicious fruits, salad bars, ice cream area, dessert buffet, lots of seafood, grilled steak, chicken & thinly sliced pork chops daily with 4 different sauces, bloody mary station in the front area-you mix yourself. Staff is very friendly, always on the move to please you, always smiling and available to help. They were never rude even when some people were rude to them. All bartenders made great efforts to remember your favorites and if they noticed you coming would start your drink order. There is always something for everyone to eat even for those that stayed on their diets while at the resorts. Even though the fruits have lots of seeds they are delicious to eat. Water areas were located through out the resort at each shuttle stop. It is all bottled water & a water truck ran around daily with fresh bottles. There are phones at each shuttle stop as well & you can dial the hotel ext's for free so if you notice the water is low YOU can always pick up the phone and dial 0 & let them know. There are glasses/pitchers in the room for your own water. Individual bottles of h20 is not included. Dont know the cost- I brought 1 bottle and refilled it when I decided to take walks. The pools were always clean, there were lots of lounge chairs available through out the day. The beach was huge and lots of space due to the fact that most people saw that it was black sand & immediately discriminated against it because they thought it was dirt. The sand was soft, the texture was like baking flour. It got very hot during the day- so you need shoes, it is easy to look for seashells because the sand is black. You could walk a very long way before the water was even knee high. Most areas in the ocean the water was very warm and very inviting. Lots of us actually took our books out into the water and sat down and read. You can walk to the left of the resort and see locals going about their daily chores such as fishing, snorkeling for clams/mussles, local ticans with there pets and families enjoying the beach. They are all very friendly and love to try to communicate with you. Never felt uncomfortable even when I ventured off alone for a couple of hours. There are nature trails by the entrance to the resort. You can see monkeys at the private beach area and sometimes in the area close to the Mexican restaurant (diff times of the day) lots of colorful birds and owls. The private beach is ok- the sand is very hard, lots of broken shells, great snorkeling area, not a large variety of food. Nice shady hammock area, lots of lounge chairs for the amount of people brought over. If you want take along a soccer ball or frisbee for some other action. They provided daily activities for kids and a nightly fun club disco for them as well. The kids all participated in games, sang & danced. Sometimes it was loud but it depends on the kids. During the day some of the entertainment staff take surveys about the activities & other info about the resort which is very helpful. They have nightly entertainment for adults- you can also participate some evenings and that is really hilarious. The disco is nice- you can request any music that you want to here. They try to please everyone. If you are a card shark- there are plenty of tables for that but during the day it may get breezy. there are also book stations located with eng/span books. We took the Mega Combo Tour thru Vargas Tours (Michael Mills) it was only 4 of us plus the tour guide Felipe and the driver Herman. Excellant. $130 included a/c van, lots of knowledgable info provided by tour guide, great food at the Buena Vista Lodge, safe driving, fantastic time had by everyone. We arrived b4 the large group of 60 ppl that booked thru the resort. They were herded thru the activities while we walked leisurely and enjoyed each other and the country. Our guide was exceptional. His mission is to make sure everyone is enjoying themselves and he shares everything he knows about the country. Lots of useful info!! The canopy trip was very exciting and after about the 5th platform u realize the height & it is scary but thrilling, the waterslide can be as fast or slow as you want it. Mine was very fast and scary. Horseback riding was relaxing. Steam room was incredible- along with the hot mud pampering followed by an ice cold shower to remove it,then on to 106,75 & 72 degree hot springs. They are all very relaxing. It is slippery around the springs so be careful. I fell on my butt but I wasnt hurt. It was funny but noone had a ready camera. The food was great. Even though tips are usually included in these packages- I always take several single dollars for super service and everything about it was fantastic. The helpers on the canopy were very professional & helpful for those of us that are not physically inclined & everything was great. The resort has a camera man that takes photos of the canopy rides and the water slide. Get in line early for those if you want them. There is also a caged snake farm and tractor ride that dont want to ride the horses twice. Take lots of film, xtra camera battery, lots of sunscreen, insect repellant-ointment, long comfortable pants. We all wore our swimsuits under clothing. They provide lockers & keys, changing area, bathrooms- bags for wet clothing. They think of everything. Of course the stores at the resort are a little higher than in town but if you dont want to leave the resort- they have nice things. If you are mailing something- you can buy postage from the store & mail at the front desk. We paid $17 for the Liberia shopping tour- which was great. About the 3rd stop had the best prices- but after checking my purchases some items were maybe 1-2$ more. You also site see in Liberia with the bus and then you are let out near central park for about 90mins for shopping on your own. I didnt find any places that barter but I was very satisfied with my purchases and prices. Every place I went took credit cards, they also have banks available, the grocery stores have computers at the checkouts that convert everything to usd, you can change over money at the front desk just dont bring 100$ bills. If you are taking new clothes or underwear- remove your tags before arriving. My roommates new package of underwear are still missing in action. It was an inconvenience to her to have to wash her remaining 3 pair everyday but we didnt report it. To me- that is something minor and if it was taken they must have needed it. I met nice people there and I have already communicated with some of them & I have only been back 1 day. If you have any questions about anything you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org please put something about the resort in the subject line. I can also give you numbers about the tour company. Also you can call to make reservations for the restaurants & the private beach. Before hanging up- confirm what is said so there are no problems later. Departure taxes $26 so keep at least that much in cash or you can use Visa & it will appear as a cash advance. Also we were in bldg 12 room 14 had minor problem with little flying insects. The room is a good location for walking to the lobby and to the pool area/restaurants. Enjoy your vacation. Dont let the small stuff or the negative people ruin what you have paid for. You have the power to make your vacation the best time ever.
The Guanacaste Region
"Allegro Papagayo All-Inclusive Resort"
I've stayed at a number of all-inclusive hotels in the past and am ok with them for the most part but I have to say: an all-inclusive stay in Costa is just not worth it in my opinion.
Costa Rican Wildlife - Tamarindo & Guanacaste
This is the 1st turkey vulture (of many more to come) that we saw. It was flying over our hotel in Tamarindo.
We saw this little critter just outside our hotel room and I think it actually snuck in...
Probably not the wildlife most people want to hear about... :)
"White-throated Magpie Jay"
Saw this interesting looking bird numerous times in Tamarindo. This one was looking for scraps after breakfast at our hotel - La Cocodrilo.
"Great & Egret & Little Blue Herons"
These birds (and numerous others) would hang out in the pond that was also home to the crocodile that gave our hotel in Tamarindo its name - La Cocodrilo.
I'm not sure what type of frog this is but we saw about 6-7 of these tiny little frogs spread over a number of leaves on a plant in the lobby of our hotel in Tamarindo.
We caught this iguana sunning itself on the grounds of the Allegro Papagayo Resort
We saw hundreds of these little crabs all along the beach at the Allegro Papagayo. It was tough to get close to them as they'd scurry back into their holes as soon as you'd approach them.
I watched these swooning parakeets from our balcony at the Allegro Papagayo for almost an hour. How cute are they?
We went to Costa Rica with Sunquest Tours from Toronto. There were 13 of us in the group and we were headed there for our wedding. We flew Skyservice in to Liberia, and took a short trip to the Occidental Allegro Papagayo Resort. During our 1 week stay (which was too short!) we took day trips to Coco Beach, Monteverde Cloud forest, Palo Verde River cruise, and a tour of the Papagayo Gulf.
Please check my Liberia, Palo Verde and Monteverde Pages for more info.
Costa Rica was my first trip to a foreign country and I had a great time. The people are very friendly, but we weren't assaulted with people trying to sell us stuff, and the country itself is really beautiful.
There is an abundance of wildlife in Costa Rica. As a small country it still contains more than half of the different life zones in its many regions. The Pacific Northwest region, where our resort was, is a semi-arid forest. We were there at the very end of dry season so it was very brown. The good part of this though is that this is easier to find the wildlife. We saw white faced and howler monkeys, parakeets, hummingbirds, and these guys. Plus the iguanas and other lizards, which were more like squirrels in North America, than true wildlife.
"Costa Rican Culture"
Costa Rica, meaning rich coast, was colonized by Spain during the 18th century. The people of Costa Rica speak Spainish, but are very diverse in appearance and tolerant to all skin colours and ethnicity (or so was my experience).
Costa Rica really impressed me with their social structure and political ideology. The govenment decided in the late 1940s to stop funding the military (completely stop) and put the money into social programs like education and environment.
Now Costa Rica produces 100% of its electricity from renewable resorces including wind, geothermal and hydro. They can even produce surplus energy which they are able to sell to neighbouring Panama and Nicaragua. They also use water wisely. The water used to flood these rice patties twice a year has already generated energy at 3 hydroelectric dams and after flooding the patties it is passed in ditches to irrigate other fields.
On education, every child in Costa Rica goes to school from grade 1 through high school, and they have a literacy rate above 95%. As of 1995 they start teaching english in grade 1. It seemed hard to believe that this is considered a developing country, when so many things are already at or above many so called developed countries.
Now if they would only put some of that money into the road system....
Grounds of the Allegro Papagayo
iguana at Allegro Papagayo
Grand Papagayo versus Allegro Papagayo
My wife and are are trying to decide between the Grand Papagayo and Allegro Papagayo for an 8-night stay the last week in April. While the Grand is a bit more expensive it seems to have received better review.
Any thoughts on which we should go for.
We are in mid 20s and want access to beach, as well as access to nightlife.
Thank you - Paul
Best snorkel beach please?
Hi, I'm trying to decide which hotel to stay at in the area. I want to know which of these hotels has a beach which you can snorkel safely at. I'm a wussy snorkeler, and I don't like big waves, or too deep. I also want to know if the visibility is OK. So do any of these have good snorkelling right by the beach please?
I'm looking at going to the following hotels:
Giardini Di Papagayo
Villas Sol Playa
Thanks for your help.
RE: Best snorkel beach please?
We just got back from Playa Tamarindo in Guanacaste Province and from what I learned you will have to visit a local dive shop or snorkel tour to do any snorkeling in the Pacific Ocean. This may not be true everywhere on the coast but most of the sand is volcanic which makes it much darker underwater. I did see a few places that offered snorkeling but I beleive they take you offshore in a boat to one of the small islands. Flamingo looked calm enough compared to other beaches we visited and you might be able to snorkel there, however I would not expect anything like the Carribean for visibility. I scuba dive and on our trip I did not take my equipment with me; only mask, fins and snorkel for my wife and myself and we did not find anyplace calm enough to use them. I read that the Allegro Papagayo offers snorkeling and being on the Nicoya Peninsula might be different than on the raw Pacific coast. If someone cannot answer your question more intelligently then I have I would get on the internet and do some searches for snorkeling in the area you plan on staying in. Hope this helps you out.
RE: Best snorkel beach please?
We have stayed in Tamarindo for 8 days, no snorkel whatsoever.The carribean side is the one for snorkling, not the pacific side.
I also love to snorkel , so we did hear of a beach that is called the concha
(seashell beach) beach that was close to Tamarindo, no buses but the taxi took us ther and we had to arrange for him to pick us up on the way back to the hotel, or if you rent a car it is easy to go there. A long wide beach where people drive cars on the beach to this little tiny snorkel beach. Small fishes but plenty of them directly from the beach (about 10 feet from the beach) it was only local people there.
RE: Best snorkel beach please?
Playa Conchal is the best beach for snorkeling. No sand and the reef is very close to shore. If any of the hotels your staying at are any good they will not only tell you the best way to get there, but will set it up for you. Ask them if they do. Water taxis, snorkel tours are available here in Tamarindo.
Guanacaste All-Inclusive Resorts
I am currently planning a destination wedding to the Guanacaste area of CR. I traveled their a few years back but fortunatley had the entire trip planned throug my instructor. I am stumped, we found a travel agent but she doen't know the area so isn't much help for this. I am looking for a resort that is not completely isolated from local shops, restaurants, people, etc. The resorts that we have narrowed it down to are: Allegro Papagayo (Gulf of Papagayo), Villas Sol (Playa Hermosa), and Flamingo Beach Resort (Playa Flamingo). Are any of these resorts close to a "city" that where we can shop, eat, and look around? Also are they close to each other in case the guests want to elsewhere? Please help!!
Re: Guanacaste All-Inclusive Resorts
There are no real cities n the Guanacaste coast. The only city in that region is Liberia and it is not on the coast. What you will find in this area are more like small towns. It is a very touristy area (hence all inclusive resorts) but that may be what you are interested in for a wedding.