By Ashley Harrell
October 03, 2014
Best Sunset Spots in Costa Rica
Credit: Chris Cheadle / Alamy

In Costa Rica, watching the sun make its dramatic, multicolored exit is a daily privilege and beloved ritual. In the northwest, pinks and purples explode across the sky as surfers paddle out for to catch the last wave of the day. Off the Nicoya peninsula, the enormous orange sun glitters over the frothy sea as it dips below the horizon.

No matter where you are on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, watching the sunset from up high is a good idea, and plenty of hotels and restaurants were constructed on mountaintops for this very reason. As a bonus, some of these establishments built infinity pools to reflect the colors of the sky at sundown. Others have special cocktails dedicated solely to the event.

If you can’t be up high, in a pool or near surfers, be somewhere remote and wild. A sunset is all the more special in a place where man hasn’t interfered.

Kura Design Villas

On certain nights, the sky over Uvita goes orange and purple at sundown, and there is no better place to watch than from Kura Design Villas, a new design hotel that presides over the entire mountain. The colors reflect off of the large infinity pool, as do giant cypress trees.

Vista Las Olas

Malpais is one of the best places in the country to watch the sunset, and Vista Las Olas, a mountaintop hotel, restaurant, bar, and spa, is my favorite place in town to do so. The panoramic views of the Pacific are killer, especially when you’re in the infinity pool with a guaro sour in hand.

Santa Rosa National Park

Wander through the dry forest of Santa Rosa National Park all day, and then plop down on its western boundary, Playa Naranjo, to watch the sky explode pink over the legendary Witch’s Rock, an oddly shaped landmark that also happens to be a popular surf spot. You might just have the beach to yourself; the secluded area is practically untouched by humans.

Hotel Villa Las Alturas

In and around Domincal, there aren’t many elevated hotels. Villas Las Alturas is one of the few. Due to its sightline of mountains, jungle, and the vast Pacific, the view from the hotel’s deck and pool is one of the most stunning in the country. Add a sunset and you get pure magic.

Café Agua Azul

In Manuel Antonio, this bar and restaurant is widely regarded as the best place to watch the day give way to night. Atop a flight of stairs in a shopping plaza, the expansive view of the Pacific and rocky outcroppings is best enjoyed with a “big ass burger” in hand.