The world’s number one hub for ecotourism, Costa Rica has seen a rapid growth in tourists as well as luxurious resorts. Aside from its natural beauty, Costa Rica is also known for its outgoing and accepting people, colloquially known as Ticos. Ticos’ characteristics carry over to some of their politics, as homosexuality has been completely legalized. While the country does not share the same public openness towards homosexuality some European countries might, it is still the gay-friendly capital of Central America, with places like Quepos and Manuel Antonio attracting LGBTQ tourists for years. For advice on the best places to stay for same-sex couples or singles, check out this list of the best Costa Rican gay resorts.
Hotel Villa Roca
One of only two accommodations in the country exclusively for gay and lesbian travelers, the Hotel Villa Roca, outside of Quepos, is also one of the most idyllic hotels in Costa Rica. Perched on a hill, Villa Roca has sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and lush rainforest. Have a slow morning and appreciate the vista while enjoying the free breakfast — don’t be surprised to hear or see some of Costa Rica’s famous wildlife, including monkeys and florescent parrots. Villa Roca is close to activities in the town of Quepos, and is also on the road to Manuel Antonio National Park, although many guests choose to spend the day by their pool and hot tub.
A gay-friendly accommodation in the heart of Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose, Hotel Kekoldi’s 10 guestrooms give it a boutique hotel feel. Said to be the only hotel in San Jose that has a private garden, Kekoldi offers a certain amount of seclusion that can, at times, be hard to come by in the excitement of the city. The art deco building is located in the historic neighborhood of Amon, where many colonial mansions make for good exploration on foot.
Fancy something extra special, nestled in nature? Check out the best Costa Rican glamping spots.
Hotel Si Como No
Another hotel with spectacular views in the region of Manuel Antonio is Hotel Si Como No. Recognized by many Costa Rican LGBTQ resources as definitively gay-friendly, Si Como No is a top class accommodation for anyone who is looking for fine restaurants, spa, pools with swim-up bars and water slides, as well as tours into the neighboring Greentique Wildlife Refuge. Although the hotel is upscale, it’s by no means stuffy — instead, it abides by the Costa Rican motto of “Pura Vida.” This is implemented through the hotel’s open and social design along with the friendly staff.
Colours Oasis Resort
The second of the two hotels in Costa Rica that cater to an adult-only, gay-only atmosphere, Colours Oasis is slightly more urban than Villa Roca as it’s located in San Jose. Although it is within the borders of the capital city, Colours Oasis is on the outskirts of San Jose away from the majority of the hustle and bustle. This means the hotel enjoys an easygoing vibe while still being walking distance from the luxuries of city life. All the rooms have access to the hotel’s tranquil pool and jacuzzi; some rooms even have full kitchens for potential romantic nights in.
Another gay-friendly hotel in the area surrounding Manuel Antonio National Park, Hotel California (cue The Eagles) was founded by a former Silicon Valley headhunter who was eager to escape the rat race for a tropical getaway. The founder brought with him the liberal ideals of equality that make the Bay Area a popular residence for the gay community. Nowadays, the open-air hotel features 28 rooms with views of the ocean and the three acres of jungle it was built on. The hotel also offers whitewater rafting tours, surf lessons, canopy explorations, and other activities.
Hotel Banana Azul
Unlike the other gay-friendly beachside lodgings on this list that sit along the Pacific Coast, Hotel Banana Azul is on Costa Rica’s Caribbean side. Located just above the Panamanian border in Puerto Viejo, it has 22 standards rooms as well as a few luxury suites that have their own plunge pools and kitchens. Puerto Viejo is usually known as a destination for surfers and backpackers. The remoteness doesn’t make Banana Azul a quintessential luxury destination, which they acknowledge, but rather a place for those looking to adventure amidst a tropical environment.