The Traveling Travel Agent

Riu Guanacaste

Riu Guanacaste - Costa Rican Paradise

As a part of our ongoing commitment to our clients, Purple Palm Vacations spends a lot of time learning about popular destinations by visiting them firsthand. Recently while in Costa Rica I had the pleasure of staying 3 nights at the beautiful, family-friendly All-Inclusive Riu Guanacaste. This resort impressed me with its beautiful tropical setting, friendly staff, and ideal location for Costa Rica adventures. 

We Recommend This Resort For:  Families, Multi-Generational Families and Nature Enthusiasts


Riu Guanacaste is on Matapalo Beach surrounded by mountains on 3 sides.

Resort Highlights

The Riu Guanacaste is a family-friendly all-inclusive resort that is one of the best values in Costa Rica.  It is located in the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica, a region of incredible natural beauty where active travelers can enjoy picturesque beaches, rain forest hikes, nearby volcanoes, and the unique flora and fauna of Costa Rica.  Built in 2009, the Riu Guanacaste is a beautiful property set on lovely Matapalo beach, with plenty of eco-tourism activities both on and near the resort.

There is something for everyone at Riu Guanacaste.  Riu's entertainment team is full of energy and offers guests a wide range of entertainment programs for both adults and children.  The resort also offers a water park that is a favorite with the kids.  Other popular activities include table tennis, volleyball, a tennis court, windurfing, sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, and so much more! 

Riu Guanacaste is located on Matapalo Beach.
The fine and dark-sandy beach is surrounded by lush vegetation.
The view from the balcony in an Ocean View room
The palm-lined path to the ocean
The Riu Guanacaste has 3 large pools.
The Pacific sunsets can't be beat!
The Swim Up Bar

The Lobby Bar, Filadelfia

There are many picturesque areas on the beach.

Riu Guanacaste is located on Matapalo Beach.

The disco is open every night with music and dancing

The casino has slots and live table games

Lovely outdoor seating at the buffet

The Riu Guanacaste is located on pristine, tropical grounds.

The grounds are beautifully manicured

There is a nice onsite gym

The lobby is large and grand

There are many relaxing areas around the resort's 3 pools

The sitting are of the Jacuzzi Suite

The pools are large and surrounded by beautiful vegetation.

The Family Suite has 2 bedrooms

The Hydromassage Bathtub in the Jacuzzi Suite

The Jacuzzi Suite with Seaview includes a hydromassage bathtub and amazing ocean views.

There are fun gift shops with local crafts right on the property

The Sports Bar

The Renova spa is shared with next door Riu Palace Costa Rica guests

More theater seating

The Theater Bar

The theater seating

The theater has live nightly shows

The lush mountains that surround the Riu Gauancaste


  • Riu Guanacaste boasts 3 large swimming pools, a whirlpool, a children's pool and a water park.
  • The Splash Water World World water park has 5 waterslides open 6 days a week for kids 12 years and older.
  • Water activities include windsurfing, stand up paddle surfing, snorkeling, kayaking, and an introductory scuba lesson in the pool.
  • Other fun activities include on-site souvenir shops, a discotheque and a casino with slots and live table games.
  • For the exercise enthusiast, there is gym, a tennis court, and a beach volleyball court.
  • The Riu entertainment staff keeps the fun going day and night with daytime entertainment and live nightly shows.

Rooms & Suites

  • The 701 rooms come standard with air conditioning, a balcony or terrace with a screen door, a bathtub, safe, stocked minibar (re-filled every other day), and in-room liquor dispensers.
  • Rooms do not include a coffee maker but the early risers can get coffee at the sports bar if the buffet is not open yet for breakfast.
  • Both the Family Room and the 2 Bedroom Family Suite sleep families of 5.
  • Guaranteed connecting rooms sleep up to 8 people.
  • The Oceanview Jacuzzi Suite is a large suite with a beautiful hydromassage tub, great for special occasions.
  • The Pacific Ocean is known for its stunning sunsets and guests will get a great view from their Ocean View rooms.

Food & Drink

  • Riu Guanacaste offers guests a choice of 5 restaurants including a buffet, an Italian restaurant, an Asian buffet, an à la carte steakhouse and a gourmet restaurant, "Tucán".
  • The resort has 5 bars serving local and imported beverages, including a swim up bar, lobby bar and sports bar.
  • This Riu does not offer poolside or beach wait service.  Guests who prefer to have this service can stay at Riu Palace Costa Rica next door and still have full access to Riu Guanacaste.
  • In addition to airing football, baseball, soccer and basketball games, the sports bar serves snacks and coffee 24 hours a day.
  • For more options in fresh local cuisine and seafood, guests can take a short walk up the beach to Monkys bar or take a water taxi to Coco Beach (not included in the all-inclusive offerings).


  • The Riu Guanacaste is located on scenic Matapalo Beach in the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica.  Easily seen throughout the area are colorful birds, various types of monkeys, huge butterflies, and beautiful tropical flowers.
  • Monkys bar is a short walk up the beach where monkeys are frequently spotted.
  • The resort is next door to the Diamante Eco Adventure Park, which has a Zipline, Animal Sanctuary, ATV rides, and horseback riding.
  • Nearby eco-adventures include Rincon de la Vieja National Park and Palo Verde National Park.
  • It is an easy 40-45 minute ride from the Liberia airport to Riu Guanacaste on good roads.
  • Coco Beach, with local shopping, restaurants and night-life, is 20 minutes away by water taxi from the resort.

Learn More About This Resort

Why Book With Us

  • We know the best All-Inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, Costa Rica, and Mexico and can help you get the most value for your travel dollar with our firsthand knowledge.
  • You will always have a dedicated travel agent who cares about your vacation to contact directly with questions or help with any problems that may arise.
  • Round-trip airport transfers are included with our packages so there is no need to worry about finding a ride at a foreign airport.
  • You can book your vacation with a low deposit and even utilize our no fee, no interest Payment Plan option.
  • We have partnered with the best Destination Management companies who will take good care of you from start to finish once in your destination.

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About the Author

My name is Amy Burbank, owner of Purple Palm Vacations and the Traveling Travel Agent. I travel throughout the year to the destinations that are in high demand looking for quality vacation options that go above and beyond. This blog is a collection of my All-Inclusive Resort reviews that I feel are the best of the best and will truly provide a great vacation. Happy Travels!

Posted: Thu, Jun 23

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