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Playing Golf in Costa Rica

For the casual or die-hard golfer, Costa Rica offers some the most scenic and challenging courses in Central America. Depending on the course and the time of year, green fees can run from under $10 per person to over $100 at some of the best places.

Considered among the best courses in the country are:

Cariari Country Club - Often cited as the best golf course in Cental America, at only 20 minutes from San Jose, the Cariari is convenient, lush and challenging. The problem is the club is "members only", but that's not to say you can't get in. Check with your concierge (assuming you're staying at an upscale hotel) about getting you a tee time. This likely will require greasing some palms, but the course is worth it.

Valle del Sol Golf Course - Also convenient to San Jose, Valle del Sol gives the Cariari a run for it's money with many arguing that it's an even better course than it's competitor. At $85 for the whole day (with cart), this course will certainly cost less than if you have to beg, bribe and/or steal your way onto the Cariari.

Los Suenos - Along the Pacific coast and just a few minutes from the party town of Jaco, Los Suenos is a giant gated community for the well-to-do foreigners who vacation and have their second homes in the swanky enclave in Costa Rica. Green fees are a steep $140 which includes a cart, but everything about the course and the surrounding area is simply beautiful.

Pinilla - Located on the norther Pacific Coast, Pinilla is certainly not one of the more convenient golf spots in the country, but challenging and considered among the best Costa Rica has to offer. If your visiting the Nicoya Penninsula this trip, you'll probably end up close enough to make it worth the trip.

Garra de Leon - At Playa Conchel, Garra is the other Nicoya course worth checking out and for the avid golfer, the trek to Cochal might suddenly be worthwhile if you plan on taking in both of these amazing courses. At $175 for the day, it's certainly not cheap, but although there's some gripping when the wallets come out, we've never heard a complaint from anyone after finishing their round.

There are dozens of other courses throughout the country, so unless the main purpose of your trip is golf, once you've settled on the areas of the country you'll be visiting, see if one or more of these resorts fits into your itinerary, then see what else might be available close by.