• Lisa Marie

Top 10 Things To Know Before Going To Secrets Papagayo

Secrets Papagayo is an all-inclusive adult only resort in Costa Rica. I went to this resort with a Facebook group callled, ”I Can’t Wait On Friends To Travel.” We had an awesome vacation but there are definitely some tips that you must know before you go.

1. Make sure you bring extra sunscreen - I’ve been to the Caribbean and Central America more times than I can count and I have never used as much sunscreen as this trip. I’m African-American and all of the melanin in my skin could not help me in Costa Rica! 😆 ☀️ 😆 🔥 We went through our entire bottle of sunscreen and so did all the other people in our group. It’s been 3 weeks since we‘ve been back from Costa Rica and I still have a tan! 🤷🏿‍♀️

2. You have to bring extra insect repellant- The mosquitoes in Costa Rica were probably the biggest downfall of the trip. I get it....we’re in a tropical rainforest, but I never imagined that it would be that bad! Usually, I only wear bug spray at night while on vacation. At this resort, you will have to put on in the day and night. It didn’t rain while we were there (at least while we were awake), but somehow the mosquitoes seemed to multiply each day. Each morning we would compare insect bites to see who had the most or the biggest.


Another surprise is that on certain days, there are sand fleas on the beach. So, you have to wear insect repellent on the beach because if they bite you, you will be itchy for weeks.

3. Bring comfortable shoes - This is not the vacation to pack your heels! Most of the rooms are far away and the hills are steep. We walked to 90 percent of our destinations, but by the end of the trip our feet were so sore that we gave in and waited for the shuttle.



The shuttle service at the resort is very efficient and you usually don’t have to wait too long. Sometimes, you may want to walk on the beach to get from one side of the resort to the other. It’s a great way to avoid the hills.

4. The Preferred Club is worth the extra money - I chose the preferred Club and I would definitely do it again. We received a special check-in and check-out in the preferred lounge, premium drinks in the preferred lounge, free rental of the cabanas, and access to the Sea Grille for breakfast and lunch.

5. If you are a beach person, this may not be the resort for you- At this resort, most of the guests hang out at the pool. This is where the entertainment, drinks, and food reside. The beach at Secrets Papagayo has black sand so the water is not as pretty as the Caribbean Sea. The water appeared to be darker in color due to the sand, but when I walked in I realized that the water is clear and I could actually see the ground.


The resort doesn’t have beach chair out to lounge all day and as I mentioned before, the sand fleas can be little demons. So, if your idea of a vacation includes white sand, blue waters, and sun bathing on the beach....this is not the place for you. However, if you wrap your mind around what it is before you arrive I think you can still have a great time.

6. Foodies - For all of my foodies, you will enjoy this resort. Stick to Aqua or Sea Grill for breakfast, Sea Grill for lunch, and any of the restaurants for dinner. The food in the buffet is not bad, it’s just not as desirable as the restaurants. FYI: I did not get a chance to try Aqua for lunch or dinner. The drinks are really unique. My favorite was the “Green Monster.” I really liked that this resort has different drinks from the other Secrets resorts. It adds to the uniqueness of the property.

7. Wildlife - 😳This resort has raccoons, skunks, monkeys, and iguanas. The raccoons are in their mating season in January and February of each year so you’ll see them at night time. They are scared of humans so they usually moved out of my way if they saw me coming. I only saw them 3 times during my stay.

One of the members in my group saw a skunk 🦨, but I did not see any; Thank God! Getting sprayed by a skunk is something that this Florida lady has only seen on television.


The monkeys show up very rarely on the property. There were a few sightings on the tennis court 🎾 or at the sunset hike trail. However, we had to take a jet ski tour to monkey island to see a lot of them. The iguanas are everywhere. They should change the resort’s name to Secrets Iguana! They wont bother you, but they definitely won’t move if they’re in a comfortable position. It was a different experience, but we enjoyed it.

8. Entertainment- The entertainment staff is amazing. They have big personalities and really try to keep you entertained throughout the day with hikes, pool aerobics, and games. At night, we missed every show because we had late dinners. However, the night entertainment was usually by the pool/bar and we didn‘t understand why the shows weren’t in the theater.

9. Excursions- Costa Rica is all about going on excursions. The resort is beautiful, but you have to get out and see the people, explore the culture, and conquer the terrrain. We chose a full day Mega Combo excursion with “Frank The Tank“ and we have no regrets. I recommend him 1000%



10. Have Fun - Costa Rica is a beautiful country and there is a so much to see! So, remember to make this trip memorable. I am a travel agent and I would love to plan your trip to Secrets Papagayo or Costa Rica in general. Email me at lisa@exclusivetravelpartners.com to get my personalized help.


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