- Home > Archive: March, 2018
By Tim Cotroneo
The Central American country of Costa Rica has an unusual way of helping golfers get over first hole jitters. At the Guanacaste region’s plush Westin Golf Resort and Spa, golfers at the Reserva Conchal Golf Course are often greeted by the startling treetop growl of howler monkeys either before, during, or after your backswing.
Monkeys aren’t the only back-to-nature ambassadors greeting golfers at the Westin’s serene Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed course. Iguanas, crocodiles, Coati-Mundi, and white throated Magpie all make spontaneous appearances during the course of 18 spectacular Reserva Conchal golf holes.
If you’re not star-struck by the wild kingdom aspect of Reserva Conchal’s 7,000-yards of jungle splendor, the sheer environmental radiance of your golf round can take your breath away.
As we make our way across the tarmac, I can hear my stomach rumbling. I had passed on the nondescript airplane lunch knowing that within minutes of clearing Mexican Customs I’d be seated at El Cuchupetas, ready to tuck into some of the best seafood you’ve ever tasted. Located in the small town of Villa Union, this 300-seat restaurant is far from fancy, but it’s always packed because the service is friendly, the prices more than reasonable, and the food is fantastic! Try the shrimps wrapped in bacon or the robalo – a whitefish – seasoned and grilled to perfection, but make sure you order the scallops. They may be the biggest and tastiest anywhere. Welcome to Mazatlán and your first taste of Sinaloa.
Another short ride and we arrive at the Las Villas Hotel at Estrella del Mar, a tranquil resort perched along 3.5 miles of pristine shoreline only 10 minutes from the airport. From here we were about 22 minutes from Mazatlán’s historic district and her vibrant Zone Dorado – Golden Zone. You’re close enough to enjoy the culture, cuisine, and party atmosphere, but far enough away to relax and escape some of the stress of big city living and play some excellent golf.