Searching for an idyllic stop-off point for lunch or dinner while you’re in Guanacaste? Marina Papagayo’s naturally protected harbor is a safe haven and yachting paradise all year round. Located just a 15-minute drive away, it’s usually one of the areas where guests go to pick up their fishing charters before they head out on an excursion.
A firm favorite amongst our guests is Dive Bar. This casual and friendly venue has recently been remodelled, creating the perfect place to savor a cocktail or light bite with friends while you watch the yachts come and go.
We spoke to Papagayo Luxury founder, Jane, about her recommendations for those wanting to venture to the Marina and why it’s worth visiting Dive Bar.
Why do you love visiting the area?
The marina views are so beautiful. You’ll often be able to see a few mega yachts moored up and parked on the outer slips. We love taking a stroll down the pier to take a closer look and read up a little more on the ones we see.
When we’re ready to eat, we usually head over to the Dive Bar. It offers an open air setting with a couple of tables set in the sand, so you get to really enjoy the panorama. There’s also a pair of wooden swings, which is great for keeping the kids occupied while they’re waiting for their food to be served.
What’s your favorite dish?
I love starting off with Patacones. Patacones are plantains that are sliced, smashed flat, and deep-fried, making for a wonderfully crispy exterior and creamy interior. They’re usually served hot or warm, and you can dip them in black beans or guacamole to add an extra boost of flavor.
In terms of mains, my children and I adore the Ceviche. It’s a typical Latin American dish that champions the huge abundance of tasty fresh fish that grace the coasts here. Essentially, ceviche is fish that’s marinated and ‘cooks’ in lime juice, red bell pepper, cilantro and onion. Costa Rican ceviche differs from other Latin ceviche in that it is very simple, with primarily fish and just a bit of the bell pepper and onion. Other countries have a lot more of the “extras”. Here, it’s served with oversized handmade plantain chips, which you can use as a spoon to scoop up the mixture from the bowl.
Is there a particular drink that you’d recommend?
There are new specials to try every night, so definitely check those out. If you like cocktails with a little kick, I’d suggest trying the Jalapeño Passion Fruit Margarita. So delicious!
What are the prices like?
Prices are very reasonable – you can expect to pay between $10 and $20 per dish.
What’s the dress code?
It’s super casual for both lunch and dinner. In fact, I’d say it’s definitely the most casual of all in the area. Dive Bar is located just outside of the resorts, so non-resort guests can also enjoy a bite to eat here.
Do you need to make a reservation?
No. The Dive Bar doesn’t take reservations. They operate on a strictly first-come, first-served basis. The dining area isn’t huge, but there is a covered eating area and some open-air space.
When is the best time to visit?
I love packing a few flashlights and driving down to the Marina in the golf cart just before sunset. We then enjoy a wholesome family dinner at the Dive Bar, watching the sun set into beautiful shades of pink. When we’re ready to return home, we turn the journey into a ‘safari drive’, shining our flashlights by the roadside to see if we can spot deer, foxes, peccaries, snakes and other wildlife. It’s so much fun!
Currently planning your next trip to the Papagayo Peninsula? Explore our selection of the best restaurants in Guanacaste to try.