In 2008, just ten days before Christmas, one of Costa Rica’s premier marinas inaugurated its operations against the backdrop of one of the worst financial crises in history. It was a day full of guarded hope for the principals of Marina Papagayo, located on the peninsula of the same name in the province of Guanacaste. Five years later, the marina looks back at its many accomplishments.
According to Alejandra Masis of online news site Primero en Noticias, Marina Papagayo has been able to adhere to international standards of operations and maintenance worthy of a world-class luxury yacht docking facility. During its construction phase, Marina Papagayo employed up to 470 workers who completed the vision of an environmentally-friendly wharf in Costa Rica.
Even during its construction phase, Marina Papagayo employed a special system to control sedimentation and erosion caused by dredging. To this day, the marina continues to observe high standards of environmental care; a recent inspection by the Ministry of the Environment and the Center of Marine Sciences and Limnology of the University of Costa Rica gave Marina Papagayo the highest score possible in terms of responsible fuel handling operations.
Another important objective that Marina Papagayo has been able to achieve in the last five years is the safeguarding of the archeological treasure discovered during construction of the project. Ancient fishing gear used by indigenous Costa Ricans who preceded the Chorotega people of Guanacaste remains in situ (on site) as directed by the National Archeological Commission of Costa Rica, and under the protection of the marina.
Manuel Ardon, the senior vice president and COO of Marina Papagayo explains that the yacht crews who dock sail away with great satisfaction and impressed by the natural beauty of the region as well as the courteous and professional treament received. These comments reflect on the results obtained by cooperation with the National Institute of Learning in Guanacaste for the purpose of training employees in fueling operations, deckmanship, navigation, diesel engine maintenance, and more.
Marina Papagayo is part of the luxury tourism industry of the peninsula, which includes the Four Seasons, an Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course, Exclusive Resorts, and the new Andaz. Other luxury marina projects in Guanacaste include one at Playas del Coco; however, investors have been extremely cautious and thus many of the projects are stalled.