If you’ve never been to Central or South America before, planning a vacation can be a little daunting, especially if you don’t speak the language. That’s why many travelers like to stay in all-inclusive resorts. With unlimited food, drinks, and fun activities, you won’t have to waste time deciding which restaurant to eat at or what tour to book. The best resorts in Central America and South America do all of that for you, so you can just sit back and enjoy your vacation.
What is the Best All-Inclusive Resort in Central and South America?
There are 19 countries in Central and South America, so you have a lot of options in terms of all-inclusive resorts. You can choose an all-inclusive experience in Brazil (Vila Galé Cumbuc), a luxury vacation package in Peru (Treehouse Lodge), or a beachfront all-inclusive hotel in Costa Rica (Secrets Papagayo).
And while many resorts are located by the ocean, others can be found in cities in South America or Central America too, allowing you to explore the rich cultural sights of the country. If you’re still not sure what type of vacation you’re seeking – read on. I’ll be sharing a couple of outstanding resorts located throughout the whole South American continent!
Vila Galé Cumbuco – Brazil
With a prime oceanfront location on the pristine white sands of Cumbuco Beach, Vila Galé Cumbuco is a great option for adrenaline junkies.
Besides the swimming, kitesurfing, and windsurfing, and surfing opportunities at this resort, it’s also possible to ride buggies across the rolling sand dunes. Although adventure sports are additional costs, the resort does have a tennis court, sports field, and fitness studio that you can use for free.
For those interested in more relaxing activities, Vila Galé Cumbuco has a great outdoor pool and wellness center, with its own massage spa, Turkish bath, sauna, and yoga area. After booking a treatment, you can fuel up at one of the four restaurants or three bars on the property.
Decameron Baru – Colombia
The family-friendly Decameron Baru is just a 75-minute drive from the city of Cartagena and is the perfect destination for a relaxing weekend away.
Perched on the tip of the Baru Peninsula, the resort is blessed with a picturesque landscape of white sand beaches and lush tropical forests, allowing you to participate in a variety of land and sea activities.
Decameron Baru’s basic all-inclusive plan includes meals, drinks, activities, entertainment, and non-motorized sports (guests can also opt for the all-inclusive plus experience to get exclusive access to a premium lounge, pool, and restaurant).
Dreams Las Mareas – Costa Rica
Whether you’re here for fun or for pampering, Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica is guaranteed to be the setting for a memorable vacation in Costa Rica.
Nestled in the jungle with beach access to Playa El Jobo, you’ll be able to enjoy all the great activities that the Guanacaste region offers like snorkeling, kayaking, and wildlife watching. It’s also easy to book excursions to go zip lining, white water rafting, horseback riding, and fishing.
After a fun-filled day of adventure, you can retreat back to your hotel to enjoy a gourmet meal or refreshing cocktail (there are a whopping eight restaurants and eight bars on the property). The evening roster of activities, like live music, beach parties, or themed nights, will keep you partying late into the night.
Los Pinos Resort & Spa – Argentina
It may not have a white sand shoreline or sparkling ocean views, but the Los Pinos Resort & Spa is one of the best all-inclusive resorts in South America for soothing natural hot springs.
Located in the town of Termas de Rio Hondo, this all-inclusive has an outdoor and indoor pool (with water supplied by the local springs) and a spa, Turkish bath, and sauna.
Every guest at the Los Pinos Resort & Spa gets unlimited food and drink at the hotel’s on-site restaurants and bars. Tennis, volleyball, soccer, and yoga are also included with your rate, as are the different cultural classes and events held throughout the day.
Bijao Beach Resort by Evenia – Panama
I know of some wonderful resorts in Panama (especially along the Pacific Coast), although the Bijao Beach Resort is one of the best in terms of location and affordability! It features a private beach and four outdoor swimming pools, so there’s plenty of space if you want to sunbathe or cool off in the refreshing waters.
If you’re traveling with kids, then you won’t have to worry about them getting bored. There’s a kid’s club, playground, waterslide, game room, and tons of fun activities to keep them occupied – which gives you more time to book a spa treatment or to relax at the swim-up bar!
Club Med Rio Das Pedras – Brazil
Club Med resorts are known for their upscale accommodations and wide range of available activities – and the Club Med Rio Das Pedras is no exception.
Surrounded by the unspoiled Mata Atlantica nature reserve, this resort has direct beach access to Praia Grande, where you can go swimming, kayaking, waterskiing, and wakeboarding (all included with your stay). Land sports, fitness classes, and cooking demonstrations are also complimentary, so there’s always something to keep you entertained.
While there are only two restaurants on the property, the food is phenomenal and of higher quality compared to other all inclusive hotels. And you’ll never go thirsty, as you can always grab a drink from the lobby bar, pool bar, wine cellar, or beach bar.
Estelar Playa Manzanillo – Colombia
With the beautiful Beach of Cartagena de Indias just steps away, the Estelar Playa Manzanillo is an excellent getaway if you’re looking for fun and relaxation. In addition to the ocean, there are two resort pools to choose from – one caters to adults, while the other is more family-friendly and has tons of activities and games throughout the day.
Food-wise, you’ll also be spoiled for choice, as there are three a la carte restaurants and one giant buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And in the evening, you can kick back in the bar with a cocktail, listen to music, or enjoy one of the awesome live shows they hold throughout the week.
Royal Decameron Mompiche – Ecuador
While many people come here to relax, the Royal Decameron Mompiche is better suited for travelers who want to experience the region’s natural surroundings. Mompiche is a small fishing village marked by black beaches and mangrove forests, so there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, waterfall chasing, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
Back at the hotel, you can spend your day at one of the five outdoor pools or at the private beach club on Portete Island (transportation there is included with your stay). If you’re feeling hungry, then you can head to the buffet or choose one of the three al la carte restaurants. I recommend Alcantilado, as they serve fresh fish that was caught right from the coast!
Treehouse Lodge – Peru
If you’ve ever wanted to spend the night in a tree house, then the Treehouse Lodge in Peru is the place to book. There are only 12 treehouses available (it’s a very intimate resort), each one hanging high above the jungle floor and boasting panoramic views of the legendary Amazon Rainforest.
You can fall asleep to the relaxing sounds of crickets and wake up to the chirping of birds or the call of the monkeys from your private jungle oasis.
And since you’re in the middle of the jungle, you can take part in a variety of eco-friendly excursions that are complimentary with your stay. This includes fishing for piranhas, visiting indigenous communities, having breakfast with dolphins, cruising the Amazon River, watching wildlife (day and night), and making blow darts. Three meals a day (with water or juice) are also included in this upscale rainforest experience.
Secrets Papagayo – Costa Rica
For a luxurious getaway on Costa Rica’s breathtaking Gulf of Papagayo coast, book a few nights at the Secrets Papagayo. It’s adults-only (there’s nothing wrong with kids, but I think everyone can use a child-free vacation here and then!) and features gourmet restaurants, a world-class spa, and 5-star service that will make you feel like royalty from the second you arrive.
From sunrise to sunset, there’s always something happening here at Secrets. For example, they offer rum tastings, cooking classes, mountain biking, and beach volleyball on-site (and for free). The evening program is also quite varied, with different live shows and themed parties every night of the week.
RIU Playa Blanca – Panama
Catering to honeymooners, families, or large groups, the RIU Playa Blanca is one of the best all inclusive resorts in South America. This is a large property, with over 570 rooms, although there are so many activities and facilities that it never feels overly crowded.
Kids will love splashing in the pool or meeting new friends at the complimentary kids club. There’s also an adult-only pool with a great swim-up bar, although you can also find delicious cocktails in the lounge or sports bar. There’s live entertainment every night and a nightclub for partygoers who aren’t ready to turn in for the evening.
Summerville Resort – Brazil
If you’re in desperate need of some rest and relaxation, then the Summerville Resort is the place to go to ease your troubles. One of the best selling points of staying here is the location.
Located on Muro Alto Beach in Porto de Galinhas, the resort is surrounded by lush coconut trees, mangrove forests, and a colorful ocean reef right offshore. Needless to say, you should upgrade to a bungalow if you want to have the most spectacular views.
And while the ocean is great for snorkeling, the sprawling pool complex is the best place for hanging out or sunbathing (employees are happy to bring you lunch or a cocktail while doing so!). And speaking of food, there are five other restaurants on the property – so you can always get something to eat 24 hours a day!
Bolacua All Inclusive – Argentina
You don’t have to be near the ocean or sea to enjoy a week in paradise. The Bolacua All Inclusive is located on the outskirts of Gualeguaychú (two hours away from Buenos Aires), with acres of forest and farmland surrounding the property.
This is a great spot for active families, as there are tons of planned activities organized by the resort and animation team.
Archery, dance classes, horseback riding, tennis, volleyball, golf, art & crafts – you name it, the Bolacua All Inclusive has it! Although if you’d rather laze around, they also have a beautiful pool (with a waterslide too!) where you can just sit back and unwind from the stressors of daily life.
The Westin Reserva Conchal – Costa Rica
As one of my favorite Central America all inclusive resorts, the Westin Reserva Conchal is 2,400 acres of pure tropical bliss.
On one side, you have Playa Conchal, famed for its crystal clear waters and sea shell-covered beach. And on the other, a lush jungle filled with colorful birds and abundant wildlife. When you stay here, you can see all the amazing landscapes Costa Rica is known for in one place!
While the hotel grounds are absolutely stunning, it’s the luxury amenities and fun-filled activities that attract people to the Reserva Conchal. Not only will you have access to one of the largest lagoon-style pools in Central America, but an 18-hold golf course is also located on-site (rounds are free when you spend more than four nights).
And on top of that, the food here is outstanding and better than almost any all-inclusive resort I’ve been to!
While there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from, booking an all-inclusive for your Central and South America vacation can make your trip less stressful. While you can spend a day enjoying the resort amenities (pools, restaurants, spas), you’re also free to leave to explore the surroundings as well, so you have the flexibility to make your vacation your own!