Hacienda Pinilla is a large gated community overlooking the Pacific in Costa Rica's northwest. Mike Young from the US served as architect for the development's very demanding layout, which opened at the turn of the millennium. At 7246 yards, this par 72 course naturally requires long, careful shots to reach the green. Stately old trees frame each of the holes, and the careful bunkering contributes to the challenge. The experience is designed with the player in mind: no one worries about tee times, there are rarely many other golfers, and the upkeep is uniformly excellent. The tropical setting makes for splendid colors in every season and abundant fauna, from parrots and lizards to monkeys. The best time to play is in the morning or especially late afternoon, so as to catch the striking sunset. The 15th is the standout hole here, where the sea provides both a beautiful backdrop and trying breezes.