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Playa Hermosa

The quiet beach town of Playa Hermosa is located on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica in the province of Puntarenas. Known for its consistent surf and easy-going vibes, it’s the perfect place to stay if you are looking to experience the best of Costa Rica.

Only about a 90-minute drive from the airport in San Jose, stretching over a total of 7 kilometers, this exquisite black sand beach is a surfer’s paradise. With consistent beach breaks all year long and not many other people in site, this low-key beach town draws in an impressive international crowd.

The tranquility of Playa Hermosa is one of the reasons people love to visit time and time again. It’s perfect for long walks on the beach, watching some of the most incredible sunsets you will see in your life, or grabbing a cold drink as you watch the pros in action as the pelicans fly by in their perfect “V” formation.

At different times of the year, you could be lucky enough to catch baby turtles hatching on the beach in the early morning or see whales putting on a show as they pass through during their yearly migration.

One of the unique aspects of this beach is the close proximity of the mountain range in the backdrop. It’s one of the few places in Costa Rica where the jungle meets the sea.

If you listen carefully, you will hear the parrots and scarlet macaws calling out as they fly overhead. No matter what your interest, Playa Hermosa has something for everyone!

Jaco Beach

Just a short 7 minute drive from The Reserve Costa Rica and you will arrive at Jaco Beach.

Playa Jaco continues to be one of the most popular and lively beach towns on the Pacific coast. Only 90 minutes from San Jose, it is easily accessible and full of adventure for the whole family.

The beaches of Jaco are wide with dark chocolate sands where lively surf and sunshine fill the days. But it’s the bars, restaurants and nightclubs that keep the candle burning long after sunset.

Jaco is the perfect spot if you want a little of everything. You can simply relax on the beach, surf, go hiking, ziplining and watch the noisy scarlet macaws fly around the area.

Herradura Beach

Playa Herradura is a small beach located on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, about 3.5 miles (6km) north of the town Jaco. It’s Spanish name means “horseshoe”, which refers to the shape of the bay of this particular beach. If you are looking for activities like paddle boarding, sport fishing and golf, then Playa Herradura is a great destination and you will find many options to keep busy. The waters at Playa Herradura are a lot more tranquil than at surrounding beaches, making this a safe place for swimming.

Esterillos

Esterillos Oeste is located off coastal Highway 34, about 20 minutes south of Playa Hermosa/Jaco. The beach is by far the town’s biggest attraction. Along the gray sand, you will find local families barbecuing under the palms, fishermen putting out their boats, and surfers lined up for the next big wave. The beach is long and it’s easy to find a spot all to yourself. A beach trail/road runs along the ocean, making it convenient to pull your car right up. With its larger waves and riptides, the beach isn’t great for swimming, but you can wade in the shallow waves.

For calm water, check out the tidepools on the northern end at low tide. These are a great place to bring kids to see the crabs and fish living in the small pools.

In between rock formations, there are a few perfect places to take a dip in the tranquil water. Another notable attraction at Esterillos Oeste is the large statue of a mermaid jutting out of the tidepools.

You can walk out to La Sirena at low tide to get a picture, or just view her from the shore at any tide. Playa Esterillos Oeste is a well-known surfing beach.

It is the most popular of the Esterillos beaches, but usually doesn’t get too busy. Experienced surfers come here to take on the beach break, but it’s also a good spot for those just starting out. You will find a few different surf shops in town that offer lessons and rent boards.

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