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For the purpose of this article, “Playa Hermosa” refers to the Guanacaste beach destination that is located between Playa del Coco (to the south) and the Papagayo Gulf (to the north); this is not to be confused with Costa Rica’s other “Playa Hermosa” beach destinations. For more information surrounding this ambiguity, please see our related blog post:
PLAYA HERMOSA COSTA RICA (HERMOSA BEACH)
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Playa Hermosa Costa Rica is one of our staple go-to spots whenever we need to “get away from it all”. Contained in a small bay that frames Pacific Coast sunsets perfectly, the water is calm, warm, and inviting. A drastic change from Playa del Coco, the town’s rowdy neighbour located a mere ten-minute drive away, Playa Hermosa offers a quiet and less-touristy retreat. Although the region hardly resembles the rainforest as it is situated in the heart of Costa Rica’s driest province–Guanacaste–and is painstakingly dry and brown at most times of the year (unavoidably so during the summer season), for travellers who wish to do and see little while at the beach (i.e., if you would prefer soft sand and gentle waves over jungle excursions and nature exploration, or if you have already experienced the latter two during visits to other areas in Costa Rica), Playa Hermosa should not be missed.
WHAT TO DO IN PLAYA HERMOSA COSTA RICA
- Sailing (try the Sunset Sailing and Snorkeling Tour)
- Snorkeling (try the Sunset Sailing and Snorkeling Tour)
- Scuba diving (consider Bill Beard’s Drive Trips, BA Divers, or Sirenas Diving)
- Surf trips to popular sites (for experienced surfers), such as Witch’s Rock or Ollie’s Point (consider Sirenas Diving)
- Visits to the Palo Verde National Park (try the Palo Verde National Park Tour)
- Rafting (try the Tenorio River Rafting Tour or the Safari River Float Tour)
- Ziplining (try this Canopy Ziplining Tour or consider Witch’s Rock Canopy Tour)
- Sportfishing (consider Papagayo Sportfishing)
- Off-road buggy tours (consider Buggy Tours Costa Rica)
- ATV tours (consider Witch’s Rock Canopy Tour)
- Horseback riding (consider Witch’s Rock Canopy Tour)
- Day trips to the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Buena Vista Lodge, Monteverde, Arenal (La Fortuna), Rio Celeste, and/or Liberia
- Watersports equipment rentals (consider Aqua Sport, which offers a variety of boards and boats)
- Beach massages
The below Playa Hermosa Costa Rica information can also be found on our related post:
PLAYA HERMOSA COSTA RICA DETAILS
(SELLING POINTS, DISADVANTAGES, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND EXTRA NOTES)
Location north of Playa del Coco and south of Playa Panama
Distance from Liberia: 40km (approximately 50 minutes)
Closest Town: Playa Hermosa (small town), Playa del Coco (large town)
Beach Status: public beach
Type of Sand: light brown-white sand; smooth beach
Playa Hermosa selling points
- Playa Hermosa is (in our opinion!) one of the best coastal destinations a traveller could hope for. It offers a nice balance of town amenities (grocery store, shops, etc.), a few restaurants, and a number of tour/activity possibilities while maintaining its small-town feel and intimate beach area. Everything else a visitor might need can be found in nearby Playa del Coco (the largest town in the area).
- Second to Playa Conchal, Playa Hermosa has one of the nicest beaches comprised of light-brown sand and a long, shallow shore. Its position at the top of the northern pacific coast (just south of the Papagayo Gulf) also sets the scene for incredible sunsets.
- Ideal for those travellers who are looking for a quiet beach to relax at without the distraction of other visitors.
Playa Hermosa disadvantages
- The Playa Hermosa area is home to many condo complexes and vacation home rentals. While hotels are certainly available, they are outnumbered by rental properties. For this reason, visitors who wish to stay at a hotel in the Playa Hermosa area have less of a variety of accommodation options available to them and availability is often more difficult to come by.
- While the Playa Hermosa area does offer some tour/activity options, it offers less than what travellers can find in nearby Playa del Coco. For this reason, it is not the best beach location for those travellers who wish to participate in many tours and activities during their time at the beach (transportation to/from Playa Hermosa is not regularly included with tours run from the Playa del Coco area).
Playa Hermosa recommendations
- Since some hotel options are located near the beach, it is not required that all visitors have a rental vehicle. However, since the Playa Hermosa area offers some, but not many, dining, shopping, and tour options, it is often recommended that travellers staying in the Playa Hermosa area make plans to visit nearby Playa del Coco in order to access additional amenities. In this case, having a rental vehicle is advantageous as travellers can drive themselves to/from Playa Hermosa and nearby beach towns, however travellers without a rental vehicle can simply plan to use taxi services to get to/from where they wish to go.
Playa Hermosa extra notes
- Recommended day trips from Playa Hermosa include visits to Playa Ocotal and Playa del Coco.
MAP OF PLAYA HERMOSA COSTA RICA (HERMOSA BEACH MAP)
QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Have you been to Playa Hermosa Costa Rica before? What did you think?
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