Central Pacific Coast
Our focus area is from Herradura to Parrita. This stretch along the beautiful Pacific Coast has historically been the most sought after areas of Costa Rica because of it’s proximity to Juan Santa Maria International Airport in San Jose(Alajuela). Here is a quick snapshot of the area that we call home.
Tucked along the Central Pacific Coast with rolling mountains in the backdrop, Playa Herradura is an unmatched paradise. Glistening aqua-green waters and black-sand beaches are perfectly lined with palm trees where travelers can escape into a tropical trance. Playa Herradura is turning into a hot tourist destination, as there are canopy tours and nearby national parks for those looking to explore this region’s finest locales. Located about an hour from the San Jose International Airport on the new highway, Playa Herradura is easily accessible for travelers.
Los Sueños Marina
Just a few years ago, Playa Herradura, just north of Jaco off of the Costanera Sur is a lush area that offers the finest living in the area. This region was fairly under-the-radar but the Los Sueños Marina and resort has turned this unparalleled region into a luxurious resort. Spanning 1,100 acres, this planned community is home to a 200 wet slip marina, 600-acre rainforest reserve, 18-hole championship golf course and a spectacular array of accommodation residences.
World Class Sportfishing
Fishing enthusiasts may never want to leave this world-class marina, which is Costa Rica’s only full-service, government sanctioned and five-star marina. It is home to the largest fleet of game fishing captains and boats in the country, making this an unforgettable vacation spot for sportfishing enthusiasts. Wet slips can accommodate vessels from 30 to 180 feet, and the dry storage space can fit vessels less than 35 feet in length.
Los Sueños is home to two exclusive sportfishing tournaments, as fishing waters nearby are among the top of the big game fishing destinations. Fishers can cast a line for 40-pound dorado, 300-pound yellowfin tuna and big Pacific sailfish.
Shopping at Playa Herradura
Playa Herradura is a great locale for shoppers looking to bring home a unique piece of Costa Rican art. Dantica Gallery is one of the nation’s best places to shop for high-quality indigenous art of Central and South America. Shoppers can find jewelry, masks and other traditional pieces from Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia.
Travelers seeking a quiet getaway will still be able to escape the hustle of everyday life in Playa Herradura, as it does not attract as many visitors as Jaco. Play Herradura is also conveniently located for travelers to take a drive north to Punta Leona, or south to Jaco or Play Hermosa.
Jacó is a resort city on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica in Central America. Located in the county of Garabito in the Puntarenas province, the city has a population of approximately 10,000 residents. Jacó’s beach is 2.5 miles (4 km) long and offers some of the best surfing in Costa Rica.
Few places in Costa Rica generate such divergent opinions as Jacó. Partying surfers, North American retirees and international developers laud it for its devil-may-care atmosphere, bustling streets and booming real-estate opportunities. As the closest beach to San Jose, Jaco is a bustling beach town known for its party-like atmosphere and laid-back attitude. In less than two hours, travelers can make their way from the nation’s capital to this region that welcomes travelers with open arms, and is known for having bustling nightlife, eclectic dining and outstanding aquatic activities. As one of the most visited destinations in Costa Rica, Jaco has a diverse array of lodging options, from affordable hotels to luxurious resorts or amazing vacation rentals, to tailor anyone’s travel needs.
Jaco is hugely popular because it is a one-stop-shop to experience everything Costa Rica has to offer. From nightlife to wildlife to activities, Jacos got it. There are plenty of opportunities for ATV tours, boat and kayaking, white-water rafting, safaris, horseback riding, deep-sea fishing and surfing in Jaco. Catching waves is by far one of the most popular activities in the area because the surf breaks can be quite large just a few kilometers south of Jaco in Playa Hermosa.
Playa Jaco may be bustling with tourists, but it is a very clean and calm beach. Stretching about three kilometers long, this picturesque beach is one of several in the area. Travelers should be aware that there is often a strong rip tide, and that swimming should be done with caution. However, Playa Herradura is just about seven kilometers north and has a more tranquil environment. Playa Hermosa sits just south of Jaco, a famous surfing location, which is the site of the International Quicksilver Championship every year.
Jaco has a big reputation for partying and nightlife but with a growing family-friendly district with the development of Jaco Walk which could attract anyone to this destination. The atmosphere here is very relaxed, and the locals are welcoming. Because of this, Jaco is very traveler friendly overall, with international cuisine, plenty of internet cafes and banks and countless aquatic activities to keep anyone busy for their entire stay.
Manuel Antonio National Park and Punta Leona Wildlife Refuge are both within driving distance from Jaco. Manuel Antonio may be one of the smallest parks in the country, but it is considered to be one of the most pristine examples of preserved wildlife. Covering 1,700 acres of land and 136,000 acres of ocean, this park is one of the most biodiverse in the world. Other nearby natural attractions include the Carara Biological Reserve, which is less than 10 miles away. Both of these parks allow for ideal opportunities to witness rare wildlife and unique flora.
An important point that most tourists need to be aware of is the fact that there are two beaches named Playa Hermosa in Costa Rica. One is located in the province of Puntarenas, while the other Playa Hermosa lies in Guanacaste. The Playa Hermosa that is in Puntarenas is situated just five kilometers south of Jaco, and is one of the best surfing havens for professionals both national and international, in the country.
Best and most Consistent Surfing
Lying just at a ten-minute drive away from the beach town of Jaco, and a short drive from the capital San Jose, Playa Hermosa offers surfers some of the best and most consistent surf breaks in the world. However, it is important to mention here that the currents in Playa Hermosa are very strong and are not ideal for swimming. While Jaco offers waves for both beginners and experienced surfers to enjoy, Playa Hermosa is an expert surfer’s beach with waves reaching as high as 13 feet. There are a number of economical surf board rental shops on the beach as well that stow gear and rent out surfboards.
International Quicksilver Surf Championships
With world class waves, Playa Hermosa holds the International Quicksilver Surf Championships every year in August that literally brings hundreds of expert surfers here from all over the globe. The best time to surf in Playa Hermosa is from April to November, when the tide is high and rising. One of the most well known breaks on the beach is located in front of a large tree known as ‘El Almendro’ or the ‘Almond Tree’.
Relaxing at Playa Hermosa
For those who get tired of surfing, Playa Hermosa is perfect for spending a day lounging in the sun with a good book, as not many people come here often. If you prefer, you could take a day trip to Costa Rica’s most famous national park, the Manuel Antonio National Park, which is about 45 minutes away or you could visit the Playa Hermosa Wildlife Refuge, which protects the Olive Ridley sea turtles that come to nest here every year.
No crowds, chocolate colored beaches, and great surf best describe the beaches of Esterillos. You may never see another person as you stroll down the beaches where palms and almond trees line the forest edge and the clear blue waters invite you to go for a swim. This serene, contiguous stretch of beach is made up of Esterillos Oeste to the west and Esterillos Este to the east, appropriately, where you will find plenty of accommodations laced throughout.
Esterillos is an extensive beach of 7 km long, of grayish sands, rectilinear and open coast, characterized by the presence of great natural wealth along the entire coastline, forming a line of tropical forest mainly composed of palms and almond trees . It is divided into three sections: Esterillos Este, Esterillos Centro and Esterillos Oeste.
The beaches of Esterillos Centro and Este, separated by the Bejuco River, have mangrove areas . Esterillos Oeste is characterized by the presence of rocky promontories and small streams where wildlife can be seen, such as iguanas, crocodiles and a variety of birds. It is separated from Playa Hermosa by Punta Judas. It presents a section of rocky bottom with strong waves during high tide, while towards the west there is another area with a sandy bottom. Towards the north of this beach, the rocks form natural pools, where fossil remains can be found .
Esterillos Oeste is also known because La Sirena is located there , a bronze sculpture of a mermaid sitting on the rocks facing the ocean. When the tide rises, the water covers the pedestal of the work, so that the statue seems to emerge from the surface of the sea.
These beaches are easily accessible by road, which can be moved all year round, so they are very visited by national and foreign tourists. In them you can do a lot of recreational activities: surfing, snorkeling, diving, swimming, walking and horseback riding, camping. In the area there are lots of accommodations and cabins, and a landing strip.
Esterillos also boasts the Town Center development on the Costanera between Este and Bejuco. This beautiful retail and residential development provides a grocery store, a variety of restaurants and shops and continues to grow and attract more business.
This small, quiet beach community is located between two of the most popular tourist destinations in Costa Rica. It has Jaco to the North (about 30 minutes) and Manuel Antonio National Park to the South (about 30 minutes). This perfect location allows guests to visit and take advantage of restaurants and activities in both of these popular locations very easily. For pharmacies, banks, hardware stores, butcher shops, etc., the town of Parrita is about a 10 minute drive south towards Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park. Parrita is a farming town where you are guaranteed to get an authentic Costa Rican experience since it is not frequented by tourists.
Most of the time Playa Bejuco will feel like your own private beach with kilometers and kilometers of wide open beach to explore. The most popular times at Playa Bejuco, when you will see a crowd, are during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and also for Semana Santa – Easter week. The rest of the year it is normally very quiet and tranquil.
Popular Activities in Bejuco
The long stretch of beach at low tide is perfect for a long walk, run or bike ride! You will also often see horseback riding on Playa Bejuco as well as on-shore fishing and the occasional beach soccer game.
Playa Bejuco is known for its excellent surfing and is popular for boogie boarding. It is not known as a beach to snorkel or swim around, as it is not a cove protected by the forces of the Pacific, but if you are a capable swimmer and know how to handle rip currents that exist all along the coast, you will enjoy the beauty and power of the Pacific coastline. You might also be lucky enough to find one of the huge sand dollars that can wash up on shore at Playa Bejuco.
The trees around Playa Bejuco are often visited by the scarlet macaws. Keep your ears open for their distinctive squawk. In the trees leading down to the beach, keep a look out for large iguanas, white-faced monkeys and the occasional sloth .
The little town of Parrita is on the way to the famous Manuel Antonio while sitting in the middle of an African oil palm farm.
According to local legend, the town’s name comes from a woman named Rita, who lived in one of the original settlements in the area prior to the arrival of the Spanish. Rita owned a business and often received packages, and the phrase “Es pa Rita” (It’s for Rita) was heard so many times that the canton in which the city resides was named Parrita.
The canton itself is surrounded by a number of rivers, including the Damas, Picaritos, Palo Seco, Jicote, Chires and the Parrita. The community’s economy is almost exclusively dedicated to producing African palm oil, an edible plant oil derived from the trees. Due to its low elevation (just 15 meters above sea level), the town of Parrita boasts a very warm climate and is able to avoid much of the wind that plagues some of the more mountainous regions in the country.
Parrita and its surrounding areas are an excellent place to visit for any traveler looking to partake in ecotourism. The nearby Damas estuary mangrove forest is home to a wide variety of animals, including crocodiles, pumas, the coatimundi and Costa Rica’s treasured monkey species.
The Parrita River is another terrific destination for nature-loving tourists, as the Class II and III rapids are a fun adventure for all members of the family. These rapids are ideal for those just learning how to whitewater raft, and can be an exciting way to view some of the marine wildlife and birds in the area, including the giant cranes, ibis, storks and egrets.
Sport fishing is another popular activity for visitors to Parrita, as tuna, marlin, wahoo and snook can all be found in bunches in the nearby Pacific Ocean.
This sleepy community is prime for future real estate development as the future Orotina International Airport will put this area only about an hour away. There are many opportunities for land purchase on or near the beach and in the mountains only minutes away.