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Tucked in along Costa Rica’s shimmering Pacific coast, the small town of Playa Hermosa—”Beautiful Beach”—is often billed as the calmer alternative to the bustle of nearby Playas del Coco. Its primary stretch of shoreline, tinted light gray with volcanic sands, is a family-friendly place to paddle, with snorkeling trips, catamaran cruises, and sport-fishing excursions among the top things to do in Playa Hermosa. Part of the town’s charm is also its proximity to many of Guanacaste Province’s inland attractions, including Rincón de la Vieja, Santa Rosa, Guanacaste, and Palo Verde National Parks.
Playa Hermosa truly lives up to the "beautiful" in its name with a looker of a long, crescent-shaped beach. The weather here is generally agreeable throughout the year, though the high season coincides with the dry season, from December through April. The rainy season is typically less crowded (and also more affordable), with rainfall peaking in September. Playa Hermosa is also a popular surfing destination, and major championships are held here at the end of August.
Traveling by public bus from Liberia Guanacaste International Airport to Playa Hermosa generally takes about half an hour, while taxis are even quicker. Playa Hermosa itself is quite walkable, but if you want to explore the wider region—including neighboring beach towns and nearby national parks—it’s wise to use a rental car. Otherwise, catamaran sailing tours, full-day excursions into nature, and guided snorkeling trips offer ways to see the region.
The water at Playa Hermosa is usually comfortably warm, but take caution: The beach’s strong riptides can be hazardous. For calmer waters, take a quick drive to more sheltered destinations such as Playa Flamingo. However, these currents and breaks make Playa Hermosa an internationally renowned sailing destination, and amateur and professional surfers put on a regular and entertaining spectacle on the beach.
Playa Hermosa—which translates to “beautiful beach”— is well-named. Its 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometers) of sand stretch before you, and you can shelter from the sun under its many palm trees. The water stays warm and the waves are gentle, making it perfect for a family vacation....More
Yes, with its clear, warm water and calm conditions, Playa Hermosa invites you to spend the day splashing in the ocean. The beach is also known for its scuba-diving and snorkeling spots, so you can try out a new activity if you’re feeling adventurous....More
Howler monkeys are a common sight in Playa Hermosa. These large monkeys can often be seen hanging out in the tropical forest along the coastline. You may be startled by the noise—howler monkeys are aptly named, and their roar is surprisingly loud....More
Playa Hermosa is about 40 miles (64 kilometers) away from Tamarindo. If you don’t have a car, several buses and shuttle routes run frequently....More
Playa Hermosa is an idyllic, waterfront paradise. The endless beach is tinted gray from volcanic sand, and the warm blue waters welcome swimmers and scuba divers. Restaurants have popped up along the coastline, while the laid-back village offers a range of accommodations....More
Yes, Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste is known for its long beach and calm waters, while Playa Hermosa in Puntarenas is famous for its surfing scene. The latter hosts surfing competitions and welcomes surfers from around the world to challenge themselves on its steep breaks....More