Beaches - Central Pacific Region
The Central Pacific Region of Costa RIca links the tropical dry forests of the North Pacific Region and Nicoya Peninsula Region with the lush rain forests of the South Pacific Region, stretching from Puntarenas to Dominical. This region has one of the most populated coast lines in Costa Rica so there are tons of Activities and Lodging. Relax at the 5 star resort Marriott Los Suenos, put your hair down and party through the night in the bustling beach front town of Jaco, play with monkeys in the Manuel Antonio National Park or surf the amazingly consistent waves at Playa Hermosa or Dominical. No matter what you are looking to do, The Central Pacific Region has something for you.
Playa Herredura was unknown a decade ago but has become a tourist hotspot with the addition of the 5 star resort Marriott Los Suenos and other high end developments . The beautiful black sand beach is shaped like a horseshoe which makes for very calm water that is perfect for swimming, fishing, or snorkleing. You can do just about any thing close to Herradura including visit Carara National Park, ride horses on the beach, golf and sport fish.
Playa Jaco draws large crowds from the Central Valley on weekends and holidays and is one of the most visited beaches in all of Costa Rica. The beach has consistent surf which makes for strong rip tides which may be unsafe swimming conditions for some people. All services are in town just off the beach with tours and other activities to keep you busy. Jaco is a large town so expect many people on the beach and in the water along with the world class night life. Learn more about by reading our Jaco page.
Playa Hermosa is host to one of the most consistent and powerful waves in Costa Rica and is the epitome of Costa Rica surf town. Although very popular and sometimes crowded, the waves are so consistent that you can easily find a break all to yourself along the 3.5 mile black sand beach. There are many hotels and cafes along the beach.
Playa Esterillos is one of our favorite beaches because of it's consistent surf and friendly locals. The 6 kilometer long beach is cut into 3 sections known as Esterillos Oeste, Esterillos Este and Esterillos Central. The chocolate colored sand and backdrop of rolling hills are picture perfect and make for a ideal setting. The town has full services along most of the beach with little restaurants and small cafes lining the shore.
Playa Manuel Antonio is a busy beach drawing crowds from all over the world to see the magnificent bay and nature that overflows from the Manuel Antonio national park and surrounds the beach. The calm crystal blue water and luxurious sand, make for great swimming and snorkeling but there is also a wave that sneaks past the protective outer reefs for the surfers in your group. The town is well established and has all service including some of the best restaurants in all of Costa Rica. Visit our Manuel Antonio page for more information.
Playa Matapalo sits halfway between Manuel Antonio and Playa Dominical and is usually uncrowded offering a great escape for those off the beaten path. The surf is not always great here but the fishing is epic, the scenery profound and the sunsets breathtaking. The small town sits in the beach with most necessary services including internet, restaurants, hotels and bars.
Playa Dominical is a funky surf town with a great vibe, good restaurants and some of the most consistent waves in all of Costa Rica. The black sand and almond tree lined beach stretches between the Baru River to the north and Playa Dominicalito to the south. The powerful waves and strong rip tides have lead the community to support a team of full time lifeguards that patrol the beach. For more information see our Dominical page.
Playa Dominicalito is a protected cove just south of Dominical and is where local fishermen launch their pongas (boats). The gentle rolling waves make it a perfect spot to learn how to surf making it a favorite of the local surf schools. The bay is as beautiful as it is serene with a few large trees growing on the natural rock barrier between rougher ocean waters and the calmness of the bay. There are no services at the beach but you can get great prices on fresh fish from the locals or walk to one of the restaurants near here.
Photo Credits: [aerial of jaco costa rica] supplied by [istockphoto] / thinkstock, [sunset at playa hermosa] supplied by [istockphoto] / thinkspot, [coconut palm beach] supplied by [istockphoto] / thinkstock, [Costa Rica beach] supplied by [istockphoto] / thinkstock