Last Updated: Jan 18, 2012
Playa Hermosa Snapshot
Summary: Named for its beautiful gray-sand beach; a tranquil base for adventures to north Pacific attractions.
Landscape: Beaches, Tropical Dry Forest
Attractions: Adventure Tours, Palo Verde National Park, Santa Rosa National Park
Activities: Sailboat Sunset Tours, Scuba Diving, Sport Fishing
Caters to: Couples/Honeymooners, Families, Independent Travelers
Guanacaste’s beautiful Playa Hermosa, not to be confused with its neighbor of the same name near Jaco to the south, is known for its mile-long cradle of gray sand and laid-back town atmosphere. Snuggled between the rapidly developing Gulf of Papagayo to the north and lively Playa del Coco to the south, Playa Hermosa offers a quiet alternative.
Location: 168 miles northwest of San Jose
Average Temperature: 82-90°F
Altitude: Sea level
Spanish for “beautiful beach,” Hermosa is unarguably one of the most well maintained beaches in Costa Rica. It currently carries the Blue Flag distinction – a merit it has held for nine years – that indicates compliance with the organization’s high environmental standards, safety considerations and management policies. In addition, Playa Hermosa is further off the beaten path than many Guanacaste beaches, and so combines absolute convenience with uncommon tranquility.
There are two entrances to Playa Hermosa, a south and a north entrance. The south entrance is slightly more popular among tourists, and boasts more restaurants, hotels, and amenities. Less than a half mile separates the two entrances, and the distance is easily walkable and very enjoyable – tiny souvenir stands, quaint outdoor cafes, and Pacific Ocean views dot the path.
Though Playa Hermosa is smaller and quieter than its neighbors, it is an ideal base for Northern Guanacaste adventures. Fishing, sailing, diving, snorkeling and dolphin watching tours depart from its beach, and Hermosa’s bay is filled with diverse, colorful marine life. Land adventures, including canopy tours, national park tours, and volcano tours all depart from your Playa Hermosa hotel.
Places to Stay:
Playa Hermosa may be small, but there are plenty of places to stay along the beach. Hotel options range from budget to top-of-the-line, many with attached restaurants. Beachfront hotels are affordable – most can be found for less than $100 per night. A few upscale Playa Hermosa hotels have all-inclusive plans.
Services & Facilities:
Most mid-range to upscale hotels offer hot water showers (though you may prefer cold), cable television, and air conditioning. Some charge an additional fee for air conditioning usage. There are very few ATMs in Playa Hermosa, though as the area grows, more will crop up. Bank branches are located just 15 minutes south in the more-developed Playa del Coco. Internet is available at several Internet cafes and hotel lobbies, and many hotels offer free wireless (WiFi) Internet to their guests.