Beaches and Surf Spots
As one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world, the Southern Zone of Costa Rica has so many beautiful beaches it will be hard for you to choose which to visit! Here’s a quick overview to help you out:
Considered the most consistent surfing spot in the nation, Dominical beach starts on the south side of the Baru River and stretches for more than a mile. Typically surfed at medium-to-high tides, the waves in Dominical are both powerful and thrilling. Lifeguards are on duty daily. In addition to water sports, there are several restaurants and tons of shopping. Check out the local vendor’s tables as they offer everything from jewelry to dresses to beach gear—it never hurts to bargain to get more bang for your buck. This is the most popular beach in the area.
Just three kilometers south of Dominical lies Dominicalito, a quiet fishing village with smaller waves than its neighbor to the north. The waves here can be very kid friendly, but it’s always a good idea to watch out for rocks when entering and exiting the ocean, particularly at lower tides. Dominicalito is also a great place to purchase fresh fish when local boats arrive during the afternoons.
Playa Hermosa is a long stretch of sandy beach 10 minutes south of Playa Dominicalito. It’s a perfect beach for surfing and bodyboarding, although the waves are typically smaller than in Dominical. There is a lifeguard on duty almost every day at Playa Hermosa, which makes for a safe beach experience. Playa Hermosa is a fantastic place to purchase ceviche from area vendors and mingle with locals on the weekends.
Play Uvita is 11 miles south of Dominical along the Coastal Highway. It’s a charming 2-mile white sand beach with swaying palm trees and some shady relief from the Pacific sun. The waves are smaller here than in Dominical and swimming conditions are ideal. This beach is part of the Marino Ballena National Park so fishing is strictly prohibited.
Home to the famous “Whale’s Tail,” a large, kilometer-long sandbar that can be accessed on foot at low tide, Marino Ballena National Park in Uvita is an ocean-lovers paradise. From October through March, humpback whales and their kin can be spotted close to the coast. Dolphins swim in abundance in these calm waters as well. Expect to pay about $10 per person to enter the beach.
This beach is home to a tranquil waves and is almost always empty. If you are looking for a private, secluded beach look no further.
Playa Ventanas is a favorite beach for locals and is located near the town of Ojochal. A palm-tree laden cove that features a pair of distinct caves that can only be explored on a low tide. There’s a secure, pay parking lot directly in front the beach and several top-end restaurants located close to town. The sunsets here are second to none. It’s a great place for a family trip.
Named after the tiny turtles that sometimes grace its shores, Playa Tortuga is just south of Ojochal and sits on the banks of an active rivermouth.