Playa Hermosa de Guanacaste

Playa Hermosa de Guanacaste

Although hermosa (beautiful in Spanish) is a befitting adjective for most beaches in Costa Rica, there is only one Playa Hermosa here, or two to be exact. Hermosa de Guanacaste is a crescent of light, brownish-gray sand and gentle waters, not to be confused with the popular Central Pacific surf destination of Playa Hermosa de Jacó.

Northwest Pacific Hermosa is a truly breathtaking destination for couples, families or backpackers seeking a tranquil beach getaway. From magical sunsets on a beach bordered by jungle to sand that glimmers under the moonlight, prepare to have your jaw drop multiple times during your stay.

Hermosa’s flat, pool-like waters make it an excellent beach to bring the children and they allow for a wide variety of thrilling activities that waves tend to encumber such as stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming and sport fishing. A variety of tours can be arranged here including canopy ziplining, horseback riding and visits to the nearby Rincón de la Vieja Volcano.

In recent years Hermosa has experienced some development to accommodate the needs of a growing expat community and an increasing flow of visitors that come year round for a taste of paradise. However, you will still find just a few hotels to choose from in Hermosa, along with a small movie theater, a few shops and a handful of great dining options. If you start to feel like a castaway and the need arises to visit a mall, for instance, the bustling town of Liberia is just 20 minutes away.

Weather and Packing Checklist

Located in Costa Rica’s driest province, Playa Hermosa gets some rainfall each year, but mostly enjoys blue skies, sunshine and heat! Temperatures are generally stable throughout the year, ranging from the upper 80s and lower 90s during the daytime and dropping to the upper 70s at night. The dry season and best time to visit is from November to August.

Visitors should remember to pack their beach clothes, including swimsuits, flip flops, beach towels, hats, t-shirts, shorts, rain gear and a good supply of sunblock and aloe vera gel for any sunbathing mishaps.

How to Get There

From San José:

By plane:            

Daniel Oduber International Airport in the town of Liberia is the closest airport to Hermosa. The domestic carriers Sansa and Nature Air offer a daily 50-minute flight service from San José to Liberia. One-way tickets cost between $80-120 USD.

By car:

Follow the Autopista del Sol or the Interamerican Highway to Caldera and turn left after Puntarenas, looking out for signs to the Friendship Bridge (Puente de la Amistad in Spanish). Cross this bridge and follow the signs to Liberia. Take a left towards the town of Santa Cruz at the main intersection there, and drive south past the Liberia airport. When you arrive at a huge hardware store called Do-It-Center, turn right, pass a medical center and then turn left. Follow the road signs to Playa Panamá and once you arrive there, turn left again towards Hermosa. The trip from San José takes around four hours.

By bus:

Tralapa express buses (tel. 2221-7202) offer a daily service from San José to Hermosa. The trip lasts around five hours and a one-way ticket costs about ₡5,000 ($10 USD).

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