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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa Holidays

Nestled on the west coast of Costa Rica and distinguished by its pale sand and blue sea, Playa Hermosa has become the go-to destination for the downtempo lifestyle Costa Rica holidays excel at. Expect long, sunny days and balmy nights at cosy restaurants in one of the world's most wondrous locales.

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It's called 'Pretty Beach' for a reason

You don't need a language course to learn that Playa Hermosa, in the glorious Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, translates to mean 'Beautiful Beach'. Just a step onto its welcoming sand and you'll experience that truth for yourself, to say nothing of the warm salty breezes in the air and the sounds of the Pacific Ocean massaging the shore.

Playa Hermosa actually shares its name with another stretch of sand elsewhere in Costa Rica, although that one is more of a busy surfer's retreat than this quiet, idyllic place. Even in the height of summer, Guanacaste's Playa Hermosa has a relaxed and serene feel that entices visitors back time and time again.

Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Spanish
  • GMT - 6

All about the beach

Atmospheric silver sand runs for two kilometres along the shore, which serves as an eternal reminder that nature's sway over Costa Rican life is ever present. The distinctive colour of the sand also owes its beauty to the great ridges of volcanic rock that flank the beach, mixed with lush vegetation and the canopies of tropical forests that shelter Playa Hermosa from the world. On the other side, the great expanse of the Pacific Ocean awaits, and sunsets here are beyond photogenic.

For many of us, just the chance to bask in this beauty would be enticement enough to pack our bags and book a flight, but there's even more to Playa Hermosa's appeal. As a Blue Flag spot of serenity, diving and swimming here are popular pastimes.

Great reefs and reeds rich in aquatic life of every shade in the rainbow make their home here. This means strapping on a snorkel is an appealing proposition however proficient a diver you are – from beginner to expert.

Small town smiles

Close to Playa Hermosa is the town of Hermosa itself, and the Costa Ricans can certainly get away with calling this town what translates to Beautiful. Hermosa has everything you need for shopping as well as food and drink, from the quiet sophistication of Ginger to the traditional and cultural flavours of El Quijote.

If you're looking for the style and substance of the big city on your holidays to Costa Rica, namely the capital of San Jose, bus trips or car rentals will have you there in five hours, so make sure you've time to spare for the trip.

In touch with nature

Beyond the beauty of Playa Hermosa's coastline, there's plenty to do inland for nature lovers planning cheap Costa Rica holidays. The landscape is sweeping and vast, riddled with secrets and opportunities to explore. For many, the dramatic peak of Arenal Volcano and its surrounding landscape, just a few minutes inland, offer a fantastic chance to see the bountiful splendours of Costa Rica, yet that's not even half the story.

Surrounding Playa Hermosa are great tapestries of countryside and rainforest that make exploration a joy. You can choose to do so in style too, with horseback tours proving an engaging way to see the sights. The local mangrove swamp also offers an environment of intriguing attractiveness quite unlike we're used to, while even just perching up on a ridge above the beach to people-watch is a pleasure.

In Costa Rica, the natural world is respected and revered, and as a result, staying in and around Playa Hermosa gives you the opportunity to connect with some of the leading national parks in the country. Those include Santa Rosa National Park and Palo Verde National Park, both of which are rich in wildlife, from colourful birds of paradise to playful spider monkeys and adorably cheeky frogs.