Playa Hermosa Journals

A Week at Playa Hermosa

A November 2004 trip to Playa Hermosa by quadrat

Sunset at Playa Hermosa Photo, Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica More Photos
Quote: A winter get-away at a relaxing, quiet, uncrowded beach in Guanacaste province, Costa Rica, with an excursion to Parque Nacional Palo Verde and nearby Playa del Coco.

A Week at Playa Hermosa

Overview

Sunset at Playa Hermosa Photo, Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
Quote:
The best thing to do at the beach is simply hang out and wait for one of the spectactular sunsets. And with only a week, that's basically what we did. If you need a bit of adventure, there are many small operators who will gladly take you on practically any excursion you might wish: diving, snorkelling, fishing, to the volcanoes, on a canopy tour, or even--ugh!--shopping.Quick Tips: Leave the frantic pace of your everyday life behind and just relax, relax, relax. Grab a coconut or a cup of ceviche from a beach vendor and just chill in the heat.Best Way To Get Around: If you actually want to "get around", i.e. get out of Playa Hermosa, you'll either need to rent a car or be prepared t...Read More
Quote:
Another hotel we checked out was Hotel Playa Hermosa (don't confuse it with Playa Hermosa Inn B&B). Apparently under new (American) ownership, the hotel is being upgraded, but for the moment, it offers good value. If we return to Playa Hermosa, we would likely stay here. The hotel fronts on the beach (yeah!) and has the widest beachfront in the village. The hotel consists of about 20 rooms (some with air-conditioning, some with ceiling fans) in two small strips. The rooms are small but tidy and clean--fine for sleeping. The restaurant was average--on par with, but cheaper than, the one at El Velero. The staff was friendly, if not as fluent in English as elsewhere--but that actually is appealing.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 2, 2005

Hotel Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
672-0046

Hotel El Velero Photo, Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
Quote:
Owned by an expat Canadian, El Velero is a small, homey, hacienda-style hotel that fronts right on the beach. The rooms, about 20 in all, are air-conditioned, very clean, and spacious, with vaulted ceilings (at least on the second floor, where we were) and safes in each room. Staff was almost uniformly helpful, very friendly and spoke good English. The grounds are small but well kept, and there is a small pool--mainly used by families with small children--next to the restaurant. Try not to get a room at the back of the hotel, or at least bring earplugs if you value a good night's rest, as the partying at El Pescado Loco across the street can get raucous. If you were foolish enou...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 2, 2005

Hotel El Velero
On the beach, Playa Hermosa, Guanascaste
Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
011-506-2672-1015

Quote:
We checked out several of the other local hotels at Playa Hermosa. Villa del Sueno is a step up in price, size, comfort, style, and pretense from Hotel El Velero, but also a step back. As it’s not on the beach, there’s a short walk down the road and across another property to get to the sand (a definite drawback for us). With remarkably spacious, well-groomed grounds and two pools, Villa del Sueno has a wide variety of cheerful rooms, from tidy and perfectly acceptable "standard" rooms ($80 peak season) to two-bedroom apartments with kitchens ($290--but who wants to cook on their vacation?). The owner, who took us around on part of our tour of the hotel, is clearly working hard ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 2, 2005

Villa del Sueno

Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
672-0026

Atardecer Playa Hermosa Inn B&B￿

Hotel | "Atardecer Playa Hermosa Inn B&B"

Quote:
Definitely in the budget category is Playa Hermosa Inn Bed-and-Breakfast. (Not to be confused with the somewhat more expensive Hotel Playa Hermosa, reached via the first entrance to the village.) This small inn is right on the beach and has eight rooms. The one we were shown opened onto the terrace where breakfast--included, of course--is served. The room was clean but run-down. The bathroom needed some repairs, the refrigerator in the kitchen was showing its age, and I'm not sure the air-conditioner stuck in the window actually worked. However, if all you're looking for is a place to flop for the night, you could do worse. And you can watch the beach from the terrace while you have breakfast an...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on January 11, 2005

Atardecer Playa Hermosa Inn B&B￿

Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
672-0063

Ginger

Restaurant

Quote:
Things are clearly changing at Playa Hermosa with the arrival of this fusion-inspired, post-modern-designed restaurant, cantilevered in the hills on the main road to the village. Ginger seems very popular with some of the more trendy of the ex-pat community. The menu is diverse, with primarily Asian and Mediterranean influences. Don't look for local grub here! The menu consists of a range of small plates designed for sharing. Dinner for two would consist of three or four different plates to build a meal. We tried the spring rolls, shrimp/mango salad, spicy frites, and seared tuna salad. All were very good. Unfortunately, they were out of the Pavlova by the time it came to order dessert...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 2, 2005

Ginger
Main Street, Playa Hermosa
Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
(506) 672-0041

Resto Bar El Velero

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
The restaurant at Hotel El Velero is not the cheapest nor the best in Playa Hermosa. The food is acceptable, if unremarkable, but the prices are high, compared to other resto bars along the beach (off the beach is another matter). And if you avoid the tourist-oriented joints and try one of the local-run establishments, you can get similar fare for half the price. Pretty much every eatery has the same basic menu: chicken, pork, beef, or fish with rice and beans. Oddly, almost every dish everywhere also seems to come with french fries. (All hail McCain's!) As you'd hope at a seaside restaurant, the El Velero fish is very fresh. One afternoon, one of the expat fishers was exclaiming abo...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 11, 2005

Resto Bar El Velero
Hotel El Velero
Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica

Villa del Sueno Restaurant

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
If you're looking for an upscale dining experience, there seem to be only three places to go in Playa Hermosa: Ginger, La Finisterra, and Villa del Sueno. We decided not to try hiking in the dark up the rather treacherous-looking hill that leads up to La Finisterra and had our last night's splurge at Villa del Sueno. Upon arrival, we were immediately asked whether we had reservations--the only time we were ever asked that in Playa Hermosa, and it pretty much sets the tone for the place. The restaurant was the best (real French service!) and the most expensive we visited. The menu was varied, but it pretty much all fit into the French-continental mold: shrimp cocktails, coq au vin, filet mignon.....Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 11, 2005

Villa del Sueno Restaurant
Villa del Sueno Hotel
Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica

Parque Nacional Palo Verde

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Parque Nacional Palo Verde Photo, Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica
Quote:
With only a week in Costa Rica, we didn't want to spend a lot of time running around here and there--we were there to relax. We alotted ourselves one expedition. We narrowed it down to either hiking Parque Nacional Rincon de la Vieja, with its volcano and hot landscape, or a gentle river tour of Parque Nacional Palo Verde for wildlife. We left it until near the end of our visit and were unable to get a booking for the volcano, so it was the riverboat tour of Palo Verde for us. Finding an operator is not difficult. Your hotel can make arrangements, you can check out the places that have sandwich boards on the beach, or you can wait to be accosted by an enterprising local. We used the second opt...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 11, 2005

Parque Nacional Palo Verde
Guanacaste
Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica

About Playa Hermosa

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Playa Hermosa is a tiny beachside village in the Guancaste province less than half an hour west from the airport at Liberia. Playa Hermosa appears to have no reason to exist other than its beach. Just off the main road on the way to Playa Panama, it has no post office, no banks, and no ATMs. (You'll need to get to nearby Playa del Coco for those.) There are two small general stores for the necessities. What it has is a long, wide, clean beach with warm, clear water; stunning sunsets; and no crowds. The village is bisected by a small stream that has no bridge, so if you are driving, pay attention to whether you want the first or the second entrance to get to your particular destination. A very b...Read More
Quote:
The purpose of our visit to Playa Hermosa was for a simple, quiet winter getaway. Something that millions of other middle-class North Americans seem to do every winter, but we had not yet managed. (No hiking, no biking, no rushing from one ecotourist hot spot to another--no, no, no!) That understood, for peace and quiet, stay away from Playa del Coco. Unless you're running out of money or you need some stamps for your postcards, Playa del Coco is a rather tawdry, sprawling tourist town that's best avoided. Larger and noisier than Playa Hermosa, the most noticeable things about Playa del Coco are the concentration of tourist-excursion operators and cheap souvenir shops. Don't say I didn't ...Read More