Sunday, April 17, 2011

Playa Doña Ana Costa Rica

While many devout Costa Rican Christians were heading to church this Palm Sunday, and actually holding palm branches in their hands, my boyfriend and I decided it was a good day to go to the beach.  Living out by Puntarenas City puts us close to many of the beaches that the people from the capital city of San Jose and tourists from cruise ships docking at Puntarenas for the day, like to spend their time at.  Our beach choice for today was Playa Doña Ana ("playa" is Spanish for beach).   This beach has a clearly marked entry off the coastal highway as shown in the picture below.

Entrance to Playa Doña Ana Costa Rica
Playa Doña Ana is a brownish-gray sand beach offering covered picnic shelters, snack bars, barbecue pits, and changing areas.  Some people were setting up tents on the beach, so it looks like you can even stay there overnight. The great thing about Playa Doña Ana it that is has tons of tree-shaded areas right next to the water under which to set yourself up.  The beach itself is in a cove area, bounded in on one side by a tree-studded land projection and on the other side by a craggy rock formation (see pictures below).  The beach is popular for surfing and swimming.  The water temperature was nice (not too cold or too warm).  But beware! The rip current here can be strong (there are warnings posted).  My boyfriend said he nearly drowned here when he was 12 years old because he got caught up in one and didn't know how to swim out of it.  Just exercise caution and keep an eye on children.

Playa Doña Ana View Looking Towards the Left

Playa Doña Ana View Looking Towards the Right

Enjoying the Water
To get to Playa Doña Ana from San Jose you drive on Hwy 1 (the Costanera Sur / coastal highway) towards Puntarenas City. Then get off on Hwy 17 and look for the entrance to Playa Doña Ana on your left.  It costs 1,500 colones per person to enter ($3 USD), and 1,000 colones ($2 USD) for car parking. 

My boyfriend and I had a great time at Playa Doña Ana today.  The water was clean, we got to spend lots of time in the shade reading and relaxing, and we had a good time just people-watching. We will definitely make more visits to this beach.

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