Thursday, June 9, 2011

Playa Caldera Costa Rica

Playa Caldera Costa Rica (located along Puntarenas Pacific Coast) is not big with foreign tourists, as far as I can tell.  It is, however, a favorite spot for Costa Ricans who come as far as the capital of San Jose (where there are no beaches), and make the 1 to 2 hour trip to spend the day at this beach.  I am not a big fan of this particular beach, and would first recommend a stop at the immediately adjacent Playa Doña Ana instead (even though you will have to pay a small fee to enter).   However, I thought I'd recount our visit to Playa Caldera Costa Rica for any who might be visiting the area.

Playa Caldera Costa Rica is right off the Pacific coastal highway and is about 20 km away from the town of Puntarenas.  It is a gray sand beach with dark greenish brown water.  Some of the views looking out towards the ocean are pretty (see pics below).  But you will also have the big ships docked at Puerto Caldera which is visible as you look out to the ocean to your left.  That was something that I did not find particularly appealing.  Also, although the beach is calm enough for swimming (something that seems rare for Costa Rica's Pacific beaches), there was a lot of algae in the water - at least on the day that we visited.

The area immediately around Playa and Puerto Caldera is pretty cool though.  You will find a variety of cabins and hotels, and some really good bars and restaurants.  Our favorite restaurant in this area by far is La Leda (see pics below).  You can walk to La Leda from Playa Caldera, or drive there (it is on the other side of the highway bridge that skirts Playa Caldera).  So my advice is - don't make a special stop to visit this particular beach in Caldera; but if you happen to be passing by for some reason, stop to take a few pictures of the prettier parts, and be sure to visit La Leda restaurant if it's lunch or dinner time.

Rightside View of Playa Caldera Costa Rica

View to the leftside of the Beach, looking towards the ships at Puerto Caldera

Me enjoying the sunny day on Playa Caldera Costa Rica

La Leda Restaurant, a short walk across the highway bridge from Playa Caldera

Me inside La Leda (see highway bridge we crossed in the background to the right)

Yummy seafood platter we ate at La Leda by Playa Caldera

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