Sunday, June 12, 2011

Playa Conchal and the Town of Brasilito

My sister and I were sitting on the gray sand beach of Playa Caldera, when a young Costa Rican guy (attempting to flirt with us, I think), first suggested that we visit Playa Conchal Costa Rica - his pick for the best beach in the entire country.  He explained to us that Playa Conchal was in the Guanacaste Province along the Nicoya Peninsula.  After reading a few more online reviews, my sister and I decided to include Playa Conchal, and the surrounding town of Brasilito, in our itinerary during our visit to the province of Guanacaste.

Our first stop in Brasilito was for lunch.  Brasilito is the town from which you can most easily access Playa Conchal Costa Rica.  We dined at an open air restaurant called Camaron Dorado (pics below), and splurged a little by ordering broiled lobster and a few fruity drinks.  While the food was somewhat bland for the price, we found the service there to be most gracious.  Our male waiter even escorted us by arm to the ladies' restroom when we asked him where it was located.  We must have had like 3 or 4 waiters in total, who were constantly trying to make sure we had everything we wanted.  The Camaron Dorado restaurant is right on Brasilito beach, so the view while we ate and drank was absolutely amazing!  We did not see anyone actually swimming in Brasilito Beach, however, perhaps due to the strong currents there on this particular day.

The light gray sands of Brasilito Beach meld westward into the whiter sands of Playa Conchal Costa Rica.  Not only had our flirty Costa Rica friend recommended this beach, but my Moon Costa Rica Guidebook refers to it as "one of Costa Rica's finest beaches".  We were told we could drive on the sand from Brasilito Beach onto Playa Conchal, but when my tires started spinning a bit, I chickened out and we just parked in Brasilito (by the town's central park) and walked the short distance leading to the inlet cove area of Playa Conchal.

Conchal means "shell" in Spanish, and Playa Conchal is appropriately named because the sand is really nothing more than billions of broken up shells (pic below).  Talk about getting some good exfoliation on your feet!  (Note that it is illegal to remove any of the shells from the beach).

Playa Conchal Costa Rica lies in the cusp of a scalloped bay and the waters  there appear almost turquoise at times.  As you look out towards the ocean you will see pelicans resting on the few little fishing boats encircling the bay.  Directly behind the beach lies the Paradisus Playa Conchal Beach and Golf Resort and a residential community which surrounds this resort.  However, trees keep this community and hotel satisfactorily out of view so that you can still feel perfect solitude and peace while lying on the beach.

While my sister and I did think Playa Conchal was a stunning little beach, our favorite Costa Rica beach for now remains Playa Flamingo.  Still, we were glad we were able to discover Playa Conchal and the hamlet of Brasilito since they offered us another unique taste of what Costa Rica has to offer.

Camaron Dorado Restaurant in Brasilito Costa Rica

My sister inside the restaurant with the spectacular view of Brasilito Beach in the background

Tourist shops in Brasilito Costa Rica's main strip

Walking towards Playa Conchal from Playa Brasilito.  My sister is making friends with a local street dog.

Me standing on the little hill that is the last barrier separating Playa Brasilito from Playa Conchal

Beautiful Playa Conchal Costa Rica.

The "sand" at Playa Conchal which is really billions of tiny broken up shell pieces

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