Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Beautiful Black Sands of Playa Hermosa (Jaco)

After leaving the town of Jaco, my boyfriend and I decided to follow a friend's suggestion and continue driving along Highway 34, about another 4 kilometers, to check out Playa Hermosa (not to be confused with Playa Hermosa on the Nicoya Peninsula).  As you are approaching Playa Hermosa on your way out of Jaco, you'll first come across signs for the "mirador" with an area to pull over and park your car.  Mirador means lookout point in English, and I recommend stopping at this mirador to take in the amazing views of Jaco's Playa Hermosa from afar.  The beautiful black rocks being pounded by violent waves, along with the cliff-side strewn by various native trees, make for a sight not to be missed (pic below).

After a few pictures at the mirador, we continued another 2 kilometers on Hwy 34 out of Jaco, until we saw the signs announcing Playa Hermosa.  You could miss the small "playa" signs, so you can also look for the cluster of signs right off the highway announcing various small hotels, such as the Sandpiper Inn, Hotel Fuego del Sol, and the Marea Brava Hotel (pic below).  We turned right at these signs and followed the short road to the beach parking area.  There were only 2 other cars parked, and we easily made the short walk to the beach.

Playa Hermosa's proximity to Jaco makes it a convenient beach to visit if you are in the area.   As mentioned above, there are a few hotels and restaurants right next to the beach, if you prefer to stay in this slightly quieter area just outside of Jaco. 

On the Saturday we visited, there were only two or three other couples and about 10 to 15 surfers in the ocean.  "Hermosa" means beautiful in Spanish, and I will agree that this beach is indeed very beautiful.  Playa Hermosa by Jaco is about 10 km long in total and arrow-straight, with waves pummeling the shore.  Not exactly the best for swimming, but a real draw for surfers.  Although I am more of a white-sand beach aficionado, the glistening jet-black sand on Playa Hermosa was stunning.  Also, this is one of the cleanest beaches I've seen in Costa Rica so far.

View From the "Mirador" Over Playa Hermosa (Jaco)

Hotel Signs at the Turnoff Point off Hwy 34 that will lead you to Playa Hermosa

Small Road leading to Playa Hermosa Parking

Small lagoon seen as you approach the beach

Sitting on some of the tree debris on beautiful Playa Hermosa

Surfer walking along Playa Hermosa, about 4 more surfers are in the ocean just behind him

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