Thursday, July 7, 2011

Visiting Playa Herradura on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast

The closest beach to the beautiful Los Suenos Resort (discussed in my last post), is called Playa Herradura (pictures below).  This beach is on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica in Puntarenas.  It is a rocky gray-sand beach that is shaped like a horse shoe bay.  The waters in Playa Herradura are relatively calm, which makes it nice for swimming and shore fishing.  Playa Herradura is also a favorite for campers, and the day we visited we saw both local Costa Ricans and Americans camping here.

Due to its proximity to San Jose, this is one of the most popular day trips for Costa Ricans living in the capital city that want to visit a beach.  It is especially busy on weekends and holidays. (This was the case during our stop this week since Costa Rican school children are on their 2 week summer break from July 4th to 15).

Before 1992, Playa Herradura was just another quiet fishing beach town.  It became very popular when the 1992 movie “1492” starring Gerrard Depardieu as Christopher Columbus, was filmed here.  Playa Herradura's fame took another big leap in 1999 when Los Suenos Marriott Hotel and Resort was constructed.  With the hotel/resort, came a splurge of growth in this area due to the harbor, proximity to San Jose and Jaco, and the influx of American and European investors.

Playa Herradura has a nice calm vibe to it, but it is definitely not the most attractive beach I've seen in Costa Rica.  For one, I did not care for all the rocks and debris in the sand, and I think all the campers make it feel a little grungy.  However, being able to actually get in the calm waters without worrying too much about riptides (which are so common in other Costa Rica beaches) is a nice plus.  Additionally, the view towards the Los Suenos Resort homes on the surrounding hillside, plus the amenities to be found in the town of Herradura, may make Playa Herradura worth a stop for you.

Play Herradura

Playa Herradura with Los Suenos Resort Homes on the adjacent hillside

Cris and I having one of the campers take our picture at Playa Herradura

Some of the campers on Playa Herradura

1 comment:

Niki Meeks said...

Wow, we have been there about 6 times since we moved to Costa Rica 8 months ago and we have never seen actual tents. Today, all the parking spaces were even raked and the debris had been cleaned into piles. It was nice, considering they charge $50pp at Punta Leona, about 5 km away.

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