Playa Hermosa is a sentimental favorite of ours. In 1999 we made our first visit to Guanacaste and stayed our first few nights at the El Velero Hotel in Playa Hermosa. We fell in love with the area. The beautiful beach and tranquility mesmerized us and we kept returning until we moved here in 2007. The area has changed significantly since our first visit with more restaurants and certainly more beautiful ocean view homes.
The community is a nice mix of expats and Costa Ricans. The original Costa Rican families still own most of the land close to the beach and on the beach. They have no intentions of selling as they raise their children here and make a living in tourism or fishing or a combination of both - certainly a beautiful safe place to raise a family. The children may move away but they always return at Christmas and Easter and many times in between.
The locals were not much for living on the hillsides with ocean view. Much of that land was sold to the growing influx of expats. So now we have numerous great ocean view developments – Monte Paraiso (original development began in 1999 by a family from Vancouver, BC), Monte Bello, Palo Alto, Alta Vista, Mar Vista, Hermosa Heights, Hermosa Montana and a few other outside development lots. Some of these lots allow you to see the ocean and yet walk to the soft sands of Playa Hermosa. Other lots are located way up on the hillsides with spectacular ocean views but you need to drive or walk really slow!!
Playa Hermosa has some nice on-the-beach restaurants and bars like Aqua Sport, El Velero, Bosque del Mar, Roberto's Restaurant and Casita de Mariscos. Other popular restaurants off the beach include Ginger, Bocelli's Pizza and Villa del Sueno. Here you can enjoy exceptional food and great service plus the magic of the ocean tides coming in and out. Playa Hermosa has a well-stocked Luperon Super Market and a couple of smaller pulperias (corner stores). The bonus is that Hermosa is only 10 minutes from the main commercial center of Playas del Coco with all its big supermarkets, bars, restaurants, shops and action. Playa Hermosa provides a nice retreat from the hustle of Coco. In reality, Playa Hermosa has become more like the bedroom community of Playas del Coco.
Playa Hermosa has recently undergone an amazing transformation of the beachfront, which had been occupied for decades by residential and commercial buildings reaching almost all the way to the sand. Now, the beachfront has had wide walkways built that extend from one end of the beach to the other. As well there have been in excess of 30 cement picnic tables with benches added along the pathway nestled in amongst the trees to provide places to sit and relax in the shade while providing great views and access to the sand and sea. Below are some photos showcasing some of these transformations including views of the beach and ocean taken from the walkway.
Be sure to check out our section on Tourist Services for suggestions on accommodations, restaurants, tours & adventures, shopping, and professional services in the Papagayo Region.