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There are many Playa Hermosas in Costa Rica, which means “beautiful beach”. OUR Playa Hermosa is the next beach north of Santa Teresa. It’s not nearly as developed, and the people who stay or travel there like it that way.
It’s incredibly beautiful, and NEVER crowded with surfers, even on the busiest days. Parking is very limited, and difficult to maneuver your vehicle between the leaning palms, driftwood, and mangroves, and most people who drive to this beach frequently have at least one dent in their car to prove their devotion to Playa Hermosa.
The surf here has two main options. There’s a wide beach break on a very flat beach, and to the north there’s a point break. The beach break has good waves for a few hundred meters, and of course there are a few spots that experienced surfers will notice that are better than others.
The right-hand point break works well at low and medium tides, and smaller waves tend to die out as they pass through the channel, then pick up again. There are some rocks out there in the water where you tend to want to catch the waves, but they’re fairly obvious and easily to avoid, especially in dry season when the water tends to be clearer. Most of the surfers who live in the area and spend hours every day at Playa Hermosa don’t ride the point but are instead parked at the best peaks in the center. So if you’re a longboarder, you will probably find just one or two people on the point at any given time.
Places to stay at Playa Hermosa:
The White House Santa Teresa: An architectural jewel, this very popular beachfront rental villa is beautifully designed and decorated.
Pranamar: The best hotel in the area, which is also a center for yoga retreats. This hotel was built by the previous owners of the famous and over-priced Florblanca hotel in Santa Teresa, and is both much nicer and a lot more affordable.
Shaka Surf Camp is the closest surf camp to Playa Hermosa, and has become very popular. The owners are great people and the place has great energy, so check it out.