Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica

A small surfing village next to Jaco

Grab a free copy of our Costa Rica guide

Playa Hermosa

The Playa Hermosa Vibe

Playa Hermosa in the Puntarenas Province is the place to stay if surfing is your jam and you want to be close enough to the craziness of Jaco, but have a more peaceful stay. This is a great jumping-off point for tons of fun Pacific coast adventures.


Playa Hermosa Weather

Playa Hermosa follows the same weather pattern as most of the Costa Rican Pacific coast.

From December until mid-Aril there is very little chance of there being any rain.

Just keep in mind that this is also prime tourism time and Jaco (just north of Hermosa) tends to be one of the most crowded beach towns in the country. This means that by default, Hermosa also gets very full.

From mid-April until the end of July you can expect sunny and hot days with a daily afternoon thunderstorm. The rain usually rolls in around 2 pm and typically does not last for more than a few hours. Even after the rain ends for the day it tends to stay hot and sometimes the sun will return for a bit before a beautiful sunset.

From August until December the weather is a complete surprise. Sometimes there will be nice sunny days and other times there can be nonstop rain.

Keep in mind that this is also the least popular time to travel so there are fewer tourists and everything is cheaper.

Playa Hermosa Transportation

Getting to Playa Hermosa

Cheapest Option: If you are only going to Hermosa and not planning on traveling to other places, the bus from San Jose is your cheapest option.

The public bus will only cost you a few dollars and runs several times a day. It’s not the most comfortable and if it’s full you could be left standing for the whole ride, but hey, it’s cheap!

You can check out the full bus schedule here. As your destination put in “Playa Hermosa de Jaco”

Most Comfortable Option: If you have a small group, the most comfortable option is hiring a private shuttle.

We are big fans of Adobe Transfers and they are more than happy to stop along the drive so you can check out all the crocodiles at Rio Tarcoles or other viewpoints.

You can get get a price quote from Adobe Transfers here.


Most Flexible Option: 

You could also rent a car and drive yourself. The highway from San Jose to Playa Hermosa is a well-maintained highway. You should have no issues if you are a somewhat experienced driver.

Keep in mind that the highway is a toll road. You need to pay with cash, but they do accept dollars if you don’t have colones.

We usually pay with a $10 bill and the change (in colones) is enough to pay for the rest of the tolls. 

About an hour into your drive you will cross over a river called Rio Tarcoles which is usually lined with people. Pull your car over and walk back onto the bridge to check it out. You’ll see huge crocodiles below waiting for a tasty meal. 🙂

You do not need to rent a 4×4 for this route. The roads are all paved.

We suggest renting a car if you plan on traveling to other places and want the flexibility of not having depend on tours. 

We suggest booking your rental car with Adobe. They are the most trustworthy company in this country (in our opinion) and we have partnered with them to get a 10% discount for you on your rental car. You can find out more here. 

Getting Around in Playa Hermosa

Hermosa is so small that you really do not need a car. It is very easy to just walk around.

However, you most likely want to take some fun day trips. For that, you will either need a car or book tours with transportation included.

If you don’t feel comfortable driving from San Jose to Playa Hermosa, but would like a car while you explore the area, you can rent a car from Adobe and input Jaco as your pick-up location.

They have an office directly in the downtown area of Jaco. In the comments section of the rental car reservation, you can specify that you need the car delivered to you at your hotel. Adobe will deliver it to you free of charge if you are within 12 miles of their location (which all Playa Hermosa hotels should be less than 12 miles away).

Things to Do in Playa Hermosa

Go Surfing

Playa Hermosa is the perfect spot for more experienced surfers. If you are new to surfing you are better off trying out the waters near Jaco.

There are plenty of surf shops that offer board rentals as well as lessons.


Hike at Carara National Park

Carara National Park is located north of Hermosa near Rio Tarcoles. This is a popular bird-watching destination and a nice place for a hike that isn’t too intense. Check out our Carara guide for more info. 


Take a Day Trip to Playa Blanca

Playa Blanca is one of our absolute favorite beaches in Costa Rica. It’s a bit difficult to get to though. Please read our Playa Blanca guide for more info.

Take a Day Trip to Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park is the most popular national park in the country. It is the perfect place to experience a ton of wildlife in a condensed setting with lush jungle backdrops and white sand beaches.

The national park is located about one and a half hours south of Playa Hermosa.

Check out our Manuel Antonio guide for more info. 


Go Paragliding

Paragliding is not for the faint of heart, but there is absolutely no better way to see the stunning Pacific coast of Costa Rica.


Take an ATV Tour

Are you ready to get your adrenaline pumping? ATV tours are a fun way to see the surrounding area in a thrilling way.


Go Zip Lining

Zip over the lush jungle near Hermosa and possibly enjoy views of the Pacific coastline in this thrilling activity.


Take a Horseback Riding Tour

Go with an experienced guide and ride through the jungle. Along the way, you might see various species of wildlife.


Go White Water Rafting

Savegre and Naranjo rivers are located not far from Hermosa. These are both great rafting destinations. The Savegre is better for less experienced rafters while the Naranjo is better for rafting enthusiasts.


Take a Trip to Isla Tortuga

Isla Tortuga is an unpopulated island located off the Pacific coast. This is a great place to take a day tour that includes snorkeling and relaxing on white-sand beaches.


Go on a Crocodile Safari

Rio Tarcoles is a crocodile-filled river located north of Playa Hermosa. Here it is possible to take a boat tour down the river to see tons of crocs and other wildlife.



Playa Hermosa Hotels

Hermosa Beach HouseSimple hotel with nice rooms located directly on the beach. There is also a pool on the property. 

Vida HermosaHotel directly on the beach with breakfast included. The breakfast and overall service are excellent. 

The Villas @ Las BrisasThis hotel is located in the hills of Hermosa, not directly on the beach. We like this place because the property is nice with all rooms facing a pool in the center. 

Surf Inn HermosaStudio-style apartments located directly on the beach. This is a good place to stay if you want to have a kitchen for cooking your own meals. 

Playa Hermosa Restaurants

Vida Hermosa Bar & RestaurantExcellent food served directly on the beach. In the evenings this place can become a fun party spot. I highly suggest anything on their menu with tuna. 

Falafel Hermosa – Our go-to lunch spot in the area. The falafel is on point. 

Pizza PataDelicious square pizza with a wide variety of toppings. 

Arenas RestaurantA great place for elevated Costa Rican food. They also serve excellent cocktails. 


Playa Hermosa Travel Tips

Keep in mind that there are two small beach towns called Playa Hermosa in Costa Rica. One is located in the northern part of the country (Guanacaste) and the other is this one located near Jaco. 

When doing a Google search for this one, type in “Playa Hermosa, Puntarenas” or “Playa Hermosa near Jaco” for the best results. 

Just make sure when you book any hotels or activities you book them for the correct location. 🙂 

Custom Playa Hermosa Trip Plan

Would like a more customized Costa Rica experience?

Just fill in our Costa Rica Trip Planner form!

One of our favorite Costa Rica experts will contact you and help with the entire Costa Rica planning process. 

Articles About Playa Hermosa

monteverde zip line

Costa Rica Zip Line – Adventure Guide

Zip lining in Costa Rica is a thrilling way to see the lush jungle canopy landscape of the country from a different perspective. Soar above cloud forests, enjoy volcano views, and more!

You Might Also Enjoy Visiting…


Jaco is a bustling, popular jumping-off point. It is the closest beach town from the San Jose International Airport. 


A small beach town that backs up to a cloudy jungle. There are many luxurious resorts and restaurants here.


The gateway town to Manuel Antonio. This is a popular place to take deep-sea fishing tours.