Herradura, Costa Rica: Resort Bay Beach Town Visitors Guide

Herradura Costa Rica is a beautiful bay with luxury resorts and yachts


The Herradura Costa Rica Vibes

Herradura bay is a small area that mainly consists of luxury resorts.

It is a good spot to stay if you want to be close to all the action of the Jaco area, but want a more peaceful and luxurious experience.

You will have trouble finding budget-friendly options here. 

Background Info About Herradura Costa Rica

Nearest International Airport

Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose

Popular Things to Do

surfing, fishing, golf, relaxing on the beach

Best Way to Get Around

Rental car, walking in the downtown area

Best Time of Year to Visit

Dry season is from late December until mid-April

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Thomas (the German) and Sarah (the US-er).

We met in Virginia, moved to Germany, and have called sunny Costa Rica home since 2016.

We are on a mission to help you plan the perfect Costa Rican vacation.

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herradura beach
herradura beach
herradura beach
Herradura, Costa Rica: Resort Bay Beach Town Visitors Guide

Map Of Herradura

The village is located just north of the bustling town of Jaco.

It is located about 1.5 hours from San Jose by car. 

Flights to Costa Rica

For flight booking we suggest Skyscanner. They are our go-to flight booking site for great rates.

It is best to fly into San Jose (Juan Santamaria International Airport) to easily get here.

Driving to Herradura

We suggest renting a car to drive yourself.

The highway from San Jose to Herradura is a well-maintained. 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.

Our #1 Car Rental Choice
Herradura, Costa Rica: Resort Bay Beach Town Visitors Guide

Adobe Rent-a-Car

  • 10% discount for Costa Rica Vibes readers
  • Free second driver
  • 0% deductible on Liability Protection Insurance
  • Excellent customer service
  • New fleet of well-maintained vehicles

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. 


car rental

The Adobe Rent-A-Car discount includes…..

– A 10% DISCOUNT  





Private Shuttle to Herradura

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.

Public Bus to Herradura Costa Rica

If you are only going to a hotel in Herradura 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 “Herradura.” Keep in mind that the bus departs from downtown San Jose, not from the airport.

Transportation In Herradura

Herradura 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 Herradura, 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 Herradura hotels should be less than 12 miles away).

Herradura Costa Rica Weather

From December until mid-April there is hardly any rain in Herradura. The weather tends to be very hot and humid.

Just keep in mind that this is also prime tourism time and the nearby town of Jaco tends to be one of the most crowded beach towns in the country. This means that by default, Herradura gets filled up as well.

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 warm.

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 a bit cheaper.

Things to Do in Herradura Costa Rica

Enjoy Playa Herradura

The Herradura beach is a nice place to spend a beach day with calm waters that you can swim in.

Go Golfing

If you are staying at Los Sueños Resort you will have access to their championship golf course with sweeping Central Pacific Coast views. 

Take a Sport Fishing Trip

It is possible to experience world class deep-sea or in-shore fishing from Herradura.

Your experienced guide will help you to try and catch marlins, mahi-mahi, sailfish, and more!

If in shore or deep-sea fishing is your thing, Jaco is a great place to take a trip from.

We suggest booking your trip with Captain Jorge on the Barrileta.

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.

Book Your Surfing Lesson

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.

Book a Tour to Manuel Antonio

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.

Arrange Your Paragliding Experience

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.

Book a 2 Hour ATV Adventure

Arrange a 5 Hour ATV Experience

Go Zip Lining

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

Book Your Zip Line Experience

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.

Book Your Horseback Riding Adventure

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.

Book Your Class II – III Adventure

Book Your Class III – IV Adventure

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.

Book Your Isla Tortuga Tour

Enjoy a Catamaran Tour

The popular catamaran destination in this area is the white sand beaches of Playa Fantasia. This is the perfect activity to do as a family or group of friends.

Arrange a Sunset Catamaran Tour

Arrange a Day Time Catamaran Tour

Go on a Crocodile Safari

Tarcoles River 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.

Book Your Crocodile Safari

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Herradura Restaurants

High End

Amphitheater RestaurantThis is the kind of place that you need to see to believe. Here you can enjoy a delicious luxury meal with a view of the amphitheater and ocean beyond. We highly suggest getting an early dinner (around 5:15 pm) to fully embrace the sunset views. 

LANTERNA Italian Steakhouse– Located at Los Suenos resort, this restaurant offers great views of the busy Herradura harbor. I always opt for one of their traditional Italian dishes and Thomas is all about the fresh seafood.


El Pelicano – This place has a little of everything and all of it is delicious. We like this spot because you can get a table directly on the beach and it has a pleasant relaxed atmosphere. 

La Puesta del Sol – Good place right on the beach that serves things such as pasta, burgers, and traditional Costa Rican fare. 

herradura view
herradura beach view
herradura view

Herradura Costa Rica Hotels

Los Suenos Resort – This is a Marriot resort located directly on the beach. This is one of the few places in Costa Rica that has a golf course, so golf lovers, this is your place to be.

The property has a kids club, multiple restaurants, several interconnecting pools, and a fitness center.

Hotel Villa CaletasThe style of this place is not at all what you would expect to find in Costa Rica, and we kind of love it. Here you can expect ornate marble everywhere.

herradura costa rica beach
herradura beach

Vacation Rentals in Herradura

We always love renting a home or villa for our vacation in Costa Rica. This gives you more privacy and allows you the flexibility to cook your own meals.

Note: We try to only ever suggest places with good cancellation policies, but always double-check before booking.

There is a huge variety of villas at all price points located within the Los Suenos Resort property. For a ton of options, check out VRBO and the Marriott Homes & Villas website.  

I suggest booking through Marriott directly to make sure the home includes access to all the Los Suenos amenities. 

Here are a few places we really like…

Villa La Perla – Four bedroom, five bathroom, sleeps eight. There is a private pool, grill, and hot tub on the private property with access to resort amenities. 

Casa Patron –  Six bedroom, six bathrooms, sleeps 18 guests. There is swimming pools, a large game room with a Championship pool table, and a barbecue area. 

Casa Oasis – Five bedrooms, six bath home that can sleep up to 10 guests. The outdoor area has a sun deck, jacuzzi, and swimming pool. 

Herradura, Costa Rica: Resort Bay Beach Town Visitors Guide
herradura water
Herradura, Costa Rica: Resort Bay Beach Town Visitors Guide

Herradura Travel Tips

Herradura is the place to go for a resort getaway close to action. It’s a really nice spot.

If you are looking for a lot of action, Jaco is the place to stay. 

If you want a relaxed surfer vibe, head south of Jaco to Playa Hermosa.  

Packing for Herradura Costa Rica

If you are staying in Herradura you most likely are staying at Los Suenos resort. That means you kind of need a mix of all types of clothing (dependinf on your plans). 

We usually pack swimwear for the beach, catamaran tours, and hanging by the pool; semi nice clothes such as sundresses and lightweight pants with a nice shirt for dinners, and breathable shorts, tshirts, and sneakers for day trips zip ling or hiking.

Overall, don’t forget to take sun protection very seriously here.

Check out our Herradura Packing List on Amazon for all the essentials. 

Articles About Herradura Costa Rica

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You Might Also Like Visiting

Manuel Antonio: A beach town that is home to Costa Rica’s most popular national park

Hermosa: A relaxed surfing village with big waves

Jaco: A bustling beach town with a vibrant nightlife scene

….if none of those appeal to you, check out our Guide to the Central Pacific Coast for more ideas of places to visit in this area.