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Herradura, Costa Rica

A beautiful bay with luxury resorts and many yachts

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Herradura

The Herradura Vibe

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. 

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Herradura 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.

Herradura Transportation

Getting to Herradura

Cheapest Option: 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.

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.

BOOK A PRIVATE SHUTTLE

Most Flexible Option: 

You could also rent a car and drive yourself. The highway from San Jose to Herradura 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 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).

Things to Do in Herradura

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 wold 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!

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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Herradura 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 gold 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.

Booking.com

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.

Mid-Range

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. 

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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. Personally, we aren’t huge fans of Jaco.

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

Custom Herradura 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. 

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