Playa Hermosa Costa Rica: A Family-Friendly Beach Town
Playa Hermosa Costa Rica is a calm & family-friendly beach village near Liberia Airport
The Playa Hermosa Costa Rica Vibes
Playa Hermosa in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica exudes a laid-back and tranquil vibe.
It is known for its pristine beach that is in a cove and is usually great for swimming. This is the perfect place to stay to be near all of the activities that this area has to offer but without the big tourist town vibes.
We come to Playa Hermosa about once a year because Thomas loves fishing from here and I love to use this area as a jumping-off point for activities.
Background Info About Playa Hermosa Costa Rica
Nearest International Airport
Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia
Popular Things to Do
Rent jet skis, take a catamaran tour, go zip lining
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.
Map Of Playa Hermosa
Playa Hermosa is located in the northern part of Guanacaste Province near Liberia International Airport and the Nicaragua border.
This area is known for its spectacular views of the coastline.
Flights to Costa Rica
The easiest way to get to Playa Hermosa is by flying into the Liberia International Airport. From the airport, it is only about a 20-minute drive to Playa Hermosa.
If coming from San Jose the drive will take you about five hours.
If you haven’t booked your flight yet, we suggest using Skyscanner. We consistently find the best rates through their website.
Driving to playa Hermosa from Liberia Airport
The drive to Hermosa from Liberia Airport is very easy for all drivers. It consists of one main highway and then a few well-maintained side streets.
We suggest renting a car if you plan on taking many day trips on your own. If you plan to only relax at your hotel or take tours with transportation, you most likely won’t need a car.
We always suggest Adobe for all car rental needs. They are by far our favorite and most trusted car rental company in the country.
Adobe has given us a 10% discount plus plenty of other perks to pass on to you. You can grab your rental car discount here.
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Taxi to Playa Hermosa Costa Rica
A taxi from the Liberia Airport is always a good option. It can fit four to five people plus luggage.
We have a family of official Costa Rican taxi drivers in the Liberia area that we exclusively work with. They are the absolute best and have agreed to give our readers a discount.
You can preorder your taxi here and they will be waiting for you at the Liberia Airport.
Transportation In Playa Hermosa
Hermosa is somewhat divided between the beach area and the main road with a grocery store and some restaurants. If you are staying on the beach, there are a few good restaurants that you can easily walk to.
Personally, we like to have a rental car for getting around so we can take day trips.
One option is to rent a car for only a few days of your trip. Adobe has an office in Liberia and will deliver your car to Hermosa for a very small fee.
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Playa Hermosa Costa Rica Weather
This area has some of the best consistently sunny and warm weather in the country.
From mid-December until late April you can expect dry hot weather. It gets so dry here that it is not unusual to see forest fires in March and April.
Although the weather is dry, everything tends to die by March and things are very brown.
From late April through August, you can expect a daily afternoon rainstorm that lasts for about an hour or two. This is the one area of the country in which it sometimes does rain even during the rainy season.
From August until December, you can expect more frequent rainstorms that sometimes last the entire day and sometimes only a few hours.
Things to Do in Playa Hermosa Costa Rica
Take a Catamaran or Sailing Tour
A catamaran or sailing tour is the perfect way to explore this beautiful Pacific coast area. Some tours include snorkeling, sunset views, a meal, and cocktails.
Our favorite company for this is Kuna Vela. They operate the sailboat, Kuna, for day and sunset tours. And, I can guarantee you’ll have an amazing time with them. Seriously, they are the best!
Go Deep Sea Fishing
Are you ready to enjoy some world-class fishing on the Pacific Ocean? Plan a sport fishing tour!
We suggest a half or full day trip with Captain Roberto on his Boston Whaler. While out you might catch mahi mahi, tuna, grouper, and snapper.
Plus you can keep what you catch and they are happy to arrange for a nearby restaurant to prepare everything for you.
Go Scuba Diving
If you love diving, there are several reefs and tons of marine life in the waters surrounding Hermosa.
Go out with an experienced guide and find all the best spots.
Enjoy the Beach
Playa Hermosa is the perfect place for swimming. There is a roped-off swimming area and the water is usually very calm.
Just a warning, there are occasionally stingrays on Hermosa Beach. They won’t typically bother you, but stings have been known to happen sometimes.
Go Beach Hopping
Tired of Playa Hermosa? Check out all the other beautiful beaches nearby! Playa Panama is just north of Playa Hermosa or we also like to drive to the Gulf of Papagayo and enjoy the nice beaches there.
Go Fly Fishing
We highly recommend this fun day trip with Captain Estaban on his 14’ NRS inflatable outboard rafts along the Tempisque and Corobici rivers.
During the trip you will target Rainbow and Striped Bass, Machaca (Mini Tarpon), and Snook.
It’s so fun!
Just note that you will need a rental car or taxi to get here. The trip does not include transportation from the Hermosa area.
Visit Rincon de la Vieja
Rincon de la Vieja National Park is located north Coco and is a great place to spend a day hiking.
You can go with a guide, but you are also able to pay to enter the park and hike on your own.
Rincon de la Vieja is also a great place to enjoy a combo tour with tons of fun adventure activities such as zip lining and rafting.
Visit Diamonte Adventure Park
This adventure park is located not too far from Hermosa and has some really fun activities such as zip lining, hanging bridges, paddle boarding, animal sanctuary, and more!
We suggest booking the all-access day pass to really enjoy all that they have to offer.
Just note that this activity does not include transportation from your hotel.
Take an ATV Tour
ATV tours will get your adrenaline pumping and can be a great way to explore some off-road destinations in the Guanacaste region.
Go Horseback Riding on the Beach
Take a private horseback riding tour along the beach. This is fun to do in the evening while the sun is setting.
Visit Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
This is an impressive nearby waterfall that you can swim under. It is the perfect family-friendly day trip.
If you have a car, this is something you can easily do on your own. Check out our Llanos de Cortez guide for more info.
Expand Your Coffee Palette
Take a coffee-tasting tour and learn all about Costa Rica coffee beans and tastes.
Rent a Jet Ski
It is not unusual to see locals on the beach renting out jet skis.
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Playa Hermosa Costa Rica Restaurants
Aqua Sport – I wouldn’t say this place has the best food ever, but it is still our go-to spot in Hermosa when we want to have a cocktail night with some friends on the beach. In other words, expect basic food, but a chill place to hang out with some beachfront drinks.
Ginger – Definitely the nicest restaurant in the area with fresh ingredients and quality menu options. The prices are also extremely reasonable considering the quality.
Che Sirloin – The best place around for beef, from burgers to steak.
Buzzed Monkey – The place to go when you are craving some US style pulled pork, brisket, hot wings etc.
Robertos Bar & Restaurant – The perfect seafood and fish spot with a nice view of the ocean.
Playa Hermosa Costa Rica Hotels
Villa del Sueno – This is a good place to stay with a nice garden property close to the beach. There is a nice pool on the property and breakfast is included.
Hotel El Velero – Located directly on the beach, this is the perfect place for relaxing with an ocean view. There is a pool and restaurant on the property.
Hotel Bosque del Mar – This is our more high-end hotel choice in Hermosa. It is located directly on the beach, there is a nice pool on the property, the rooms and staff are excellent.
Papagayo Golden Palms – The nice garden property that backs up to the beach is the real draw here. The rooms are clean and nice and there is a pool on site.
MoonShadow – Our unique boutique choice in the area, Moonshadow is a fun place to stay that feels cozy and homey.
Villas Sol Hotel and Resort– A resort that also features vacation rentals. It is possible to book an all-inclusive stay here.
Vacation Rentals in Playa Hermosa
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.
Sol y Mar Condo 4C– Three bedroom condo that sleeps 6 guests. This is a ground level condo with large balcony area and outdoor grill. All condos have pool access and are directly on the beach.
Sol y Mar Condo #2 – A 3 bedroom 3 bath condo that has everything you would need for a comfortable stay.
Sol y Mar Condo #3 – 3 bedroom/ 3 bath condo on the beach in Playa Hermosa.
Casa Picapiedra – A 4 bedroom villa that can sleep up to 8 guests. There is a nice infinity pool with coastal views.
Casa Manana – A 4 bedroom villa that can sleep 8 guests. There is a nice outdoor area with pool and grill.
Playa Hermosa Travel Tips
-Keep in mind that there are two towns called Playa Hermosa in Costa Rica. The other Hermosa is located on the Central Pacific coast near Jaco.
When searching for hotels, activities, etc. make sure you are looking at Playa Hermosa in the Guanacaste region.
We suggest staying in the gulf of Papagayo if you would like a more all-inclusive resort vibe.
Head south to Playas del Coco for a bigger town with more action.
Packing for Playa Hermosa Costa Rica
If you are planning to spend most of your time at the beach we suggest bathing suits, sun coverage, a snorkel (some of the beaches around here are great for snorkeling because the water is so calm), and bug spray for once the sun goes down.
This is notoriously one of the hottest areas in the country so really go strong on that sun protection including UV protecting shirts and SPF50 sunblock.
Check out our Hermosa Packing List on Amazon for all the essentials.
Playa Hermosa Costa Rica FAQ
How far is Playa Hermosa from San Jose Costa Rica?
It will take about 5 hours to drive from Playa Hermosa to San Jose, depending on traffic. This drive is mostly all on highways.
How many days should I spend in Playa Hermosa Costa Rica?
This is the kind of place you could easily spend a week at. If you get bored with beach activities, there are plenty of day trip options in the area to keep you entertained.
Is it safe to swim at Playa Hermosa Costa Rica?
Yes, typically it is safe to swim at Playa Hermosa. Just keep an eye out for the flags on the beach. If there is a red flag, don’t swim.
Is Playa Hermosa worth visiting?
Yes, Playa Hermosa Costa Rica is a great place to visit during your vacation. It is close to the Liberia International Airport, has a nice beach, there are many fun things to do nearby, and the weather is almost always great.
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You Might Also Like Visiting
Playa Flamingo: Home to one of the nicest white sand beaches in the country and condo-style resorts
Las Catalinas: A car-free beach community that is home to several luxury accommodation options
Playas del Coco: A bustling beach town with nightlife and a good jumping off point for fun things to do
….if none of those appeal to you, check out our Guide to the Guanacaste Province for more ideas of places to visit in this area.