Playa Hermosa Costa Rica: A Family-Friendly Beach Town

A calm Pacific Coast destination near the Liberia Airport

playas del coco
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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 this area about once a year because Thomas loves fishing from here and I love to use this area as a jumping-off point for activities.

We created this guide to give you all the insight on visiting Playa Hermosa during your Costa Rican vacation. In this guide we cover weather, restaurants, things to do, hotels, safety tips, packing advice, and more. 

So, let’s get to it!

Playa Hermosa Background Info

Nearest International Airport

Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (also known as Guanacaste or Liberia Airport) in Liberia

Rent jet skis, take a catamaran tour, relax 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

Best Hotel

Hotel Bosque del Mar

Travel Tip

Before we get into anything, you should know that there are two beach villages called Playa Hermosa in Costa Rica. The other Hermosa is located on the Central Pacific Coast just south of Jaco.

Number of Days to Visit

3+ days. You could easily make this your home base for a week long trip and enjoy many fun activities within an hour drive.

playa hermosa map

Map Of Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa is a beautiful beach town located in the northern part of Guanacaste Province near Liberia International Airport and the Nicaragua border.

The village is located just south of the Papagayo Peninsula and just north of Playas del Coco.

This area is known for its spectacular views of the coastline.

Playa Hermosa Weather

playa hermosa beach

The weather here is typically the warmest and driest in the country.

Here is a month-by-month breakdown of what you can expect.

January: This area experiences dry conditions with temperatures typically ranging from 75°F to 88°F. January may have some breezy days.

February: Warm and dry weather continues, with temperatures averaging between 75°F and 90°F. Everything starts to get brown and dried out after several months of no rain.

March: Expect consistently sunny days with temperatures ranging from 77°F to 92°F. Dry conditions continue. Sometimes there are forest fires.

April: The dry season starts to transition, with temperatures between 75°F and 88°F. There might be occasional short afternoon rain showers.

May: The beginning of the rainy season sees temperatures ranging from 73°F to 85°F. Afternoon showers become more regular.

June: Temperatures hover between 72°F and 84°F, with increased rainfall. Showers are common in the afternoons and evenings.

July: Amidst the rainy season, temperatures range from 71°F to 82°F. There might be occasional breaks in the rain during a “Little Summer.”

August: A wet month, with temperatures between 70°F and 81°F. Rainfall is consistent and can be heavy.

September: One of the rainiest months, expect temperatures between 70°F and 80°F. Daily downpours, especially in the afternoons, are common.

October: Continuous rain characterizes October, with temperatures averaging between 69°F to 79°F. Rain often starts earlier in the day and can be prolonged.

November: The rainy season begins to taper off, with temperatures from 70°F to 82°F. Occasional showers persist but become less frequent.

December: The dry season returns, with temperatures between 72°F and 86°F. The weather dries up, and clear skies set the stage for another nice season in the coming months.

Even with all that info, you just never really know here though. Sometimes we will have rain all day during the rainy season and other times we will have several days of no rain at all.

We suggest getting up early and enjoying the morning before the rain rolls in. The sun usually rises around 5:30am and I must admit, it is the best time of the day. 

Check out our guide to Costa Rica Weather by Month for more info

Pro Tip: If traveling during the rainy season just ignore the weather forecast. They often predict rain all day and that is just not true. 

Flights to Playa Hermosa

car rental liberia airport

The easiest way to get here is by flying into the Liberia International Airport. From the airport, it is only about a 20-minute drive to the town.

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.

Check out our guides:

Transportation to Playa Hermosa

From either the San Jose or Liberia Airport, there are a few different ways you can get here.

These are:

Driving to Playa Hermosa from Liberia Airport

The drive from Liberia Airport is very easy for all drivers. It consists of one main highway and then a few well-maintained side streets.

Check out our guide to renting a car from Liberia Airport for more info

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.

🚗 Reserve Your Rental Car with 10% Discount 🚗

Driving to Playa Hermosa from San Jose International Airport

The drive from San Jose to Playa Hermosa is long but manageable on well-maintained roads; a 4×4 is unnecessary.

Starting from the airport, take the toll road route 27 towards the Pacific Coast. These tolls can be paid in US dollars or Costa Rican colones.

Merge onto Route 1 near Puntarenas. Here you may encounter roadwork. There are limited meal stops available, so Plaza Limonal is our go-to break point for gas, Taco Bell, Subway, and an ATM.

Continue on Route 1 to Liberia. This is one of the country’s best highways but pay attention to the speed limit. It changes constantly.

Take a left on Route 21 after Liberia Airport and head to Playa Hermosa.

This will typically take between 4 and 5 hours.

Taxi to Playa Hermosa

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. 

Public Bus

One of the nice things about San Jose is that it is the central hub for all public buses. It is possible to get from almost anywhere in the country to San Jose by public bus.

A bus runs about once every 15 minutes from the airport to downtown San Jose. To get to the bus stop, exit the airport and walk to the main road. You should see the stop.

If you would like to take the bus from another location in the country to downtown San Jose, check out the website The Bus Schedule for all the routes.

Shared Shuttle

A shared shuttle to Playa Hermosa is an easy way to get to the beach town from another area of the country without the stress of driving or the higher price tag of a private shuttle.

If coming from the Liberia Airport, we suggest a taxi. We only suggest a shuttle if coming from a place further away.

We always have the best luck finding convenient shuttles on the website Bookaway.

🚐 Reserve Your Shared Shuttle to Playa Hermosa 🚐

Private Transfer

If you don’t feel comfortable driving, a private transfer is always a good option. Adobe Car Rental now provides an excellent transfer service.

A trusted driver will take you from any place in the country directly to your place of choice in Playa Hermosa 

We only suggest this for further distances. From the airport, you are better off taking a taxi rather than. private shuttle.

Get a Private Transfer Price Quote to Playa Hermosa

Transportation in Playa Hermosa

The town 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 you for free within 12 miles of their office.

So, you can easily have it dropped off at your hotel. 

Our #1 Car Rental Choice
Playa Hermosa Costa Rica: A Family-Friendly Beach Town

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

The Playa Hermosa Beach

Playa Hermosa Costa Rica: A Family-Friendly Beach Town

The Playa Hermosa beach is the perfect place for swimming, taking a beach walk, relaxing, or participating in water sports.

The best way to access the beach is by staying at one of the nearby hotels and walking to one of the entrances. Additionally, there is a parking lot and occasionally street parking spots are available. You will likely need to pay a few dollars for someone to watch your vehicle at these spaces.

On the beach, there is a roped-off swimming area and the water is usually very calm. Definitely check the current conditions and make sure a blue flag is flying before getting in the water.

Just a warning, there are occasionally stingrays in the water here. They won’t typically bother you, but stings have been known to happen sometimes.

Also, watch out for jet skis. They typically take off from the beach here and are sometimes completely irresponsible.

Things to Do in Playa Hermosa

There are so many things to do in the surrounding area. A few of our favorite activities are:

Some other fun things to do include:

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. 

Visit Rincon de la Vieja

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. 

⤷ Arrange Your Fun-Filled Day Tour Here

Go Beach Hopping

Playa Hermosa Costa Rica: A Family-Friendly Beach Town

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. 

Book Your Fishing Trip Here

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 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. 

Visit Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

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.

Restaurants in Playa Hermosa

villas sol playa hermosa view

A few of our favorite places are….

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 and watch the sunset 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 Hotels

***Our #1 Choice***

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. 

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. 

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. 

Villas Sol Hotel and Resort: A resort that also features vacation rentals. It is possible to book an all-inclusive stay here.

Hermosa Vacation Rentals

playa hermosa hotel view costa rica

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 Safety Tips

playa hermosa beach

Playa Hermosa is generally really safe.

Your biggest safety concern should be petty theft. To combat that we suggest:

  • Keep your valuables secure and refrain from openly displaying expensive items. 
  • Don’t leave things in your rental car and always park in secure lots.
  • Dressing in a relaxed way will also help you blend in.

If something happens, the emergency number in Costa Rica is 9-1-1. You should be able to get a police officer that speaks English if you need.

Also, always purchase travel insurance. It doesn’t just cover injury, but also helps if things get stolen. Our go-to travel insurance company for Costa Rica is a company called Heymondo. They are great!

Their comprehensive plans offer 24/7 assistance, trip cancellation and interruption coverage, lost baggage coverage, assistance in case of medical issues, as well as the option to add-on adventure activity coverage. 

↳ Get Your Travel Insurance Quote

Packing for Playa Hermosa


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.

We Love:

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

Our Opinion on Playa Hermosa

playas del coco sunset view

Playa Hermosa is one of our favorite beach towns in the country. As I mentioned above, we come here about once a year and always spend about a week at a condo on the beach.

We love this area because the beach is great for days when you just want to relax, but the town is also a good jumping off point for TONS of fun activities.

Plus, the proximity to the Liberia Airport makes it easily accessible.

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 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.

Costa Rica Travel Details: What You Need to Know

🚗 Should I rent a car in Costa Rica?

Having a rental car will give you the most flexibility when traveling in Costa Rica. This will allow you to visit more off-the-beaten-path destinations and will allow you to take fun day trips on your own.

Save 10% Plus Other Perks with Our Adobe Rental Car Discount

☀️ Should I buy travel insurance for Costa Rica?

Yes, travel insurance is always a good idea. It is not just for illness or injury, but also lost luggage, delayed trips, and more!

We like Heymondo for Costa Rica travel insurance.

✈️ What is the best way to book a flight?

Usually, we have the best luck finding great prices with Skyscanner. Check for flights to both San Jose Airport (SJO) and Liberia Airport (LIR).

🛏️ What is the best way to book my Costa Rica hotels?

We highly suggest for hotel bookings and typically use VRBO for Costa Rica vacation rentals.

🗣️What is the main language in Costa Rica?

The main language in Costa Rica is Spanish. Most people working in tourism speak at least some English.

💰 What is the currency in Costa Rica?

The currency used in Costa Rica is the Costa Rican colón (CRC). However, the US dollar is widely accepted in most tourist areas

🌴 Is Costa Rica safe?

Generally, Costa Rica is considered safe for tourists. However, like any travel destination, it’s best to use caution and be aware of your surroundings.

🛂 Do you need a passport to go to Costa Rica?

Yes, Costa Rica is its own country. You will need a passport to visit.