We visited Playa Avellanas recently as a spontaneous trip from Tamarindo. I had been wanting to visit Lola’s beach bar on Playa Avellanas for awhile after seeing the beautiful pictures of it on TripAdvisor.
Thomas was looking for a relaxed place we could get some lunch away from the craziness of downtown Tamarindo, so I suggested we head to Lola’s and check out the beach while we were at it. It ended up being our favorite experience while in Tamarindo!
Getting to Playa Avellanas
When I entered “Lola’s” into Waze (download the free Waze app for the best directions in Costa Rica), I realized from downtown Tamarindo it would take about 40 minutes to get there. I knew Thomas would object to driving that far so I may have told him it would only take about 25 minutes. Shh, don’t tell him!
Make sure to put “Lola’s” instead of “Playa Avellanas” into your GPS. This will direct you to the parking lot right next to Lola’s and you’ll be more in the middle of the beach rather than at the crowded end.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a direct route from downtown Tamarindo to Playa Avellanas. Instead, you have to go inland and then back out to the beach.
Also, just a warning, about half of the drive is on a flat unpaved road. Having an SUV would definitely be preferable, but you could probably make the drive in a normal car. The locals do it, but it might not be very comfortable.
At one point Thomas said “Where are you taking us? There is nothing out here.” I tried to act like everything was totally fine, but I have to admit that I was getting a bit worried that I was leading us to nowhere.
It was a surprise to both of us when we arrived at a full parking lot with several people around and a beautiful beach in front of us. So, if you think you are in the wrong spot, you probably aren’t. It’s just an oasis in the middle of nowhere!
Parking at Playa Avellanas
There is a dirt parking lot at the end of the road next Lola’s. The lot is not very big, but we were there on a Saturday and had no problem finding a spot.
There is a parking attendant watching cars. In Costa Rica, it is customary to give the attendant a few dollars when you leave as a thank you for watching your car.
Even with a parking attendant watching your car, it is best to not leave anything of value in your car. You never know here and we like to be a bit cautious.
What to Bring to Playa Avellanas
As with all beaches in Costa Rica, the sun here is hot hot hot! When I first moved to Costa Rica I thought, “I tan easily and I’m used to being in Florida often. I can handle the sun.” Yea, no! The sun here is on another level. You’ve got to remember, Costa Rica is not far from the equator. Because of this I highly recommend SPF 50 suntan lotion, a hat, and a surfing type shirt for when you are in the water. In fact, we recently wrote a post all about the sun in Costa Rica and how to protect yourself here.
Also, having a microfiber towel will be a lifesaver here. It is so humid in this area that nothing ever dries! Microfiber towels are fast drying (or as dry as they will get) and we like them because they roll up a lot smaller than regular towels to bring in your luggage.
Helpful Tips for Playa Avellanas
– When you get on the beach, head to the left if you want to have a more secluded area.
– There are plenty of trees at the top of the beach if you would like a shady spot.
– If you have a surfboard or rent one for a day from Tamarindo, this is the perfect spot to surf away from all the people in Tamarindo.
– This beach is super long and great for a nice beach walk.
– This is a GREAT spot to catch the sunset.
– Please be careful while swimming here. We saw plenty of people in the water, but there are rip currents and big waves.
Lola’s at Playa Avellanas
The first thing we did when we arrived at Playa Avellana was to grab a table at Lola’s looking out onto the beach. It was the perfect spot to relax on a hot day!
– The menu was good with lots of variety. You can expect to pay US prices here. There are some wonderful fish options, salads, tacos, pizzas etc.
– The cocktails were great, but a bit pricey (in my opinion). I really liked that they use biodegradable straws instead of plastic.
– The service was a bit slow but they were super sweet!
– There are hammocks near the beach if you want to relax and enjoy your cocktail in a hammock. Take a picture while sitting in a hammock on the beach with a cocktail and I’m pretty sure you’ll be the envy of all your family and friends back home. 😉
– We didn’t go visit Lola near the bar, but you should!
Spoiler Alert: Lola is a huge pig who sometimes goes into the ocean! 🙂
If you have any questions or suggestions about Playa Avellanas just leave them in the comment section below. We love to hear from our readers and are always happy to help you out!
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