Playa Hermosa, the Most Beautiful Beach of the Santa Teresa Area

Playa Hermosa is considered to be the most beautiful beach around the Santa Teresa area, and Hermosa (“beautiful beach” in Spanish). Older maps show this as the original name from as early as 1975 and possibly before.

This beach is very long and the flattest beach around. At low tide it’s really huge, and can be epically beautiful for photography, since the wet sand will reflect the setting sun. At high tide, the beach almost disappears, and the surf tends to close out. The best surf time is medium tide. The point break can be surfed at any time of day. There’s a very powerful channel which can be dangerous for swimmers when the waves are big. This channel is on the north side, near the rocky point, so watch out for it. There are a few rocks out there where the waves are breaking, especially at low tide, but you should be able to spot and avoid them.

It’s an excellent surf beach, with a wide beach break with lefts and right from the center, and a point break to the north. Beyond this, it’s mostly rocky beaches until Playa Manzanillo, but there are a few beautiful sandy coves that you can often find deserted, and perfect for a romantic picnic.

Playa Hermosa at sunset - an epic surf beach north of Santa Teresa

There isn’t much of a town here. It has several good hotels, several rental villas, a few surf camps, and one small grocery store. In the center of the Hermosa town area is the “Playa Hermosa Valley” international school, and many of the children of foreigners living in Santa Teresa send their kids here. Hermosa has a road going up the hill that goes back down to Manzanillo, or to the right you can get back to Cobano, as long as the Rio Negro doesn’t have too much water or mud.

Where does Playa Hermosa start and Santa Teresa end? No one seems to know exactly, but somewhere north of Santa Teresa, the hubbub of the surf village ends and a peaceful community begins. Playa Hermosa is the most beautiful beach in the southern Nicoya Peninsula, and despite all the tourists in the area, is still to this day one of the most deserted beaches. There’s no development on this beach, except for an occasional house tucked back in the trees. The hills above have little development as well, although much of it has been sold in the last year or two, and more development is expected both above and near the beach.

If you’re looking for a beautiful beach without many people, this is the place for you. It’s a 20 minute drive north of the crossroads at Playa Carmen.

Located in Playa Hermosa:

Hermosa Tidepool – Giant tidepool – lots of fun at low tide
Koji’s Restaurant – Costa Rica’s best sushi
Shaka Beach Retreat – Surf camp at Playa Hermosa

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