Every year, Costa Rica sees 1.7 million tourists reach its shores, enjoy ist warmth and culture, and soak in La Pura Vida. The majority of these tourists want to visit the most popular and well-travelled sites—San Jose, Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio National Park, and other world famous places. However, for the adventurous few, there are still some relatively unexplored corners of Costa Rica that offer the excitement and adventure that can only be found off the beaten path.
This will be the first in a series of articles dedicated to unearthing the farthest, most wild reaches of Costa Rica, and sharing them with the adventurers among you.
Approximately 16km outside of a well-known travel destination called Tamarindo—is a hidden gem that’s known to locals as “little Hawaii”. With such an epic name, Playa Avellanas has big shoes to fill, and it does NOT disappoint.
This tiny community is serene, quiet, lush, untouched, and wild. The beach itself is relatively untouched by western commercialism, and offers a TRUE escape from the noise.
The surfers who call Playa Avellanas may not like me sharing this local secret, but the place is magic for surfing. Wide open, powdery sand beaches that offer offshore swells of up to 18 feet. Surfers, I’m talking directly to you now: you NEED to go to Playa Avellanas if you’re looking for a relatively unknown spot that consistently delivers top notch surf.
Avellanas is incredibly unique among Costa Rican hideaways in that there is really no town to speak of. There are however a scattering of restaurants and shops—but you won’t see the hustle and bustle of larger towns, very little vehicle traffic, and little to no commercialism. The hotels are super laid back, and are mostly just chill surfer hangouts with basic amenities. If you’re looking for a ritzy 5 star resort, pack your bags and keep moving up the coast because you won’t find it in Playa Avellanas. Oh by the way, it will be difficult to find an ATM in Playa Avellanas, so bring cash.
If you’re a birdwatcher, or are simply looking to spot some wildlife up close, Playa Avellanas offers adventure in spades. From dolphins, to humpback whales, to gorgeous multi-colored crabs—there’s no shortage of animal pics for your instagram page. In my humble opinion, the most magical, breathtaking event in Playa Avellanas occurs from June to December every year. The Playa becomes a nesting area for sea turtles. Organized tours offer a glimpse of the nests, and serve a double purpose of scaring potential predators away.
Get Away From It All
It’s one of those sayings that’s overused, and everyone has a different idea about what “getting away from it all” actually means. For some, getting away from it all is simply going to a place that isn’t your home for some rest and relaxation. But for those who truly like to unplug from society when they travel, Playa Avellanas is for you.