Playas del Coco lies 35 kilometres (22 miles) west of Liberia, Guanacaste’s main hub. Its close proximity to the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia means you can get off the plane and be sipping a cold one in less than 30 minutes. You can’t beat that for location! The new CIMA Hospital is only 20 minutes away making this a great location for retirees, families with children and those looking for a cosmetic surgery holiday.
This former fishing village is a popular destination for Ticos and international travelers alike. It offers a variety of nightlife and restaurants. Some of the popular restaurants include Papagayo Seafood, Coco Palms, Casa Maria Bonita at Ladera del Mar, Las Olas Seafood, Citron in the Pacifico Retail mall, Jardines Tropicales and Soda Teresita. Most evenings (and well into the night) you can hear plenty of music coming from the open air bars and night clubs in town – from the sounds of Latin America’s top musicians to Rock & Roll. A few of the famous (or should I say infamous) clubs are Zi Lounge, Beach Bums, Lizard Lounge and Coconutz Sports Bar. Happy hours range from noon to 7 pm depending on the establishment, so bar hopping is a common past time for all who want to enjoy the laid back atmosphere and energy of a beach town in action. For those looking for a snack on the run, you’ll find a Subway, Texas BBQ Burgers, Asia-Tica Chinese & Thai Cuisine and of course several pizza joints. For those with a sweet tooth, you don’t want to miss out on an ice cream or gelato at the Italian ice cream shop or POPS.
The bank, church, police station and new post office are located along Coco’s main boulevard as are well-stocked supermarkets like the Auto-Mercado and Luperon, hardware stores, a variety of pharmacies, taxi services and of course fabulous souvenir shops. There are a number of medical clinics in town offering medical care in Spanish and English with a 24-hour emergency care complete with a new ambulance service.
Sailboats and fishing boats can be seen scattered throughout the bay offering a great opportunity to watch local fisherman at work. Playas del Coco is one of the most popular beaches in the country. It is best known for its sports fishing, surfing, scuba diving and snorkeling. Originally known as the main Costa Rican hub for surfers who want to take in surf spots like Ollie’s Point and Witches Rock, this busy beach has become a prime launch site for many dive shops. Local waters feature rich marine life with huge schools of fish and other marine animals. Many rock formations can be explored with good visibility. Humpback whales, dolphins, Olive Ridley and Leatherback turtles, eagle and manta rays as well as other wildlife can be spotted in the waters around Coco.
The soft volcanic sand of the Playas del Coco beach provides a wonderful place to walk along the shoreline especially when the tide is out. Surrounded by steep hills, this horseshoe shaped bay area is the ideal place to have fun, relax, take in the view or spend the day people watching. The new boardwalk, affectionately called “Amor de Temporada” is complete. The name comes from a song written by Guanacastecan Héctor Zúñiga Rovira in 1930. It’s a sad love story about an April romance that ends with him riding out of Coco on his horse with only the moon to accompany him and his sweetheart in love with another man.
The weather in Guanacaste is the best in all of Costa Rica. The climate is perhaps Costa Rica’s most temperate, averaging 85°F with only 55-65 inches of rainfall annually. Sunshine washes over the region most days even during the rainy season, making outdoor activities from hiking to windsurfing to sport fishing or lazing about on the beach a year-round possibility. The strong Papagayo winds blow in during the dry months to provide a wonderful cooling effect especially while you’re relaxing in the warm sun. With the dry season comes the busy tourist season, but here’s a secret not everyone knows about: Guanacaste is a nice place to visit year round. Yes, the dry season is a nice reprieve from the Northern Hemisphere’s cold winter, but during the months of May through November the area is thick and green from the almost daily rain showers. Characterized by sweeping savannas and rolling hills that turn dense and green in the rainy season the area around Coco provides an interesting change of scenery as the dry season leaves and the rainy season begins. The spectacular flowering trees herald the change of seasons and one knows that soon everything will be green and lush again.