Playa Hermosa Wildlife National Refuge Costa Rica

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In Costa Rica there are several Hermosa Beaches; one of them is in Guanacaste – which is not a surfing beach – and another is in Playa Hermosa Wildlife Refuge, which is located in the Central Pacific. This recently created refuge, December 2nd 1999, comprises the strip of beach where the mangrove swamp is. Birds and nesting Olive Ridley turtles may be seen here. In fact, the Playa Hermosa Wildlife Refuge is intended to protect the beach that serves as nesting site for the Olive Ridley turtle. These are one of the smallest sea turtles, weighing in at a mere 90 pounds. Females typically arrive solo or in small groups ashore to lay their eggs between the months of July and December.

Playa Hermosa is a place of undeniable beauty, with a broad grey-sand beach contrasted by pounding white surf. Although it is much less developed than neighboring Jaco, it attracts experienced surfers from around the world for its consistent waves which can reach as tall as 13ft, the annual surf contest and to the air of tranquility. Swimmers are advised to take caution as strong riptides are common. There are no organized turtle tours in this area; however visitors during the nesting season may spot an Olive Ridley come ashore at night. There are no public park facilities at this national wildlife refuge.

Getting to Playa Hermosa Wildlife National Refuge:

Drive north towards Puntarenas on route #27. Take the Pozón exit (to Jaco), and continue for about 42 km (26 miles), passing over the Tarcoles river, and then turn right at Hermosa Beach entrance and continue until you reach the Playa Hermosa Wildlife National Refuge, after passing the Jaco entrance. This route requires a total of 1.5 hour from San Jose.

From Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR)

Drive to the northeast towards Liberia. Once in Liberia, continue along the same highway to Puntarenas for about 120 km (75 miles). Once at the entrance to Puntarenas, continue on route #27 to San Jose for about 25 km (15 miles) until you reach the exit to Pozon and Jaco, take it and continue for about 42 km (26 miles), passing over the Tarcoles river, and then turn right at Hermosa Beach entrance and continue until you reach the Playa Hermosa Wildlife National Refuge, after passing the Jaco entrance. This route requires a total of 2.5 hours.

By bus

Take a bus from the route San Jose – Quepos / Manuel Antonio, which takes about 1 hour to Hermosa beach (Transportes Morales, 2223-5567).

By plane:

You can also take a flight from the Daniel Oduber Airport to the Quepos Airport, either with Sansa Airlines or Nature Air every day. From here you can rent a car and drive, or take a bus or taxi to Playa Hermosa Wildlife National Refuge, which takes about 1 hour.

Location: 5km (3 miles) south of Jaco. District: Jaco, canton: Garabito, in the province of Puntarenas. Zone postal code: 61101
GPS Coordinates: 9.574658,-84.602631 (9°34’28.77″N, 84°36’09.47″W)
Size: 68ha (109 acres)
Altitude: sea level
Central Pacific Conservation Area (ACOPAC) Telephone: +(506) 2416-7878
INFOTUR Tourist Information: 1192

Address map: Click here to view directions from Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), Alajuela, Costa Rica TO Playa Hermosa Wildlife National Refuge in Puntarenas, Costa Rica at Google Maps

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