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Which "Playa" should we use as a home base?

Houston, Texas
2 posts
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Which "Playa" should we use as a home base?

My extended family (4 couples late 20s - mid-50s) is planning a vacation to Costa Rica and has settled on the area between Tamarindo and just north of Playa Hermosa. The problem? It all looks the same! Our group would like to do a variety of things from scuba diving and swimming to zip lining to rafting - we're up for just about everything. We want to rent a house on the beach and both Playa Hermosa and Playa Flamingo look great for that; they also both seem equally close to diving trip options. But what about the non-water activities? If we want to hike and zip line and see the cool nature of Costa Rica, which location would be best? I know none of the beach is right next to these activities, but are we better off staying on the north end or heading south on that coast? Keeping that in mind, if there are places equally close to these activities, then which would be better for restaurants and shops? We aren't tied to Hermosa or Flamingo, but don't know where to start. Any advice would be welcome!

Eugene, OR
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1. Re: Which "Playa" should we use as a home base?

I liked Samara the best. Flamingo or portrero was nice. Stayed at the endless beach condos (playa portrero) and that was great to be ocean front with a pool and no people on the beach. Hermosa can be boring, but nice beach. Was there today and did a great snorkling with Rodolfo, can post if you want his info. Plays del coco not as nice, but way more great restaurants and stores. If you have a car you can drive to beaches and stay in one of the larger areas.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,653 posts
35 reviews
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2. Re: Which "Playa" should we use as a home base?

Samara great choice...


Wayne, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Playa Conchal
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1,624 posts
40 reviews
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3. Re: Which "Playa" should we use as a home base?

I am most familiar with the Flamingo area, and dive out of there all the time. It is the closest marina to the Catalina Islands, which is where most of the diving in the north pacific is done. There are great restaurants there, and you are striking distance to other great food in Brasilito and Tamarindo.

As for activities, the Congo Canopy Tour is nearby and one of my favorites. You can also easily get to Palo Verde for great wildlife boat tours and Rincon de la Vieja for volcano experience, hot springs/mud fun and more adventure touring.

Playa Hermosa...
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867 posts
5 reviews
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4. Re: Which "Playa" should we use as a home base?

If you use Playa Hermosa as a main base you are much closer to the activities you are planning on doing. Playa Hermosa has 2 dive shops and Coco (10 min away) has two more.

Congo Trail Canopy is 20 min away, Borinqien and Buena Vista (Rincon) are 1 1/2 hrs away and offer canopy tours, ATV, Horseback riding, hiking, mud baths, hot springs. Add two hours to these locations from Samara. Snorkeling, sunset tours are available in Playa Hermosa offering numerous good locations. Night life in Coco, lots of restaurants and bars, good grocery shopping, Playa Hermosa has a great beach and many villas available for weekly rentals to accomodate your group.

Edited: 20 June 2011, 18:17
5. Re: Which "Playa" should we use as a home base?

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