Esterillos, Costa Rica
20 minutes south of Hermosa Beach and 77 miles from San Jose, Esterillos is located between Jaco and Quepos, in the province of Puntarenas.
If you don’t happen to surf, there are plenty of activities, sun and fun for the whole family; go horseback riding at low tide along the beach, take a hike or simply relax in a hammock under the palm and almond trees that line this pristine coast.
On the north side, there is a rocky beach called ‘sirena’ (mermaid), best surfed in the mornings and at high tide, although, if you go further left, the bottom becomes sandy once again. At low tide, leave your longboard by side and stroll down the beach to discover numerous fossilization or swim in the protected tide pools below the cliffs.
To get to the east part of Esterillos one has to cross a grass airstrip that runs parallel to the beach, so before crossing, along with looking left and right, make sure to look up!
West Esterillos is located next to Hermosa beach, this 7km strip is great for jogging, and the waves are better equipped for longboards and beginners; the rocky Punta Judas divides these two beaches.
At the center of Esterillos is another excellent surf spot, less crowded than Hermosa Beach, called La Felicidad, named after the hotel that is directly in front. Along with watching out for the strong currents, keep an eye out for crocodiles around the river mouth, in the rainy season they get washed into the Pacific Ocean.
Especially on weekends Costa Rican families frequent this beach, if you want to mingle with the locals, this is one of the few beaches where there are still more ‘tico’s’ than tourists.
How to get there:
Bus from San Jose: There are no direct buses to Esterillos, but routes to Quepos and Manuel Antonio stop along the way. Buses to Quepos and Manuel Antonio depart from San Jose’s Coca Cola bus station (Avenida 1 and Calle 16) and take about two hours to get to Esterillos;7:50; 6:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 12:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 2223-5567.
Car from San Jose: Take Route 27 outside of town then Exit right onto Route 34 toward Orotina. Folllow signs driving past Jaco for about 20 minutes look for signs for Esterillos on your right.
From Jaco: Continue south on Route 34 for about 20 minutes. Look for signs for Esterillos on your right.
Summary: Three beaches known for surfing; attractions and nightlife of Jaco and Manuel Antonio.
Attractions: Carara National Park, secluded beaches
Activities: Adventure tours, sport fishing, surfing
Caters to: Couples/honeymooners, independent travelers, surfers
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