If sportfishing and golf are your priorities, this is a good option. If you're looking for nature, seclusion, a beautiful beach, or a bargain, keep driving. Rocky Playa Herradura, a poor representative of Costa Rica's breathtaking beaches (although its tranquil waters make it considerably safer for swimming and stand up paddleboarding than most central and southern Pacific beaches), gets its name from the Spanish word for "horseshoe," referring to the shape of the deep bay in which it lies. Playa Herradura's safety factor coupled with its proximity to the city (it is the closest beach to San José), has turned it into a popular weekend getaway for Josefinos, who compete for shade beneath the sparse palms and Indian almond trees that line the beach. On the north end of the beach is Los Sueños development, which includes a large marina, shopping center, hundreds of condos, a golf course, and a massive Marriott hotel. This is also the sport fishing capital of Costa Rica, though the black sand makes the water look somewhat dark at times. Amenities: food and drink at hotels; shops; toilets at marina. Best for: swimming; boating; fishing.
Playa Herradura, 61101, Costa Rica