Playa Avellanas

Traditionally a far cry from its northern neighbor's boom of real estate development, Avellanas has seen Tamarindo escapees slowly encroaching on it for years, building private houses and a smattering of small hotels. The 2008 opening of the massive gated community of Hacienda Pinilla—complete with a JW Marriott and golf course—marked the beginning of major development. As you bump along the dusty, rough beach road, most of the cars you pass have surfboards on top. But non-surfers are welcome, as Avellanas (pronounced ah-vey-ya-nas) is a lovely spot for anyone who just likes sea and sand.

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