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 nonsurfers 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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