Playa Herradura

Just north of bustling Jacó, this small beach town, named for its horseshoe-shaped bay, is made up of hotels, a golf course, and a marina. Once a sleepy fishing village, it has transformed into one of the country’s fastest-developing areas. The entrance to town is marked by a shopping complex complete with fast-food chains and a surf shop. A paved road connecting the coastal highway to the beach dead-ends at the sand where three seafood shacks line the shores; the best is the more upscale El Pelicano. Golfers and sportfishing fans alike are drawn to the pristine beauty of Playa Herradura, and the placid waters tend to keep surfers farther down the coast, where waves are abundant.

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