Beach towns in Guanacaste

Old Dec 19th, 2006, 11:52 AM
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Beach towns in Guanacaste

My husband and I will be visiting Costa Rica this winter – we are flying to Liberia and would like to stay at a hotel in a beach town, with access to local restaurants, shops, etc. It looks like three of the best options are Coco, Tamarindo, or Flamingo. Any input on these towns? Any we’ve overlooked?
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 04:59 PM
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For proximity to the the airport, you can't beat Playas del Coco--or Playa Hermosa--even Ocotal. None of that area is quite as built up as Flamingo or Tamarindo, but is moving in that direction. There are a lot of good restaurants, Ginger topping the list IMO. Also, it is nice to be close to Rincon de la Vieja, an excellent area north of Liberia for day trips. You might also enjoy visiting Miravalles and Tenorio volcanoes--nice parks and hiking trails. All easy drives from the Hermosa area (Hermosa of the north Pacific--not the one close to Jaco).

Flamingo area is also one of our favorites. We like Playa Flamingo, Playa Conchal, Playa Potrero, Playa Penca, etc.--all in the same general area. From the Hermosa (Sardinal) area (and vice versa) you can drive the 30 min or so Congo Trail through the country to get to the Flamingo area (Potrero). Much quicker than going around on the highway.

Although we've stayed in Tam. before, wouldn't do it these days. Too hectic there. We do like to stop in for a visit when in the area (good place to use internet and go to the bank--and shop!); but it's only about a 30 min. drive south from Flamingo, so we prefer to stay in that area instead.

The Flamingo/Potrero/Sugar Beach area would put you squarely in the middle, and you could easily visit Tamarindo/Playa Grande (to the south) or Coco/Hermosa (to the north) from there.

If you are actually LOOKING for someplace more developed with lots of restaurant/hotel options, then Tamarindo would fit the bill.
When are you going?
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 06:03 AM
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Hi Shillmac, thanks for your response. We're going Jan 13-20. We have been planning to spend 4 days on the beach, and 3 days at Rincon, but so far that's only ideas (we don't yet have hotels). I posted a separate message about lodges near Rincon - I have been trying to make contact but no luck yet.

To answer one of your questions, we're not "looking" for things to be built up, congested and overly touristy - we just want the ability to check out a different restaurant each night, go to the market to pick up snacks. We definitely prefer local flavor! One other thing, we haven't planned to rent a car, but could reconsider if you'd advise so.

I've been checking out your other posts about CR, thanks for being so generous with information!
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 11:02 AM
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playa hermosa is a much nicer beach than coco.
its smaller and theres some nice restaurants as shillimac says ginger is lovely, villa sueno bit expensive but very nice!
theres a 'local' bar /soda called pescado loco but the food is overpriced and not good!
its one of the most expensive areas of costa rica so not a lot of true local feeling.
my fave soda in that area is papagayo soda in coco,all the locals and us expats eat there, its on the main road.
im not a big fan of flamingo but as shillimac points out its a great base for some of the nicest beaches in the area. also hermosa is only 35 mins from liberia airport and is a good base for trips to rincon which is well worth visiting.

http://costa.rica.typepad.com/costa_...ome/index.html
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 11:08 AM
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oh and in coco i recommend hotel villa flores in hermosa el velero hotel is right on the beach!
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 08:14 PM
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If you already know you are interested in spending some time in the Rincon area, you might want to look seriously at Playa Hermosa/Coco. It would be a perfect location for you. And as I mentioned earlier, you can always explore to the south via the Congo Trail.

Yes, you should rent a car. The driving in this area is very easy, and it would make everything so much more convenient for you. It's a matter of doing what you want WHEN you want--a lot to be said for that!

I didn't mean to imply that you were looking for things to be more touristy--but it is true that the more touristy areas have more in the way of restaurant options. Flamingo has several good restaurants, and 10 minutes south of there, in the little town of Playa Brasilito, there are more excellent dining options. One of our all time favorites is Camaron Dorado. Very romantic dining right there on the beach, washing your hands in bowls of flower water!

Gee, that's less than a month! You should probably get your hotel secured. I agree with Guanacaste--we thought El Velero looked like a nice little laid back hotel right on the beach--love that close proximity to the water. We stayed at Villas del Suenos and it was nice as well. About a 3 minute walk to the beach. A little more upscale, but as I said, El Velero looked good to us! The casual aspect appeals to us.

Check out Borinquen Resort in the Rincon de la Vieja. Happy planning--you're sure to have a great time!
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