Help me choose: Playa Hermosa or MA?

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Mar 21st, 2018, 06:25 PM
  #1
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Help me choose: Playa Hermosa or MA?

My family is going for 10 days in August, flying into/out of SJO. I've already booked Lost Iguana in Arenal and am trying to figure out second half of trip. I'm looking for beachfront hotel on a nice beach (maybe with potential for surfing) and a few restaurants nearby. I went to Tamarindo 15 years ago and I'm looking for something a bit more low key.
So I have been looking at the area around Playa Hermosa (Bosque del Mar came up) or Tulemar (which might be a tad out of our budget, but looks great). Any thoughts on those two areas/hotels or even someplace else for what I'm after? Thanks for any advice!!!
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Mar 22nd, 2018, 01:55 AM
  #2
 
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We've stayed at Tulemar in MA and absolutely loved it, one of our favorite hotels. Great service - they provide you with a concierge who can do everything from stock your refrigerator to help you plan activities. They have their own beach and shuttle that runs down to the beach and back. It's a beautiful property with gorgeous views and lots of good open air restaurants nearby that you can walk to. Tons of wildlife on the property - we saw monkeys, sloths, and an aracari. Also have free use of boogie boards and kayaks. Not sure how rainy August might be since that's rainy season. Have stayed at Lost Iguana several times as well and enjoyed it.
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Mar 22nd, 2018, 05:13 AM
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Flying in/out of SJO, I would stay with one of the beaches on the Central Pacific. Bosque del Mar is in Guanacaste more suitable to land at Liberia. There is another Playa Hermosa one hour north of Manuel Antonio. It is a laid back area most know for its volcanic sand and surfing of a more advanced level.
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Mar 22nd, 2018, 06:41 AM
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Barba Roja, Cafe Milagro, and Cafe Agua Azul are good places to eat in the MA area if you end up going that route. Ronny's Place/Mi Lugar is good too, a little further away. Most spots are open air with pretty views.
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Mar 22nd, 2018, 06:56 AM
  #5
RAC
 
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Agree that Playa Hermosa (Guanacaste) is not a great choice for this trip. Have you looked at south Nicoya peninsula areas, like Montezuma? It's a gorgeous, somewhat bohemian surfer town with good food. We really loved Ylang Ylang Beach Resort (which featured daily sightings of monkeys and those beautiful purple and orange forest crabs). Fantastic food there, really relaxed vibe, good service.
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Mar 23rd, 2018, 09:22 AM
  #6
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Thanks, I'll check out Montezuma.

Not sure I get issue with Playa Hermosa though. It's about 4 from Arenal and another 4 to SJO. And I think MA is 5 from Arenal and 3 from SJO. So they both have decent amount of driving?
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Mar 23rd, 2018, 09:36 AM
  #7
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You're correct, it's not any less convenient than MA or Montezuma (more convenient than Montezuma actually), it's more the fact that Playa Hermosa is sooooo convenient for Liberia Airport it seems a waste to drive from there to SJO--kind of like a "save it for when you fly into Liberia" place.

It isn't much of a surfer beach though. Very calm water.
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Mar 23rd, 2018, 12:29 PM
  #8
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Okay, thanks! The difference in airfare was pretty substantial to fly back from Liberia for some reason. If we end up going to Guanacaste, I thought we could stop someplace overnight on the way back to SJO.

I didn't know that about the beach at Playa Hermosa, sounds a bit too calm for my family.
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Mar 23rd, 2018, 12:56 PM
  #9
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I think you'd like Ylang Ylang--it feels like you're on your own island there--no road access--can only be reached via beach (they have a jeep drive from town to carry you and your luggage there).
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