Which beach is best

Old Jan 31st, 2007, 12:22 PM
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Which beach is best

I'm planning a trip to Guanacaste, and am trying to decide between Sugar Beach Hotel (in Playa Pan de Azucar) and Hotel Bula Bula (Playa Grande). Anyone have advice?
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 03:14 PM
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Both are a bit remote. I think Playa Grande might be more swimmable--I remember lots of rocks at Hotel Sugar Beach (didn't stay, just toured the grounds one afternoon).
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 06:58 PM
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Thanks. Do you have another less remote recommendation, perhaps something right on the beach?
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Old Jan 31st, 2007, 07:37 PM
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bscho,
Perhaps "remote" is a bit strong. What I should have said is that both are not particularly easy to drive to, but certainly not that difficult. Hotel Sugar Beach is about 10 min. down a bit of a rough road out of Playa Potrero. It is all by itself there, so you would have to drive that little distance every day getting in and out. Nice hotel, though. I really haven't heard anyone who has stayed there complain about it.

Playa Grande is someplace we hope to stay this summer. We visited there last summer and laughed because it all the cars were driving in the ditch rather than on the road to avoid the ruts. Most roads are quite a bit smoother than that! But it was okay. At least it is a destination in and of itself and not just one hotel.

Playa Ocotal gets good reviews, easier to get to. We have friends who just rented a villa there (Villas Cascada) and they loved it.

I think you would enjoy any of these locations. Sugar Beach is close to Potrero and Flamingo and the Congo Trail that goes out of Potrero and comes out up near Playa Ocotal and Playas del Coco. Not a bad area at all.

Of course, Playa Grande is closer to the Tamarindo area, but also not far from Playa Flamingo as well.

Gte. is probably our favorite province. You'll have a great time!
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 08:22 AM
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Thanks Shillmac,
I've been reading a lot about the different types of beaches/sand. Not that we're prissy about this, but I'm curious: Are Playa Grande, Coco, etc. light sandy beaches or volcanic and rocky? Just managing expectations with the family!
Also, any Arenal hotels you recommend? We're looking at La Mansion, but it looks like it's on the lake not near the volcano.
Thanks,
B
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 08:30 AM
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Playa Grande is a surfers beach with yellowy sand.
Playa del Coco is darker sand its really a fishing port and diving center, not great swimming.
Ocotal is a small beach south of Coco with good snorkelling from the beach:

http://costa.rica.typepad.com/costa_...ome/index.html
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 10:38 AM
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I stayed at Sugar Beach and loved it. Getting there was a trip in itself. The road is by far one of the worst I've been on in CR. The hotel is nice. The restaurant was surpisingly good. If you stay in the area, be sure to have dinner at Marco Polo Italian restaurant. It was a nice change and we ate there twice in one week.
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 10:39 AM
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Forgot to mention that the beach was fine. The first few feet of water were rocky (like any beach -- rocks or shells) but after that the water was beautiful and you could swim all day.
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 12:28 PM
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Mixter,
Is Hotel Sugar Beach right on the beach? It's hard to tell on some of the websites how far they are. So is the beach there rocky or sandy? What else could you do in the area? Is the surfing good there?
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 01:08 PM
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Okay, I can't stop researching different places to stay. Anyone have an opinion on Hotel Brasilito or that area in general?
Thanks.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2007, 03:52 AM
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Yes, Sugar Beach hotel is right on the water. The beach was nice and sandy. It was also quite wide depending on the tide, of course. At both ends of the beach, there are a lot of black rocks that we would walk thru to explore the little pools with fish in them.

The area was much more laid-back compared to Manuel Antonio. The hotel is probably a five or ten minute ride from town and there wasn't really much to do there. If you were looking to just relax and not leave the hotel, it would be fine. If you like a busy vacation filled with things to do, then I wouldn't go to Sugar Beach.

We were there this week last year. We spent our first four days at Sugar Beach then we drove to Arenal for the remaining three days (flew in and out of Liberia.)

The hotel had one or two palapa type wooden tables with a few lounge chairs on the beach. I did not see anyone surfing there.

Just a note, I would definitely go back and stay at Sugar Beach except for the fact that my husband and I don't really like Guanacaste as much as we do the Central Pacific. Just a matter of preference.

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