Fodor's Expert Review Playa Hermosa
Despite its name, "Beautiful Beach" is hardly spectacular. The southern half of the wide beach lacks palm trees or other shade-providing greenery; its sand is scorching hot in the afternoon; and frequent rip currents make it unsafe to swim when there are waves. But board riders find beauty in its consistent, hollow surf breaks. Beginner surfers should stick to Jacó since waves here are powerful and punchy, and will close out on big days. The beach's northern end is popular because it often has waves when other spots are flat, and the ocean is cleaner than at Jacó, except after heavy rains when there is floating debris. There is also plenty of forest covering the hills, and scarlet macaws sometimes gather in the Indian almond trees near the end of the beach. Amenities are all at the Backyard Bar. Amenities: food and drink; showers; toilets. Best for: sunsets; surfing.