The Central Coast

The Central Coast Costa Rica

We define the “Central Coast” as extending from Puntarenas at the northwest end of the region to Uvitas at the southeast end.

Along this part of the coast, there are only five towns of any size: Puntarenas, Caldera, Jacó, Parrita, and Quepos. All of these except Parrita has been “discovered” by tourists, as has Dominical in the southeast which, although as a town it is of no considerable size, is a popular destination for surfers.

This stretch of the ground rather naturally breaks down into three sub-regions:
Puntarenas through Jacó, Playa Hermosa to Quepos, and Quepos to Uvita, with Manuel Antonio as a special case.

Since our philosophy is “get away from it all” we have therefore focussed on two of these sub-regions, Hermosa to Quepos and Quepos to Uvita. Except for Quepos itself and its adjunct Manuel Antonio, these two regions are characterized by long, smooth, undeveloped beaches, whereas the stretch from Puntarenas to Jacó is, wherever there are beaches, fairly heavily developed.

As between those two subregions, we favor the Hermosa-Quepos axis, partly because at the present time the beaches are more accessible (the road from Quepos to Dominical is very rugged), and partly because many of the “things to do” are more accessible from this sub-region. It is surely the boondocks, but civilization, such as it is in Costa Rica, is more nearly “just around the corner” from Parrita than from, say, Matapalo.

Nevertheless, we hope to show you, in these pages, the whole Central Coast region with notes on tours guided and unguided which you can take, the best of the restaurants, bars, and Pulperias, and some of the hotels, inns, and B&Bs that may be worthwhile. For although we hope to rent you a house, we hope almost as fervently that you will want to do some of the explorations that will take you away from our island overnight, or even for two or three days.


For us, beaches — tropical beaches — is what it’s all about, and if it isn’t the same with you, you may be at the wrong site. Although the particular beach we want to draw you to is not so hot for “people watching” — on a busy weekend there may be at one time as many as 30 people on the whole five miles of it — there are other beaches we will show you which offer that as well as the sun, sand, surf and sea-breezes, and coco palms and, occasionally, horses, which we have at Palo Seco.

This page will lead you through a photographic tour of the beaches of the central coast. The names of the beaches are links to the pages, generally one for each beach.