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Playa Tunco -- One of the great things about Playa Tunco is that it has accommodations to please everyone. The town offers everything from a $3-a-night campground that's just 44m (144 ft.) from the ocean to a magical retreat with a sweat lodge and cave bar.

Playa Zonte -- Playa Zonte offers a small collection of laidback beachfront hostels and restaurants. One of the best places to stay here is the well-known La Casa de Frida (Km 53.5 Carretera Literal #7; tel. 503/2252-2949; www.lacasadefrida.com). The many portraits of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo hanging by the entrance confirm that you've found your way to this friendly, three-room hostel. Each room has four beds, and it runs $10 per bed or $20 per person to have the room to yourself. The hostel is right on the beach, and its small restaurant is one of the best in town. If Frida's is booked, try the nearby five-room Olas Permanentes Hostal (Km 53 Carretera Literal; tel. 503/2300-6422; www.olaspermanentes.com). This family- and surfer-friendly hostel offers private rooms with private bathrooms for $25 and surfboard rentals for $12. Horizonte Surf Resort (tel. 503/2323-0099; www.horizontesurfresort.com) is another oasis of calm amidst what is a ramshackle neighborhood. Some rooms are little more than tarted-up cells, except for a 6-bed suite with large windows, a wooden floor, and split-level layout. What makes the place is its lovely pool and garden area surrounded by lawn and palm trees. Doubles start at $35. Esencia Nativa (tel. 503/7737-8879; www.esencianativa.com) is a laidback collection of five colorful rooms, a garden, pool, and a communal lounge piled high with books, games, magazines, and hammocks. It's a perfect surfers' hangout with restaurant, surf school, and board rental. Doubles with A/C start at $35.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.