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South of Dominical

The beaches south of Dominical are some of the nicest and most unexplored in Costa Rica. This is a great area to roam in a rental car—it’s a beautiful drive on a good highway. 

Among the beaches you’ll find are Playa Ballena, Playa Uvita, Playa Piñuela, Playa Ventanas, and Playa Tortuga. Tip: Most of these beaches are considered part of Ballena Marine National Park and are subject to the national park entrance fee of $6 per person. If you’re visiting several beaches in one day, save your ticket—it’s good at all of them.

Get the Scoop

The Uvita Tourist Information Center ((tel) 8843-7142; www.uvita.info) offers a wealth of knowledge, has a tour-booking and rental-car agency, and even functions as the local branch of the Costa Rican post office, DHL, and UPS. You’ll find these helpful people right on the Costanera Sur, at the main intersection in Uvita.

Where to Stay

Just south of Dominical, on a point over Dominicalito beach, La Parcela ((tel) 2787-0016; www.laparcelacr.com) rents four simple but ideally located cabins that sleep up to four people, for $75 per night, while nearby Coconut Grove ((tel) 2787-0130; www.coconutgrovecr.com) offers cottages and guesthouses with direct access to Dominicalito, for between $95 and $175 double. There’s also Pacific Edge ((tel) 2200-5428; www.pacificedge.info), with 4 cabins and breathtaking views of the coast.

You’ll find a campground at Playa Ballena and a couple of basic cabinas in Bahía and Uvita. The best of these is the Tucan Hotel ((tel) 2743-8140; www.tucanhotel.com), with a mix of private rooms and dorm accommodations and a friendly, hostel-like vibe.

If you want to be closer to the beach, check out Canto de Ballenas ((tel) 2743-8085), an interesting local cooperative with neat rooms about .7km (a little less than a half-mile) from the park entrance at Playa Uvita.

Where to Eat

In Ojochal you’ll find the charming Ylang-Ylang ★★ ((tel) 2786-5054), which serves Indonesian fare Wed through Sat, for dinner only to a maximum of 12 diners.

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.