Playa Matapalo

Playa Matapalo is a long expanse of flat beach that’s about midway between Quepos and Dominical. It’s an easy but bumpy 26km (16 miles) south of Quepos on the Costanera Sur. It’s nowhere near as developed as either of the other beaches, but that’s part of its charm. The beach here seems to stretch on forever, and it’s usually deserted. The surf and strong riptides frequently make Matapalo too rough for swimming, although surfing and boogie-boarding can be good. Foremost among this beach’s charms are peace and quiet.

Where to Stay

Matapalo is a tiny coastal village, although the actual beach is about 1km (1/2 mile) away. A few very small and intimate lodges are located right on the beach. One of the more unusual is Bahari Beach Bungalows ((tel) 2787-5014;, which offers deluxe tents with private bathrooms, as well as more standard rooms, right on the beach. Dreamy Contentment ((tel) 2787-5223; is a more traditional beachfront hotel. El Coquito del Pacifico hotel ((tel) 855/765-9642 in the U.S. or 2787-5031 in Costa Rica; has a restaurant popular with tourists and locals alike.

For something completely different, you can head into the hills alongside the Savegre River to Rafiki Safari Lodge ★ ((tel) 2777-2250;, which features a collection of large safari tents on elevated platforms in a rich forest setting.

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.