Playa Bejuco is a small quiet town in Puntarenas province which has been chosen for many retired people to settle, either permanently as expats/immigrants or as tourists visiting a few times a year for long periods. This gave the town the fame of being a boring-southern Florida-type of place, but there is nothing further from the reality.
Although it is not a bustling village, the minute one gets here you can feel such a laid-back atmosphere that you will fall in love with Bejuco, whether you are travelling with your family or if you are on a romantic getaway. And if you are in a party mood, you can always drive less than half an hour away to Jacó.
Now, staying in Playa Bejuco will not only allow you to enjoy one of the best beaches in Costa Rica, proudly 3 stars-winner of the “Bandera Azúl Ecológica” award and the peacefulness of the town, but It will also be a great spot from where to take short road trips to other nearby attractions.
We’ve listed together five of them for you, but you will surely find more through your own exploration!
Heading north from town, just a few kilometers after Jacó, this underrated National Park is located within a short drive. In its 52 square kilometer preserved area it has the only transition forest in Central Pacific, resulting in diversity of flora and fauna, thus making it home for an enormous amounts of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and curious birds. – including the Scarlet Macaw which is in danger of extinction (You will also see the Scarlet Macaw in Playa Bejuco though).
The main entrance is located 2 kilometers south of Rio Grande de Tárcoles Bridge River (which is actually the northern boundary of the park) so you can also make a quick stop and you’ll have an excellent chance of spotting really big crocodiles basking on the sand below the bridge.
Half an hour south of Bejuco, you will find the smallest National Park in Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio Park. In its 16 square kilometer area you have numerous trails to choose from to spot all kinds of wildlife and hidden treasure beaches or you can just walk an easy 30-minutes to the closest beach and enjoy the rest of the day in its blue waters.
With its postcard-perfect landscape, friendly monkeys and idyllic beaches it is not surprising that it gets crowded, mostly on weekends when a lot of local families go for the day. That said, it is better to go on weekdays or early in the morning but keep in mind that the park is closed on Mondays. You can bring your own picnic stuff but only sandwiches and fruit is allowed, not processed, packagedfood.
If you are really into surf this is the place for you. This laid-back small town, with no paved roads and a backpackers vibe has challenging waves to catch and a lot of hammocks to rest after that.
Every late February/early March it hosts Envision Festival a little further south, bringing together fire dancers, yoga and musicians. During the rest of the year there are a few hiking trails to enjoy, or you can just laze around.
You are right, it’s a bit more than half an hour away, but is still worth it. It is a really small town that comprises the “Parque Nacional Marino Ballena”, an often forgotten but stunning national park.
It is home of humpback whales, sea birds, sea turtles and dolphins and it protects the coral reef that surrounds Isla Ballena, where you can take a snorkeling tour or go out for the day on a whale/dolphin spotting tour. You should get inside the park at low tide in order to see the “tombolo” (whale tail) and stay to witness its disappearance as the tide starts growing. Enjoy the beaches and the calm sea that bathes these shores or the boating on nearby islands.
Probably the most North American expat/immigrant friendly town in the area, Jacó’s streets have a party atmosphere all day long, the surf is really good, bars and restaurants are excellent and the nightlife can be an adventure.
From Herradura a daily ferry to Montezuma runs, to the Nicoya Penísula. Even if you are not planning on taking it, the town’s grocery store on the highway is worth a quick visit since it is the one in our area that carries the most international items .
And remember! At EcoVida, we can help you book any tour of your interest or even help you rent a car if you wish to move around by yourself. Just contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org