23 May 2023
HRG is home to the beautiful Playa Herradura, or in English, Horseshoe Beach (but nobody calls it that!). Playa Herradura gets its name from the way the beach is perfectly encompassed in a bay, shaped just like a horseshoe.
So, what is there to discover in this desirable beach town? A scenic beach? A luxury resort? World class Sportfishing? Today we will review why Playa Herradura is Costa Rica at its very best.
A Geographical Gem
Photo Credit: Jorge A. Russell
Playa Herradura is one of the most sought after destinations in the region of Puntarenas, thanks to its idyllic tropical beach with calm blue waters, and its proximity to the international airport in San Jose.
On the south side of the bay you’ll see Isla Herradura, an uninhabited island sitting at the edge of the bay, helping frame those perfect pacific coast sunsets. On the north side of the bay is where you’ll find Los Sueños Resort and Marina, lined with immaculate fishing boats and yachts. And right in the middle is Herradura Beach.
A Perfect Costa Rican Beach
The bay protects the beach from major swells, making this beach perfect for swimming and popular amongst families. The beach is lined with tiki bar style restaurants and on the weekends you’ll find plenty of Tico families enjoying the shade under the almond trees.
Our favorite spot for a ceviche at sunset? Coco’s Beachfront Restaurant.
You can also find stand up paddleboard and kayak rentals here. Playa Herradura is a lovely little beach, dear to many Costa Ricans. But what else does Herradura have? Is it just a beach?
The Crown Jewel of Herradura: Los Sueños
If you drive away from the beach you’ll pass the enchanting entrance to Los Sueños. Beautiful landscaping surrounds the guard gates to enter the resort. You’ll drive down a palm tree lined road, passing a scenic creek, a few holes of the luscious La Iguana championship golf course, and before you reach Marina Village you’ll have an enchanting ocean view of Herradura Bay. You’ll also go by a number of condominiums and villas, many of which are managed by HRG Properties & Rentals.
Marina Village is a great place to reconvene: there is a cafe with delicious coffee drinks and a full menu, along with several restaurant options. All of these restaurants overlook the boats which sit in the world famous Los Sueños Marina. Los Sueños also has its own small beach on the north side of the bay. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset and dig your toes into the soft sand.
Most of our guests choose to get around in a golf cart once they’re here, and hire our drivers to take them on their excursions outside of the resort. Los Sueños Resort is the crème de la crème of lodging and vacation experience in the region, and we’re so lucky to have it in Playa Herradura!
Discover the Central Pacific Coast
Surf and Fun in Jacó
Most people don’t visit Herradura without at least checking out the neighboring town of Jacó (ha•KO). Jacó is a hotspot for travelers of all ages. It has great surfing, plenty of restaurants, and a busy nightlife.
At HRG, we love to bring our clients surfing at Jacó beach, and we’re always happy to recommend our favorite restaurants.
Just a few minutes north of Herradura is a tourist destination known as Punta Leona. It’s popular amongst Costa Ricans who travel from San Jose to enjoy Playa Blanca, a white sand beach with calm waters. Many of our guests like to check out Playa Blanca and then enjoy the sunset at Villa Caletas, where you’ll find the best ocean views in all of Costa Rica from their stunning amphitheater.
Further south past Jacó you’ll find Playa Hermosa, a black sand beach with world fame in the surfing community. Beware, these waves are for advanced surfers only. But tourists and locals alike love to grab lunch at Vida Hermosa on the beach and watch the pros do their thing!
Wildlife at Manuel Antonio
Photo Credit: Caleb Foster
Travel even further south and you’ll find Manuel Antonio National Park, which makes a great day trip from Herradura. Rainforest, white sand beach, monkeys, and sloths are just part of what make Manuel Antonio the best park in Costa Rica, and we have it only one hour from Herradura.
The Local Side of Herradura
Photo Credit: qcostarica
Leaving Los Sueños and heading towards the main road, you’ll pass a residential area, with a few small markets and local eateries. As you approach the main road, you’ll see the big Herradura Plaza on the right.
Here you can find the best grocery store for 50 miles, Automercado. Travelers love this store because they can find American comforts, international specialties, and Costa Rican classics.
Driving across the main road into the other side of town, you’ll find our adventure park where many great tours begin. As you go through this local part of Herradura, you’ll see how many local Costa Ricans live. Keep your eyes peeled, you might see a good soccer game going on! Herradura has a great community, with many people employed by the tourism and fishing industries.
Herradura is not only beautiful for its beach, but for the mountains that crawl up to the shore. This makes it a great spot for adventure tourism. Travelers from all over the Puntarenas province come here to enjoy ziplining, ATV and side-by-side tours, as well as horseback riding at Vista Los Sueños adventure park.
In addition to ATV, waterfalls, and horseback riding, Herradura’s proximity to other activities makes it a prime destination on the central pacific coast. On the way to your lodging from the airport, you will pass the world famous Tarcoles River, home to many American Crocodiles who bathe in the sun while tourists look out over the bridge.
Within 15 minutes of Los Sueños you can also find Carara National Park, a Mecca for birders or travelers who wish to see scarlet macaws, toucans, and many other colorful birds of paradise.
Herradura: Gateway to the Vast Pacific
Tourists from all over come to Herradura Bay to embark on their boat trips. The calm waters of this protected bay make it the perfect launching boat for boats big and small. People come to fish the coastline in smaller boats, or they join the big leagues of the Los Sueños Marina fleet for a day of deep sea fishing.
For non-anglers, we always suggest a day cruising to the white sand beach on Isla Tortuga, where you can snorkel, kayak, and explore the turquoise waters of the gulf of Nicoya.
Come Explore Herradura
Playa Herradura is a mix of many things. Local culture meets luxury lifestyle. Beautiful bay meets mountain jungle. Relaxing vacation meets adventure tourism. Herradura has it all, and we at HRG would be more than happy to host you here in one of our luxury vacation rentals. We can’t wait to see you!