Dominical Beach, Costa Rica By Natalia and Hernando From www.travelinglikelocals.com
We recently had the opportunity to take a few days off and decided to travel as good locals to a place we had never been.
Dominical Beach in the South Pacific of Costa Rica was our destination.
This beach is about 210 kilometers from the capital, San Jose, the drive takes approximately 3 hours.
We had so much fun in this trip, that we want to share with you our recommendations to help you out If you wish to visit this beautiful area of Costa Rica.
How to get there
The easiest way, without a doubt, is driving there.
For our foreign friends we recommend these options:
Bus: Companies like Tracopa offer the trip from San José from Monday to Sunday, the prices range around USD $10 per person.
Click here to get the complete route in Google Maps from San Jose.
Whatever the way you choose to arrive there, we recommend you travel with comfortable and light clothing because the heat will definitely rise as you come closer to your destination. Do not forget to bring bottles of water to hydrate on the way, some snacks and good music to enjoy the trip.
Temperatures in the area of Dominical, ranges between 30C in the morning and 27C by night, which ultimately tells us that comfortable clothing will be really necessary, and don’t forget to wear a cap, hat or similar.
Applying sun block is a must if you don’t want to get sunburn, and we also think mosquito repellent is a good idea to bring too.
As for accommodation, there are options for all tastes and budgets.
You can find from perfect beachfront backpackers Hostels with very affordable prices, to more elegant hotels up in the mountains with spectacular views.
We decided to stay at Hotel Cuna del Angel, which is located between Dominical and Uvita, which offers a great family environment but at the same time is very tranquil and relaxing.
This hotel has all the amenities you would expect from its 4 stars. The hotel is very small, offers an in house restaurant, breakfast is included on the price, and the pool is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy some Piñas Coladas!
The price per night is around USD $200, which is a little high, but well worth it.
The area offers different food options, you will find from small restaurants with typical Costa Rican food, to more upscale places offering world-class cuisine.
From our trip we recommend these 3 places:
Café Mono Congo in Dominical Beach: we really liked this place because they offer a very varied menu with vegan options and fresh smoothies, is located right at the mouth of the river, so it offers nice views and a peaceful and relaxing vibe.
Tortilla Flats in Dominical Beach: this place is located right across from the beach, is perfect for eating a quick bite and admire the beautiful beach views, offers a lively and busy atmosphere. They serve a variety food and drinks, we ordered a couple of delicious cheese and bacon sandwiches, we totally recommend it!
The Restaurant at Hotel Cuna del Angel: this is undoubtedly a place of gourmet food, the menu offers a variety of dishes including seafood, meat and pasta. We decided to eat here one night to try their dishes and also because it was just a few steps from our room. The food was delicious, it had great flavors and the quantities were generous. Although the restaurant is kind of pricey, we believe it’s worth to treat yourself once and have lunch or dinner at this place. The service is amazing and the ocean view is definitely spectacular.
We recommend making a reservation because the restaurant is very small and fills up easily.
There are many activities to enjoy in this area, here are a few recommendations on what you can do during your trip:
Marino Ballena National Park: The famous beach shaped like a whale’s tail is one of the places to visit if you are in the area. It’s located about 20km from Dominical. The Admission is 1,000 colones (around USD$2) per person (resident or foreign) for the whole day, be advise that you cannot enter with alcoholic beverages. If you want to enjoy walking on the whale’s tail visit the beach when it’s low tide. We recommend bringing some water, snacks and a blanket to sit back and relax on the sand.
Crafts and Souvenirs: if like us you love to go and roam through the craft and souvenir shops, Dominical is definitely a great place to do that, you can find a whole street beside the beach with various stalls selling handcrafts, clothes, jewelry, ornaments, souvenirs, etc.
Surf: Dominical Beach is famous for its awesome waves, so if that is your sport, this is the ideal place to practice and have some fun. If you would like to learn, there are several surf schools, which provide general or custom lessons to start riding the waves in no time.
Nauyaca Waterfall: Located about 7 km from Dominical, once in the entrance you would have to go through the forest to reach the beautiful waterfall, this tour can be done on foot or horseback riding (we recommend horseback riding, as the walking distance is about 6km each way). For both tours you must pay an entrance fee, take into account that only the horseback riding tour offers in their fee a guide and food.
Whale Watching and Dolphin Tour: There are several companies that offer this type of tour in the area, we recommend searching for the one you like first, make a reservation and arrive on time. Prices vary slightly depending on the company but they are usually around USD $75 per person, they usually include a guided tour of 3-4 hours, water, fruit and snorkeling equipment.
There are several ATMs on the area in case you need some extra cash, the one we used and recommend is the one on the Bank of Costa Rica which is located at the entrance of Uvita, right besides BM supermarket.
However, most places accept credit cards, debit cards and US dollars.
Supermarkets and convenience stores are easy to find, so you will not haveproblem getting hygiene products or snacks to take to the beach.
We hope you get a chance to visit Playa Dominical, for us the area is extremely beautiful, plus you truly feel immerse in the jungle, this is one of the areas that hasn’t been so over developed by man making it a paradise with lots of vegetation and animals.
By Natalia and Hernando From www.travelinglikelocals.com