ABOUT ESTERILLOS

Playa Esterillos Jaco Beach Map Costa Rica

Fifteen minutes south of Jacó but a veritable world away, Playa Esterillos lures those who simply want to catch some surf, sun and scenery (sans scene), as there isn’t much else to do along this miles-long expanse of beach. Playa Esterillos is signed off the highway in several sections: Esterillos Oeste (West), Centro (Central) and Este (East). Esterillos Oeste has a mini-supermarket a couple of sodas, a tiny tour office and a Tico-village vibe absent in Jacó; Esterillos Este has more of a resort feel, with upscale accommodations and a string of holiday homes along the beachfront.

The most luxe of the resorts is the modern Alma del Pacífico (Tel 2778-7070;. www.almadelpacifico.com;. bungalows. US$236-293,. villas. US$349-519), located in Esterillos Este. Each individually designed villa encompasses a range of intriguing elements, including wooden-lattice ceilings, sheer walls of glass framing private gardens, concrete-poured furniture done up with custom leatherwork and impossibly intricate mosaic tiling. The onsite restaurant specializes in gourmet and organic cuisine.

If such a splurge will sink your budget, check out the laid-back Hotel Pelicano (Tel 2778-8105;. www.pelicanbeachcostarica.com;. r. US$96-153) a bit further south: it’s affordable, safe and homey, and on the same dreamy stretch of the Pacific. Fairly basic rooms with wooden or tile floors surround a small pool, and the open-air restaurant is the perfect refuge from the sun after a day at the beach – the ceviche paired with a cold Imperial is the bomb.

In Esterillos Oeste, seek out the intimate

Hotel La Dolce Vita (Tel 2778-7015;.www.resortladolcevita.com;. s/d. from. US$58/85), where tidy rooms are steps from the beach.

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