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Introducing Playa Hermosa

While newbies struggle to stand up on their boards in Jacó, a few kilometers south in Playa Hermosa seasoned veterans are thrashing their way across the faces of some truly monster waves. Regarded as one of the most consistent and powerful breaks in the whole country, Hermosa serves up serious surf that commands the utmost respect. Of course, you really need to know what you’re doing in these parts – huge waves and strong riptides are unforgiving, and countless surfboards here have wound up shattered to pieces and strewn about on the shoreline. Still, even if you're not a pro, the vibe here is excellent, the surfers are chilled out and the beach lives up to its name.

There are several places on the Pacific Coast that have names that translate to ‘Pretty Beach’ in Spanish, though none is more deserving than this lovely 10km-long strip of grey sand. It has seen significant investment in recent years: billed as an upscale alternative to Jacó, the shore sports a couple of brand-new upmarket hotels and notably more upscale visitors, but in comparison with neighboring Jacó and Playa Herradura, the development is modest. For the time being, Hermosa is very much a slow-paced beach town edged by the Costanera Sur and the surf-washed shores of the Pacific.