One of the great things about living here on the Gulf of Papagayo and Costa Rica’s Pacific “Gold Coast” is the number of beautiful, secluded, nearby beaches that can be easily reached by boat. Some are wide stretches of white sand with dry forest tumbling down to their edges. Others are narrow stretches where high tide comes right up to the base of the trees running along them. Still others have rocks and tide pools at their ends and are suitable for snorkeling and spear fishing. Each has it’s own distinct feel and personality.
The terrain surrounding Bahia Culebra (Snake Bay) and making up the Peninsula Papagayo is dramatic in the way it undulates in and around the Pacific Ocean and is best experienced and explored by lancha (an open hull boat) with someone who knows the territory. Some beaches are known for the cara blancas (white faced monkeys) that come right down to the tree tops at the beach. Others have sea caves and wave tubes. One of my favorites – Playa Jícaro (see Google Earth map, upper left image) – has an archeological site: an ancient burial ground that teams with pisotes (coati mundi).
At low tide the sand on Playa Jicaro is white with gray shells. It makes an excellent campo de fútbol (soccer field) because it’s relatively flat and the sand is soft. At high tide the sand all but disappears under the tide that rises to the base of the trees whose branches reach out over it. You can sit in low hanging cradles while dangling your feet in the calm water all the while in the shady protection of the canopy.
All of the beaches on the map can be experienced in a day without rush. Our guides can have you to Playa Jícaro in about 12 minutes with an ice cold beer in your hand! So bring plenty of sunscreen, your camera and a relaxed attitude, and come see what makes each beach around Papagayo unique. Then decide on which one is your favorite!
To “beach” his (or her) own. ¡Pura vida!