Holidays to Playa Matapalo tend to revolve around the long sandy beach that gives this area its name. This secluded spot is backed by mountains and hills cloaked in tropical greenery.
Playa Matapalo beach resort
If you’re looking for a fly-and-flop escape, this is the place to come, because other than a beach and a couple of hotels, there’s not a whole lot more to this pretty corner of Costa Rica. But what a beach it is. Serving up soft, pale sands and surrounded by gently rolling hills and jungle-covered mountains, this half-moon bay is one of Mother Nature’s starlets.
Private beach vibe
While most beaches in Costa Rica are open to the public, Playa Matapalo is pretty much the preserve of guests staying at the Riu Guanacaste and the Riu Palace Costa Rica. Reason being, these two big resort-style hotels are all there is in the immediate vicinity and so more or less have the sands to themselves. That is unless you count the odd iguana sauntering across the sand and the monkeys swinging through the trees.
Nearby Coco Beach
If you do want to get out and about, Coco Beach is the nearest proper town. It’s about a 10-minute cab ride from Playa Matapalo and is a lovely little tourist hub set along a single main strip lined with bars, shops and restaurants – you can tuck into everything from sushi through to pizza by way of traditional fish restaurants serving up the catch of the day. Follow the road all the way down to the sea and you’ll find a little beach that’s home to a cluster of hip, laidback beach bars with an almost Thai-esque feel.
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