The picturesque beach town of Dominical is a popular destination for surfers and nature lovers alike. Flanked by the Baru River, it offers a tranquil escape to paradise with its lush forests and gorgeous beach. With great surfing waves, small town vibes and a number of stunning natural attractions, it’s no wonder this is the next hotspot for expats looking for a more relaxed lifestyle.
Located in the Bahia Ballena District of Puntarenas Province, it’s a 3.5 hour drive from San Jose and has easy access to Quepos Airport to the North or Palmar Sur Airport to the South. Once the coast highway was completed in 2010, it became much easier to get to and has quickly become one of Costa Rica’s top beach destinations.
A large number of hotels, hostels, lodges and vacation rentals can be found a short walk from the main street along the beach. There are also a number of private villas, some of which have excellent views of the ocean and surrounding jungle. Camping is popular on the beaches as well. If you are a beginner or experienced surfer, there is plenty of choice of surf schools in the area.
There’s no wrong time to visit Dominical, as the consistent surf and beautiful surroundings will impress every type of traveler. However, if you are looking to catch some of the biggest waves of the year, it’s best to come between May and November. For a little less surf, visit the more mellow period between December and April.
Playa Linda, Playa Dominicalito and Playa Hermosa playa dominical costa rica are all popular surfing beaches near the town of Dominical. There are a few great restaurants and bars as well. Many of these are found a short walk from the beach and can be a great spot to relax after a long day in the surf.
If you are looking for something a little more adventurous, you can hike to the gorgeous Nauyaca Waterfall. This waterfall is known for its emerald blue waters and is one of the most highly rated things to do in Dominical. Those that are not as keen on hiking can always visit the nearby eco Termales Quepos. These are a bit more touristy but have very similar features to the Nauyaca Waterfall and are surrounded by lush jungle with rushing rivers.
Other popular activities in the area include horseback riding, snorkeling and scuba diving. It is also possible to take a zipline or tree climb at Hacienda Baru, which are both very fun and exciting. If you are lucky, you might even see some monkeys or sloths while on your adventure.
Another way to see the rainforest up close is by taking a tour of Diamante Verde. These tours are run by Pineapple Tours and can be booked through them or locally. The excursion includes a guide, rappelling equipment and a vegetarian lunch. It is best to book your excursion in advance as it tends to sell out fast.