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Playa Matapalo

A great place to feel like you belong to the world, and not the other way round. Extending over 8km, this beach is known for amazing sunsets and awesome surf… but without the annoying crowds. A little bit out of the way, Playa Matapalo (or Matapalo beach) has avoided becoming a seething tourist trap, remaining an ideal spot to chill out in peace. The short road that runs parallel to the beach is dotted with a few places to stay and eat, but then quietly fades into the Portalon Ecological Reserve. It is home to a Volunteer Association which helps protect Matapalo’s turtles, it becomes evident that many foreign guests to Matapalo are environmentally aware and comfortable with nature.


Without a doubt, the low human populace helps keep the beach and surrounding areas clean, as well as encourages native wildlife to do their thing. In 2003, Playa Matapalo was awarded the Blue Ecological Flag (Bandera Azul Ecológica) for their conservation efforts. Keep this in mind if you visit and respectfully take care to maintain the cleanliness and tranquility. For surfers looking for paradise, Matapalo might deliver but the waves are a tad unreliable. You can still score some nice waves if you get out there; apparently best from May to November. Whether you can swim like a fish or not, there are some sneaky rips, currents, and undertows to watch out for. The Río Portalón drains into the sea here, which is considered a good fishing spot, but you need to wear your thinking cap if you decide to swim around the mouth.


By Dallas
Bachelor of Health Sciences & Psychology, TEFL Graduate, worked as an adventure tour photographer, travel writer, Voxy blogger, Chamber of Commerce...
14 Dec 2008

Things to do in Playa Matapalo

Things to see and do summary

127351Typical beach activities include swimming, fishing, surfing and relaxing. You can take a horseback tour along the beach or ride into the surrounding forest: Book through Arco Iris 506-2787-5133. Some ...
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Playa Matapalo, Matapalo, Costa Rica

Hacienda Barú Wildlife Refuge

127354Spanning beaches, rivers, mangroves, wetlands, pastures, tree plantations, primary, secondary, and selectively logged forests, the refuge is literally crawling with life. In a country famed for ...
Playa Matapalo, Matapalo, Costa Rica
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