In our last entry, we explored the benefits of eating at a Costa Rican Soda versus a more conventional eatery, covered a few local spots, and discussed how to find them off the beaten path. Today we look at a local “beach exploration hack,” that leads you to a place where you can enjoy some snorkeling or fishing.
Just a short walk from Playa Langosta, the sister beach to Tamarindo, hides a little secret in plain view. Few venture past the estuary to enjoy the long walk south, past sand dollars, starfish, and hermit crabs to a secret spot where the surf calms to a gentle roll and you can be master of your own beach. It’s out on the point, past the thatched seating off the beach, to furthest place you can see looking south from the Langosta estuary. Don’t worry. We’ll get you there. We will cover first what you need to do to plan this excursion, cover the supplies you’ll want to bring, and wrap with how you will want to budget your time.
Let’s get this out right away… there’s walking involved, and water crossing, so no whining. Don’t worry. It’s completely worth the effort. To plan, you first need to pull up a tide chart, since you don’t want to go when the tide is in. It’s too hard to cross the estuary and the experience isn’t the same. Google “tide chart Costa Rica” to get what you need. Also, decide what you want to do when you get there before going. This will be important in the next step as you determine what you want to bring. If conditions are right you can get some pretty decent snorkeling, but it’s also a great place to fish, evidenced by the number of fishermen there in the early mornings. Be advised there can be some small reef shark in this water but not when you’ll be there. It’s too shallow and too warm during low tide. Last thing about when to go, if you can plan it, avoid the heat of mid-day. Try to pick a day when the low-tide is in the morning after sun-up. That noon sun can be torturous.
Plan to wear something you don’t mind getting wet in as the estuary could take you up to as high as your waist. This means you want to either leave electronics someplace safe (not your rental car) or put them in a waterproof bag to hold in the air as you cross. If you want to try snorkeling, understand the water can be cloudy during the rainy season, or if it’s windy. Plan to mule your gear in as there are no shops or rental places where you are going. For that same reason, pack water, and a picnic, or at least snacks. You will get hungry. A suggestion would be trail mix which travels well. Obviously, if you plan to fish bring your gear for that too. The less you can bring the better because you have to carry it, but take what you need. A plastic bag for picking up trash is a good idea and easy to take.
Timing is everything
Plan your excursion about two hours before low-tide, crossing the estuary at that point, so that as you walk south the tide continues to go out. It will take about 45-minutes to get there, 60-minutes if you stop to look at shells, so by the time you get there you’ll have one-hour before the tide is fully out. This will give you anywhere from two to three hours to enjoy the beach before you should head back. If you come back to late the estuary current will be strong, and possibly dangerous, but certainly no fun to cross. Leave the spot no later than two hours after the lowest tide. Both on the way out and on the way back cross the estuary by walking close the surf. There you will be less likely to trip on underwater rocks which are also no fun. Do not try to step-stone this crossing.
When you get to the destination you will see an old farmhouse off the beach, which is owned by Hacienda Pinilla, and may be rented out. They have a huge swing out on the beach in front of the house that can be fun if nobody is using it. There are many shady spots to get out of the sun if you want and tons of tide-pools to explore if none of the aforementioned activities suit your fancy. Just mind the tide and your time and you will have a nice morning of fun without having to share your beach. Who could ask for a better paradise excursion?
Horizon Pacific Management & Rentals is located in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Horizon Pacific offers vacation rentals, property management, long-term rentals, as well as a complete concierge service. Providing you with a local contact during your stay, Horizon Pacific is a company you can trust, with the experience you need.