We haven’t been formally introduced. Hello. We are Horizon Pacific Vacations: regular contributors to tamarindo.com. Our goal here is to contribute information valuable to you. Our recent series, “Off The Beaten Path” took you on an adventure, taught you how to eat like a local, how to cook like one, and how to make your holiday food here in the Tropics. We hope you enjoyed the information as much as we enjoyed sharing it with you.
So what’s next? Beach time! Guanacaste is home to some of Costa Rica’s the world’s best beaches, and Tamarindo is nicely central to most of them. Because of this, we figure what better way to contribute to the site than to talk about the neighboring beach options? So, over the next two months we will be detailing the features and history of our favorite beaches, and if it goes well, we keep going until we’ve covered the entire coastline. Er, maybe.
To kick things off we are starting with a local favorite, which is not so secret, but not as well known as it could be: Playa Avellanas. It would be impossible to talk about Avellanas without mentioning Lola’s, the beachside restaurant that has been there since before there was a decent bridge. But more on Lola’s in a second.
Playa Avellanas is just a short drive from Tamarindo, has a brief history but an interesting present, and offers great surfing for all levels of surfing skill. Avellana is Spanish for the word hazelnut, sometimes called filberts. “Hazelnut Beach” has a nice ring to it, but “Filbert Beach” just sounds like a real nerdy place to visit. Anyone who’s been there will tell you there’s nothing nerdy about Avellanas. In fact, this beach probably ranks high on the cool scale, because it is not so easy to find.
History. The distant history is a tough nut to crack. Prior to the existence of Lola’s there’s not much out there on Avellanas, although if you sit down with the locals, you could probably pry open some local folklore. Similar to Tamarindo, Avellanas came into prominence with the advent of surfing. Unlike Tamarindo though, Avellanas had no huge fishing business. Nor did it have a Villarreal nearby. If you know anything about Tamarindo, you know Villarreal plays a key role as the gateway to Tamarindo. Unlike Tamarindo, which was always accessible without crossing a waterway, Avellanas has always been tough to get to. Locals will tell you about the new bridge, the old one, and crossing the waterway, or even getting stuck in order to make it to paradise. Many liked this remote access so much they even wondered if the bridge was a good idea when it went in.
Present. Unlike Tamarindo, Avellanas has maintained its connection with its past, staying rural. There is no town center in Avellanas. You will find no Auto Mercado, no Mega Super, nor any Pali in which to buy your sundry items. There’s a small market, a few small eateries, and Lola’s. Lola’s is named after the sizable pet pig which used to live on the property but is now gone. Most people wouldn’t know though… she was replaced by Lolita, an equally sizable mascot. Most people park in the parking lot next to Lola’s, and if they don’t surf, they burn the daylight chilling under the shade of the almond trees, eating pizza, drinking beers, and talking about how they need to get out Tamarindo more often.
Surfing. There are five surf spots in Avellanas. They range from the very seasonal La Purruja, to the better spot for less experienced surfers at El Parqueo. El Palo offers both left and right breaks, and El Estero is where most surfers hang out. This is arguably one of the best spots in all of Costa Rica. Expert surfers surf the northernmost break at Little Hawaii. In any event, the crowd at Avellanas will most likely only be the dedicated, as getting there is still a little challenging. It’s probably for the best. Even El Parqueo is could be a tough first place to surf for someone brand new, depending on the conditions, and time of year. (If you want more information check out http://nicoyapeninsula.com/avellanas/.)
Don’t worry if you’re not a surfer. There’s plenty of sunshine, beautiful sunsets, and frosty Imperial to be enjoyed on the shores of Avellanas. However long you are in Tamarindo a trip to Avellanas is worth your time. Make sure you have directions, GPS, and make sure you are in a vehicle with some clearance. True, there’s a decent bridge now, but it’s still Costa Rica, and even good roads get washed away. Don’t worry if you get stuck. There’s lodging and you can live off Lola’s pizza for days, according to the locals.
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.