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July 27, 2019

Playa Doña Ana

While Jacó is often well known for being the closed beach to San José i believe technically playa doña Ana is a lot closer. 

Located on the caldera side, playa doña Ana has a huge parking area and has a private entrance. Every person pays a small fee as well as for parking for the day. The fee per person is 1500 colones and the car parking 1000 for the whole day. They do have disabled parking available which gets you right up onto the sand. 

Playa doña Ana is one of Costa Rica’s Blue Flag beaches which basically means it gets cleaned, has toilets and showers and life guards. 

This beach is very popular with the locals who flock there on weekends and during school holidays because of it’s close proximity to San José. You can get there within an hour, hour and a half. 

The beach is packed with palm trees and further back from the sand there is a lot more variety of greenery offering plenty of shade. There are also ranchos (small shelters) available with electrical ports, tables and seating offered on a first come first served basis. 

The beach isn’t your typical white sand beach. It has dark sand and a great stretch of it with lovely calm water, perfect for swimming. But despite the lack of pristine perfection playa doña Ana has a lot to offer. 

The trees are a major plus. Bring your hammock and have an afternoon rest on a full tummy. 

You are also allowed to barbecue. Bring your own grill and cook up a storm. Lunch time at playa doña Ana is always filled with wafts of delicious smells floating in the air. 

My favourite is the presence of animals. You’ll see pizotes (coatis) with their little tails in the air squealing and looking for food. You’ll also see monkeys who are so used to interacting with people they will take the food right out of your hand. When you go to doña Ana remember to pack a couple of apples to treat them after lunch. The monkeys are so used to this they even hang around waiting for their snack. 

Playa doña Ana is a real family beach offering well priced activities such as banana boat rides. If you’ve never been on a banana boat, this is something you have got to try! For 2000 colones you get taken out to sea, strategically past a group of dolphins in the area and as you get close to shore the boat does a sharp u-turn, flinging you into the sea and leaving you to swim back to shore. It’s so much fun that the kids line up for more all day long. 

Part of the blue flag requirement is that the beach must have toilets and showers. Doña Ana has both. These large rest rooms fill up near the end of the day during the weekends with beach goers wanting to rinse the sand out of cracks they didn’t know they had. The idea is to get comfortable for the ride home. You can expect to wait in line for your turn in the ice cold shower but there is nothing quite as refreshing as rinsing the sand off and slipping into clean underwear. 

This beach is not only a good spot to do some cooking on the grill but there is also a restaurant there selling snacks and some wholesome food, very tastily prepared. Most people take care of their own food but the restaurant can easily fill up around midday as tummies start to feel empty. 

For more information:


Phone numbers: 2664-45542663-4764

Restaurant / 8826-6620Don Carlos

Open Hours: Lun-Dom: 8:00 am-4:00 pm

Entrance fees

Adults ¢ 1,500

Senior Citizens ¢ 750

Children ¢ 500

Parking ¢ 1,000

Category: Travel

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