This post was originally written in 2016, but has since been updated with more things to do in Domincal Costa Rica.

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If you are a surfer then chances are you will have heard of Dominical, Costa Rica. It’s pristine beaches with their awesome waves, some 10-feet tall, bring surf lovers from all over the world. But there is so much more to this little beachfront town on the South Pacific coastline.

Nestled about 44 km south of Quepos and the Manuel Antonio National Park, Dominical offers everything you could want from your trip to Costa Rica. Its rich and diverse nature, beautiful beaches, waves, and tranquillity, has put Dominical Costa Rica top of many travel itineraries!

Things to do in Dominical

1. Chill Out on Playa Dominical

Playa Dominical, a small beach town just 20 mins North of Uvita offers travelers a laid-back vibe where beach life dominates the list of daily activities. Playa Dominical has excellent waves that welcome surfers of all levels while its lack of sights and attractions makes it a perfect destination for those that just want to spend days relaxing in a hammock with a book in hand.

Things to do in Dominical, Playa Dominical
Oksana enjoying the waters at Playa Dominical

Luckily Dominical Costa Rica weather is pretty constant. It’s never so cold to ruin your vacation plans. So there are plenty of surfing and sunbathing opportunities on Playa Dominical all year round. Of course, keep in mind Costa Rica’s wet and dry seasons!

2. Visit Nauyaca Waterfalls

If you start to get restless after relaxing on Playa Dominical, there are a few hiking options in around Dominical Costa Rica to get your body moving.  Nauyaca Waterfalls are an absolute must for nature and adventure lovers. Despite being located deep in the tropical rainforest, the beginning of the trail is just 20 minutes from Playa Dominical.

Things to do in Dominical, nauyaca waterfalls
The beauty of the Nauyaca Waterfalls
Things to do in Dominical, Nauyaca Falls
Max enjoying the chilly morning waters at the Nauyaca Falls

The falls are located on private property of the Lulo Family and can be reached by hiking, horseback riding, or by pick up truck. The waterfalls have two levels, the tallest is over forty meters high and the smallest is a little over 20 meters. We were lucky to experience the waterfall early in the morning and spent a few blissful hours admiring the breathtaking views well before the crowds rolled in!

3. Get a Massage on the Beach in Playa Dominical

It’s not hard to find a spa in Costa Rica, but finding a great spot for a massage that won’t cost more than your daily budget can be a challenge. Enter Glen, a professional massage therapist who has set up a pop-up massage parlour on Playa Dominical and is now offering professional massages for just $35/hour. You just can’t beat that in Costa Rica!

Things to do in Dominical, Massage Parlour
Massage Parlour on Dominical Beach
Things to do in Dominical, Playa Dominical, Costa Rica,
Laid back vibes at Playa Dominical

4. Visit the Beachside Market in Playa Dominical Costa Rica

If you are looking to give your wallet a good workout while in Costa Rica, Playa Dominical has got your covered. Every day dozens of stalls selling clothes, jewellery, and souvenirs are set up along the beach turning Playa Dominical into a shoppers paradise. Stock up on Costa Rica t-shirts, grab a new sarong or pick up cheap souvenirs for all your friends and family back home.

Beach side market in Playa Dominical. Costa Ballena, Costa Rica
Beachside market in Playa Dominical

5. Explore Diamante Verde

If you are visiting Playa Dominical Costa Rica in the rainy season then don’t be disheartened. This time of year (Sept-Oct) is also known as the green season for a reason. The Dominical Costa Rica weather makes the lush rainforest even more impressive than usual. It’s a great time to visit Costa Rica and to hike into the jungle and see some waterfalls in full flow!

Just 35 minutes south of Playa Dominical is Diamante Verde, home to 10 different waterfalls, including Diamante Waterfall, the tallest waterfall in Costa Rica. Plunging 600 feet off the Tinamaste ridge, the Diamante Waterfall is surrounded by the green valley and offers stunning views overlooking the coastal mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

Diamante Waterfall, Dominical Costa Bellana. Costa Rica. Photo via
Diamante Waterfall, Dominical. Photo via

You can hike to the waterfall, spend the day swimming in magnificent natural pools beneath the falls, try rappelling, canyoning, and cliff jumping.

Tours to Diamante Verde are offered by Tree of Life and while they are a little pricey, they look incredible!

6. Check Out Dominicalito Costa Rica

You can get away from the crowds of Playa Dominical by heading south of Dominical to the slightly smaller and rockier beach of Dominicalito. Before you go, make sure you bring a packed lunch and plenty of water, as there are no stores or restaurants on Dominicalito beach.

Things to do in Dominical, Costa Rica
Dominicalito from above

Dominicalito Costa Rica is a great spot for beginner and intermediate surfers and because it’s nestled in a bay, it’s also perfect for swimming. Just beware of the rocks at high-tide!

Get Off the Beaten Track in Playa Dominical Costa Rica

Playa Dominical is much quieter than Guanacaste in the north of the country but doesn’t lose anything. It offers easy access to all that makes Costa Rica the top choice for nature and adventure lovers, beach bum and surfers alike.

Are you ready to explore Dominical Costa Rica?


4 thoughts on “Top 6 Activities to do in Dominical Costa Rica”

  1. HI guys, loving the info, I’m basically planning my trip around your blog! Haha! Question about Uvita/Dominical – we have 2 nights on way from Puerto Jimenez (post Corcovado trek) to San Jose and we’re wondering if we should stay 2 nights in Dominical and visit Uvita from there, or stay 1 night in Dominical, 1 night in Uvita? We’ll be travelling entirely by public bus, not sure how easy it is to get between the 2 towns. Or is it enough to stay in one and scrap the other? We’ll be keen to just chill by the beach with maybe an odd walk to a waterfall, so then less stress the better! Any advice? Thanks guys and keep up the awesome info!

  2. Margaret Bowden

    Hi! Great information! Do you have a phone number for Glen, the massage therapist? Thanks!

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