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