As you head south past Escamequita and the beaches of Yankee and Escameca the coastal road swings closer to the ocean passing just behind Playa El Coco. This is one of the few beaches you can see from the road. And it’s a beauty. A swathe of sparkling white sand bookended by tall cliffs and backed by a thickly forested hill that seems to hold it’s green for longer than other parts of the country.
While popular with day-trippers on weekends and holidays, Coco rarely feels overcrowded. So if you’re after a reflective walk on the beach or you just want to quietly perfect your hammocking skills, you’ll find the space to do this in. There’s a handy restaurant and bar located directly on the sand if you’re craving food and company.
As Coco does not have much of a surf break, people come here to swim and boogie board. Exercise caution and check local conditions before you enter the ocean even if the water looks calm on the surface, because there is a dangerous rip current at times.
Parque Marítimo el Coco, a low-key resort located on the northern end of the beach, offers vacation rentals nestled in the trees and the occasional condo for sale. It also provides tours of the area, horse riding and bike rentals. There’s some good bird watching to do here too, if you’re so inclined. On the other side of the road, perched on the hill are a couple of guest houses with glorious views to the beach and out to the mountains of Costa Rica, which feel closer than ever.
If you’re on a property beat, Coco is not the place to find master-planned developments spanning dozens of acres. This is in part due to its location close to the ecologically sensitive La Flor turtle hatching site which has meant that environmental restrictions are tighter here. The result is a market mainly comprised of resales, small beachfront condo projects and individual owner listings.
El Coco is around 18 km (11 miles) south of San Juan del Sur. As you are leave San Juan del Sur take a right on the road to Ostional. Follow the road past Escamequita until you reach Playa El Coco. There are a few signposts but if you miss these you’ll know you’ve arrived when the coastal road moves towards the ocean and runs behind the beach.