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Playa Matapalo holidays will ensure you receive a healthy dose of pristine sands, rugged shores and the incredible sights and sounds of the tropical rainforest. Nestled on the southernmost tip of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, this hidden gem is an ideal choice if you are looking for a laidback holiday that features wildlife and adventure.

Famous for its unspoilt natural beauty, you can embrace the leisurely pace of Costa Rica during your holiday in Playa Matapalo. Head north for aerial adventure, where you will find the magnificent Arenal Volcano, or take a dip in the glorious thermal hot springs of the region. Explore the hidden wonders of the island’s national parks, where waterfalls, cloud forests, rustic walkways and exotic wildlife lie in wait beneath the canopy. If you’re looking to escape the crowds then take a trip to the secluded south, where deserted sands and a warm welcome awaits you.

Playa Matapalo holidays; Costa Rica’s best kept secret

No matter the direction you travel, there’s a saying you’re sure to hear time and time again during your visit to Costa Rica: pura vida (pure life). As a greeting, as a sentiment of joy, as a beautifully simple ethos, pura vida lies at the heart of one of the happiest nations in the world. Playa Matapalo is located in one of the country’s most remote locations, so we recommend you come here if you are seeking plenty of space to soak up those laid-back vibes. On a romantic break? You’re sure to find an empty stretch of sand where you can sit back and relax. Alternatively, why not enjoy a horse ride along a coconut-strewn beach? Prefer to be out on the waves? You’re in luck: the south Pacific swell places Cabo Matapalo firmly among the top surfing hotspots on Earth.

If you’re keen to glimpse the rich wildlife endemic to the region, Matapalo is a focal point of local turtle conservation, and is one of the most biologically diverse locations in the world. Matapalo shares the peninsula with Corcovado National Park, where harpy eagles, squirrel monkeys, crocodiles and puma live among the mangrove swamps, lowland forest and shoreline.

Destination Highlights

  • Stroll along powdery sands or take to impossibly clear waters along Playa Matapalo’s miles of idyllic beach
  • Catch sight of a sloth, tapir, or the ever-elusive jaguar on a trek through the tropical jungle
  • Enjoy treetop antics and hear the distinctive call of perhaps the most well-known of the peninsula’s natives; the howler monkey
  • Marvel as lush greenery turns a vivid red, blue and gold when the resident macaws soar in to land

Explore Playa Matapalo

Tejal, Destination Specialist

“You might be eager to admire a sunrise or sunset for their stunning hues but did you know they’re also the best times of day to catch sight and sound of two Costa Rica’s most instantly recognisable residents; the scarlet macaws and howler monkeys? Watch the skies burst into colour when the macaws head inland for an early morning feast, and hear the rainforest reverberate with the evening calls of howlers in the canopy above.”  

Destination Specialist
Jessica, Destination Manager

“Playa Matapalo might not be as well-known as some of Costa Rica’s other beaches but its remote location gives this hidden spot a brilliantly intimate feel. With fewer visitors, you will have plenty of space to relax and enjoy the powdery sands, Pacific Ocean views and all-round tranquillity. Seclusion meets surfers’ paradise in perfect untouched style.”

Destination Manager

Gallo pinto

Gallo pinto is a popular choice served with scrambled eggs for breakfast, but you’re likely to find this Costa Rican staple on the menu all day long. Rice, beans and spices combine to create a hearty traditional dish loved by locals and tourists alike.

Sopa negra

Packed full of essential vitamins and minerals, sopa negra, or ‘black soup’, traditionally comprises black beans, onions, peppers, tomatoes and hard or soft boiled eggs for a deliciously filling meal.

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