Cars, golf carts, buses, or horses?

Cars, golf carts, buses, taxis, horses, or your own two feet… with so many options, which way is the best way to get around Playa del Coco, Playa Hermosa, or beyond?! To be honest, it’s all about personal preference! But the only way to make the right decision is to know what all your options are or what they entail. Let’s get started! 

4x4 rental - a great way to get around Playas del Coco

Ways to get around the area

Renting a Car

If you are visiting Playa del Coco as a tourist and want to explore the rest of the country without being reliant on public transportation schedules, renting a car is a great option. There are numerous car rental agencies on the way from the Liberia Airport to Playa del Coco or Hermosa. The price can range anywhere from $200-$850 a week depending on the season, car, insurance, accessories, and your negotiation skills. Make sure you book before your arrival or you may be forced to use public transportation. My recommendation is Adobe Car rental . If you are moving to Costa Rica and would like to purchase a car, please check out two of my previous blogs.

Renting a Golf Cart

A golf cart is perfect for those who just need something for shopping around Playa del Coco or Playa Hermosa. It has plenty of space for your groceries, your dogs, or for some friends. This is a good option for vacationers and residents alike. There are multiple spots in Coco to rent a golf cart:

Prices range from $30-$40 a day depending on if you choose a gas or electric golf cart. A week rental ranges from $150-$200 and monthly rental ranges from $500-$600.

Main street Playas del Coco Costa Rica

Riding the Buses

Costa Rica has a well established public transit system but it helps to know a bit of Spanish. Buses are ideal for those who want to travel outside of Coco but still want to save money and have a more authentic experience. Buses are privately owned, so conditions may vary. Some may have AC or WIFI, depending on the company. Since there are numerous companies, the bus stops, routes, rates, and times will vary. For example, to take the Pulmitan bus from Playa del Coco to San Jose will cost you around $10.


Taxis are a very common transportation option in Costa Rica. Official taxis are red in color and have a light on top along with a yellow triangle on the car. They are quick and easy when just needing a ride every once in a while. A ride from Coco to Hermosa will cost you around $10-$15. Typically taxi services are priced per kilometer ($1-$1.50) with a surcharge to the airport or for trips after 10 pm. 

Horses (just kidding)

I was kidding about horses being a serious transportation option… but they are wonderful for a sunset gallop on the beach or traversing across a farm. There are a few places between Playa Ocotal and Playa Panama to request a horseback riding tour and enjoy the company of these beautiful animals. Horses are a big deal in Costa Rica and Costa Ricans take a lot of pride in their horses. Make sure to check out the “Tope”, which is the country’s largest horse parade and is held in almost every town.

Tope horse parade in Playas del Coco

Your own two feet

The beauty of Playa del Coco is that everything is within walking distance! The grocery stores, the medical clinic, the beach, restaurants, and more are only a short walk away. There is plenty to do in Playa del Coco so why not stay and enjoy it? 

No matter which way you choose to travel around town, you will find that you have plenty of options for any style or budget. If you have any additional questions or if you would like additional information on transportation options please feel free to reach out! 

Costa Rica road sign advising drivers to watch out for monkeys, deer and coatimundis

More helpful resources:

Retiring in Costa Rica May Get Easier

UPDATE April 26th, 2023

There has been another VERY IMPORTANT update to the Law to Attract Investors, Rentistas, and Retirees. In order to take advantage of this new law that has been put into place, when purchasing a property it MUST be registered under your personal name to fulfill the investment requirement. You may NOT use a Costa Rica corporation or a US/Canadian corporation to hold the property. You will be required to use your current passport to purchase the property for the capital investment to be valid under this law. 

The old immigration law for investors requiring an investment of $200,000+ that could be registered under your personal name or a Costa Rican Corporation NO LONGER APPLIES. All those interested in pursuing a residency through the investment option must follow the new regulations. Feel free to contact me at jaaechef@gmail if you need any additional clarification. 

UPDATE March 8th, 2023

The Law to Attract Investors, Rentistas and Retirees has been approved! On Feb 15th, 2023 President Rodrigo Chaves signed the regulations to this law to put it into action. The law guarantees the simplification of attaining a residency for foreigners who want the opportunity to invest, do business or retire in Costa Rica.

Not only will the capital investment requirement for a residency be reduced from $200,000 USD to $150,000 USD but this law will push for the creation of preferential treatment of foreigners obtaining a residency through this facet. The tax exemptions that were originally proposed in the bill were also approved. There will be a tax exemption for those interested in importing household items and 2 vehicles (land/marine/air). This is amazing news for foreigners looking to make Costa Rica their new home.

For those thinking of retiring in Costa Rica, I have great news! A bill to attract retirees to Costa Rica has passed the first debate in the Legislative Assembly. But what does this bill entail? Let me explain.

View of the Pacific from a retirement condo in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Retirement Investment Threshold

The bill that is advancing is under the file number 22.156 and is named the “Law to Attract Investors, Rentistas and Retirees.” The main objective is to reduce the capital investment requirement for a residency in Costa Rica from $200,000 USD to $150,000 USD. This investment can be in Costa Rican real estate, which is usually the most common option for investors. But it can also be an investment in registrable assets, shares, securities, and productive projects or projects of national interest in Costa Rica.

This proposed $50,000 USD reduction in capital investment is huge. It allows for a much larger window of foreign investors to come and make the move to Costa Rica. Not only does this benefit foreign investors but also the Costa Rican economy. More investors, means more consumption as well as a larger need for medical services which would generate jobs.

New Tax Exemptions for Retirees

Additionally, this bill is also proposing certain tax exemptions to incentivize investors to choose Costa Rica. The three main tax exemptions are a 100% tax exemption for importing household goods, 100% tax exemption for importing vehicles, and a 20% tax exemption for the transfer of property.

If this bill passes, all those who wish to move or retire to Costa Rica will be able to ship their personal goods for significantly less. You will be able to import 2 vehicles, for personal use, exempt from all import, tariff, and value added taxes. Currently the total tax on importing a vehicle into Costa Rica is about 45%-85% the value of the vehicle. The current tax on importing personal household goods is 13% of the declared value of said goods. Thousands of dollars will be saved by investors if these taxes are no longer imposed on them.

Retirees on a sailboat off the coast of Costa Rica

Furthermore, money earned outside of the country will not be taxed by Costa Rica, for example a U.S. pension. Only profits obtained within Costa Rica would be subject to taxation. This would prevent double taxation and is very inviting to those interested in retiring in Costa Rica.

Lastly, this bill hopes to extend the length of stay in the country of those who enter as investors, pensioners or rentiers to 10 years instead of the current temporary stay for a period of between three months and two years.

Golden Sunset in Playa Hermosa Costa Rica

All of these proposed incentives would really make a difference for those who are looking to make the move or retire in Costa Rica, and it will greatly help the Costa Rican economy. The second debate on this new bill is scheduled for Thursday, June 17th. If this bill passes the second debate it will be able to become law. Check back soon to see if it passes and keep your fingers crossed!

More helpful resources:


Beach Day Trips From Playa Hermosa

The moment after you settle into your new home in Hermosa or Coco, is when you can treat yourself to endless beach days! Playa Hermosa and Playa del Coco are beautiful, but they are also centrally located to other incredible beaches. Why not take a day trip and explore?Nacascolo Beach in Guanacaste
Let’s head north first! The first stop is Playa Iguanita. Warning, a 4×4 vehicle is required. Playa Iguanita is about a 40 minute drive from Playa Hermosa. It is located in the Iguanita Wildlife Refuge in the Gulf of Papagayo. You will find that the waves at this beach are gentle and calm. The water is crystal clear and an estuary is located at the south end. There is a ranger station with bathrooms and showers but no other amenities are close by. Playa Iguanita is ideal for those looking for a beautiful wildlife oasis.

Further north, is Playa Cabuyal. Playa Cabuyal is also a 40 minute drive but the roads are in much better condition. It has pristine white sands and crazy clear blue water. This is a wild beach with plenty of privacy and trees for shade to relax the day away. There are a few amenities like picnic tables, bathrooms, and a small parking lot for you to use. This beach has a swell but it is still very safe to swim. Playa Cabuyal is perfect for those looking for peace and quiet.

Playa Penca Beach
Time to switch directions! If you start heading south to Coco from Playa Hermosa, within 2 minutes you arrive at the entrance to some exquisite beaches! These two beaches, right before the Cacique development, have recently gained a lot of popularity. Playa Penca and Calzón de Pobre are both small pristine light colored sand beaches that feel like a wild paradise. The road can be a bit difficult depending on the season. These virgin beaches have great snorkeling and lookout spots but no amenities. Be prepared to be amazed at the beauty right next door!

South of Coco, about a 30 minute drive, is Playa Matapalo. The road to this beach is good because it is the same beach that the RIU resorts are on. The Diamante Eco Adventure Park is also located off of the same road. Playa Matapalo is a lovely long sandy beach hugged by mountains and plenty of wildlife. You have the option to rent ATVs, go horseback riding, or hike around at this beach. If you are looking for a beach that is still fairly wild but also has some activities, this is the one for you.

Playa Penca - beach in Costa Rica
Instead of going all the way to Matapalo, you can turn down the “monkey trail”. Within 40 minutes you will arrive at Playa Flamingo! Playa Flamingo is very unlike the previously mentioned beaches. It is not a virgin beach but instead it is bustling with activity, businesses, and people. Playa Flamingo is a white sand beach, almost even with a pink hue, hence the name. The waves are generally smaller but they can be very powerful. With many restaurants to choose from, this is a great beach for when you don’t feel like packing a lunch.

The last beach I want to mention is Playa Tamarindo. It is about 1 hour and 15 minutes from Playa Hermosa. This beach is well known for surfing and great night life. It is similar to Playa Flamingo because it is packed with businesses. You have so many restaurants, gift shops, hotels, and amenities to choose from. Tamarindo is a long white sand beach with Playa Grande to the north if you cross the estuary. If you are looking for a party or surf lessons this is definitely the beach to check out.

Sunset at Playa Hermosa - beach in Costa Rica
This short list does not cover all the incredible beaches close to Playa Hermosa or Playa del Coco. There are so many more beautiful beaches that can be enjoyed by taking a simple day trip. Make sure to go out and explore!

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