Are you in Puerto Jiménez (Costa Rica) and want to visit a nice wild beach like Playa Preciosa (Platanares)?
I tell you what Playa Preciosa (Platanares) is like, how to get there, where to stay, and what to do in Puerto Jiménez
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Playa Preciosa (Platanares beach)
If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica (👉COSTA RICA GUIDE), you should know that it is a country characterized by the beauty of its beaches, mountains, volcanoes and the diversity of its wildlife.
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Not far from the center of Puerto Jiménez is Playa Preciosa (Platanares according to Google Maps, is the same). The beach in general is nice; although I did not find it to be an incredible wonder.
It’s long and there’s a nice path full of coconuts (you can eat a lot and, if you want, learn how to open them with this tutorial) and a little further away is a river where you can also swim.
What I really loved was the area on the left (looking towards the sea), the closest to the point. There is a hotel and in front of it a public area with hammocks and palapas, it is really very nice and the views are beautiful, besides there are not many people and it is quiet.
In the photos you can’t fully appreciate it, but the site is very tidy.
My recommendation would be that you go to Playa Preciosa during the hours when the sun is not so strong, because it is a beach with very little shade near the water and, depending on the time, the heat becomes unbearable and you end up like a crab. Don’t forget to bring a good sun protection cream!
Warning! A man who worked there told me that during the evening THE crocodile goes out for a walk (you can see that the territory has been awarded) and you have to be a little cautious, that these critters have enormous teeth.
How to get to Playa Preciosa
Since Platanares beach is close to the center of Puerto Jiménez and the road is all flat, you can go by bike. The journey is pleasant and there are many trees that provide shade.
The other way to get to this beach is by car. Don’t worry, you won’t need a 4×4; Although the road is not paved, it can be easily traveled.
You can also check out how to get to Puerto Jiménez and the transport prices and tickets in this link.
Where to stay in Puerto Jiménez
There are two areas that I recommend to stay in Puerto Jiménez, depending on whether you are looking for something calmer or to have more facilities.
First there is the most central area (that of the town itself), here you will have several restaurants and a large supermarket. Within the town, the best area to stay is next to the beach, since the views are more beautiful and there is more atmosphere. The only drawback I see is that it is a bit far from the main supermarket.
High budget: BOTANIKA OSA
If you are looking for something further from the downtown area to be able to enjoy the beach and relax, I recommend that you stay at Preciosa beach. It is a beach not far from the center of Puerto Jiménez (you can get there by bike) and the beach is long and quiet. You can spend the afternoon on a sun lounger and enjoy nature.
High budget: IGUANA LODGE
Quiet and a bit far away
There are also quite a few lodgings in Cabo Matapalo; although they are far from the center of Puerto Jiménez. The advantage of staying here is that the beaches are very beautiful, you will be in the middle of the jungle and you can visit the waterfalls!
There are very nice hotels next to the beach, and they will be perfect to unwind for a few days. You can get to Cabo Matapalo by private transport or by bus.
Tours in Puerto Jiménez
Puerto Jiménez is a region abundant in wildlife and nature, boasting opportunities for visiting pristine beaches, snorkeling, birdwatching, crocodile viewing, kayaking, and more.
There are different TOURS and ACTIVITIES that you can do during your trip, so you can make the most of your stay:
Useful stuff for your trip to Costa Rica
Below, you will find some products that will be very useful during your trip to Costa Rica.
In addition, the options that I recommend are committed to the environment/social causes and are vegan.
Carrying a waterproof windbreaker in your suitcase is essential in case temperatures drop, it rains unexpectedly, or to go hiking.
When traveling, it’s important to choose a jacket that is lightweight, takes up little space and that you can use in different situations; that is to say, that transpires, is waterproof and has a hood to protect you properly from bad weather.
Gopro 11 Black
The GOPRO 11 (👉 PRICE) is a great choice if you are visiting natural areas, practicing adventure sports or want to make videos underwater, e.g. while scuba diving or snorkeling.
In addition, with its stabilization and Horizon Lock function, it will allow you to make incredibly stable videos even in adverse situations (such as walking, running or riding a motorcycle). In addition, it comes with an amazing 5.3k image quality.
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3-in-1 hiking shoes
These La Sportiva shoes are designed to run in the mountains, thanks to this you can use them for hiking, go out to run and do tourism ; saving space in your suitcase.
They are made with goretex, which means they protect you from the inclement weather weather (such as rain, ice or cold) and are adherent to the ground. This makes them ideal for traveling due to their versatility.
What to do near Playa Preciosa (Platanares)
Puerto Jiménez is not one of the main tourist places in the country, and most people who end up here aim to visit the Corcovado National Park.
It is a great idea to spend a few extra days in this corner of Costa Rica, since it has beautiful places that are worth visiting. For me, it was one of the best stops on the route.
Kayaking to see the dolphins and CROCODILE
In the dock area they rent kayaks for an excursion in Puerto Jiménez from the sea to the lagoons. You can venture alone or go with a guide, so that he can tell you things about the place.
The mouth of the river that leads to the lagoon area is an ideal location since it is the territory of crocodiles and, at the same time, dolphins can be spotted.
It is a very nice excursion to do, both for the natural landscape and for the fauna that you can see.
BEACH + PUERTO JIMÉNEZ VIEWPOINT
It is a pleasant place because of the atmosphere. The main area of Puerto Jiménez is made up of a street with some restaurants and a viewpoint next to it from the sea.
At the end of it all is a beach where people hang out. The water is very calm and the beach at high tide almost disappears, leaving a path full of palm trees with people sitting having a coconut or a beer.
On the beach itself there is a restaurant in particular that always plays loud music, and it is very fun to buy a coconut, sit on the sand and listen to the music while surrounded by families who go there to spend the afternoon.
Although there are restaurants, this place is not non-touristy or cramped, and you can eat something and enjoy the views of the bay.
This is a park next to the lagoon where wild crocodiles quietly inhabit. But without bars or any kind of protection, they run around freely while people stroll or sit quietly on a bench.
You will also be able to observe other animals such as monkeys and different types of birds. I recommend that you go as it is a fun place and in the heart of Puerto Jiménez.
To complete the experience to this crocodile park, the entrance is half hidden between bushes and makes it a book adventure.
Playa Blanca is located in the part of above Golfo Dulce and its waters are very calm, as if it were a lake; although the beach itself is not particularly pretty.
People usually get together to ride to have lunch on the beach and swim for a while and, in addition, you can snorkel. I spent the afternoon there and was able to see two rays, puffer fish, a giant tortoise and a dolphin from afar.
For me it was one of the best excursions I did in Puerto Jiménez, due to the authenticity of the place and the huge turtle I managed to see.
Playa Sándalo is another place to snorkel in Puerto Jimenez. Not far from the coast there is a reef with different types of fish and the water is not too deep.
Unlike Playa Blanca, Sándalo is much quieter and more relaxed, as the beach is quite muddy and not comfortable to walk on.
These two beaches are very close to each other, and can easily be visited in the same day using public transport.
Is Costa Rica SAFE to Travel?
Costa Rica is a moderately dangerous country, where nothing should happen to you if you go carefully and take precautions. Remember to follow these recommendations:
- In case of robbery, do not resist physically.
- Do not show a high purchasing power, that is, do not go with jewels, bags, etc … that are expensive.
- Be careful if you go out at night, and stay in crowded places where you are surrounded by other people.
- Thefts are usual, so don’t go with the camera or mobile in your hand or hang out of your neck.
- Try to avoid carrying the backpack on the back. Put it in front of you, or use a belt pouch or a cross bag.
Personally, I spent 3 months traveling alone in Costa Rica (I visited San José, Puerto Viejo, Tortuguero, Dominical, Uvita, Bay Drake and Puerto Jiménez) and I did not find myself in any really serious situation.
Going down the street with the camera, several Costa Rican people approached and warned me that they were carefully with robberies, since they told me that they are very frequent.
In my case, during the trip they tried to steal 2 times and, luckily, I realized on time and I could avoid it. In any case, it is always a good idea to have travel insurance (👉5% discount) that can compensate you financially and help you if a medical emergency occurs.
If you are interested in traveling alone, I recommend this article about the reasons and benefits of traveling alone and this other article with tips for traveling alone being a woman. I encourage you to try it since it is a great and very profitable experience for oneself.
Eating VEGAN in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is not a country faced with vegan food. Anyway, they have some traditional dishes that are vegan or that you can ask without egg or sauces such as the pico of rooster (rice with beans for breakfast), black bean soup or rice with vegetables.
You should always ask if the purés or soups are made with some type of dairy product or meat broth, since at first glance they might seem vegan dishes but not be.
In San José you can find some vegan restaurants, but when you leave the capital the offer is very limited or non -existent. Next, I make three recommendations and in this link you can read tips to travel vegan.
- Try to stay in hotels that are characterized by cooking vegan and vegetarian dishes. This is the best option and the most practical for not having to be looking for places where to eat comfortable without always repeating the same dishes.
- Before going on a tour that includes a meal, always mention that you are vegan or vegetarian, so that they can adapt the food.
- Costa Rica is a country where you can find a variety of fresh products (fruits and vegetables) to prepare salads and breakfast with fruits. In any city or town, you will easily find some supermarket or stalls on the street where you can buy groceries.
¡Disfruta mucho de tu excursión a playa Preciosa y ten cuidado con el sol!