Along the Pacific Coast region of Costa Rica, and only three Kilometers from "La Palapa Ecolodge Resort", south of Manuel Antonio National Park in Quepos, lies the unique little beach community of Playa Matapalo.
Unlike its more popular neighbors, Dominical and Quepos / Manuel Antonio, it doesn't have world-class surf or a famous park to draw international tourists. Instead, it has a slow stroll-about peace and a beautiful, coconut trees, long sandy beach, perfect for swimming and watching wildlife and sunsets.
Because the beach community is not directly on the main Pacific Coast road and is over a mile away from the town of the same name, Matapalo is usually bypassed in favor of more established destinations. This has caused the people of the town to remain more tranquil and the area to retain a more natural charm. Many of the residents like the place just the way it is: peaceful and relaxing.
Walking through the town along the beach road, with thousands of coconut trees, which dead ends at the Río Portalón, you can see a number of small houses, a couple of bars, small restaurants and a lot of open space. Because of the small size of the human population, there are many types of wildlife right in the middle of town. Sloths, iguanas, monkeys, toucans and many other birds and butterflies can be seen all the time.
A Sea Turtle refuge center is located on the Matapalo Beach, and looked after by volunteers from all over the world that come to help the reproduction of many endanger turtle species including, Hawksbill, Loggerheads, Green and Leatherbacks, that come to lay their eggs on this unique and unspoiled beach.
In a country where 'Pura Vida' is the way of life and 'mañana' doesn't mean tomorrow, Playa Matapalo is a place where a person can truly enjoy live away from civilization and in direct contact with nature in a pristine beach, surrounded by palm trees but always with the tropical rhythm.
"One of the country's most beautiful uncut gems".
Only 16 Km south of "La Palapa Eco Lodge Resort" is Playa Dominical one of the country's most beautiful uncut gems, also known by the surfers to have one of the best waves of Costa Rica.
From its turquoise green water to its fiery red and gold sunsets, the natural beauty of the area is second to none. The town sits on the Pacific ocean bordered to the north by the Río Barú, on the east by three thousand foot high mountains and to the south by dark, coffee brown, beaches and coves.
One of the most striking features of Dominical can be found while swimming in the water, the town simply disappears. All you see are the tall beach palms, coconut trees and mangroves surrounded by verdant green hills reaching up into the mountains.
Only recently has it been discovered by those people attracted to its natural beauty. Not more than fifteen years ago the only buildings to be found were a few dilapidated fishing huts built by local fishermen. Since then the town has grown to over 700 permanent residents with a number of small beach front restaurants, bars. Even with the emergence and growth of the town, it is possible to walk from one end of Dominical to the other in less than ten minutes.
The area surrounding Dominical, especially to the south, is almost completely unpopulated. Because of this, the area is full of hundreds of different species of exotic animals including; three different types of toucans, hundreds of birds, butterflies, giant green and red iguanas, all four types of native monkeys, parrots of all sizes and hues, three toed sloths and various small cats such as jaguarundis and montegordos.