For decades, the quiet and pristine stretch of beach called Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica, was known only to surfers and fishermen. You couldn’t find Playa Avellanas in the guidebooks or tourist maps. A little village just south of the touristy center of Tamarindo, Playa Avellanas has remained in relative obscurity as thousands of SPF-slathered, beer-slurping visitors packed other beaches looking for sand, sun, and surf.
Step through the doors of this beachfront eatery. Wait, what doors?
Well, Playa Avellanas is a secret no more. It’s finally getting the recognition it deserves, and this rustic setting is quickly becoming a top beach destination.
Why? Playa Avellanas is already famous in the surfing community. It has five different surf breaks along more than a kilometer of soft sand beach. The waves are great for beginner and moderate surfers alike. Surfers have been riding the waves here for decades.
Catch a wave at Playa Avellanas!
However, today Playa Avellanas is known for much more than surfing. The area has recently been connected to the municipal water system and is currently upgrading to a high-speed fiber optic internet network. It means a wave of development is quickly gaining momentum. Developers looking to get in early are now creating new gated communities, real estate agents can’t keep up with demand, and meanwhile new hotels and restaurants continue to open despite the recent pandemic.
Development in Playa Avellanas
Two major developments are taking place in the area that will significantly add to the area’s population, economy and potential land value. “The Point” is a four-phase condominium and single-family home development 300 meters from the beach. Right now there are just under 30 homes in this exclusive gated community. It advertises two-bedroom and three-bedroom homes starting at under $200,000.
Artist’s rendering of a planned gated community at Playa Avellanas.
Tucked into the guanacaste and ceiba trees a kilometer away is another large project called “The Enclave.” The Enclave at Avellanas is a luxurious gated community where construction has recently begun on more than 50 luxury villas, nine swimming pools, eight hot tubs and a boutique yoga pavilion. Prices currently range from $299,900 to $499,900 for completed homes. Special Places of Costa Rica also offers several vacant lots for sale at The Enclave to build your own.
The construction has business owners and restaurateurs lining up to get established before real estate prices begin to rise.
To beach or not to beach? So many decisions in Playa Avellanas.
Despite its rural setting and dirt roads, Playa Avellanas has a lot going for it. The area is remote and off the beaten path, which is an attractive quality in the socially distanced world we currently inhabit. Improved water, electricity and internet infrastructure are giving visitors and residents the comforts of modern living while still providing a wild, natural environment where monkeys swing from the branches and parrots and macaws crow from the treetops.
Restaurants in Playa Avellanas
Playa Avellanas boasts a surprising number of great restaurants, all located within a 1.5-km radius. The most famous is Lola’s beachfront restaurant. It has a chill outdoor vibe and offers fun views of surfers riding the waves. Lola’s has a great reputation with tourists and locals alike. The main attraction is its unusual pets: two large pigs named Ave and Ana (Avellanas, get it?) and a donkey named Lana. You can see them frolicking down the beach and playing in the waves!
You gotta eat, and Avellanas is known for some mean cuisine.
Other restaurants serve up authentic homemade Italian food (Il Rustico), fantastic burgers (Barumis), leisurely Mediterranean brunches (Soul Shine), and wood-fired pizzas (Kon Tiki). Take a short drive to the nearby town of Playa Negra for more options such as Mexican, fine French dining and an assortment of mom and pop restaurants (called sodas) that offer Costa Rica staples such as fried fish and chicken, rice and beans, and fried plantains.
The Hacienda Pinilla Beach Club at Playa Avellanas.
These days new dining choices are opening up all the time. Purruja has a coveted beachfront location where you can enjoy cocktails while snapping pics of the amazing sunsets over the Pacific Ocean. Construction crews are busy right now erecting even more buildings in the area, which will undoubtedly add to the culinary array.
Tamarindo is also a short drive away, offering a wide range of restaurants, shopping and nightlife, as well as modern supermarkets and banks.
Activities in Playa Avellanas
Don’t surf? Don’t worry! The area around Playa Avellanas offers an adventurous assortment of fun activities to keep you active and occupied.
Yoga: Yoga has been a big part of the Pura Vida lifestyle here since before Lululemon ever existed. A variety of indoor and outdoor studios and shalas offer yoga classes taught by experienced and certified instructors.
Ziplining: Fly through the forest canopy where the monkeys live and get a bird’s-eye view of the area!
Costa Rica is famous for its ziplining, so strap in and go!
Stand-up paddling (SUP): You can ride the gentle surf, or glide down a nearby estuary for a relaxing paddle while watching the wildlife.
Sunset sailing: Sailing tours depart from Tamarindo daily. Enjoy a rum cocktail as the captain guides you and your friends up and down the beautiful coastline. Stop for a snorkel and lunch, and gently sail home as the sun disappears below the ocean waves.
Sportfishing: Guanacaste fishing guides will take you out on their boats and show you how and where to catch some of the sea’s abundant sportfishing prizes.
If you like sportfishing, Avellanas happens to be located next to the world’s largest ocean.
Crocodile tours: There are several national parks within a short drive where you can enjoy activities such as cave exploring or crocodile watching on the Tempisque River. Don’t dangle your feet over the edge of the boat!
Turtle hatching/nesting: This area of Costa Rica is an important home for vulnerable sea turtles. Leatherbacks, olive ridleys and green turtles all nest and hatch on the beaches that stretch along the coast. Playa Ostional is home to a rare phenomenon known as arribadas (arrivals), where tens of thousands of sea turtles simultaneously come ashore at dusk to lay their eggs. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a magnificent and breathtaking natural event.
“Arribadas,” mass arrivals of sea turtles to lay eggs on the beach, are an astonishing natural phenomenon that it’s possible to witness near here.
You can also tour a coffee or rum plantation, hike a volcano, visit a spa or just chill out in a hammock.
Imagine Your Future in Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica
Tourists, retirees and businesspeople are always looking for the “next big thing” when it comes to previously unknown places that are destined for big economic growth. . Right now in Costa Rica, that place is Playa Avellanas. It is a perfect mix of a rural, natural setting that still offers modern amenities and comforts.
An aerial view of Playa Avellanas explains why they say green and blue are God’s favorite colors.
Buyers can choose between empty lots ready for building, or fully furnished homes with swimming pools and security gates. They’re making waves in Playa Avellanas!
Picture yourself at this bungalow in Avellanas. What’s not to like?
Special Places is located within the beautiful coastal resort town of Flamingo, in the province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica. With over 15 years of service dedicated to the rental and property management profession, we have an extensive list of rentals in the Flamingo, Potrero, Brasilito and Tamarindo Beach area. Whether looking to plan your next tropical vacation or searching for someone to manage your home, our goal is to provide our clients with the most efficient and personable service in the area.
** In accordance with public health recommendations, Special Places continues to work hard to keep our guests safe. These protocols include enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures for all properties under management **
We are very proud of our professional maid service staff, who provide regular cleaning for some 150 properties — and do it with a smile. A half-dozen maids provide full-time service at a single house, but all the rest rotate among a wide variety of properties from Matapalo to Playa del Coco.
Maids are responsible not just for cleaning but for staging the house, with everything in its proper place, and keeping track of inventory (so that, for example, new clients don’t check in and find there’s no toilet paper). At times, say on Jan. 2, there are so many checkouts and check-ins that the maids bring their sisters, brothers and mothers to get all the work done.
Full-time maids assigned to a single property assist clients with shopping, cooking and laundry, and they often form close bonds with clients. It’s no surprise that our clients often want to take their maids home with them.
Special Places of Costa Rica employs two full-time maintenance men who service all our properties, plus a handful of caretakers dedicated to a single property each.
These men will fix just about any problem that arises — leaks, electrical and plumbing issues, a door that scrapes on a floor, a noisy ceiling fan… you name it. They also paint homes and provide roofing maintenance.
Our maintenance staff are available 24/7 for emergencies like a burst pipe that causes a flood. Special Places of Costa Rica also enjoys a network of qualified subcontractors to handle swimming pool service, gardening / landscaping and repairs to air conditioning units & kitchen appliances.
Steven, from Potrero, is a rental agent for Special Places. He processes rental inquiries, checks on property availability, makes reservations and helps with check-in and check-out info.
Steven has worked at three hotels: as a bellman at Casa Chameleon in Las Catalinas, as a receptionist in the Sugar Beach Hotel near there, and as a receptionist at Jardín del Edén in Tamarindo. He has a bachelor’s degree in teaching English from the Universidad Latina in Santa Cruz, and someday he hopes to teach English at his old high school in Cartagena.
Steven likes to ride his Kawasaki 250 dirt bike in the Potrero Hills, around Las Catalinas and in Tempate. He’s also interested in cars and mechanics, and he’s skilled at repairing motorcycles.
Quote: “I think work is a very important tool that helps us to fulfill ourselves as human beings in life and to improve on what we already know.”
Born in Samar Province in the Philippines, Phem has a two-year degree in computer science from the Asian Institute of Computer Studies. She came to Costa Rica at age 19 to work for her aunt, who owned the Mariner Inn in Flamingo. She later worked for House of Rentals, then Special Places of Costa Rica when the companies merged. As a concierge, she books tours, rental cars, chefs or whatever clients need to make their stay enjoyable. “Whatever they request, you do it,” she said.
She enjoys “having a connection to people, meeting different people, helping people.” Her proudest accomplishment was moving from the Philippines to Costa Rica to explore better opportunities. She recommends that visitors to Flamingo try an ATV tour, a catamaran cruise, rappelling or whitewater rafting.
Quote: “I love Potrero. I live in Surfside. It’s quiet, safe, and people there are very accommodating, nice, friendly, always willing to help you. They’re open to anyone. I like that community. And the bars are within walking distance.”
Pascale, Kenny’s mother and business partner, is the head accountant at Special Places. She is responsible for all the accounting, billing and taxes, managing the maid service, setting work schedules and procuring cleaning products.
Pascale is from Antwerp, Belgium, where she and her husband had a food-service business specializing in poultry. But they often traveled to the Caribbean and Central America, and in 2009 decided to move to Costa Rica.
“We thought it was time to follow some dreams, so we sold the business and came to Costa Rica,” she said. They traveled to every corner of the country, but they fell in love with Guanacaste and decided to settle in Flamingo. They couldn’t find a house that satisfied Pascale’s handyman husband, so they built their own on the hills above Potrero in Pacific Heights.
She says her proudest accomplishment is “bringing two beautiful sons into the world.”
Quote: “The way we raised them, they were very independent. We taught them to work also. Of course, school came first. To us it’s white and black, and the gray doesn’t exist. It’s good or bad.”
Norlyng coordinates the maintenance of all Special Places properties, and she’s also in charge of Human Relations and is an assistant to Kenny Segers.
Born in Limón but a longtime resident of Matapalo, she previously worked as a receptionist at the Best Western Seis Playas Hotel. She also spent six years at the Wyndham Tamarindo, working as head of reception and as an administrative assistant.
Norlyng studied law for a year and a half at the University of Costa Rica in Liberia, but currently she is more focused on tourism. She is married and has two daughters, ages 9 and 2. Her interests include reading (the Bible, inspirational works and finance) and going to relaxing places.
Quote: “My philosophy of life is to live in the present and try not to worry about the future, to have clear objectives, to try not to stress too much and to act in the present.”
A native of Brasilito, Karolayn has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Universidad Latina in Santa Cruz. She is responsible for the billing, accounting and filing at Special Places.
She enjoys hiking and swimming, and her favorite local places are Playa Danta and Playa Conchal. Asked what activity she would recommend to visitors, she said riding a Banana Boat, an inflatable, banana-shaped boat towed behind a speedboat.
Quote: “The working environment here is very nice, very tranquilo. We get along really well, the management, the coworkers, and also the maids and maintenance people. Also, in my job I’ve learned a lot of things that in university classes they don’t teach. It gives you the opportunity to learn and grow.”
A native of Antwerp, Belgium, Kenny emigrated to Costa Rica in 2008. Having graduated from high school in Belgium, he studied economics and business administration in Costa Rica. Eager to go into business, Kenny left university to work as a property manager for House of Rentals in Flamingo, which he acquired not long after starting the job. House of Rentals grew into Special Places of Costa Rica, currently represented by offices in Playa Flamingo and Playas del Coco, and known as one of the leading agencies in the area.
Kenny speaks and writes fluent Spanish, English and Dutch. He is the proud father of a Costa Rican son, Khael, who was born in 2016.
Passionate about his growing vacation rental and management business, Kenny is always looking for investments and opportunities. Hotel Pitaya Lodge (formerly Kakaos Lodge) is also under his management.
In 2020, he began building the first of several homes as part of a newly launched project development/construction company.
Juan Carlos works as a rental agent, attending to any questions about renting a property, explaining the options available, answering any questions and supporting the concierge team in extra services like tours or transport.
Juan Carlos was born in San José and currently lives in Potrero. He has worked for some 15 years in sales or customer service at hotels, including the Hotel Barceló in San José, the Hotel Parador in Manuel Antonio and the Lagarta Lodge in Nosara.
He also studied English at the Instituto Norteamericano in San José, earning a C2 certification in English. He has also taken several courses in administration.
Juan Carlos likes walking on the beach (“so I’m definitely in the right place”) with his French bulldog. “They’re very mischievous but very sweet, very good company.”
Quote: “I always say, ‘It costs nothing to smile.’ I always like to convey that people should be happy no matter what.”
Juan Diego, who was born and raised in Villarreal, works as a concierge. That means he helps visitors arrange tours and transportation, rental cars, airport pickup and dropoff, and other services.
Juan Diego studied sustainable tourism management at UNED, the Universidad Estatal a Distancia, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 2013. He has worked as an admin for the Dream Chaser catamaran in Tamarindo, as a receptionist at the Hotel Pasatiempo in Tamarindo, and as a concierge at the Hotel Dreams Las Mareas in El Jobo.
Juan Diego enjoys watching HBO series and movies, riding his bike, going out with friends and watching the sunset on the beach.
Quote: “I like concierge work because I get to help a lot of people, fulfilling the dreams of tourists who visit a beautiful country like Costa Rica that’s full of nature.”
José does property inspections, check-ins and check-outs for Special Places, making sure that properties are in great shape for new clients.
Born in Limón, he currently lives in Cartagena. He went to high school at Liceo Experimental Bilingüe de Santa Cruz, and he spent seven years working as a waiter and bartender at the JW Marriotts in Hacienda Pinilla and Reserva Conchal.
He enjoys going to the beach, listening to music, watching movies and series, playing video games and spending time with family.
Quote: “If you’re afraid of dying, it’s better not to be born.”
A native of Nicoya who lives in Cartagena, Jhon works in accounting at Special Places, calculating reservation contracts, sales commissions and billing. He has been studying accounting at the Universidad Latina in Santa Cruz for a year and a half.
His goal is to have an accounting firm of his own. His favorite hobby is artisanal fishing, usually from a boat out of Flamingo, and he once caught a 70-pound mahi-mahi. He also has caught marlin in Tamarindo and Quepos.
His greatest pride is a nearly 2-year-old daughter named Elizabeth Aitana.
Quote: “I think the most marvelous thing that’s happened to me would be the birth of my daughter. That’s the thing I’m most proud of.”
Jason is a concierge and rental specialist with an interesting job — knocking on new clients’ doors to see if they need anything or would like to book any tours or other services.
Born in Limón and currently living in Huacas, Jason speaks flawless English. He has taken some university courses on websites and social media marketing. He is married, no kids, but has a cat named Kirara.
Jason previously worked as a database analyst at Western Union in San José, typically addressing charge-backs on credit cards and resolving other monetary issues.
Jason loves “adrenaline,” muddy offroad adventures, motorcycling, ATV, video games, surfing and skateboarding.
Quote: “You don’t have to be the smartest person to fulfill your dreams, all you need is to put in a little effort and be certain that you will achieve whatever you set your mind to.”
Gabriel joined Special Places as an accounting assistant at the age of 20. He was born in Liberia and currently lives in Filadelfia with his family.
He studied at the Colegio Técnico Profesional de Carrillo, with a specialty in accounting and auditing. He worked previously as an accounting assistant and secretary for a clinic in Palestina de Belén that serves disabled people.
Gabriel enjoys mountain biking, and for the past eight years he has volunteered at the Red Cross in Filadelfia, working mostly in strategic communication.
Quote: “We never have to give up on a dream just because of the time it takes to achieve it.”
Daniela works as an administrative assistant in Human Resources, helping with payroll, health benefits and insurance, as well as onboarding new personnel.
Born in Liberia, she now lives in Villarreal, and she not only has two dogs but also a horse. She adores animals and loves to go horseback riding in the country. She also likes listening to Latin music like cumbia and salsa.
Daniela has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Universidad Libre de Costa Rica (ULICORI). Before coming to Special Places, she worked as an HR assistant at the Occidental Hotel in Tamarindo, where she learned a lot about Human Resources in a real-world environment.
Quote: “Take risks, because everything good starts with a little fear!”
Carla works as an accounting assistant at Special Places and is also involved in property management.
She was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and raised in Ciudad Guayana, where she earned a law and accountant degree and worked as a lawyer and accountant. Since coming to Costa Rica, she has worked as a manicurist, masseuse, bartender, waitress and artist.
A gifted artist and something of a Renaissance woman, Carla also draws and makes earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Her varied interests include dancing, hiking, scuba diving, traveling and discovering new cultures.
Quote: “My motto is ‘I know that I own the weak and fragile body of a woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king.’ ”
This property is not managed by Special Places of Costa Rica.
Accordingly, rental rates and availability for this property might not be current. Please submit an inquiry and will be be happy to verify the details and assist you with your booking.