Exploring Playas Preciosa, Tamales, Sombrero and Matapalo on the Golfo Dulce
We spent a couple of days with Edwin enjoying homestyle Italian cuisine and the tree houses at Tortuga Negra on playa Preciosa while exploring from Puerto Jiménez down to Cabo Matapalo.
Tortuga Negra Lodge is in the trees a few dozen meters behind Playa Preciosa. Simple but elegant hardwood casitas give you a second story peek into the treetops where howler monkeys greeted us every morning and white faced capuchins trooped through each evening. Scarlet Macaws flock on the beach attracted by the almond trees along the whole three kilometer stretch of gray sand.
Some of the most spectacular undiscovered beaches in Costa Rica stretch south from the Puerto to Cabo Matapalo along the Golfo Dulce. Preciosa is a long walk or short bike ride from downtown Jiménez and the most “crowded” of the beaches along this coast until you reach Matapalo. The crowd typically consists of one or two other people plus half a dozen Lapas (Macaws), a troop or two of monkeys and a few wading birds near the small estuary.
The waves on Playa Preciosa generally break too close to the beach for surfing and are a little rough for all but the strongest swimmers.
South of Preciosa lies Playa Tamales which is one of the least developed beach on the peninsula side of Golfo. A small sandy campground under shade trees in the front yard of a campesino house near the entrance is the only sign of habitation. We’ve been told that occasionally the surf sets up here, but for the most part you’ll be better off skipping one beach down to Sombrero if you want to ride.