Hog Heaven at Playa Avellanas

When we recently lived in Playa Grande just north of Tamarindo in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste region, we drove down the coast to check out some of the lesser known beaches. One of our favorites was Playa Avellanas. Not only is Playa Avellanas a beautiful beach, but there’s also a great beach bar (with a resident pig) that is the perfect place to relax the day away with a frosty Imperial.


Lola the Pig Playa Avellana Picture
Lola the pig taking an afternoon siesta

Getting There

Although Playa Avellanas is close to Tamarindo, it still takes about 20-30 minutes to get there because the road turns to dirt after the town of Villa Real. The drive itself though is all part of the experience. On the way, you pass through small Tico towns and can really get a sense of what life is like outside of the big tourism destinations. Tip: Map out your route in advance. There aren’t too many turns but signage is not the best!


Bad sign in Costa Rica

The Beach

At Playa Avellanas, you’ll enjoy beautiful light sand and rolling turquoise waves. The beach doesn’t see the same crowds as Tamarindo, so there’s always a place to put down a towel. Surfing is one of the most popular activities, and the beach has breaks for both experts and beginners. If you’re looking to take a lesson, there are plenty of schools in the small town to choose from.


Playa Avellana Beach Costa Rica


The beach itself is spectacular but what makes the trip worth it is Lola’s, the restaurant just steps from the shore. The grounds of Lola’s are stunning, with grand shady palm trees and handcrafted wooden tables and lounge chairs. Lola’s mixes up some delicious cocktails and has excellent, no-nonsense food with an emphasis on natural ingredients. Though not a budget option, Lola’s has an array of choices including some dishes that can be hard to find in Costa Rica like homemade veggie burgers and falafel. But the best part, aside from the ocean view of course, is the giant pig that lives on the property.


So, if you’re visiting Tamarindo and want to do some exploring, grab your beach hat and head down the coast to Playa Avellanas. Chill out on the sand, jump in the warm Pacific, and don’t forget to grab a cerveza and some ceviche with Lola!

Post by: Jennifer Turnbull-Houde & Matthew Houde


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    1. There are still a lot of remote places in Costa Rica where you can really get away from it all. Hope to see you at Lola’s with a cocktail soon, Kelly!

  1. I love this town!! And the reason why is because it has my 2 favorite things: pigs and the beach. Yup! I love these chunky monkey pigs . . . and of course love that beach too.

    1. It is a great spot, Becca. Not too many places out there where you can find both the beach and a pig. Thanks for reading!

  2. It looks so serene. I keep saying that I’m tired of living in landlocked area (I don’t count rivers) and would give anything to be closer to the ocean.
    That resident cerdo just looks all sorts of adorable, not to mention he looks so peaceful and content! And why shouldn’t he? He lives a la playa!

    1. Rivers and lakes are nice but the beach is where it’s at. Hope you make it back to Costa Ria soon!

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