Las Catalinas is a new beach town on the coast of Guanacaste, Costa Rica, located right on the shoreline and surrounded by hundreds of acres of tropical dry forest. There’s a simpler way of living here, which balances life in town and out among nature, with easy access to a wide range of activities to bring an adventurous flair to your next trip. Imagine waking up to the sunrise over the hills behind town with parakeets chirping outside your window and setting out into the perfect coastal air for a day around town. Maybe you’ll try …
The hills just outside Las Catalinas Beach Town have over 35 kilometers of multiuse trails that are excellent for mountain biking and hiking. Stretching from the Southern Lowlands up to the Windy Peaks and all of the way out to Punta Guachipelines, these trails are ridable in both directions, carefully groomed to ensure ideal conditions. They wind through vibrant tropical dry forest, across stunning vistas on hilltops, and down across the coast. With Pura Vida Ride, the town’s premier outfitter for providing bikes and training visitors of any skill level, there’s something for everyone biking in Las Catalinas.
One of the best ways to see Las Catalinas is from the water, and there’s no better way to hit the waves than on a paddleboard. The cove in Las Catalinas is sheltered from wind and huge swells, making a trip out into the bay easy and offering a fun way to explore Las Catalinas and beyond. Residents of Las Catalinas are often very creative with how they use paddleboards, bringing furry friends out on the water or even gathering offshore for a morning yoga session afloat.
Learning Something New
One of the best parts of being in town is getting to learn from the other members of the Las Catalinas community. We’re fortunate to have a very diverse and interesting group of people call town their home, and they’re always excited to share their knowledge with others. Maybe you’ll meet with our town architect, Sara, and our lead barista, Danny, as they explore Costa Rican coffee and the industrial design of the industry. Or maybe you’ll sit in with Ponciana’s head mixologist as he explores Costa Rica’s biodiversity and how it has left us with twists and dashes found nowhere else in the world. Offshore, you might have an ocean safari day with Ernst Van Der Poll of ConnectOcean, who offers a guided snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, or diving tour, followed by a beach cleanup and barbecue at Dantita Beach. On land, you might take a course with local town chef Gilberto Briceño, exploring local flavors and medicinal herbs that define the culinary classics of Guanacaste.
No matter what you pick, you’re bound to leave having learned something new to take home!
Shopping and Excursions
Part of what makes Las Catalinas such a lively town is all of the unique vendors and stores that make their home here. Maybe you’ll swing by Copper & Stone Gourmet Grocery for one of the finest selections of produce, deli, and wines in the region. Or maybe you’ll stop by ConnectOcean to plan an ocean excursion to the manta ray migration routes just offshore. If you’re in need of some relaxation, you might stop by Wake Day Spa for a day of bliss. Or maybe you’ll stop by D’Aqui Design for some interior design expertise and swing by LaPula Shop & Studio to bring home a gift that’s undeniably Las Catalinas. No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something to love waiting for you in town.
There are a few prime locations to have an evening cocktail in Las Catalinas, each with its own unique character. Up overlooking town, Sentido Norte provides a sunset happy hour every night, with one of the best views of the ocean beyond town as night falls. Midtown, the gazebo on the Avenida La Antigua flats gives a stunning view of the cityscape. For the more adventurous, a trip up to McHenry Peak or Punta Guachipelines brings panoramic views of Las Catalinas and miles of coast as the sun sets on Guanacaste. Downtown, Santarena’s rooftop offers the opportunity to watch sunset from the hotel’s infinity pool terrace in a casually elegant atmosphere. And finally, there’s nothing quite like sitting down on the beach with a cocktail from Limonada or a bottle of wine and enjoying the coastal sunset with friends old and new.
A Wide Selection of Dining
The quickly growing culinary scene in Las Catalinas has received a number of exciting new additions recently. Alongside favorites Limonada, which offers casual beach dining, and Sentido Norte, a sunset cocktail bar and restaurant, come three new additions: a small-town bakery, Copper & Stone, and Ponciana.
The bakery is a cozy neighborhood shop located at the base of Santarena, offering freshly baked goods, small sandwiches, and other bites throughout the day. Located just off Plaza Central on the road leading into town, Copper & Stone is a gourmet grocery store offering smoothies, sandwiches, and a deli counter in addition to its wide selection of groceries for the wine lover, the vegan, the conscious consumer, and everyone in between. Finally, in the heart of downtown Las Catalinas, on the ground floor of the brand-new Santarena hotel, is Ponciana, a unique dining experience that features locally and seasonally sourced ingredients and dishes.
So whether you’re interested in the trails, the cove, the town, or the surrounding area through excursions offsite and offshore, there’s an adventure for everyone who steps foot in Las Catalinas. Bring a little life to your next trip, and see why — work or leisure — Las Catalinas is the place to be.