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Playa Blanca, Garabito Puntarenas: Nature in its purest state


Did you know that Playa Blanca is considered one of the best-kept secrets of nature in Puntarenas? This stunning Beach with white sand and crystal-clear waters is a hidden gem in the province, a place where history blends with natural beauty and biodiversity. Puntarenas boasts numerous beautiful beaches, but Playa Blanca is among the most impressive. Let us take you on a journey to discover this Costa Rican paradise and all it has to offer.

The history of Playa Blanca dates back to the 19th century when it became a crucial landmark for ships heading towards the Pacific. During this time, Puntarenas was experiencing a boom in the exploration of Costa Rica, and the region developed rapidly. As sailors and explorers discovered the beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters of Playa Blanca, the place began to gain recognition and became a popular tourist destination.

Over the years, Playa Blanca has maintained its natural charm and remains a stunning place for visitors. Its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters are perfect for relaxation and sunbathing. Furthermore, the region boasts impressive biodiversity, making it a paradise for nature lovers. 

Some highlights of biodiversity in Playa Blanca include:

  • Tropical forests: The surrounding area of Playa Blanca features dense tropical forests that house a rich variety of trees, plants, and wildlife. Here, you can find trees like the almond tree, cocobolo, and Guanacaste, and you can get to know them through guided tours—an impressive sight during the day and a treasure to discover at night.

    Reserva Protegida_Hotel Punta Leona

  • Marine life: The waters near Playa Blanca are home to a rich diversity of marine life. You may encounter sea turtles, dolphins, manta rays, and a wide variety of tropical fish while exploring the coral reefs. Additionally, at Playa Blanca, you can find Costa Rica's only Marine Museum.

  • Exotic birds: Costa Rica is a paradise for birdwatchers, and Playa Blanca is no exception. In the area, you can see a wide range of birds, from scarlet macaws and toucans to pelicans and frigatebirds.

Some species stand out as true emblems of the region, and you can find them in the crystal-clear waters or in the treetops surrounding the beach. Among them is the Lara Turtle, where Playa Blanca becomes an important nesting site. During certain times of the year, you can witness the exciting experience of these majestic turtles laying their eggs on the beach. Another beautiful marine creature is the dolphin; groups of dolphins are regular visitors to the waters near Playa Blanca. You may be lucky enough to spot some playing in the waves or following boats. Finally, howler monkeys are a constant presence in the forests surrounding the beach. Their distinctive calls will resonate through the foliage, and if you pay close attention, you may catch a glimpse of them.

With this abundance of wildlife, biodiversity conservation in Playa Blanca is a priority for local authorities and communities. Hotel Punta Leona, in collaboration with local organizations, has established protection programs such as the red macaw conservation program and regenerative tourism practices to ensure that this natural beauty endures for future generations. Some conservation initiatives include:

  • Pacific coast marine regeneration: This project began in 2020 and involves the placement of 30 "reefball" or bell-shaped structures, which are occupied by many marine species. In addition, artificial reef sculptures can be found, with the first 3 placed at a depth of 2 meters at low tide and about 5 meters at high tide. Each one weighs more than a ton and measures approximately 3 meters in length. The project not only functions as an innovative underwater museum experience for divers and snorkeling enthusiasts but also creates a new habitat for marine life.

Museo Marino_Hotel Punta Leona
  • Red macaw conservation program: This program, with more than 30 years of history, was born in response to the concerning situation faced by these beautiful birds in the early '90s when red macaw counts in 1994 were reported at only 100 pairs of birds. Led by Hotel Punta Leona, this program focuses on research, education, and rehabilitation of red macaws, successfully increasing the macaw count to over 400 pairs by 2023. Hotel guests have the opportunity to learn about the life and behavior of these birds through guided tours and informative talks. Moreover, they can observe the macaws in their natural habitat while flying freely around the hotel's surroundings. There are also cameras in the nests, allowing you to witness the wonderful miracle of life from any internet-connected device.

    Programa Conservación Lapas Rojas_Hotel Punta Leona

  • Protection of Lara Turtles: Hotel Punta Leona, in collaboration with local organizations and environmental authorities, has established sea turtle monitoring programs that span the entire nesting season. This involves protecting the nests, collecting scientific data, and safely releasing hatchlings into the ocean. Visitors and the local community have also been educated about the importance of sea turtle conservation through informative talks and awareness activities. Measures have been implemented to reduce light pollution on the beaches, helping turtles to orient themselves properly towards the sea after laying their eggs.

  • Regenerative tourism: Hotel Punta Leona takes pride in promoting responsible and sustainable tourism, and one of the eco-friendly practices it has enthusiastically adopted is "plogging." This innovative activity combines a passion for exercise and health with environmental responsibility and has proven to be an effective way to keep our beaches and trails clean and healthy. Plogging, which comes from the fusion of the words "jogging" and "plocka upp" (to pick up in Swedish), invites our guests and visitors to participate in a unique experience. While enjoying a morning run or a leisurely walk along the beautiful trails and beaches surrounding the hotel, you can carry an eco-friendly bag and gloves with you.

These ecological efforts by Hotel Punta Leona have been recognized with the prestigious Tourism Sustainability Certificate, awarded by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute. Since 2002, the hotel has joined this program and undergoes a comprehensive analysis every two years in key areas such as the physical-biological environment, service quality, socio-economic impact, and customer satisfaction. 

Thanks to all these efforts, the blue flag proudly flies at Playa Blanca. This international recognition is a testament to the purity and sustainability of this beautiful Costa Rican corner. Don't wait any longer—come and immerse yourself in the beauty of this award-winning beach!

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