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  • Writer's pictureMarjorie Anne Foster

Exploring New Towns: Las Catalines, Costa Rica

Updated: Jun 4


Las Catalines is a hidden gem. I never wanted to leave this newly developed coastal town, which had a unique blend of relaxation, wellness, outdoor activities, and adventure. This car-free, walkable beach community invites visitors to immerse themselves in Costa Rica’s natural beauty and vibrant culture. Here, you can see a map of the property.

This place is a haven for outdoor lovers and architect fanatics. The town is surrounded by lush tropical forests and pristine beaches, making it the perfect destination for hiking, mountain biking, and water sports. The cobblestone streets boast some of the most beautiful and unique homes. I swear I never saw the design twice. Visitors can explore the extensive trails that wind through the hills, offering breathtaking views of the coastline and the Pacific Ocean. For those who prefer the water, the property is in a protective cove, so the water is mostly calm and perfect for swimming any time of day.



The property has plenttyyyy of amazing restaurants. Here are a few of my favorites.


Eats:


1. Celeste

A popular beachfront restaurant, Celest is known for its relaxed atmosphere and stunning ocean views. The menu features a mix of international and Costa Rican dishes, emphasizing fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Highlights include seafood ceviche, wood-fired pizzas, and tropical cocktails. I HIGHLY recommend making this your first stop for the best beach-side marg of your life!

2. Ponciana Bar

They have the most insane mixed drinks you will have in Costa Rica. The bartenders compete in national competitions. Try the Passion Fruit Margarita, and you will not be disappointed. It is also the cutest indoor space ever. It feels like you are in a Balinese beach house. Immaculate vibes, trust me.

3. Sentido Norte

This dining experience was (seriously) life-changing. In the Casa Chameleon Hotel, Sentido Norte provides a luxurious dining experience with a breathtaking 200-degree sunset view. The restaurant specializes in traditional Costa Rican dishes with a modern twist, such as Costa Rican-style rice, beans with plantains, and fresh catch of the day prepared with local herbs and spices. The open-air setting and elegant decor make it perfect for a romantic dinner. It is also a great spot of a sunset drink and apps. This is a must-see, but make sure to make a reservation!


4. Copper & Stone

A deli and market that also offers a café-style dining experience, Copper & Stone is ideal for those seeking a quick, casual meal. The menu includes freshly made sandwiches, salads, baked goods, and a selection of gourmet groceries and local products. It's a great spot for grabbing a beach picnic or a leisurely breakfast. While many of their imported items are double the price of a regular grocery store, their produce is reasonable, and their pre-prepared food is worth the cost.

5. The Beach Club Restaurant

This restaurant offers a healthy dining experience focusing on healthy, balanced meals. The menu features an array of salads, grilled meats, and fresh seafood, all prepared with a commitment to wellness and sustainability. The relaxed, poolside setting makes it a perfect lunch or early dinner spot.

7. Cuatro Calle La Ronda

Cuatro Calle la Ronda is an all-day bakery that serves breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Customers can choose from various sweet and savory baked goods, breads, juices, coffee drinks, and teas.


7. Tamaki

Tamaki is a Nikkei cuisine restaurant owned by Chef Brian Tan, an original student of the Nikkei movement. This is your spot if you are in the mood for fresh sushi or ceviche. They also have ramen and dishes like Yakimeshi, a Japanese-style fried rice. I rarely encounter a menu that I haven’t seen before, but they really offer a unique array of options.


Do:

Explore the extensive network of trails surrounding Las Catalines. Whether you're hiking or biking, you'll enjoy epic views of the coastline and tropical forests.

  • Price: Free (Trail access is complimentary for visitors)

  • Bike Rentals can be found at the surf shop

2. Snorkeling

Discover the vibrant marine life in the clear, warm waters of the Catalina coast. Snorkeling tours typically include equipment rental and a guided experience.

  • Price: $40 - $60 per person


There are two very unique shops: Las Catalinas Collection and Chunches Consignment. I have never seen a high-end consignment shop built into a community like this, so I thought that was very cool!

3. Paddleboarding

Glide over the calm waters on a stand-up paddleboard. Rentals and guided tours are available.

  • Price: $20 - $40 per hour for rentals

  • Guided Tours: $50 - $80 per person


4. Kayaking

Explore the coastline and nearby coves by kayak. Rentals and guided tours are offered for all skill levels.

  • Price: $20 - $40 per hour for rentals

  • Guided Tours: $50 - $80 per person


5. Yoga and Fitness Classes

Join a yoga class at the local wellness center. Classes are designed to suit all levels, from beginners to advanced practitioners.


P.S. Las Catalines has the most epic outdoor gym. The locals call it the “Flinstone” Gym because the weights are made out of tree stumps.

  • Price: $25 per class

  • Gym Pass: $25 per day (classes included)

6. Spa Treatments

Indulge in a relaxing massage, facial, or other spa treatments at one of the town's wellness centers.

  • Price: Range of prices


7. Horseback Riding

Experience the beauty of the Costa Rican landscape on horseback. Guided tours take you through forests, the beach, and the hills.

  • Price: $60 - $100 per person for a 1-2 hour tour


8. Fishing Trips

Join a fishing charter to catch some of the local fish species. Half-day and full-day trips are available, and equipment and guidance are provided.

  • Price: $200 - $400 per group for half-day trips

  • Full-day trips: $400 - $700 per group


9. Cooking Classes

Learn to cook traditional Costa Rican dishes with local chefs. Classes typically include a hands-on cooking session and a meal.

  • Price: $50 - $80 per person


10. Surfing Lessons

Take a surfing lesson on nearby beaches. Instructors provide boards and teach the basics, catering to all skill levels.

  • Price: $50 - $100 per lesson (includes board rental)

  • We surfed in Playa Grande with this group.

  • Tip: Go early before the wind gets on it!

11. Sunset Sailing (Don't Miss This!)

This is a Costa Rica Must. Most tours include unlimited drinks and a meal.

  • Price: $60 - $120 per person

  • Here is my favorite charter!


Stay:

Las Catalines offers a range of accommodations to suit different preferences and budgets, from luxurious beachfront villas to cozy apartments. Here are some of the top places to stay:


A luxurious adults-only boutique hotel known for its stunning views and private plunge pools. Ideal for couples seeking a romantic getaway, this hotel offers upscale amenities and personalized service.

  • Price: $800 - $1,4000 per night

  • Features: Private plunge pools, ocean views, restaurant, bar, spa services


A stylish and eco-friendly boutique hotel located in the heart of Las Catalines. The Santarena Hotel combines modern design with sustainable practices, offering a comfortable and chic stay.

  • Price: $400 - $600 per night

  • Features: Rooftop pool, restaurant, fitness center, bike rentals, meeting spaces


Various vacation rental properties are available, ranging from small apartments to large homes. These rentals provide flexibility and privacy, making them ideal for longer stays or travelers who prefer self-catering options.

  • Price: $400 - $2,000 per night (varies based on size and location)

  • Features: rivate pools, fully-equipped kitchens, multiple bedrooms, ocean views


Interested in having a forever home there? Reach out to Las Catalinas' amazing residential sales team. Ask for Katherine Long; she's the best!


Shout out to LainSnow for the fabulous suits pictured here!


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