Whether you live in Costa Rica or you’re travelling around the country; you’ve probably heard you can catch some great waves in Dominical. But what if you’re not a big pro on a board? Don’t skip the area; there are a still a lot of things to do in and around Dominical, Uvita and Ojochal. Here are some other superb options for you:
Cafe Mono Congo
Every time we go to Dominical we just HAVE to make stopover at Cafe Mono Congo. Whether it is for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a cup of coffee, the atmosphere in here is always right. Therefore this cafe needs to be put on top of this list.
The menu stars a lot of vegetarian and vegan options and the Mad Monkey Sauce is an absolute, spicy delight. Unfortunately the menu doesn’t change often, but I guess the staff just doesn’t like to change a winning set of meals at Mono Congo.
Did I tell you there’s a beautiful sunset in here too, with both a view on the river and the beach? On the weekends there’re often bands, the swings are fun for the (grown up) kids and your furry friend can come along too. Take some cookies, monkey balls or cheesecake for on the road, you won’t regret it.
The Phat Noodle
A recent addition to the great atmosphere in town. This restaurant offers Thai delights and is happily welcomed by the meat eaters in the area. At this newby the cook uses healthy and fresh ingredients that are applied to noodle dishes. Very simple meals, yet with a lot of flavour and offered for some very cheap prices too.
The staff is super friendly and the covered area for eating is a cool place to chill. With the kitchen inside of a school bus, it has that Envision or Burning Man food camp vibe. The wontons as an appetizer are lovely, but honestly, no dish has ever let me down at Phat Noodle. That menu totally rocks.
The beach of Matapalo
Of course the beach of Dominical is great fun to be at, but if you need a moment to get away from it all, the seaside of neighbouring Matapalo is you’re place to go. This beach is wide, long and has some nice lodges for bigtime breaks.
Whale watching in Uvita
Curious about whale watching in Uvita? Read more about it in here!
The waterfall of Uvita
The water of Uvita’s waterfall is supercool and refreshing, and that might be just what you need as a relief from the heat on the Pacific side. The pool beneath the waterfall is swimmable (quite deep even!), and so is another one a couple of steps further. Need more information? Read about the place in here.
This place stands almost secretly on a rock cape at the top of the hill. Because it is situated on a small peninsula, this wonderful gem of a restaurant has ocean views on all sides. The view alone is reason enough to come but then the food is pretty good and reasonably priced too, with real Tico dishes. If you come in the late afternoon the capuchin monkeys will probably keep you company. A fun place to visit, together with the entire family!
This beach is situated next to La Parcela and fun for a stroll at the beach. Compared to Dominical it’s way less visited and therefore worth a mentioning in this list.
Without a doubt, you’ll find Nauyaca Falls high in any type of ‘Top waterfalls of Costa Rica’-list. Because Nauyaca is not an easy fellow to reach, a visit is indeed a spectacular and adventurous experience.
From Dominical you need to drive the 243 to Santa Juana. Once you get to the entrance you pay a $8,- entrance fee and can either hike 6 km (each way) to the falls, ride on horseback with a guided group tour, or pay an extra $28,- per person to ride in the pickup truck up the trail to the falls entrance, and have it pick you up again there in 2 hours. When you reach the waterfall you’ll for sure appreciate the remoteness and scale of it. The untouched and pristine area is a great place for a break and the water below the waterfall is absolutely inviting you for a swim. All in all a great half a day trip.
South of Uvita there’s another cute town inlands; Ojochal. It’s best beach has a remarkable feature: a long tunnel. At low tide it’s even possible to walk a bit through its corridor. The beach itself is wide and flat with calmer wave action than most of the Pacific due to its bowline shore. Here, you’ll mostly find Tico families having a picnic in the weekends. Join them – it’s as simple as that!
Whatever beach you end up in this area, don’t forget to hang out around sunset near the ocean. Since I’m living on the other side of the country, every time I’m at the west coast I’m being reminded again about how happy a rosy sunset with a little beer on the other side can make you feel. What do we say then? Indeed, pura vida!