Costa Rica

Playa Muertos: A Hidden Beach

October 03, 2022
Bex Smith Bex Smith
Playa Muertos: A Hidden Beach

While visiting Costa Rica on vacation, you can easily choose what activities will be there on your travel itinerary. There are ample options to choose from, such as creating sandcastles on the most beautiful beaches, going to an outdoor adventure park, or discovering more about the local customs and traditions of Costa Rica to spend a fantastic vacation in the country. But planning your travel itinerary becomes challenging when you want to do something unique and rare on your holiday to add some excitement.   

Well, worry not, as Puntarenas Province, Pochote in Costa Rica, is one such location that has almost everything for you to have a unique and memorable family vacation. Talking about the best places in Pochote, this region boasts golden shores facing the Pacific coast, cultural & traditional tours, ecotourism activities, and incredible natural paradises like Playa Muertos, known for its unique name and history. The magnificent pebbly beach, Playa Los Muertos, is where you can spend hours witnessing colorful stones, calming waters, and pleasant weather with breathtaking views.  

Playa Muertos is a beach with tan and white sand and a rough, chaotic atmosphere. Along with lofty driftwood tied to the sand and a dense jungle backdrop, tall palms extending towards the turquoise water are other elements that enhance the beach’s beauty. So, first things first, check-in at our all-inclusive luxury villa rentals, i.e., Villa Firenze, offering services and amenities tailored especially for families looking for a comfortable, luxurious stay. Next, head out of the villa, take advantage of the top attractions near Playa Muertos, and begin your unforgettable family vacation.   

Here, we have prepared a small guide with the necessary details so you can effortlessly plan your day at Playa Muertos.     


You will find Playa Muertos on the Nicoya Peninsula in southern Costa Rica. Popularly known as the hidden beach because of its remote location, Playa Muertos is located between Paquera to the east and Montezuma to the west. This secluded beach is known for its pristine island feel. Its remote location makes it difficult for visitors to access the beach, so you get a private place to enjoy quality time with family and friends during your vacation.  

Playa Los Muertos is where azure waters meet glittering, golden sands. It is a popular hangout spot for families, ex-pats, locals, and tourists looking for a perfect place to relax and unwind. The rocks strolled across the beach are the most admired and unique feature of Playa Muertos. These rocks, in various shades of red, yellow, orange, green, and pink, look incredibly beautiful when clear water floats over them. Watching the flowing water over these beautiful stones in different shapes and sizes while sitting at the beach will help you unwind while enjoying the natural beauty.      

 Playa Muertos is very famous among the locals of Costa Rica. However, you will find the beach almost empty on weekdays. The beach is spread out in both directions and provides plenty of space for visitors. So, if you are on vacation in Costa Rica and looking for a less crowded location to spend some peaceful time, this hidden beach is an ideal option.   

Why is Playa Muertos Known as the Dead Beach?     

Locals may have grown accustomed to the horrible name “Playa Los Muertos,” but as a visitor, it is sure not to feel welcoming or exciting. Who wants to visit the Beach of the Dead to unwind and have fun? This strange name existed even before the discovery of Las Peñas in 1851. The reason for naming the beach “Deadman’s Beach” or “Beach of the Dead” appears to have three possible explanations.   

Here they are:   

Variation 1: This beach was close to the ranch “Las Peas,” where gold and silver from the Cuale mines used to embark. The beach was named Playa Los Muertos after the massacre of the transport ship’s crew by the locals from the indigenous tribe who attacked them, leaving the beach covered in dead men.   

Variation 2: According to the second explanation, pirates or smugglers were the ones who carried out the massacre. The beach was named Playa Los Muertos when they assaulted the muleteers transporting the minerals from the Sierra.   

Variation 3: The most correct and accurate explanation for the name is that the beach used to serve as a holy burial ground. The beach began to gain popularity as “Dead Beach” around the time locals from the indigenous tribe began to observe the practice of burying dead bodies and collecting bones in pots, and people became aware of it. 

How Far is Playa Muertos from Villa Firenze?    

The distance between Villa Firenze in the Los Sueños Resort & Marina and Playa Muertos is around 122.2 km, and the estimated time to travel to the beach from the villa is approximately 3 hours 38 minutes via car. If you plan to stay at our luxury villa in Costa Rica, you can plan a day at Playa Muertos with your family and friends to add more fun and adventure to your vacation.     

How to Reach Playa Muertos    

Hidden or secret beaches are challenging to reach, and Playa Muertos is no different from any other such beach. This beach is accessible by boat and car, though getting to it is not very simple. It is even more challenging for children and people who use wheelchairs to reach this pebbly beach. That is why we recommend being extra careful and attentive while traveling to the beach.   

Here, we have listed the three easy and commonly used ways to reach Playa Muertos –     

Boat Ride: Traveling to this incredible beach is always an adventure. But you will be surprised to know that you can reach Playa Muertos in five minutes, thanks to boats traveling up the river and into the bay. Taking a small boat from Pochote village is the simplest way to get to Playa Muertos. Locals here also follow the same commute to get to the beach, which makes it the safest and the most trusted way of getting there. You don’t need to purchase tickets in advance to book a boat ride.     

Kayaking: You can also kayak to reach Playa Muertos. From Pochote, it takes around 30 minutes to paddle there. In Pochote, kayak rentals are easily available, and generally, higher tides are preferable for easy and comfortable kayaking.   

Driving: It is also possible to drive most of the way to Playa Muertos, skirting the mangrove area, and then walk the remaining 30 minutes from the road’s end. It would be best if you drive during low tides. The path is difficult because there are many rocks to cross. If you are unaware of the roads and routes, we strongly advise using the boat instead to reach the beach as it is safer and more convenient.   

Activities to Enjoy at Playa Muertos    

When you arrive at the beach, you will find a clean, kilometer-long strip of fine white gravel. The beach’s waters are fresh and ideal for water activities. There aren’t many waves when the weather is fine, but swimming can be risky on windy days. However, the beach is also home to sharp drops, making it difficult for children to swim. That is why we recommend that an adult should always accompany children to the beach.   

We have mentioned below the two most common activities visitors love to indulge in while spending their day at Playa Muertos.   

Snorkeling: Playa Muertos is a rough beach with many carved-out black volcanic outcroppings. You can try snorkeling in one of the sheltered areas to the right, but make sure the conditions are favorable the day you go to the beach to enjoy this fun-filled activity. The best conditions to enjoy snorkeling at Playa Muertos are calm, smooth water at the shore. Remember that weather patterns can vary as every hour passes. Therefore, before leaving for the beach, it is essential to check the weather forecast to ensure you have the ideal conditions for snorkeling at Playa Muertos. Even if the forecast calls for sunshine, it’s still a good idea to verify whether the water is suitable for snorkeling. Do as much research as possible at the snorkeling location. Keep an eye on your surroundings and go snorkeling only when the waves are not surging.       

Banana Boat Ride: If you are looking for fun water sports at Playa Muertos, you should try the banana boat ride. The banana boat ride is a bit tough physically, but it is equally exciting for both children and grownups. While starting your banana boat ride, get ready to bounce, bump, and hold on tight as you drift back through the waves. The banana boat ride is like riding a bull or jet skiing. It is an exhilarating, fun-filled journey. When the speedboat you’re tied to passes over the crest of the waves, you feel like you are floating in the air. Riding a banana boat at Playa Muertos will be an all-new experience for you.   

Best Places to Visit Near Playa Muertos   

In addition to Playa de Los Muertos’ natural beauty, the beach is bordered by other undiscovered wonders that mark the Almerian coast. Traveling to the beach provides the ideal opportunity to see such sites by taking a stroll along the charming coastal walkways.   

Approximately two kilometers south of the shore, in the direction of Agua Amarga, is where you’ll find Mesa Roldan Lighthouse. This iconic lighthouse on the Iberian Peninsula dates back to 1863 and is still well maintained and in operation. The lighthouse, perched on top of Mesa Roldan, a volcanic plateau, provides breathtaking views of Playa de Los Muertos and the surrounding area.   

The little coves that border Playa de Los Muertos are other locations worth exploring. One such lovely cove is Peon Cortado, surrounded by two enormous rocks buried in the sand. You’ll find Cala de las Salinicas on the opposite side of Playa de Los Muertos, whose pristine sand reflects the natural beauty of Playa Los Muertos.   

The village of Mojacar is about a 50-minute drive away from Playa de Los Muertos. This picturesque village is worth adding to your travel itinerary because it is beautiful, and the people here are warm and humble. You will love visiting this small village.   

Things to Know Before Visiting Playa Los Muertos   

The beach is beautiful, with pebbly sand that gets finer as you approach the ocean. The beautiful water makes the beach more stunning and worth visiting at least once during your Costa Rican vacation. But it’s not the best option for kids because the shore is sometimes uneven and drops steeply. If you’re planning to go swimming, be careful and go on a calm day because the waters can turn choppy, and the waves can get relatively strong on days with bad weather.   

There are no amenities available at the beach, so pack everything you’ll need for the day. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat are a few must-haves. You can carry large bags of food and even coolers stocked with beverages to the beach. Because Pochote lacks any supermarkets, stock up on the essentials before traveling, and for the beach landing, make sure you wear shoes that are simple to take off. A dry bag is an excellent option to prevent your gadgets from getting wet while on the boat. You probably don’t need an umbrella because the beach has many trees that provide enough shade.   

Regarding the best time to visit Playa Muertos, January, February, May, and December are ideal when the temperature is warm, and you probably see fewer crowds. In Pochote, Costa Rica, the months from February to May are the hottest, while the months from September to December are the coldest. If you wish to experience the eternal beauty of the beach during the rainy season, June, August, September, and October are the ideal month to plan your trip to Costa Rica.   

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