Los Pargos – Off the Beaten Path Surf Town

Los Pargos is a very small surf town, about 30 minutes south of Tamarindo which is the main tourist town on the Pacific coast. We opted to spend our first few days somewhere quiet as it was the weekend, and we had just traveled 10 hours on a red-eye. It was perfectly quiet, and the best way to introduce us to the slow Tico lifestyle.

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Playa Avellenas

When I say town, I am being generous. Los Pargos is an ideal surf spot for those in the know who don’t want to share waves with droves of tourists. The beaches arn’t overcrowded like Tamarindo either. Which means you won’t have to fight for shade in the scorching sun. The town itself is a few dirt roads with a handful of restaurants, shops, and corner stores spread out. This makes for a perfect hideout if you are a retired CIA agent looking to ride some secluded right-hand barrels. Or a couple of hippy backpackers on the hunt for budget friendly accommodation relatively close to Tamarindo.

Our flight arrived at 6:00 am, and we disembarked the full aircraft, filtering through an empty security check relatively quickly. One of the many perks of parenting is you’re often escorted to the front of lines in airports! We were then shuttled to Ecomony’s car rental lot where we picked up car, and headed for the Golden Coast. At 8:00 am we got to town, and decided to check out the beach Playa Avellanas, before getting breakfast. There were already cars lining up the street leading to the beach. All of the early morning surfers trying to beat the afternoon heat.


A beachfront restaurant called Lola’s was getting ready to open. They offered several palapa covered tables and recliners to those who wanted to spend the afternoon out of the sun. The sand was already hot, and Jack was not pleased with this drastic change in temperature. We dipped our toes in the water and scurried back to the SUV with a wailing infant under my arm.

This was a good time to seek out somewhere air-conditioned for breakfast, and to find our Airbnb. We pulled up to a trendy café called Jalapeno Eatery & Market that had a familiar west coast vibe to it. After a crappy meal on the airplane, I was so ready to dig into something fresh, and boy did this place deliver!

Brett and I both had the Tico burrito. It was filled with pico de gallo, sour cream, rice and beans, fried cheese, and scrambled eggs. And deliciously wrapped into a flaky flour tortilla wrap that they make in house daily! However what made this

Jalapeno Eatery + Market

burrito amazing was the 4 house made sauces they bring to your table. I naturally gravitate towards hot sauces, so the garlic habanero was an obvious pick for me, however I could drink the jalapeno, pineapple and lime sauce! It was so refreshing and gave the burrito some zip and acidity! We will probably stop there to get a couple bottles the next time we are near Los Pargos. Known for their fresh squeezed tropical juices and protein packed smoothies like the chocolate, peanut butter and coffee Funky Monkey. It is no surprise that this is a popular spot for post surfing fuel.

Our Airbnb was on the same road as Jalapeno’s, which served as a great home base over the next few days as we explored the surrounding areas.

La Jolla was clean, quaint and our host made us feel welcome and accommodated as soon as we arrived. He gave us a tour of his beautiful property, with Mango, banana, and guava trees (to name just a few), and offered us to help ourselves. Click HERE to sign up for Airbnb and get $45 CAD towards your next trip!

Sadly we were arriving at La Jolla right before the lush winter season started, and many of the fruits were just on the cusp of becoming ripe. I checked one morning under the mango tree for any recently fallen, or low hanging fruit that was ripe to go with our morning granola and yogurt, but could not find any. I was also scared off by a spider, so there is that too. Fruit trees grow in abundance in this hot and dry climate. Mangoes are like North American apple trees here, they line fenced fields along the dusty burnt orange dirt roads. I am sure it won’t be long until I find a ripe one! And holy smokes, these mangoes are bigger than Jack’s head, which is saying a lot! Nothing like the mangoes we get at the grocery store at home!

Restaurant in Los PargosWifi could be found anywhere; in either our Airbnb or some of the restaurants in town.

And passwords were easily obtained with a small purchase such as a couple of cold beers or a plate of fried to order tortillas, salsa and guacamole. Our favorite was Café Playa Negra. Vanesa who works there, loved playing with Jack and even got him to fall asleep one afternoon while we came in for a snack and to work on our laptops. Everyone is friendly, and helpful; one of the many reasons are happy to be in Costa Rica for our vacation.

Every morning while staying in Los Pargos, we made the scenic drive to Tarmarindo for coffee and a stroll before the streets became packed with tourists. I felt safe even walking to pick up a pizza from a restaurant down the street from our Airbnb by myself at night. We are so happy to be in Costa Rica and to have made Los Pargos our first stop, and are looking forward to the rest of our adventure!

Pura Vida!


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    1. Sounds like you guys are having so much fun and making great memories! I hsve a 5 month old. What do you find is the hardest thing about traveling with an infant?

      1. The hardest part of traveling with an infant is not having many of the luxuries we did at home in Canada. We’ve invested in a table top high chair, but we can’t buy things like a jolly jumper or a swing/ vibrating chair or an activity center. He requires a lot more from us because his activities are limited. But, I also think this is really lazy of us. He is just on the cusp of crawling, and is starting to explore so much more, which just simply means we are getting back to basics. To before there were activity centers and jolly jumpers. We are constantly looking for ways to simulate him mentally, and I think I will be looking into some Montessori activities very shortly.

    1. Such a wonderful description. You really have set the scene with your engaging language. This surf area sounds like so many other places I have visited in developing countries, with the dirt roads and laid back lifestyle. Costa Rica has a wonderful reputation as a tourist destination. I will be looking forward to hear about the other towns you visit.

      1. Thank you so much! I have yet to write about our current town- we’ve been keeping it fairly low key, staying around our casa working. But I will write a post about Nosara shortly!

    1. Sounds like you had a great time. I had never heard of this place but it deffo seems like a place worth visiting. I totally agree about the airplane food being crappy but Jalapeno restaurant seems like they have dome delicous food. Thanks for sharing!

      1. If you love to surf, and are in the Tamarindo area, Los Pargos is highly recommended!

      1. It was such a unique little town. Close enough you can get to Tamarindo when you want the business, but perfectly quiet.

    1. I think you are very brave travelling with a 5 month old, I am not sure I could have done that but it sounds like you are all having a great time and what a wonderful way for a child to meet the world- all of it! Thanks for mentioning wifi- this is something we really find valuable to know before we head to a destination. Enjoy your next adventure

      1. Thanks so much! He’s almost 7 months old now- crazy how time flies! We are currently struggling with our wifi as we are in a completely different area. That is why we will most likely go back to the Tamarindo area where we have a few more luxuries like high speed wifi!

    1. Sounds like a great time. I have always wondered how it is to travel with a baby. Thanks to your experience and your blog, now I can know and the tips are so useful for others in order to plan everything good. Great idea

      1. It is wonderful! A great little beach town near Tamarindo!

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