Playa Zancudo is an isolated stretch of black sand beach on the southwestern coast of Costa Rica. It is perfect for those looking to really get away from it all. Located on the warm waters of the Golfo Dulce, this 6-mile long stretch of beach offers peace and quiet, surfing, fishing, and ample beachcombing opportunities. This stunning beach is best suited for travelers looking for a laid-back beach experience.
Visitors soon fall in love with Playa Zancudo. Many spend their time on hammocks amongst the palms to read a good book or just relax and enjoy the natural beauty of their surroundings. For those who like to swim, the north end is ideal.spot for it. The waves here are not too large and are great for body surfing or boogie boarding. For the surfers, a relatively short walk south (10 min) on the beach and you will see a noticeable increase in the size of waves. If you didn’t bring a surfboard you can rent one in town. You can also rent kayaks and enjoy a tour in the calm ocean or explore the estuaries and inlets of the Rio Coto, where the plants, flowers, and wildlife are plentiful.
Playa Zancudo Economic Growth and Development
Playa Zancudo has recently benefited from the efforts of the Asociacion De Desarollo Integral Punta Zancudo. A new school is being completed and there is a new children’s play park. In addition, studies are being made and funds sought for a new public dock. Starting at the beginning of 2019 the final stretch of road leading to Playa Zancudo will be paved. These efforts by the ADI Punta Zancudo are improving the quality of life for Playa Zancudo residents.
At the present time, Playa Zancudo is a developing beach town that offers some hotels, restaurants, surfing, a safe place to swim, and world-class sports fishing. The Zancudo Lodge offers an extraordinary fleet outfitted with the finest of fishing gear and five-star lodging. Visiting Anglers can try a more economical approach by contacting some of the local fishermen of the area like Captain Pelon.
Studies by the Institute of Costa Rican Tourism (ICT) shows that the National tourism represents over 50% of the annual Costa Rican tourism economy. The new dock and improved road conditions will play a major part in Playa Zancudo regaining a foothold in the National tourism market sector. In addition, a cooperative approach by local business owners to market Playa Zancudo is key to future economic growth.
Investing in Playa Zancudo
The entire area known as Playa Zancudo is within the Maritime Zone. The Zone is governed by a completely different set of rules than fee simple titled land. In simple terms, the true title is held by the Federal government and the use rights are granted via a land lease called a Concession. To foreigners, this is a very different concept and it is very important to have competent legal counsel when investing in Maritime Zones.
That said Playa Zancudo has developed over the years to include a multi-million dollar sportfishing lodge numerous bars, restaurants and hotels along with some very nice homes. Playa Zancudo has gone thru a market correction in real estate values since the financial crisis in 2008. It is a buyers market in Playa Zancudo. Savvy investors a buying up vacant lots and existing homes that are in need of remodeling.at 30% to 50% of what they were selling for pre-2008.
Homeowners have created a strong niche market offering vacation rentals to defray annual homeowner expenses. Vacation rentals are very popular amongst the foreign tourism market sector.
Getting to Playa Zancudo
The boat dock is near the north end of the beach on the inland estuary side. In the high season, the public water ferry is reliable and frequent, the price varies. Cabinas and hotels in Zancudo can also arrange private water taxis at the time of your choosing, starting at US$60 for two people and becoming cheaper per person as the group size increases. For US$80, a boat captain will take you to Puerto Jiménez.
A bus to the border at Paso Canoas passes through Zancudo at around 6 am each morning. In Conte, passengers may switch to a bus to Golfito. Those continuing to the border will exit the bus at Laurel and catch a collective taxi the rest of the way.
From both Golfito and Paso Canoas the roads to Zancudo are well signposted. The main roads are paved, but as you get closer to Zancudo, long stretches of road are not. Outside of the dry season, a 4WD is recommended. There are two ways of getting from Zancudo to Pavones: the bumpy coastal road that requires a 4WD as it crosses several creeks, and the main unpaved road (retrace your steps to the fork). It takes around 1¼ hours to drive from Golfito and about 45 minutes to drive to Pavones.