surfing near Hacienda Pinilla

Hacienda Pinilla: a paradise on the Gold Coast, surrounded by many of Costa Rica’s iconic and can’t-miss activities. Like epic surfing. There’s a reason our waves are considered legendary!

So, you’re planning a trip to Costa Rica. You’ve decided on Hacienda Pinilla. And now, you’re wondering what to do while you’re here. Or, more to the point, what to prioritize during your time here. Because, when time is limited (and when is it not?), you want make the most of it.

Luckily, we’re experts in making the most of your time at Hacienda Pinilla. You could even call it what we do. You know, for a living.

Located just four miles from downtown Tamarindo, on Costa Rica’s northwestern shores – affectionately and quite fittingly known as the Gold Coast – Hacienda Pinilla is a private, upscale community: more than 4,500 idyllic acres of rolling savannah, green hillside, and pristine beaches that for a hideaway wonderland and one of Costa Rica’s most unique and exclusive resort communities.

While we know you’ll appreciate the history, amenities, and rampant beauty of Hacienda Pinilla, we also know that the community’s surrounding splendor – and sheer variety –  further nurtures a love of this unique destination. This is a special place.

Hacienda Pinilla is truly the best of all worlds: convenient but quiet, close yet far, both busy and tranquil. Enjoy it all. Especially these 7 activities in, around and close to Hacienda Pinilla.

  1. Hit the Hacienda Pinilla Golf Course

Hacienda Pinilla golf course

The par-72, 7,200-yard Hacienda Pinilla Golf Course was designed by renowned architect Mike Young.

Considered one of the top golf courses in Costa Rica, Hacienda Pinilla’s own par-72, oceanfront golf course is the beautiful brainchild of renowned architect Mike Young.

Designated as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary for its preservation of ecological balance, the course follows and also enhances its natural surrounds: 7,200 yards of rolling hills, crashing surf, sun-drenched savannah, and tropical dry forest.

  1. Take a Surf Lesson

surfing lesson at Hacienda Pinilla

Our recommended surfing lessons are perfect for beginners and advanced surfers alike. Get up on your board for the first time – or challenge yourself to waves so great, they’ve already taken on Hollywood!

It’s no secret that Tamarindo is famous for its surf breaks. Massive barrels, hard rights, pounding surf – it can all be a little intimidating, if you’re not rock-solid in your confidence of a board. And that’s where surf lessons come in: Book private or group lessons with one of our expert instructors, and in just one two-hour lesson, you could be up on your board, catching your first wave, or back on the board, learning some new tricks.

Want an extra challenge? For advanced surfers, we recommend our all-day surf trips to Playa Avellanas, Witch’s Rock, and Ollie’s Point – famed surf spots, including a few of which were immortalized in the surf classic Endless Summer 2.

>> Reserve a Surf Lesson <<

  1. Visit a Sea Turtle Nesting Site

Turtle Watching Ostional

There is nothing – nothing! – quite like watching a nesting mother methodically dig her nest. Or, on the flip side – observing her just-hatched young emerge from the sand and make their way to the sea. The cycle of life is a beautiful (and moving) thing.

Stick around for any amount of time, and you’ll see us wax poetic about sea turtles. From nesting to hatching, we love these majestic giants in all their many iterations. We consider sea turtle nesting to be one of the most can’t-miss, bucket-list, see-it-only-here activities around Hacienda Pinilla.

If you’re looking for almost guaranteed nesting and/or hatching, any time of year, then you’ll be happy to hear that your vacation home is just a short drive to Ostional Wildlife Refuge, famed for its arribadas, or mass sea turtle nesting events. You’ll see primarily olive ridley turtles, with a few guest appearances by Pacific green and leatherback turtles. And, speaking of leatherbacks, be sure to ask about current nesting conditions at our nearby Playa Grande and Las Baulas National Marine Park, best known as a leatherback nesting site.

>> Reserve a Turtle Nesting Tour <<

  1. Paddle, Paddle, Paddle!

ocean kayaking to Capitan Island

Fancy a challenge? Scenic exercise? You can have it all, on an ocean kayaking tour to Captain Island, just offshore (about a 40-minute paddle) from Hacienda Pinilla.

There’s something about being thisclose to multiple bodies of water that urges you to get out of the house – even when that house is as beautiful as your luxury Hacienda Pinilla vacation rental!

Anyway, back to water and paddling: When you stay at Hacienda Pinilla, you’ll probably feel the urge to get out on the water. Grab a kayak and take to sea or mangroves, on a kayaking tour – a challenging paddle that cuts either through the Pacific or leads into Tamarindo’s famed mangroves. No matter which you choose, you’re sure to discover a new reason to fall in love with Costa Rica.

>> Book a Kayaking Tour <<

  1. Hit the Beach (and the Beach Club)

Hacienda Pinilla Beach Club

The Hacienda Pinilla Beach Club offers a full suite of beachy and beach-side fun, from the ocean-view infinity-edge pool and Tiki Bar, to a fitness center and spa.

Hacienda Pinilla unfolds over three miles of pristine coastline – the triple pleasures of Playa Avellanas, Playa Langosta, and Playa Mansita. You can swim, surf (Playa Avellanas sports up to 18’ waves!), snorkel, stroll – or, simply sunbathe beneath the warm Costa Rican sun. These are some of the cleanest, most beautiful, and most pristine sands in Guanacaste.

Of course, they’re even more spectacular with the addition of Hacienda Pinilla’s upscale Beach Club: a sparkling beachfront pool, new fitness center, and ocean-side restaurant. Sip, savor and enjoy the view. Then, take a dip. And finally, reserve some time at Hacienda Pinilla’s Wellness Center, offering a full menu of massage, wraps, facials, scrubs, mani-pedis, and almost any other treatment you desire.

It’s safe to say that here, leisure, hedonism and relaxation walk hand-in-hand!

  1. WhatSUP??

SUP stand-up paddle boarding near Hacienda Pinilla

What’s up? SUP, that’s what! Stand-up paddle boarding is one of our favorite full-body challenges (and a great way to spend your day).

Have you ever practiced the fine art – and fine balance – of stand-up paddle boarding (SUP)? We think it’s one of the world’s best workouts, offering a full-body challenge that engages legs, core and shoulders, with some pinch-hitting from arm coordination.

Think of it as part-balancing, part-kayaking, part-surfing – and all fun. During a two-hour lesson, we’ll ferry you to one of the calmest and most beautiful beaches near Hacienda Pinilla, where you can get up, get steady, and get paddling, even if it’s your first time on SUP. Big upside: If you wobble, the Pacific will catch your fall. And it’s never bad to fall into the Pacific. Welcome to paradise!

>> Go Stand-Up Paddle Boarding <<

  1. Swim beneath a Waterfall


Waterfall hiking. Waterfall swimming. Waterfall picnicking. Waterfall everything. Yes, please!

Some days are meant to be taken slowly. To be savored. When you’re ready for one of those days, then we think you’re ready for a waterfall hike and swim.

Just picture it: You’re walking. You’re spotting wildlife. You’re seeing new sights. And then, you round the bend and a roaring waterfall makes its presence known: Falling water, gentle spray, cool refreshment. Luckily, there’s a calm waterfall pool beneath – the perfect spot for swimming, enjoying, and simply taking it all in. Slowly. Just as the day demands.

You can tackle the waterfall alone – just ask, and we’ll be happy to give you directions to the closest (or most impressive, or most secluded, or… ) cascade – or book one of our combo tours, several of which end with a waterfall hike + swim.

>> Book a Nature + Waterfall Tour <<

Need Help Finding your Can’t-Miss Activity? 

When you reserve your Hacienda Pinilla vacation home with us, you gain access to our full concierge services.

When you book, we’ll get in touch to help you plan all the details of your stay. Our job is to get to know you, so we can help you plan the trip of your dreams. Whether you just need help arranging transportation or would like a full itinerary – everything from your airport shuttle to a full trip’s worth of activities, private chef services, and golf cart rental – we’re happy to help.

Even better, our concierge services are always free. So, why wait? Get in touch and let’s get started!