About Punta Leona, Costa Rica
If you are just starting your vacation or relocation research on Costa Rica, Punta Leona may not show up in your search radar. That is unless, of course, you found this blog. Many expats who have lived here for years haven’t heard of it either. It might be because it is overshadowed by the two other well-known tourist areas of Jaco and Herradura (Los Sueños Marriott and Marina). Many Costa Ricans know the area well and it has become a popular weekend getaway for those who live in San Jose. I have lived in Costa Rica since 2009 and have driven by the entrance many times thinking it was just a residential development with high security, which is partly true. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized what I had been missing. The fact is, Punta Leona has two accesses. One is the public side where you can go down the mostly dirt road to get there. In the public area, you will find Costa Rica’s famous Pop’s Ice Cream, a mini-mart, a quick service pizza restaurant, and a dining option in the Arenas Hotel. Past that you will arrive at the paid parking lot for Playa Mantas. If you are not a guest, resident, or member of the club, this is where your driving journey ends. The other way to experience Punta Leona, like the VIP room in a fancy night club, is if you are a resident or authorized guest. In this case, you enter the main guarded entrance where you travel on a brick road that passes through the 750-acre nature reserve and leads to the same place as the public road. The difference is now you will either have access to one of the houses in the Playa Mantas area or you will continue past two more guard houses to arrive at the exclusive neighborhood of Altos de Leonamar.
Go past the parking lot and continue down the winding road and you will eventually arrive at another guard gate. This is the second check-point that takes you past Playa Blanca until you get to the third and final guard house that is the entrance to Altos de Leonamar. Did you notice I mentioned another beach? Yes, this beautiful white-sand beach, located just before arriving at the last guard station on your way to Altos de Leonamar, is one of the hidden gems of the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. It was used in the beach landing scene in the 1992 film 1492 Conquest of Paradise with Gerard Depardieu. The beach is lined with different types of trees, including almond trees where the endangered Scarlet Macaws like to dine and make noise. You will also encounter mischevious raccoons (guard your food), and white-faced monkeys (also guard your food), Falcons, Coatis, and a large variety of other birds. The water is clear and blue (except sometimes after heavy rains), and you can snorkel and even surf when the tide is high. The waves are normally gentle, so it is a great place to take the kids, kayak, SUP, or just swim. All beaches in Costa Rica are public, but if you are not a resident or staying in Altos de Leonamar, or, if you are not a member of the Punta Leona Club, you have to do some work to get to this beach. First, you have to park in the paid parking lot at Playa Mantas. Then you will need to walk south during mid to low tide to the rocky point (which is called Punta Leona). Finally, you will climb up the rocks and back down again. Here you will arrive at Playa Blanca. Plan your return for when the tide is not too high so you can maneuver past the slippery rocks to get back to Playa Mantas. By the way, Playa Mantas is not a bad beach. It’s actually very nice, but with black sand. On a 1 to 10 scale for Central Pacific beaches, I would give Playa Mantas a 7. It’s just that Playa Blanca is right next door and it is definitely a 10 in my book!
Altos de Leonamar
As I mentioned before, just past Playa Blanca and up the hill is the final guard gate and access to Altos de Leonamar. This secure community has a mix of multi-level condominiums, villas, mansions, and lots for sale. The views are incredible. From here, you will appreciate the blue waters and white sands of Playa Blanca, the rocky shores below, and the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Nicoya Peninsula. Scarlet Macaws and Toucans are common visitors. The community building regulations are well planned and most houses are protected from their neighbor building high to block their view.
Experience Punta Leona
Pura Vida Rentals and Sales specializes in vacation rentals and sales in this area. We have a large inventory of lots, as well as condominiums and houses for sale. This area offers great opportunities for an investment property as both a vacation house and rental income can be had. We rent houses from 3 bedrooms to 5 bedrooms that can sleep up to 18 people. We have both economy and luxury rentals available. We will also offer package deals to make your vacation a memorable one. Call us at +506 2637-1919 or visit our webpage to see our listings of rental properties and investment properties for sale.