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  • Genna Marie Davis

Best Photo Locations in Costa Rica: Spotlight on Hacienda Pinilla


Hacienda Pinilla is one of my favorite places for photos in Guanacaste. The wide variety of very different locations and close proximity to Tamarindo make this place a no-brainer for photos. (Hacienda Pinilla is only about a 20-minute drive from Tamarindo).

Playa Langosta - Hacienda Pinilla Entrance


Playa Langosta is a very loooooooong beach with two main entrances. The first is at the northern end of the beach, near Tamarindo. The second entrance is at the southern end, only accessible by car from within Hacienda Pinilla.


If you are staying in Tamarindo, you can't reach this part of the beach without a hot and sweaty 45-minute walk. If you are staying at the JW Marriott or a house or condo within Hacienda Pinilla, you're in luck. You can drive there by car.


This part of Playa Langosta is often deserted, and it usually feels like a totally private beach.

These little beachside umbrellas make for interesting silhouettes after the sun sets. This photo was taken April 10th, 2015 about ten minutes after sunset.


Birds are the only kinds of photo bombers that I don't mind. It's amazing to watch them hunt and divebomb the water from on high at this part of the beach.



If you're lucky, you can catch some truly amazing reflections here in the sand.

This photo location is good at both low and high tide.

JW Marriott Hotel - Mansita Beach and Gardens



Depending on where the sun is setting at various times of year, both the north and south ends of Playa Mansita are great for photos.


This location is best at low tide, especially during high season.

NOTE: (This is not a good choice when the JW Marriott is at maximum capacity because it can get quite crowded.)

The Hacienda Pinilla Chapel



I'm sure lots of people get married at this beautiful, modern little Guanacaste church. It's also a nice, unique backdrop for family photos (or in this case, pet photos).

Garden Areas in Hacienda Pinilla

The only downside to using the IMMACULATELY landscaped tropical gardens at Hacienda Pinilla is that sometimes they can be a bit buggy. Don't worry – I always bring bug spray just in case.


Playa Avellanas - Hacienda Pinilla Entrance

The Hacienda Pinilla entrance to Playa Avellanas is also usually pretty quiet. You can enter near this rocky area, or by the beach club. This location works well at both high and low tide.


Hacienda Pinilla Condos & Houses

The houses and condos at Hacienda Pinilla all have a unique set of photo ops. Take a look around and see what kinds of simple backgrounds might be hiding in plain sight. (Hint: when looking for locations outdoors, try to find places with even shade or even sun. Try to avoid dappled light).



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