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Costa Rica: The Mermaid of Playa Esterillos!

Pictures taken by Amanda Urcuyo

Playa Esterillos is divided into Esterillos Oeste, Esterillos Centro and Esterillos Este. So, this means it's a very long beach located south of Playa Hermosa in Puntarenas.

There is an amazing statue of a Mermaid and it is located in Esterillos Oeste.

If you want to visit this wonderful sculpture you must be careful not to miss the entrance to this beach. This 7-kilometer-long beach is ideal for walking or running. As well, you can surf, and see the surfers normally in the morning. The waves are not so big, but you can definitively surf or buggy board. However, not only surfers visit this beach. Especially on weekends, Costa Rican families frequent it. It is one of the places in Costa Rica where national tourism outnumbers foreign tourism, because it's pretty close to the city of San José and it's very accessible. It's approximately 77 miles away from the city respectively.

According to surfers, this place to surf is called “La Sirena”, the story of this mermaid begins with a man called Fernando Mora Jiménez, a fisherman in the area, who has lived in Esterillos for more than 40 years. This mermaid is the love of this tico, because a long time ago when he was fishing he says that he saw a beautiful woman with a braid and then he turned back, and just saw the tail of something.

Few years ago, he asked sculptor Albino Valverde to make this mermaid to remember this lady love that appeared to him. This sculpture of a mermaid is sitting on the rocks facing the ocean. When the tide rises, the water covers the pedestal of the work, so that the statue appears to emerge from the surface of the sea. This monument is cast in bronze, it's around 2 meters high and weighs 1 ton.

It took them around 6 months to finish this sculpture, because of the tide.

Here you can see a short documentary of this mermaid " La Sirena": (I am sorry, but it is in Spanish)

Let us know what you think when you visit this amazing little paradise!


*Amanda Urcuyo is a travel designer for Costa Rica and you can contact her for information on tours, hotels, rent a car or shuttles:

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1 Comment

Den Latham
Den Latham
Nov 02, 2023

I remember the Mermaid well. In 2003, I competed in the world surf kayaking championship with the US East team at Esterillos Oeste. The surf at the Mermaid is some of the sweetest I've ever had, although it's smart to avoid surfing near the Mermaid at low tide.

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