Dominical is a very small beach resort in the Southern part of Costa Rica. The town is very small with a smattering of hostels and hotels. The beach itself is long and sandy with a surfable break.
What makes Dominical great for the overlander is that there are no buildings along the beachfront and it is possible to park amongst shady trees right on the beach.
We settled into a spot on the beach just outside town and spent three nights here.
The first day I had arranged with the local dive shop to go diving in the local Marine Park called the Ballena Islands. I must say the diving was pretty disappointing with poor visibility (down to 2 metres at times) and not much marine life to see. It was good to be back in the water though.
The second day there we went to Manuel Antonio National Park which is about 30 kms down the road. We had learnt from our Monteverde experience and stumped up the dollars to go on a guided tour of the park.
This was definitely worthwhile as we saw a lot of wildlife we wouldn’t have otherwise seen. We saw sloths (5 of them including a baby), capuchin monkeys, a red eyed tree frog, a Jesus Christ lizard, bats, a nightwing (a nocturnal bird sleeping on a tree), a hummingbird nest (how do they spot these things, it was tiny) and various iguanas.
The beaches in the park are gorgeous and mostly swimmable without the big waves that pound much of the Pacific coast.
We decided not to stay in Manuel Antonio because it was very busy and headed back to our quiet spot in Dominical.