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Heading south on the coastal road, Highway 34 (also known as the Costanera Sur), you’ll come to PLAYA TORTUGA, about halfway between Dominical and Palmar. The beach here is one of the cleanest in Costa Rica, and it’s an idyllic, sleepy place that sees few foreigner visitors. You’ll find a couple of very good hotels close to the beach: Posada Playa Tortuga (t 2384-5489; $75–99) has comfortable rooms, a large swimming pool with Jacuzzi and an amazing view, while Villas Gaia (t 2244-0316, w http://www.villasgaia.com; $55–74) offers twelve brightly coloured cabinas – some with air coditioning – a pool and an attractive restaurant. It also runs a range of tours including snorkelling at Isla del Caño and boat trips around the local mangrove swamps.

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