Dominical is located on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) East of San Isidro del General, and about 160 kilometers (100 miles) from San Jose. Driving to Dominical from San Jose now takes only about 2.5 hours, on pavement all the way, and from San Isidro just 35 minutes. The nearest regional airports are Quepos, at 45 kilometers North, and Palmar Sur at 45 kilometers South. Both offer daily flights to and from San Jose. Driving to Dominical is fast and easy with the recent completions of the Caldera Highway from the capital San Jose to the Coast and the paving of the Highway from Quepos to Dominical. These twin infrastructure improvements, both completed in 2009, have had a positive impact on the region.
For such a small village (literally fewer than 500 residents), Dominical has a lot to offer. You can now find most things you need in town, or within walking or biking distance, including: hotels, excellent restaurants, a bank (Banco de Costa Rica), a service station (3 kils), surf and clothing shops, yoga classes, a bookstore, super markets, etc. About 16 kilometers south, in the town of Uvita, there are several pharmacies, two more banks, two doctor’s offices (inlcuding one who schedules “nips, tucks and Botox” right there), two large supermarkets, two pool supply centers, several hardware stores, and many other businesses.
Perched at the entrance to Costa Rica’s fabled “Southern Zone,” Dominical offers something to everyone. Renowned principally for its surfing against a backdrop of blue mountains, this laid back Pacific Coast town was recently voted the 40th best beach in the world by none other than CNN. It’s not hard to see why: there never dawns a morning when the waves are too small to surf (although there are days when the surf is too heavy and closed out). But please note that the rip tides are equally legendary: swimmers and surfers alike must take care, and stay inside the zone set out by the ever-vigilant lifeguards.
For non-surfers, Dominical is a convenient staging ground for all kinds of excursions and activities, most located within a half hour’s drive. These include deep sea or coastal fishing, out of Quepos or Dominicalito; speedboat excursions to the Sierpe River and Osa Penninusla, including the beachfront town of Drake; SUP paddle boarding on rivers or the sea; zip lining through the jungles; yoga; white water kayaking or rafting; rapelling and/or swimming beneath awesome waterfalls; horseback riding; canopy touring; birding; mountain biking the network of extensive gravel and dirt roads that cut through the mountains; hiking; walking along the nearly deserted beaches which grace the area; and fine dining at the end of a long day.
The natural beauty of the whole area between Dominical and Palmar Norte is incredible, and Dominical is one of the best examples. A jungle-covered mountain range graces the Pacific Coast here, and the views of the coast are spectacular. Dominical has a very lively community, with a lot of foreigners who over the years have blended to one degree or another with the locals. Many people have taken to organized activities, and social life in Dominical is more diverse than in a lot of other towns in the area.
Real Estate in Dominical
Dominical was one of the first places in Southern Costa Rica to be “discovered” by the outside world, and many recently built homes and hotels now dot the area. Prices peaked then fell across the board in 2008, stayed low for six years, and only in 2014 did they start to stage a comeback. Buildings (homes, commercial centers) in the Dominical area have the advantage of being easily rented, thanks in part to the easy two and a half hour drive on pavement from San Jose. Please browse our Real Estate listings to see what is available.