The drive along the coast west towards Chivirico and beyond, with the seemingly endless curve of vivid mountains on one side and a ribbon of sparkling shallow sea on the other, is one of the most fantastic in the country, though potholes and hurricane damage make it somewhat treacherous after dark. About 15km from the city, don’t be put off by Playa Mar Verde, a small, rather grubby hoop of roadside shingle-sand with a café and restaurant; instead, carry on along the coastal road for another couple of kilometres to Playa Bueycabón. Here, an orderly lawn dotted with short palms stretches almost to the sea, and with its calm, shallow waters and narrow belt of sand it is altogether an excellent little spot to pass the day. There is a café here, but no other facilities.

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