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February 19, 2012 by surfnica2010

Hikes in the Iguana Area


Gigante is a small, local, fishing village that has a handful of great restaurants.  It’s a great place to hike to in the day for lunch or drinks.  If you are too tired to hike back after lunch/drinks or end up staying until after dark you can get a taxi or boat back to Iguana.

To Gigante by the Rocks:  If you are comfortable walking on rocks this way can be much faster but should not be attempted at a high tide.  On the other hand if the tide is an extreme low tide (around -.05 ft. or more) you will be able to walk around the rocks completely.


On the other side of the rocks is a mile long, uninhabited beach.  You can walk the beach or if it is too hot, there is a road that parallels the beach and is shaded.  slightly quicker.  Walk to the south end of Iguana beach.  The first set of rocks at the south end of Iguana have a couple challenging areas and There are a few options on how to get to Gigante, either the rocks or the inland trail.

To Gigante by the Road:  Walk to the south end of Iguana beach.  After you cross the estuary head up inland, you should see a small road once you’re in the trees.  Head south, parallel to the beach, the trail is just to the left of the dry river bed, just barely into the trees. Follow this trail/road up and over the hill, keeping to your right.  There will be a very obvious road to your right, don’t turn right here, keep going straight.  Keep your eye out for a small path to you right.  The 1st one is a bit steeper and will take you straight down to the beach and the 2nd one is much easier and brings you out a bit further down the beach.  If you remain on the road you will come to the bottom of the hill and then there will be a path out to the beach from there or you can continue straight on the road if you want to keep out of the sun.  It’s your choice if you prefer the beach or shade.  At the end of the beach, turn up to the left and merge onto the road (if you are already on the road, just continue).  You will go up and over the road and come to a fork in the road.  Turn to your right and follow the road, across the river and into the town of Gigante.The second set of rocks has a couple challenging areas as well but is slightly easier than the first set.  After the second set of rocks you will be in Gigante.

Pie de Gigante (Giant’s Foot) and Aqua:  If you are still up for more exploring when you get to Gigante, head to the south end of the beach in Gigante.  Near the rocks, head inland and you will find a trail.  You can either go left or right on this trail.

1-If you head left you can follow a road around until you get to a guard shack. Tell the guard you are going to the restaurant and head up the road to the left of the guard shack.  At the reception building, take the stairs to the right down and follow this bridge down and around to the beach and restaurant.

2-If you head right you can go up the hill to the top of the giant’s foot.  This path is quite dangerous with loose dirt and a couple areas where you will need to climb.  Please do not take this path unless you are a very confident and smart climber.

Los Perros:

Los Perros is the name of the headland at the north end of the beach.  There is a killer view from the top of it and a small beach and sand dune on the other side of it.

Los Perros Vista:  At the north end of Iguana beach just before you get to the rocks or in some cases you will need to walk through these rocks a little (sand shifts a lot), you will see a road that goes inland.  Walk in towards this road and almost immediately you will find a path to your left that heads up the Los Perros hill.  Follow this up.  Be very cautious asthere are parts of this path that are within a couple feet of a very steep drop.

IMG_0231You will hike on the edge of Los Perros and then the trail will cut in a little and head up a relatively steep trail to the top of Los Perros.Sometimes this trail can be overgrown and sometimes it is well manicured.  If it is over grown, please use caution and make sure you have a good foot hold with each step.  You can return the way you came or take the “Long way to Los Perros” out.


Los Perros and Playa Duna:

Los Perros is the name of the headland at the north end of Iguana beach. Iguana renters are no longer being permitted to hike the internal roads and trails of Rancho Santana but are welcome to explore the beach and coastline as this area is public by law. To get to Playa Duna, head to the north end of Iguana beach. Walk on the rocks around the Los Perros point all the way around to the beach on the other side. There are a few tricky spots on this hike. One area you will have to maneuver around a rock that jets out a bit, another you will need to lower your body about 6 feet to the rock below and you will need to jump a crevice that is about 2.5-3 feet wide. IMG_0209This hike is much easier at a low tide, and should not be attempted at high tide or when there is a big swell. If the rock that you need to lower yourself to is covered in water then we do not recommend attempting to cross as this rock will be very slippery and dangerous. Once you reach Playa Duna you can hang out and play on the sand dune at this beach or continue on down the coast. On the north end of Sand Dune Beach you will see a very steep set of stairs carved into the hill. You can climb these stairs to the top where you will come to a cul-de-sac. On the other side of the cul-de-sac is another set of stairs that takes you down to the remote, rocky beach of Playa Escondida. At the north end of this beach is yet another set of stairs that you can climb, you can continue on exploring from here, all along the coast of Rancho Santana. Remember to save enough energy to return and be conscious of the tides changing.


La Vista:

La Vista is an eco-community located on the hills over-looking the Iguana Valley.   Take a hike and check it out, if you are interested in real estate here we would be happy to show you what is available.

La Vista River Trail and Look-out: From the Iguana round-a-bout that is right in front of Mark and Dave’s you will head inland on the road towards the Iguana Pro Shop and Golf Condos. Take your second left and in about 30 yards you will see a turnoff that goes on the golf course. Turn right here and walk past hole 6. Just past the tee boxes you will see a road, turn left onto this road. Follow this road past the orange house on your right and then on past a white house with a large pool that will also be on your right. Just about 30 yards past this white house on the opposite side of the road you will find a trail (just after the lot marker for P4 /P3). Follow this trail around through the riverbed and up the other side, wrapping to the left and following the barbwire fence. Fork off to the right when you have the chance and in about 30 yards this trail will come to a T with a larger trail. Turn right here and follow this trail/road on through the blue gates. About 40 yards past the blue gates you will find an entrance through the barbwire on the left hand side, enter La Vista here. You can follow this trail up and around, paralleling the river until you get to the interior roads of La Vista. Turn left onto this road and follow the road straight back until it does a sweeping U-turn going up the hill. You can follow this road to the top of the hill and it will then turn into a path that you can follow on back to a nice view of the ocean and Panga Drops. It is easiest to return the way you came but there are multiple trails and smaller roads throughout La Vista that you are welcome to explore as well.


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