She’s Coming Back Big Time: March 2024 Update

by Britt Nelson

On the night of last August 4th, during a violent tropical storm, our beloved La Sirena was blown off her perch where she had been for decades overlooking the mighty Pacific Ocean protecting us with her mystery. Father time finally got to her. That’s when this drama began.
With La Sirena on the rocks, the community came together to help. Two Go Fund Me accounts were set up that collected about $8,000 USD from the community. This money was received by the La Sirena Beach Hotel and it enabled the hotel to bring our mermaid statue to the shore for repairs which have been completed and paid for, says 27-year-old hotel General Manager Benjimin ‘Coco’ Jimenez.
   “The repairs are complete and paid in full. I can show you the receipts, everyone in my family wants her back.”

“I put in $10,000 after we received the $8,000 from the Go Fund Me accounts. The hotel will pay for the rest of the work,” said Jimenez. These costs are reasonable. Bronze has been used in statues since 2,500 BC. La Sirena is 12-feet tall and unique.

Asked what the future holds for La Sirena, Jimenez said, “We will hold a celebration event when La Sirena is unveiled to the world. I plan to bring La Sirena back to the hotel by the end of February, but she will be black wrapped until we pull that off. I hear that the President of Costa Rica may come to the unveiling.”

But more work needs to be done to accommodate La Sirena on her stand, but Jimenez is quick to add, “I’m not looking for anymore donations. The base is not good now. This is not an easy task. I have to do all this work. The base needs to be raised 40-centimeters. The hotel is paying for this work. But we only have 5-hours at a time to work due to the tides.”

All in all, I found Jimenez to be truthful with good intensions. He’s not asking for any donations, however, if he needs additional help preparing the base, he will post on social media what is needed for the community to respond.

“We want to hold a celebration event for her reveal for all of La Sirena’s friends and lovers can all come together with La Sirena back home where she belongs.”

The all new La Sirena Mermaid Statue has lost all her scars. Her patina is flawless. She looks royally regal and proud. Her tail is gorgeous. We can all say, “Welcome Home’’ soon to our world-class statue that truly is unique among the world’s mermaid statues. There are none other like ours – anywhere – that are battered by the sea twice a day.

Long live La Sirena! It’s a new dawn.


The seven-kilometer-long beach of Esterillos, about 20 minutes south of Jacó, has become over the years one of Costa Rica’s most fun places to catch waves. In fact, it consists of three separate locations: Esterillos Este, Esterillos Centro, and Esterillos Oeste (east, central and west). The beaches are broken up by the Bejuco River, and each section has its own defining geography of beach and rock bottoms.

The most popular of the three areas to surf is Esterillos Oeste. It’s a beach break with an underwater rock shelf several hundred meters off the sand. And, this is the home of one of Costa Rica’s most notable international surfing exports, 25-year-old Carlos Muñoz, who grew up with younger brother Alberto, honing their skills on all three sections.

The statue looks like it is
rising out of the water.

“The waves are very fun in Esterillos Centro,” Muñoz says. “There are rights, lefts and they have a lot of wall. Este is a little bit more open ocean, so it has great waves too.”

One of the unique features of Esterillos Oeste is the mermaid sculpture that rests on the north end rocks facing out from the shore towards the horizon. The mermaid is a great take-off spot for surfers, but has notoriety for much more than just that. When the tide rises, the ocean covers her pedestal and the statue looks like it is rising out of the water. The work, a bronze cast, was created by sculptor Albino Valverde, who is from the Puriscal barrio of San José.

The surf skills Carlos Muñoz started honing at a young age in Esterillos, where he is pictured above and here, have served him well in competitions around the world.

Mermaid’s mystique

Ask the locals to tell you about the mermaid statue, and you get a lot of head scratching. But Muñoz is happy to recount what he has heard.

“I don’t know exactly how long she has been there, but I heard this story about her. Back in the day, the owner of the hotel La Sirena said he saw a mermaid. So, that’s why he had the mermaid statue built.”

Anthony Seguro, another Esterillos surfer, admits to knowing little more about the legendary sculpture. He offers a variation of the story that originates with the same hotel owner.

“Around 1970, this man arrived at Playa Esterillos, and along the coves he saw the silhouette of a woman. He ran to where she appeared and then was lost in the waves.”

Being a well-known beach landmark does not necessarily make the mermaid’s resting place an ideal surf spot, Muñoz explains.

“You can surf, but the wave is not that good. It’s super fat, and only when there’s big, big swell does it make a few good waves. For me, the mermaid is an indicator. Every time I was surfing I’d always go a little farther out from the side of the mermaid.”

There’s no question, Muñoz agrees, that  the sculpture is a beautiful attraction for Esterillos.

“The people like to go into the few natural pools there when the tide goes low, and they like to fish. And all the people like to go there and take photos with the mermaid.”

Photo by Alejandro Esquivel Hidalgo

The Myth, the Legend

     La Sirena, Costa Rica is a legendary tale that has captivated locals and visitors alike for generations. According to the story, La Sirena is a beautiful mermaid who seduces fishermen with her enchanting songs and bewitching appearance. Legend has it that many have fallen under her spell, abandoning their families and lives on land to dive into the depths of the sea with her. 

     Her mesmerizing presence has been reported in numerous sightings along Costa Rica’s stunning Pacific coastline, particularly near the town of Playa Coyote. While some skeptics dismiss these accounts as folklore and imagination, others firmly believe in her existence, attributing unexplained disappearances at sea to La Sirena’s power over men’s hearts. 
     Whether you choose to believe or not, there is no denying that the legend of La Sirena adds an air of mystery and magic to Costa Rica’s coastal waters.