Paws & Reflect: the beach doggies of Playa Hermosa

“I like to think that the dogs who hang out on this beach all day are surfers reincarnated”

- Danny Rasta, Head Surf Coach

One special observation many of our guests make soon after spending a day on our beautiful beach (aptly named Hermosa) is the community of friendly dogs here. We know many by first and probably only name (or by description/character) and most of them have homes to go to, rarely seen on a leash or with their owner. They pretty much own the beach.

These delightful canines spend all day hanging on Playa Hermosa, chasing crabs down holes and making friends with tourists and locals alike. I once saw one playing with a washed up coconut. He would grab it with his jaws, then proceed to drop it on the shore as the waves came in. The wave then washed the coconut ashore and that was his game. He played fetch with the sea… and the coconut.


Enjoy romantic walks along the beach? You might not find yourself alone in doing so. They definitely don’t discriminate and have very little boundaries. In fact, they don’t believe much in personal space and at times you may find yourself watching sunsets with one sat on your feet… or towel or leg. Mi casa es su casa, my leg is your leg. These loveable little guys are just after some good belly rubs!

Sunrise is one of our favourite times of the day. While you cannot see the actual sun rising, the peaceful ambience of daybreak reveals itself as a pastel coloured sky over the vivid green jungle where the sun rises from its slumber.

Should you wake early for various reasons (jet lag, howler monkeys, or just an early riser), a 5am walk down the beach path is no doubt an invitation for the famous 3 amigos to join you. We like to think the trio share our enthusiasm for sunrise.

But, who are the 3 amigos? Past guests know this bunch all too well: Pippa, Sleepy Eye, and Old Guy - they’re all from the same household and are pretty much inseparable. 

Pippa is the pup and leader of the pack. She’s the energetic influencer; a typical millennial!

Sleepy Eye was definitely a yogi back in his human days and loves to give a very human-like side eye. Or as can be seen below, the “don’t you want me baby?” gaze. Or maybe it’s an eye roll?


Finally, we have the old guy - the granddaddy of the pack. He’s a tactile kind of guy, bit of a leaner and totally loveable!

I once took a new guest to the beach for the first time and old granddaddy came up to us, positioning himself up against the leg of our guest. 

“Aw, he likes you. Are you a dog person then?” (thinking this dog can read dog-man vibes. How amazing is nature and energy!)

“No. I like cats” 

Awkward. But still, the testament that dogs are unconditional with their love, even if you’re a fully fledged committed cat person, just reinforces the notion that the abundance of joy and love we have without working for it, is truly a gift.

We can’t go without mentioning our very own canine and Shaka Head of Security, Vida - the “catdog.”

When you meet her, she may just ignore you (she can’t help it, it’s her inner cat), but she’s really a slow burner. She’s the original owner of Shaka. Vida (meaning, life), with her perfectly expressive eyebrows, spends her days guarding our retreat in the most laissez-faire fashion. She’s a real poser and loves a nuzzle. A good head-butting face nuzzle in your leg means she likes you!

Needless to say, we are proud of our dogs here at Playa Hermosa, and we hope that if you didn’t necessarily arrive a dog-person, that just maybe you might leave as one (no, not a dog, but a fan).

- Natalie Van Schalkwyk