The Best Beaches in Costa Rica

The Best Beaches in Costa Rica

Costa Rican Beach

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Because of its geographical position, Costa Rica is known for being snuggled between the shorelines of the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Costa Rica's beaches are diverse, each with its own distinct and varying personalities due to the country's extensive shoreline. There is something for everyone on the beach, whether it is a gorgeous white sand paradise adorned with palm trees, volcanic black sand, or naturally rough coastal coves surrounded by tropical vegetation.

There is a perfect beach environment for everyone, whether they prefer huge beach resorts or pristine shorelines. But how can you possibly pick when there are so many options available? The purpose of this article is to let you know which white sand beaches and beach towns are located in Costa Rica and help you make an informed decision about which one you will visit. On the other hand, there are also amazing resorts located in the rainforest, which is an article for another day.

On a personal note, I celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary in Costa Rica, in the Guanacaste Province at the Riu Hotel. The thing that stood out to me the most is the sand on the beach. It is different from the usual beach. It didn't get in everything and it wasn't everywhere like the usual sand.

The Best Beaches in Costa Rica video

'Video provided by Costa Rican Vacations'


Which part of Costa Rica has the best beaches?

Costa Rica's most magnificent beaches are located in northwest Costa Rica (Guanacaste, the Nicoya Peninsula) and the southern Caribbean (Puerto Viejo, Cahuita) (Puerto Viejo, Cahuita). In both places, you'll find light sand, warm tropical water, and — when conditions are right — superb surfing.

Are Costa Rica beaches swimmable?

Safest Beaches in Costa Rica: Where Can You Swim? With the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea hitting the other side, Costa Rica's beaches are famed for having large waves and swift currents. These are wonderful for surfing, but not so much for gentle, safe swimming.

Is there a pink sand beach in Costa Rica?

Playa Flamingo Beach is the most beautiful pink sand beach from Costa Rica and is located in Guanacaste province, directly in the Nicoya Peninsula just 4.5 hours drive from the capital city of San Jose.

Which beach has the clearest water in Costa Rica?

Playa Flamingo Beach is the most beautiful pink sand beach from Costa Rica and is located in Guanacaste province, directly in the Nicoya Peninsula just 4.5 hours drive from the capital city of San Jose.

Does Costa Rica have white sand beaches?

The Central and South Pacific coast of Costa Rica doesn't have many white sand beaches compared to the Caribbean and North Pacific. However, there is a dazzling white sand beach near Jaco called Playa Blanca. There are only two ways to get to Playa Blanca: through the Punta Leona resort or crossing Playa Mantas.

Why are beaches black in Costa Rica?

Discover the marvel of Costa Rica's surprisingly gorgeous black-sand beaches. While white-sand beaches are formed from corral deposits, their black-sand siblings are the product of lava deposits from the country's more than 50 volcanoes.

Does Costa Rica have blue water beaches?

Playa Conchal is one of the most famous beaches in Costa Rica. And also, the brilliant blue sea and peaceful setting provide you with fantastic snorkeling opportunities as well.

Is the water warm in Costa Rica?

The water temperature swings from 25-30 °C (77-86 °F) year-round. Costa Rica is a terrific spot to enjoy magnificent beaches, discover different ecosystems, and observe fascinating animals that you won't find anyplace else in the world.

Are Costa Rica beaches clean?

A total of 135 beaches along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts will begin displaying blue flags to let visitors know that they are among the cleanest in the country. ... Costa Rica's Blue Flag Ecological Program awards beaches for trash-free sands, clean ocean and drinking water, and waste disposal programs.

Here are the best beaches in Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio National Park, Manuel Antonio Beach

Manuel Antonio National Park


Manuel Antonio Beach is one of the most popular beach attractions in Costa Rica, with over a million visitors annually. Located along the coast, this hidden treasure is bordered by Manuel Antonio National Park, a coastal rainforest alive with animals. A 30-minute hike from the park's entrance to Manuel Antonio Beach will take you to your destination. The park is interconnected by hiking routes that lead to various beaches inside the park if you're interested in doing some jungle exploration during your visit. What's more, you're almost certain to witness some form of animals — specifically monkeys. Don't forget to bring your swimsuit and snorkeling equipment with you. Exploring the coral seascape is a worthwhile endeavor.

Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste

Tamarindo Beach


Interested in learning to surf? The perfect right breaks hit right off the shore of Tamarindo Beach, which is located just outside the massively popular surf town of Tamarindo, in Costa Rica. Tamarindo Beach is a fantastic place for starting surfers – so don't be frightened off by the town's reputation as a surf destination. There are a number of different types of accommodations available in the vicinity of Tamarindo Beach. Most hotels can either set you up with water sports equipment or point you in the direction of a nearby water sports rental facility. After a day at the beach, head into town for dinner in the bustling town of Tamarindo. If you're hoping to swim and get away from the crowds of Tamarindo, the nearby white sand beach of Langosta is well worth a visit.

Guanacaste's Conchal Beach

Conchal Beach


Conchal Beach, a less-frequented Guanacaste beach, is characterized by its white sand and tiny seashells that litter the shoreline. Bring your snorkeling gear because there are a variety of coral and underwater discoveries to be discovered here! The beach is bordered by the Westin Playa Conchal Resort, which offers all-inclusive amenities, as well as a number of other rental units.

Dominical Beach, South Pacific

Dominical Beach


Dominical Beach, on the South Pacific coast of Costa Rica, is a hidden gem that is well-known throughout the world as one of the world's top surfing destinations. It also boasts a beautiful beach that is surrounded by excellent eateries. There is only one beach in Dominical with a year-round lifeguard operation, and that is Dominical Beach.

South Pacific's Costa Ballena (Whale Coast)

Costa Ballena


The South Pacific beaches of Uvita Beach and Hermosa Beach are bordered by the well-known "Whale's Tail" on Punta Uvita in Marino Ballena National Park, which is located on the island of Punta Uvita. Aerial photography of the coastal park will reveal a sandbar in the shape of a whale tail. The fact that this is also the location where humpback whales breach every year from August through October, and from December through April, is a coincidence. From May through November, the park is also a popular nesting location for sea turtles. Consider booking a whale-watching cruise, as well as renting snorkeling equipment to explore the vast coral reef, for the entire experience. Kayak and stand-up paddleboarding rentals are also offered on the property.

Papagayo Peninsula's Nacascolo Beach

Nacascolo Beach is a hidden treasure on the exclusive Papagayo Peninsula and is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. It is located between the Four Seasons and the Andaz Papagayo resorts and is a beautiful stretch of golden beach. You can rent a kayak and have your hotel prepare a picnic for you if you're staying at either of the hotels. Due to the lack of food and beverage options at the beach, you'll want to prepare ahead of time. You can kayak over to Nacascolo Beach from the Andaz in less than an hour, and the chances are strong that you'll be the only one on the beach. The water here is quiet and protected, making it ideal for swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling activities.

Nicoya Peninsula's Montezuma Beach

Montezuma Beach


Montezuma is a small town on the Nicoya Peninsula, near the peninsula's southernmost tip. The village of Montezuma is tucked away behind a luscious jungle that lines the waterfront. Discover the vast beach and its laid-back atmosphere in the local community. Swimming along the rocky shoreline can be difficult, but the scenery is breathtaking, and when the tide is low, tide pools appear!

Nicoya Peninsula, Santa Teresa and Malpais Beach

Santa Teresa and Malpais Beach


The Nicoya Peninsula, which is located just south of Guanacaste, is a favorite beach location for surfers and yoga aficionados alike. Malpais, Carmen Beach, Santa Teresa, Hermosa Beach, and Manzanillo Beach are the beaches that surround the small beach towns of Malpais and Santa Teresa. Malpais, Carmen Beach, Santa Teresa, Hermosa Beach, and Manzanillo Beach are the beaches that surround the little beach town of Santa Teresa. These wild beaches are standouts because they are still relatively undiscovered and off the usual path. Santa Teresa Beach's soft sand is ideal for anyone seeking a peaceful beach escape with excellent surf. It is located on the island of Santa Teresa. Malpais Beach, located on the southern extremity of the Nicoya Peninsula, is a well-known surf destination, including expanses of white sand and rocky tidal pools.

Nicoya Peninsula's Samara Beach

Samara Beach


Samara Beach, which is protected by an island off the Pacific Coast, is a fantastic destination for families. The lengthy beach on the Nicoya Peninsula wraps around a horseshoe bay, dispersing the large numbers that congregate there on the weekends and holidays. In the calm seas off Samara Beach, activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and sportfishing are popular choices.

Nosara Beach, Nicoya Peninsula

Nosara Beach


A popular surf and health resort on the Nicoya Peninsula, the coastal town of Nosara is another popular surfing and wellness destination. Garza Beach, Guiones Beach, and Pelada Beach are three beaches that come together to form the Nosara Beach region: Garza Beach, Guiones Beach, and Pelada Beach. In comparison to Tamarindo Beach, Guiones Beach is a popular surf beach with constant surf throughout the year. It is also far less crowded. Pelada Beach, which is located further north, is a small, rocky swimming beach with little surf.

Nicoya Peninsula's San Juanillo Beach

San Juanillo Beach


San Juanillo Beach, located on the Pacific Coast just north of Nosara, is a popular tourist destination. This off-the-beaten-path beach does not receive nearly as many visitors as other of the more popular beaches in the Guanacaste region, which are located to the north. This little beach is made up of two beaches that meet at a sandy point and form a small cove. The water is often clear and tranquil, making it an excellent swimming spot.

Nicoya Peninsula's Ostional Beach

Ostional Beach


Turtles have claimed Ostional Beach, which is a volcanic black sand beach within the Ostional Wildlife Refuge on the Nicoya Peninsula, as their own. If you enjoy wildlife, and in particular turtles, don't miss a night excursion to Ostional to witness the yearly nesting of the olive ridley sea turtles, which takes place between July and October. In the United States, the arribada, or mass annual sea turtle nesting, occurs anywhere between four and ten times a year, with the timing being rather unpredictable. Consult with a Costa Rican expert to determine whether your visit will coincide with the arribada.

Punta Uva Beach, Southern Caribbean Coast

Punta Uva Beach


Located on Costa Rica's southern Caribbean coast, Punta Uva is a tranquil and serene white sand beach with clear water. The beach is located within the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge and is surrounded by lush vegetation, where visitors can see wildlife such as monkeys, sloths, and a variety of bird species. Punta Uva is a wonderful snorkeling beach due to the presence of a coral reef near offshore. The calm waters are particularly ideal for families with little children to enjoy.

Manzanillo Beach, Southern Caribbean Coast

Manzanillo Beach

The turquoise waters and white sand beaches off the beaten road that characterize the Southern Caribbean beaches are the main attractions. Visit the modest, laid-back beach town of Manzanillo on Manzanillo Beach to see the coral reefs and seashore tropical rainforest, especially during the less-crowded months of September and October, when the town is less crowded. Dive, snorkel, or kayak around the island.

Guanacaste's Flamingo Beach

Flamingo Beach


Flamingo Beach, located in the Guanacaste region to the north of Conchal Beach, is a popular tourist destination. Flamingo Beach got its name from the lovely pinkish-white sand that covers the shoreline. The hotels overlooking Flamingo Beach are perched high on a cliffside with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean's beaches and inlets. The sunsets over the Pacific Ocean, which can be seen from Flamingo Beach, are breathtakingly stunning.

Beach Safety

Riptides are a common occurrence on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast, which is a good thing. When swimming, you should never go alone or leave youngsters unattended. If you have been swept away by the current, do not attempt to swim back to the beach where you were originally caught up in it. Don't be alarmed, and instead turn 45 degrees towards the shore. The two hours before and two hours after low tide are the most perilous times for treacherous riptides.

There just seems to be something magical and unbelievable about relaxing on a beach. The sun seems to shine differently and the air has an aroma of something new and different. It takes you out of your normal reality and puts you into vacation mode.


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