17 Best Beaches in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is not known as the adventure capital of Central America without good reason.

There is an abundance of thrilling land-based activities in the country, from ATV tours through the wilderness to rainforest hikes.

However, Costa Rica also boasts an impressive coastline perfect for wet and wild fun during your trip.

For a wet and wild vacation, we’ve highlighted the best beaches in Costa Rica.

  1. Manuel Antonio Beach

This beachfront haven is frequently cited as Central America’s second-best vacation spot in Manuel Antonio Park.

Why We Recommend This Beach

A trip to Manuel Antonio Beach is a must to begin your adventure in Costa Rica.

It’s the best place to go swimming and snorkeling in the area because of the year-round warmth of the water, the lack of strong currents, and the gentle waves.

Moreover, its pure white sand and breathtaking surroundings make it one of the most picturesque beaches in Costa Rica.

 

Expert Tip

Explore Manuel Antonio Beach Park, home to some of Costa Rica’s most exciting attractions, to add some zest to your next beach vacation.

Hiking through the park, you have a good chance of seeing some truly unique creatures, such as sloths, green iguanas, and white-faced monkeys.

  1. Tamarindo Beach

Due to its world-class waves and exotic paradise, surfers travel from all over to visit Guanacaste.

Why We Recommend This Beach

One of Costa Rica’s most well-known beaches, Tamarindo, is known for its expansive sandbar and breathtaking scenery.

Of course, it’s also the best place in Costa Rica to ride the waves, as the quality of the waves here is consistently high.

Breaking waves or learning to surf are the primary reasons people visit this beach.

Expert Tip

This Costa Rican beach is excellent for people of all skill levels, not just surfers.

Tamarindo Beach offers a wide variety of fun things to do, such as beachfront horseback riding and spa treatments.

  1. Conchal Beach

This beach in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, is famous for its pink sand and turquoise water because it has over 2 million shells.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Playa Conchal, known for its pink sand from crushed seashells, is one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica.

Instead of rushing to get that perfect shot in the clear waters of Concha for Instagram, take a moment to soak up the heavenly scenery.

What’s more, untold riches are waiting to be discovered beneath the waves at the beach.

Expert Tip

Do you plan on spending the night at Playa Conchal?

Stay at The Westin Reserva Conchal; it’s where I recommend everyone to stay in the area.

This resort is located on Playa Conchal and is only a 15-minute drive to Tamarindo Beach.

In addition, it is equipped with a wide range of comforts that make for a restful and enjoyable stay.

  1. Samara Beach

This horseshoe-shaped beach is ideal for families and is located in a remote part of Guanacaste on the Nicoya Peninsula.

Justification for Why You Should Visit This Beach

As far as Costa Rican beaches go, Playa Samara is the best option for those traveling with kids.

The warm, shallow water and lack of dangerous currents make this Costa Rican beach ideal for families with young children.

In addition, water sports like sportfishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and kayaking are available at the beach, and all ages are welcome to attend.

Expert Tip

Eat to your heart’s content at Lo Que Hay, which serves a wide variety of tasty foods like tacos and pizza.

Come nighttime; Microbar serves up some of the best Guanacaste craft beers you’ll find anywhere.

  1. Montezuma Beach

This beautiful stretch of sand is a favorite among young tourists and is located near the southernmost tip of the Nicoya Peninsula.

Why We Recommend This Beach

A lot of interesting things are taking place in Montezuma right now.

The beach’s exciting waves and underwater wonders have made it a popular destination for surfers and scuba divers for many years.

The beach’s hippie, bohemian vibe makes it a popular destination for travelers.

Not to mention, it’s arguably one of Costa Rica’s most stunning beaches.

Hints from the Experts

After soaking up enough rays on the beach, it’s time to head inland to check out the local jungles and waterfalls.

A memorable getaway can be had by exploring the lush vegetation of the Curu and Cabo Blanco wildlife preserves.

  1. Nosara Beach

The three beautiful beaches of Pelada, Guiones, and Garza make up Nosara on the Nicoya Peninsula.

Justification for Why You Should Visit This Beach

Garza Beach is a surfer’s paradise, for sure.

If you’re looking for an alternative to Tamarindo Beach, this one is great because it has fewer people and good surf all year round.

Just a bit further north is Pelada Beach, a small, rocky swimming cove with minimal, gentle surf.

Hints from the Experts

Book a room at the Living Hotel if you’re looking for a relaxing vacation in Nosara.

Just a short walk will take you to the shore.

In addition, it features a wide variety of high-quality conveniences, such as fitness classes, a luxurious spa, and a soothing saltwater pool.

  1. Playa Nacascolo

This stretch of beach on the Papagayo Peninsula is eight kilometers long and is quiet and empty most of the time, making it perfect for those searching for quiet.

Justification for Why You Should Visit This Beach

This beach is perfect for tired tourists because there isn’t much to do there.

A person can lie in the sand, listen to the waves, and stroll along the shoreline without ever coming across another person.

Hints from the Experts

There don’t seem to be any vendors selling food or drinks on the beach right now.

If you plan on spending time at this beach, it would be wise to bring some snacks and beverages.

  1. Playa Punta Uva

This beach, located on the Caribbean side, is stunning with its long stretch of white sand and swaying palm trees.

Justification for Why You Should Visit This Beach

Playa Punta Uva has some of the best swimming in all of Costa Rica.

Playa Punta Uva is a great place to go swimming because the Caribbean waters are warm, clear, and calm, unlike some of the country’s other best beaches.

Expert Tip

Take an ATV through the jungle in Gandoca Manzanillo for an exciting extra dose of adventure.

Additionally, there are other exciting things to do in the area besides just horseback riding and riding through the jungle on a bike.

  1. Flamingo Beach

Guanacaste is home to an affluent beach community with all the makings of a perfect tropical paradise.

Justification for Why You Should Visit This Beach

Don’t be fooled by the name.

Despite the name, this magnificent beach is devoid of pink flamingos.

You’ll enjoy some pink sands, making you think of those avian creatures.

What’s more, the sunsets here are breathtaking.

Expert Tip

Explore the other nearby beaches, such as Las Catalinas, Data, and Brasilito, for an extra dose of Vitamin Sea.

  1. Jaco Beach

Playa Jaco, on the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica, is a stunning 2.5-mile stretch of powder.

Detailed Recommendation and Explanation, In this case, the beach

Fun-seekers and adrenaline junkies will find paradise at Jaco Beach.

Jaco’s reliable and powerful waves are legendary, and they’re known to send surfers into euphoria.

The beach offers a variety of exciting activities, such as biking and ATV tours and being surrounded by lush tropical jungles and high cliffs.

Expert Tip

Avoid the weekend crowds by going to the beach during the week.

Given its proximity to the nation’s capital, this beach typically sees many visitors on weekends.

  1. Playa Santa Teresa

This beach on the western tip of the Nicoya Peninsula suits the adventurous.

Detailed Recommendation and Explanation, In this case, the beach

This beach is picture-perfect because it is encircled by lush tropical vegetation.

This beach attracts experienced surfers because of its strong waves.

There are beautiful hiking trails and unbelievable snorkeling spots for those who don’t want to surf.

Expert Tip

After a short drive, get in some refreshing waterfall swimming at the Montezuma falls.

Thrill-seekers who taste danger can scale the waterfall’s cliff face and take a flying leap from the peak.

  1. Tortuga Island

In the 1600s, pirates used Tortuga Island as a home base to plunder Costa Rican settlements.

Why We Recommend This Beach

The island’s beautiful white sands have become a popular destination for daytrippers.

Meanwhile, scuba divers can go in search of spinner dolphins, stingrays, and sunken ships on the ocean floor.

Snorkelers may also encounter stingrays and angelfish while exploring the underwater world.

Expert Tip

Get away from the beach and the sun for a while by hiking around the island.

Thrill-seekers can satisfy their cravings on the ziplines and canopy tours.

  1. Playa Hermosa

Guanacaste’s Playa Hermosa is a short 20-minute drive from Liberia’s Daniel Oduber International Airport.

Why We Recommend This Beach

The Blue Flag was given to Playa Hermosa because of the high quality of its infrastructure and environmental protections.

In addition, this beach is home to a wide variety of exhilarating sports like jet-skiing, windsurfing, and sailboarding.

Hints from the Experts

To add some outdoor adventure to your Playa Hermosa vacation, consider taking a day trip to the Arenal Volcano.

In addition to its breathtaking scenery, the volcano also features healing hot springs.

  1. Playa Carillo

With its towering palm trees and clear blue waters, this Guanacaste retreat is a picture-perfect tropical oasis.

Justification for Why You Should Visit This Beach

You deserve a peaceful vacation by the water.

Playa Carillo is a must-see, so do yourself a favor and go there.

On this beach, you won’t find wild parties, blaring music, or horses.

Playa Carillo, on the other hand, is characterized by calm waters, swaying palm trees, beautiful sands, and a chill atmosphere.

Hints from the Experts

Playa Carillo is an irresistible option for those looking to escape city life’s hustle and bustle.

If you’re feeling restless, however, you can take a kayaking trip to the nearby island of Isla Chora and snorkel to explore the underwater treasures beneath the surface.

  1. Playa Biesanz

Located in a quiet part of Manuel Antonio National Park, this hidden haven is surrounded by verdant vegetation.

Detailed Recommendation and Explanation, In this case, the beach

Surrounded by lush rainforest, Playa Biesanz’s crystal-clear waters and powdery sands are a significant draw for vacationers.

Well, what do you know?

Birds, snakes, lizards, sloths, and monkeys are just some of the endearing animals that can be found on and near the beach.

Expert Tip

Though the walk to the beach is only ten minutes long, the path there is very steep and muddy.

This means you must exercise extreme caution as you make your way to the shore.

Make sure you watch for local wildlife on your way to the cove.

  1. Playa Manzanillo

The Caribbean paradise on the edge of Panamá has everything you need for a memorable beach vacation.

Why We Recommend This Beach

As far as tropical paradises go, Playa Manzanillo is as close as it gets.

This beach has picture-perfect conditions, from the palm trees lining the shore to the clear blue water and white sand.

Moreover, it is home to a diverse collection of healthy coral reefs that are just waiting to be explored by adventurous scuba divers.

Expert Tip

Planning a trip to the shore in March?

Then, while you’re there, be sure to watch the sand castle competition.

Celebrations at the event feature live music and various alcoholic beverages, in addition to the spectacular sand sculptures that serve as the event’s centerpiece.

  1. Playa Chiquita

This Caribbean beach may be small and quiet, but it’s packed with exciting attractions for vacationers of all ages.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Playa Chiquita is indispensable to any of Costa Rica’s finest beach collections.

This beach’s narrow, white sands and calm waters have attracted families for years.

Snorkelers also flock to the area due to its calm waters and abundance of coral reefs.

Expert Tip

To see the wildlife at the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, you should put on your boots and go outside.

You can take a break from the ocean’s excitement here or discover some fascinating new species in the refuge’s abundant wildlife.