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The Best Beaches In Costa Rica


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Briana Pollack



Welcome to Costa Rica, a beach lover’s paradise! Situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, this beautiful Central American country is renowned for its stunning coastline and breathtaking beaches. Whether you’re a sun worshipper, a water sports enthusiast, or simply a nature lover, Costa Rica offers a diverse range of beach destinations to satisfy all your desires.


With its pristine sands, crystal-clear waters, and lush tropical surroundings, Costa Rica’s beaches are truly a slice of paradise. From secluded coves to bustling tourist hotspots, each beach has its own unique charm and appeal.


In this article, we’ll dive into the top beaches in Costa Rica, highlighting the features that make each one special. Whether you’re seeking adventure, tranquility, or a mix of both, Costa Rica’s beaches have something for everyone. So pack your swimsuit, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for an unforgettable beach getaway!


Playa Manuel Antonio

Located on the stunning Pacific coast, Playa Manuel Antonio is a must-visit destination for beach lovers. This picturesque beach is nestled within the boundaries of Manuel Antonio National Park, offering visitors the chance to bask in the sun while surrounded by lush rainforest and abundant wildlife.


Playa Manuel Antonio is known for its powdery white sands and turquoise waters, making it a dream beach destination. Whether you want to relax on the beach, take a refreshing dip in the ocean, or explore the diverse marine life through snorkeling or scuba diving, this beach has it all.


One of the unique features of Playa Manuel Antonio is its proximity to the national park. After a relaxing beach day, you can venture into the park to hike through the dense jungle trails, spot monkeys and sloths hanging from the trees, and admire breathtaking panoramic views from the park’s lookout points.


If you’re a nature enthusiast, don’t miss the opportunity to observe the famous Manuel Antonio National Park. This protected area is home to a remarkable variety of flora and fauna, including over 100 species of mammals and over 180 species of birds.


For those seeking adventure, Playa Manuel Antonio offers a range of thrilling activities. From canopy tours and zip-lining through the treetops to kayaking along the coast and paddleboarding in the calm waters, there are endless opportunities to get your adrenaline pumping.


After a day of sun, sea, and adventure, head to the nearby town of Manuel Antonio, where you can find a variety of restaurants and bars offering delicious local cuisine and refreshing tropical cocktails. Enjoy the laid-back vibe, mingle with locals and fellow travelers, and savor the flavors of Costa Rica.


Overall, Playa Manuel Antonio combines natural beauty, wildlife encounters, and thrilling activities, offering an unforgettable beach experience. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, this beach has it all, making it a must-visit destination in Costa Rica.


Playa Tamarindo

Playa Tamarindo, located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, is a vibrant and popular beach destination known for its sandy beaches, lively atmosphere, and excellent surf conditions. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner looking to catch your first wave, Playa Tamarindo offers the perfect setting for a thrilling surfing experience.


The beach at Tamarindo stretches for miles, offering plenty of space for beachgoers to relax, play beach volleyball, or simply soak up the sun. The warm Pacific waters provide ideal conditions for swimming, boogie boarding, and snorkeling, allowing visitors to explore the underwater world teeming with colorful marine life.


Aside from its natural beauty, Playa Tamarindo is also renowned for its bustling town and vibrant nightlife. Along the beachfront and in the town center, you’ll find a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and bars, offering a variety of cuisines and refreshing tropical cocktails. This is the perfect place to relax after a day of sun and surf.


For nature enthusiasts, a visit to the nearby Marino Las Baulas National Park is a must. This protected area is home to important nesting grounds for the endangered leatherback turtles, and visitors can witness the incredible sight of these majestic creatures coming ashore to lay their eggs.


If you’re looking for a bit of adventure, Playa Tamarindo has you covered. The nearby estuaries and mangrove forests offer opportunities for kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, allowing you to explore the rich biodiversity and spot various bird species such as herons and kingfishers.


With its perfect blend of beach activities, lively atmosphere, and natural wonders, Playa Tamarindo is a top choice for both locals and international tourists. Whether you’re seeking surf lessons, beachside relaxation, or a vibrant nightlife, this beach has something to offer for everyone.


Playa Conchal

Located on the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Playa Conchal is a hidden gem renowned for its unique shoreline. Unlike other beaches in Costa Rica, Playa Conchal’s sands are not your typical golden or white. Instead, the beach is covered in millions of crushed seashells, giving it a shimmering, iridescent appearance.


The name “Conchal” actually translates to “Shell Beach” in English, and as you walk along the shore, you’ll witness the glistening shells sparkling under the sun. This natural wonder is a sight to behold and creates a truly enchanting atmosphere.


In addition to its dazzling shell-covered shores, Playa Conchal offers crystal-clear turquoise waters that are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. The calm and shallow waters of the bay make it an excellent spot for family-friendly water activities.


For those seeking relaxation, you can lounge on the soft seashell-covered sands, soaking in the warm sun and enjoying the tranquil ambiance. The beach is relatively untouched and secluded, offering a sense of peace and serenity away from the crowds.


Playa Conchal is also home to the Reserva Conchal Golf Course, a world-class golfing destination nestled amidst lush tropical surroundings. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a challenging round of golf while taking in breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and the sparkling Pacific Ocean.


If you’re looking for more adventure, take a snorkeling or diving excursion to explore the vibrant underwater world off the coast of Playa Conchal. Discover a plethora of colorful fish, fascinating coral formations, and other marine creatures that call these waters home.


Playa Conchal also serves as a hub for various other water sports and activities, including kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet skiing. The calm waters and stunning surroundings create the perfect backdrop for an exhilarating day on the water.


Whether you’re seeking tranquility, natural beauty, or exhilarating water sports, Playa Conchal offers a unique and unforgettable beach experience. Immerse yourself in the shimmering beauty of the seashell-covered sands and indulge in the crystal-clear waters, making memories that will last a lifetime.


Playa Santa Teresa

Nestled on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, Playa Santa Teresa is a stunning beach destination that has become a hotspot for surfers, yoga enthusiasts, and free-spirited travelers. This laid-back beach town offers a unique blend of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and a thriving wellness scene.


Renowned for its consistent surf breaks, Playa Santa Teresa attracts surfers from around the world. Whether you’re a beginner catching your first wave or an experienced surfer looking for a challenge, the beach offers a variety of waves to suit all skill levels. The cool and powerful Pacific swells make it a surfer’s paradise.


Aside from its renowned surf scene, Playa Santa Teresa is also famous for its thriving yoga community. The beach’s serene and peaceful atmosphere, combined with its stunning natural surroundings, make it the perfect place to unwind and connect with your inner self through yoga and meditation.


Playa Santa Teresa is also known for its lush landscapes and diverse wildlife. Take a stroll along the beach or explore the nearby Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve to encounter native wildlife such as monkeys, sloths, and a variety of bird species. The area is an ideal spot for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.


The town of Santa Teresa itself offers a bohemian and eclectic vibe, with a variety of boutique shops, quaint cafes, and delicious eateries serving up local and international cuisine. You can indulge in fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and organic dishes while embracing the laid-back lifestyle of the beach town.


For those seeking adventure, Santa Teresa offers a wide range of activities including horseback riding along the beach, zip-lining through the lush canopy, or taking a boat tour to explore nearby islands and hidden coves.


Whether you’re seeking a thrilling surf experience, a rejuvenating yoga retreat, or simply a peaceful escape surrounded by nature, Playa Santa Teresa has it all. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this bohemian beach town and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Playa Flamingo

Situated on the stunning Gold Coast of Guanacaste, Playa Flamingo is a breathtaking beach destination known for its pristine white sands, turquoise waters, and upscale resorts. This upscale beach town offers a blend of natural beauty, luxury accommodations, and a plethora of water activities.


Playa Flamingo is the perfect spot for sun-seekers and beach lovers. The soft white sands gently slope into the calm waters of the Pacific Ocean, making it ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. The clear waters provide a window to an underwater world filled with colorful fish and vibrant coral reefs.


For those looking for a bit more adventure, Playa Flamingo offers excellent opportunities for sport fishing. This area is known for its abundance of marlin, tuna, and dorado, attracting avid anglers from around the world. You can charter a fishing boat and head out to the deep sea for an exhilarating day of reeling in big catches.


The beach is surrounded by lush hillsides, creating a picturesque backdrop and offering stunning views of the coastline. Taking a leisurely walk along the shore during sunset provides the perfect setting to witness the sky painted in vibrant hues of orange and pink.


Playa Flamingo is also home to a marina where you can book various water activities and excursions. From sailing and catamaran tours to jet skiing and scuba diving, there is no shortage of ways to explore the surrounding waters.


When it comes to dining and entertainment, Playa Flamingo is well-equipped with a variety of restaurants serving up delectable seafood dishes, international cuisine, and local delicacies. Enjoy a romantic sunset dinner or sip on a tropical cocktail while listening to live music at one of the beachfront establishments.


With its luxurious accommodations, stunning natural scenery, and a wide range of water activities, Playa Flamingo offers a beach experience filled with relaxation and adventure. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful beach day or an action-packed water adventure, Playa Flamingo has something to offer for everyone.


Playa Montezuma

Tucked away on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, Playa Montezuma is a hidden gem known for its bohemian atmosphere, stunning waterfalls, and pristine beaches. This laid-back beach town has a unique charm that has attracted artists, backpackers, and nature lovers from around the world.


Playa Montezuma offers a picturesque setting, with soft golden sands and the mesmerizing turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean. The beach is flanked by lush tropical vegetation, providing a tranquil and serene environment for relaxation and exploration.


One of the main attractions of Playa Montezuma is its series of stunning waterfalls. A short hike through the jungle will lead you to the magical Montezuma Falls, a cascade of three pools nestled amidst the verdant forest. Take a refreshing dip in the natural pools, jump from the rocks, or simply revel in the beauty of the cascading water.


Beyond the waterfalls, Playa Montezuma offers opportunities for adventure and exploration. You can explore the nearby Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, hike through the jungle trails, and encounter diverse wildlife including monkeys, iguanas, and exotic bird species.


The town of Montezuma itself is a bohemian haven, with vibrant arts and crafts markets, cozy cafes, and local restaurants. The streets are lined with colorful murals and bustling with a lively and creative energy. You can immerse yourself in the local culture, attend yoga or dance classes, or simply enjoy the laid-back vibe of this coastal town.


Playa Montezuma is also a popular spot for surfers, with consistent surf breaks and uncrowded waves. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, you can catch some waves and embrace the surfer’s lifestyle.


At the end of the day, treat yourself to a delicious meal at one of the beachfront restaurants, where you can savor fresh seafood dishes and delight in the tropical flavors of Costa Rica. The stunning sunsets over the ocean provide the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable dining experience.


If you’re looking for a unique and off-the-beaten-path beach experience, Playa Montezuma should be at the top of your list. The combination of natural beauty, artistic charm, and adventurous activities makes it a must-visit destination for those seeking an alternative beach getaway.


Playa Jaco

Located on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, Playa Jaco is a bustling beach town that offers a mix of beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a range of water activities. This popular destination attracts both locals and international visitors, making it a lively and vibrant spot.


Playa Jaco is known for its long stretch of sandy beach, ideal for sunbathing, beach volleyball, and leisurely walks along the shore. The warm waters of the Pacific Ocean provide the perfect setting for swimming, boogie boarding, and surfing. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or looking to take some lessons, the consistent waves at Playa Jaco cater to all skill levels.


Aside from its beach activities, Playa Jaco is famous for its vibrant nightlife. The town is lined with bars, clubs, and restaurants where you can dance the night away, listen to live music, and enjoy a variety of international and local cuisines. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back beachfront bar or a lively nightclub, Playa Jaco offers options to suit all tastes.


If you’re looking for adventure, Playa Jaco is a gateway to many exciting activities. From zip-lining through the rainforest canopy to ATV tours through rugged terrain or exploring the nearby Carara National Park with its diverse range of flora and fauna, there’s no shortage of thrills to be had.


For those seeking relaxation, Playa Jaco also offers serene spots to unwind. Take a boat tour or kayak through the nearby mangroves, where you can spot wildlife such as crocodiles, monkeys, and various bird species. You can also indulge in a relaxing massage on the beach, accompanied by the soothing sound of crashing waves.


Playa Jaco is also an excellent base for exploring other nearby attractions. Within a short distance, you’ll find Herradura Beach, renowned for its rich marine life and opportunities for sport fishing. Additionally, the famous Manuel Antonio National Park is within reach, where you can explore its stunning beaches, hike through the rainforest, and encounter captivating wildlife.


With its lively atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and range of activities, Playa Jaco is a popular choice for beach lovers and adventure seekers alike. Whether you’re seeking thrilling water sports, vibrant nightlife, or simply a relaxing beach day, Playa Jaco has something to offer for everyone.


Playa Dominical

Nestled on Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast, Playa Dominical is a laid-back and picturesque beach known for its stunning natural beauty and world-class surf breaks. This pristine beach town attracts a mix of surfers, nature enthusiasts, and those seeking a relaxed and off-the-beaten-path beach experience.


Playa Dominical is renowned among surfers for its consistent and powerful waves. The beach offers both left and right breaks, making it a favorite spot for experienced surfers looking for a challenge. If you’re a beginner, there are also surf schools in the area that can provide lessons to help you catch your first wave.


Aside from its surf scene, Playa Dominical is surrounded by lush greenery and biodiverse rainforests. Take a stroll along the beach and encounter astonishing wildlife such as monkeys, toucans, and sloths. The nearby Hacienda Baru National Wildlife Refuge also offers opportunities for birdwatching, hiking, and exploring the region’s rich flora and fauna.


For adrenaline junkies, Playa Dominical serves as a gateway to thrilling activities such as zip-lining through the jungle canopy, canyoning down waterfalls, or embarking on a guided river kayaking tour.


The town of Dominical itself is a laid-back and bohemian haven, with art galleries, yoga studios, and unique local shops. You can indulge in delicious meals at beachfront restaurants offering fresh seafood and traditional Costa Rican cuisine. As the sun sets, enjoy a vibrant nightlife scene with live music and friendly vibes.


Playa Dominical is also a haven for nature conservation efforts. The nearby Marino Ballena National Park is a protected area that offers opportunities for snorkeling and diving, where you can witness humpback whales during their migration season and explore an underwater paradise filled with colorful coral reefs and marine life.


If you’re looking to escape the crowds and immerse yourself in nature, Playa Dominical is the perfect destination. Its untouched and serene beauty, combined with the opportunity for thrilling adventures, creates an unforgettable beach experience.


Playa Hermosa

Located on the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Playa Hermosa lives up to its name with its breathtaking beauty and tranquil atmosphere. This stunning beach destination offers visitors a peaceful and idyllic setting, perfect for relaxation and unwinding amidst nature’s splendor.


Playa Hermosa is known for its long stretches of soft black sand, which create a unique and striking contrast against the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. The beach is relatively untouched and uncrowded, providing a sense of tranquility and privacy for beachgoers.


The calm and pristine waters of Playa Hermosa make it an ideal spot for swimming, boogie boarding, and long walks along the shore. With its gentle waves and warm temperatures, the beach offers a rejuvenating and refreshing escape.


Playa Hermosa also serves as a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. The nearby Ostional Wildlife Refuge is a nesting ground for olive ridley and other sea turtles, allowing visitors the rare opportunity to witness the extraordinary sight of these graceful creatures coming ashore to lay their eggs.


For those with a passion for water sports, Playa Hermosa offers excellent conditions for surfing. With consistent and powerful waves, it attracts surfers of all levels, from beginners to professionals. You can rent surfboards or take lessons from local instructors to experience the exhilaration of riding the waves.


When it comes to dining and accommodations, Playa Hermosa offers a range of options. You can choose from beachfront restaurants serving fresh seafood and traditional Costa Rican dishes, or enjoy a picnic on the sand while soaking in the picturesque landscape. Cozy accommodations, from boutique hotels to vacation rentals, are available for those looking to immerse themselves in the peaceful ambiance of the beach.


Playa Hermosa also provides easy access to other nearby attractions. Just a short drive away, you can explore the vibrant town of Playas del Coco, known for its lively atmosphere, shopping, and nightlife. The area is also a gateway to various national parks and nature reserves, offering opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and exploring the abundant biodiversity of Costa Rica.


Whether you’re seeking a tranquil beach getaway, a surfing adventure, or a chance to witness sea turtles in their natural habitat, Playa Hermosa is a hidden gem that promises a memorable and rejuvenating beach experience.



Costa Rica is a beach lover’s paradise, offering a plethora of stunning beaches that cater to all preferences and interests. From the serene and secluded Playa Manuel Antonio to the bustling and vibrant Playa Jaco, there is a beach for every type of traveler.


Each beach in Costa Rica has its own unique charm and attractions. Whether you’re seeking thrilling surf breaks, tranquil waters for swimming and snorkeling, or the opportunity to explore diverse wildlife and lush rainforests, you’ll find it all along the mesmerizing coastline.


Costa Rica’s beaches not only offer natural beauty but also various opportunities for adventure and relaxation. From adrenaline-pumping water sports like surfing and kayaking to rejuvenating yoga retreats and sunset strolls along untouched shores, there are countless ways to immerse yourself in the beauty of the country’s coastal treasures.


While exploring these stunning beaches, don’t forget to delve into the local culture and cuisine. Costa Rica’s beach towns offer a delightful array of restaurants, bars, and local markets where you can indulge in fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and traditional Costa Rican dishes.


Whether you’re in search of relaxation, adventure, or a mix of both, the beaches of Costa Rica are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. So, grab your sunscreen, embrace the Pura Vida spirit, and embark on a beach journey that will captivate your senses and rejuvenate your soul.


Costa Rica’s beaches are waiting to welcome you with their warm sands, clear waters, and abundant natural beauty. So start planning your beach getaway and experience the magic of Costa Rica’s coastal wonders for yourself.