Beaches in Costa Rica


Costa Rica is one country famous for its exuberant nature among parks, volcanoes, and waterfalls, and for the happiness and hospitality of its inhabitants. This country too offers “postcard” beaches, not always known and frequented. But, everyone who has come to Costa Rica has his favorite beach. Some have views of the Caribbean Sea, of waters crystalline and rich in nuances, others of the Ocean Pacific, filled with colorful sand and shells.

Let’s see some of the best beaches in Costa Rica.

Park Manuel Antonio National’s beach, Costa Rica

Don’t miss the hidden gems in the famous Manuel Antonio Park: here are some of the most beautiful beaches in Puntarenas, with miles of white sand and turquoise waters between the tropical jungle and beautiful coral reefs.

Within the park, there are different types of beaches, some with higher waves like Playa Espadilla Sur and others with gentle waves like Manuel Antonio’s Beach, ideal for snorkeling in Costa Rica. In the city of the same name, on the outskirts of the park, there are restaurants, shops, and accommodation with a “green” soul.

Tortuga Island Beach in Costa Rica

Isla Tortuga is a beautiful, uninhabited island in the Gulf of Nicoya in Costa Rica. Here you will find everything you are looking for in a tropical paradise: soft white sand, crystal clear sea, and lush coconut palms: Almost the perfect beach in Costa Rica and the world. Tortuga Island has also been awarded by the local Tourism Institute with the Ecological Blue Flag that rewards the presence of virgin waters.

Santa Teresa Beach

Santa Teresa beach is located on the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. It is only accessible via a small dirt road and a few potholes. It is frequented by surfers due to its strong currents, but also by artists and travelers. Furthermore, it is known for its constant waves throughout the year in a “postcard” landscape: 5 kilometers of white sand, crystal clear waters, and tropical vegetation converge on the edge of the beach. Those who don’t surf choose to enjoy activities on the sand, whether it’s walking, horseback riding or just sunbathing on the beach.

The town of Santa Teresa is one of the most picturesque in the area. Famous for its endless and colorful sunsets, it is frequented by its restaurants and small hotels, as well as its large resorts with all the luxuries and comforts. You shouldn’t miss the daily farmer’s market.

Punta Uva Beach

Punta Uva Beach is another “postcard” place in Costa Rica. This beach is well-known thanks to its reef, calm waters, and white sand. It is a perfect place to take the kids for a swim. It is located 8.5 km from the center of Puerto Viejo and is suitable for those looking for a secluded and quiet place to spend their vacations peacefully. Furthermore, it is an ideal place for a swim in the sea or a picnic on the beach. At the top of the promontory, there is a point from which you can enjoy a special view. Most of the area is located within a wildlife sanctuary, so you’ll be able to find monkeys, sloths, and many types of birds. The area offers a wide variety of hotels and holiday homes, as well as places and restaurants where you can have lunch.

Samara Beach

Samara Beach is considered the “snorkeling paradise” in Costa Rica. It’s located in a 7 km long bay surrounded by palm trees and has become more and more popular over the years. It is one of the quietest beaches in Costa Rica, due to the nearby coral reef. Spend the day swimming in the sea, surfing, diving, or snorkeling. You can also go kayaking to Isla Chora, which is right in front and hides many natural beauties.

Old Port Beach

Puerto Viejo is a small transit center with Afro-Caribbean influences, located 50 kilometers from Limón, which is the capital of the province. Add to this a natural environment full of beauty and tranquility, and you have a clear idea.

  • Puerto Viejo’s beaches are full of options:
  • Both, Playa Negra and Playa Cocles are suitable for surfers.
  • Playa Chiquita is a protected area with strong currents, where you can relax in a dream setting (mangroves and coconut palms touching the turquoise sea)
  • Playa Grande is a large beach of white sand and turquoise waters, suitable for surfing, whose immensity makes it a perfect beach in Costa Rica for those who want to forget about the world and find a place to be alone.

Puntarenas Beach

Puntarenas is a port city located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and surrounded by paradisiacal beaches. It’s famous for its lush tropical landscapes, its immense biodiversity, and some of the best surfing spots on the planet. There are many beaches that you cannot miss and traditions that you need to try. There are no shortages of typical places or bars where you can try ceviche, accompanied by crackers or toasted pancakes.

You cannot get to Puntarenas without going to Playa Blanca, located in the Punta Leona Refuge. It has been chosen several times as the setting for advertisements and movies due to its great beauty. Puntarenas is a beach with only 500 meters long, white sands and crystal clear waters, it is surrounded by lush tropical jungle environments and large cliffs. Gentle Costa Rica’s waves and coral reefs make this beach the ideal place for snorkeling but also swimming, and other water sports.

Jacó Beach

One of the best beaches in Costa Rica, and specifically in Puntarenas for surfers and nightlife lovers is Jacó beach; with ideal waves for practicing this sport, as well as one of the liveliest nights in the province, with dozens of bars, clubs, and nightclubs. The beach, just over 3 kilometers long, has gray sand and big waves and is surrounded by coconut trees, buildings, and hotel complexes. In addition, due to its wide range of accommodation, it is a strategic point to explore the main eco-tourism destinations in the area and the nearby beaches.

Playa Cuevas

Don’t lose hope: the road is not paved and there will not be much to see around it, however, when you get there, you will be happy and satisfied. Playa Cuevas alternates caves, forests, and corners full of peace where you can relax. On this beach, the sunsets are also spectacular, and it is saying much about Costa Rica. In Playa Cuevas, between the white sand and the gentle waves, you can dive among the caves or rest in the shade of the thick vegetation. It is a place to visit when traveling to Santa Teresa on the Nicoya Peninsula.

Carrillo Beach

Carillo beach is located about 4 km southeast of Samara, Costa Rica. It is a large crescent-shaped beach with clean white sand, green, and a lush background thanks to the jungle. The water is crystal clear and is crossed by currents. On weekends and vacations, the beach is full of families, while during the week there is little traffic. The town is situated on a hill above the beach and attracts a tide of sunbathers and surfers.

Junquillal Beach in Costa Rica

About 2 kilometers long, it is populated by surfers and especially by residents. On the beach, you can find several species of turtles. Rich in tropical beauty, Playa Junquillal is a picturesque beach town, ideal for your vacations in Costa Rica. Calm beaches with warm natural pools and lush vegetation are the backdrop for relaxation and adventure. The beach, which has been awarded the Blue Flag for its beauty and the cleanliness of its waters, is located west of Santa Cruz and south of Tamarindo. Residents are welcoming and hospitable.

Ballena Marine Park’s beach, in Costa Rica

Imagine the largest coral reef in Central America: it is the one found in the Marino Ballena National Park, 180 km southwest of the capital, San José. Few people and many opportunities to enjoy relaxation on the beach in Costa Rica. In the park, there are four beaches, which are protected and quiet, ideal for those who want to bathe and sunbathe without worries. The water is calm and crystal clear, and the scenery is fantastic.

The reserve protects more than 13 thousand hectares of sea and 9 miles of coastline. It can be a rewarding destination for those who love beach life and nature. It is of great importance for the protection of fauna: first, it protects whales in transit, but also colonies of dolphins and sea turtles. Also, it is a special area for seabirds and different species of reptiles.

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