The Top Best Beaches in Costa Rica to Visit

Costa Rica has a unique location. It is tucked between the Caribbean and the North Pacific Ocean coastlines. The Caribbean coastline measures 212 kilometers, and the Pacific coastline measures 1016 kilometers. Because of the expansive shoreline, Costa Rica boasts many unique beaches with diverse personalities. Some of its beaches are white sand paradises with palm trees, and some have volcanic black sand. There are also some adorned with natural rugged coves and tropical rainforest. The beaches also offer many things. One can surf, swim, snorkel, scuba dive, soak up the sun, or enjoy the beach towns along the coasts. All these make Costa Rica a premium place among vacation destinations. No matter what you have in mind for your next vacation from leisure to adrenaline-pumping marine sports, it has everything. Here is a list of the Best beaches in Costa Rica in no particular order for you.

1. Manuel Antonio Beach

Manuel Antonio , Costa Rica” by Nouhailler is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Manuel Antonio Beach is an inevitable inclusion among the Best beaches in Costa Rica. The stunning beach of  Manuel Antonio Costa Rica is in the Manuel Antonio National Park. It is an ideal surfing destination.

2. Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste

Tamarindo Costa Rica is located on the Nicoya Peninsula. The beach is ideal for beginner surfers and strong swimmers. Tamarindo provides a variety of accommodations and boasts a great nightlife.

3.  Santa Teresa Beach

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, Nov 2016” by thedameintl is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Located south of Guanacaste, Santa Teresa Costa Rica is popular for beautiful beaches and great surfing.  The place boasts soft sand and amazing natural beauty. It is ideal for soaking in the sun and watching the sunset.

4. Punta Uva Beach

Located on the South Caribbean coast, Punta Uva is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. It happens to be a narrow strip of sand adorned with palm trees and calm water making the place great for families with kids. The offshore coral reef makes it a fantastic snorkeling destination.

5. Flamingo Beach, Guanacaste Costa Rica

Sunrise in Guanacaste, Costa Rica” by Magnus Bråth is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Located in the north of Conchal Beach, Flamingo Beach derives its name from its pinkish-white sand. The beach slopes gently into the ocean making it a great family-friendly beach. One can do scuba diving, sailing and sport fishing there.

6. Dominical Beach

It is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica and draws surfing fans from all over the world. Being a backpackers’ destination, the place is full of basic accommodations and surrounded by restaurants. However, some mid-range hotels and luxury villas are also there.

7. Whale Tail Beach (Uvita)

Image” by Bernal Saborio G. (berkuspic) is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Located in Marino Ballena National Park on the South Pacific coast, it is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica.  It is a peninsula and the two curving beaches are responsible for the shape. Because of the small waves, it is an ideal beach for swimming with families and smaller children. You can get all types of accommodations from basic luxurious.

8. Montezuma Beach

When looking for the best Costa Rica beaches, you can never skip Montezuma Beach. It sits on the Nicoya Peninsula. Visiting at the right time, you might observe baby sea turtles on the beach. The beach has greyish-brown sand, rocks, and tidal pools. It is a budget destination with a laid-back vibe.

9. Nosara Beach

Taking Root” by creativedc is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Nosara Costa Rica is onNicoya Peninsula. For those looking to surf around the year, Nosara happens to be one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. It is not much populated and has a chilled-out vibe.

10. Ostional Beach

If you are looking for wildlife, it happens to be one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. It is located on the Nicoya Peninsula.  Thousands and thousands of olive ridley sea turtles arrive there to lay eggs.

11. Manzanillo Beach

Looking north towards Playa Cocles” by wallygrom is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

With turquoise waters and white sand, Manzanillo Beach on the Southern Caribbean coast is a must to include in the list of the best beaches in Costa Rica. It is popular for coral reefs and tropical rainforests on the seaside. It is an ideal snorkeling destination.

12. Esterillos Oeste Beach

When looking for the best beaches in Costa Rica, one should not skip Esterillos Oeste. It is a hidden gem with a stretch of black sand and palm trees. Because of the crashing waves, it is a perfect place for interesting snaps.

13. Playa Ventanas

Also known as Windows Beach, Playa Ventanas happens to be one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. It gets its name from the sea caves looking like little windows. It is a secluded place with lush rainforest and palm trees. It looks big and beautiful at low tide.

14. Nacascolo Beach

With its golden stretch of sand, it is a hidden gem on the Papagayo Peninsula and sandwiched between the Four Seasons and Andaz Papagayo Resort. The calm water here is great for swimming, kayaking, and snorkeling.

15. Samara Beach, Nicoya Peninsula

It is protected by an island off the Pacific Coast and is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica and ideal for families. One can do many activities including kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving in the calm waters.

16. San Juanillo Beach

It sits on the Nicoya Peninsula on the Pacific Coast. It is located north of Nosara and is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. It combines two beaches that converge into a sandy point. It is perfect for swimming.

17. Playa Carrillo

File:Carrillo.JPG” by Rodrigo Morales Corrales Rodtico21 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Like other Costa Rica beaches, it boasts palm trees, white sand, and clear water. With its gentle waves, it is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica and a great place for beach vacations.

18. Playa Hermosa, North Puntarenas

Attracting expert surfers from across the world, Playa Hermosa, North Puntarenas is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. But one should not confuse it with Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. One can go fishing or can explore the rainforest, or have leisure time on the beach.

19. Jaco Beach

Located on the Pacific Coastline, Jaco Costa Rica beach boasts calm and shallow water. It is an ideal family destination.  The beach has greyish black sand and the water is warm. It has good hotels, restaurants, shops, and other amenities.

20. Islas Tortuga

Plage Isla Tortuga” by Romain Cloff is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Islas Tortuga or turtle islands are home to some of the most pristine and best beaches in Costa Rica. They boast white sand, palm trees, and turquoise water. One can access the place by boat from Montezuma on the Nicoya Peninsula.

21. Playa Virador

It is a stunning white beach sheltered by Papagayo Peninsula.  It is also one of the most gorgeous beaches and happens to be an accessible and inaccessible beach in Costa Rica. Guests of Four Seasons Resort can go to the beach by walking a few meters from the swimming pool.  Others have to negotiate a steep stairway to be on the beach.

22. Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Limón

File:Limón Province, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica – panoramio (9).jpg” by hh oldman is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Located in Limon province on the Caribbean coast, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca boasts some of the best beaches in Costa Rica. They boast clear blue waters and offer incredible surfing opportunities. Whether you want to have a good time or a laidback retreat, the place has everything. It also allows visitors to soak in the sun.

23. Playa Grande, Guanacaste

Playa Grande is located along the north Pacific Coastline and it happens to be a part of the Marino Las Baulas National Park. Although open to the public, it is a restricted region being a nesting site of the leatherback turtles. The shoreline is pristine with clear blue water and offers excellent surfing options.

24. Pavones, South Puntarenas

Paradice Found” by Wha’ppen is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Known for surfing, Pavones, South Puntarenas on the southern Pacific Coast offers one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. The best time for surfing is the rainy season. One can also do sport fishing or can take a stroll on the beach or simply relax while taking soaking in the sun.

25. Playa Uvita, South Puntarenas

Being a biologically diverse area, it boasts several beautiful beaches. Located within the Marino Ballena National Park, Playa Uvita is one of the stunning beaches on the Pacific coastline of Costa Rica. One can swim and enjoy several water sports here.

26. Playa Arcos

When looking for a hidden gem, Playa Arcos happens to be one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. It is surrounded by steep hills and is covered by dense jungle. One can access the beach via La Cusinga Eco-lodge which has a short hiking trail leading to the beach.

27. Playa Biesanz

Great Kiskadee (49874310752)” by Becky Matsubara from El Sobrante, California is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

It is one of the most popular beaches and lets one escape the crowd. The beach is located between Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park. It is a solitary spot with dense wilderness and is full of wildlife.

28. Playa Avellana, Guanacaste

Like other places in Guanacaste on the North Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Playa Avellana boasts some of the best beaches in Costa Rica. These are white sand beaches and have great surfing conditions.  They also boast a laid-back atmosphere and offer a relaxed vibe to unwind in nature.

29. Drake Bay, South Puntarenas

Rio Aguajitas, Costa Rica” by trishhartmann is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Drake Bay is located on the northern side of the Osa Peninsula and leads to the Pacific Ocean. Sir Francis Drake discovered it in the 16th century and is full of natural beauty. It offers many activities suitable for a family vacation. You can swim, snorkel, scuba dive, and do many more things there.

30. Tambor, North Puntarenas

Tambor is a small beach town. Many cozy hotels are there and one can access the beach by car. It yields a vast expanse of sand when there is a low tide. It is possible to play beach volleyball and soccer there. The placid water makes it one of the best beaches in Costa Rica and makes floating and swimming a wonderful experience.

31. Cahuita: Playa Blanca & Playa Vargas

Cahuita National Park has a lush peninsula that is surrounded by an extensive coral reef. The two beaches Playa Blanca and Playa Vargas are located on the opposite side of the beach. There is a pristine rainforest between the two beaches. One can have a walk along the forest, do snorkeling, or listen to live Calypso music in the village in the evening.

32. El Roble, North Puntarenas

Located on the Central Pacific coast, El Roble, North Puntarenas boasts one of the most convenient and the best beaches in Costa Rica. The beach features beautiful volcanic sand and the crystal clear water offers safe swimming. You can have different types of accommodations like bed and breakfast arrangements, vacation rentals, and villas.

33. Bahía Salinas, Guanacaste

File:Calocitta formosa -Papagayo Gulf, Guanacaste, Costa Rica-8.jpg” by Gary J. Wood from Toronto, ON, Canada is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Bahía Salinas, Guanacaste boasts some of the Best beaches in Costa Rica. These pristine beaches are almost untouched by modern development and exude their magnificent natural views. They stay warm around the year and have strong winds. These are ideal for kiteboarding, surfing, and many more activities. They are a perfect getaway for unwinding.

34. Marbella, Guanacaste

When making queries for the Best beaches in Costa Rica, Marbella, Guanacaste can fit the bill. It boasts a laid-back atmosphere with year-long sunny weather. It is why Marbella is turning out to be a craze destination among travelers. The exotic tropical beach is less crowded and a great place for surfing allowing surfers plenty of space to maneuver in the water.

35. Malpaís, North Puntarenas

Atardecer de un dia agitado” by Gustavo Facci is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Located in the southeastern part of the Nicoya Peninsula, it offers one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. It features rocky coves and a long beach break.  With its day and night surfing opportunities, it is a haven for surfers. The sandy stretches of the rocky beaches are adorned with sea shells. The volcanic formations of the shore deliver delightful scenery.

36. Punta Banco, South Puntarenas

If you are planning a vacation to go, Punta Banco offers one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. It boasts plenty of beach activities and wildlife. If you want to enjoy some of the best surfing opportunities in Costa Rica, Punta Banco is the ideal place. Other than water-related activities, one can take part in a wide variety of adventures. Experienced horse riders can trek along the mountain trails that pass through the forests and hills, and offer a spectacular view.

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