The Best Beaches in Costa Rica


Costa Rica’s beaches feature everything from black volcanic to bright white sands. Beachgoers can lounge on sun loungers or take shade under makeshift shade structures; surfers will appreciate Costa Rica’s consistent swells.

Playa Conchal, named for the tiny shells that shimmer alongside its turquoise tides, is an idyllic beach on Costa Rica’s Gold Coast. It makes an excellent spot for swimming, long walks and runs, horseback riding, and relaxing horseback rides.

Playa Tamarindo

Tamarindo Beach in Guanacaste Province is one of the most well-known beach destinations for its consistent surf conditions and vibrant beach culture. Home to numerous hotels, restaurants, and bars, Tamarindo is ideal for families, couples, or groups of friends looking for an action-packed vacation experience.

The beach is an expansive strip of white sand populated by many visitors during peak season, making it a popular location for surfing, snorkeling, and walking. Surf shops can take you to the area’s premier surfing spots, such as Witches Rock and Playa Negra, which both appear in Endless Summer movies.

There are also plenty of restaurants and bars directly on the beach, offering American-style cuisine and Costa Rican fare such as tacos or seafood. Furthermore, Playa Hermosa is known for its lively nightlife scene.

Tamarindo offers many activities, from swimming and snorkeling to surfing and volleyball. There is also the option of going on a sunset sailing tour – an excellent way to see all that Costa Rica has to offer – with companies such as Marlin del Rey, Blue Dolphin, and Dream Chaser providing these tours that typically include drinks, snacks, and lunch. Furthermore, Tamarindo is well known as an outdoor market selling local crafts and produce.

Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa’s tranquil waters and uncrowded sands have long been revered, providing visitors with an ideal destination for relaxation in Guanacaste. Enclosed by coastal mountains and protected from more giant waves found elsewhere on other beaches, Playa Hermosa offers perfect conditions for families with young children looking for peace and serenity in nature. Visitors to Playa Hermosa will appreciate sunny weather and fine sand in an environment that fosters true relaxation.

Playa Hermosa offers a selection of hotels to meet any traveler’s budget and preferences, with beachside bungalows being the most sought-after accommodation option. They’re incredibly well suited to couples and families seeking an intimate setting for relaxation; alternatively, luxury resorts or villas may provide stunning ocean or jungle views.

Hermosa boasts many restaurants and bars where visitors can indulge in local culinary treats, from fresh seafood to traditional Costa Rican fare and international eateries – don’t miss Gallo Pinto! A hearty combination of rice and beans awaits your palate here.

Hermosa offers many outdoor recreational and sports activities beyond dining, such as sport fishing from its beach. You’ll find tuna, mahi-mahi, marlin, and even exotic species such as roosterfish here.

Hermosa makes for an excellent starting point for day trips to Rincon de la Vieja and Santa Rosa National Parks, featuring amazing hiking trails and chances to see exotic wildlife.

Playa Punta Uva

Playa Punta Uva, situated along the southern Caribbean coast, is an idyllic coastal sanctuary featuring white sands and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Flanked by dense tropical jungles, Playa Punta Uva provides the ideal spot for eco-tourism and wildlife enthusiasts. While strolling along its shoreline, visitors may see monkeys swinging from trees, sloths lazily sleeping under leaves, or exotic birds soaring overhead – perfect spots for eco-tourism enthusiasts!

Approximately 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca’s main town, this beach is a favorite destination among visitors looking for peace and natural beauty. Additionally, it boasts several hotels, restaurants, and lodges for your comfort.

One of the most popular activities is snorkeling. With shallow and calm waters providing ideal conditions, snorkeling on coral reefs is perfect for newcomers and experienced divers alike. Visitors will also have plenty of marine life, such as zebrafish, sea urchins, and blue parrot fish, to discover while on their adventure.

Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge allows guests to spot various forms of wildlife, including endangered species, which makes it a must-see for nature enthusiasts. Visitors can also explore surrounding trails to discover abundant rainforest with many bird species and hiking, kayaking, swimming, and fishing activities available here.

Playa Conchal

Playa Conchal in Guanacaste is an unforgettable sight. Not your average beach, its sparkling shells act as natural water purifiers to produce some of Costa Rica’s most transparent waters – making Playa Conchal an absolute must-see for visitors looking to gain an authentic sense of what makes Costa Rica unique.

This quiet beach offers beautiful sunsets and is an idyllic retreat for relaxation and rejuvenation. Additionally, it is an excellent destination for surfing enthusiasts seeking some of the best waves available anywhere in America. Surfers from all around travel here every year to surf these world-class waves!

If you’re planning a visit to Conchal, you can select from numerous hotels and villas. From luxury all-inclusive resorts like Westin Resort – located on this magnificent beach with ten restaurants – to beachfront homes and bungalows, there will surely be something suitable.

Conchal is a popular tourist destination and can become overrun with visitors during Costa Rica’s peak tourist season (December to April). However, visiting during the week could leave you with more space on the beach for yourself. Explore nearby Playa Flamingo and Playa Potrero; those seeking adventure should go hiking at the nearby Rincon de la Vieja volcano!

Playa Negra

Surfers flock to this remote beach, brimming with natural beauty as a surfer’s haven, boasting dark-colored sands and rocky bedrocks dotted with clear tide pools and protected swimming spots ideal for sunbathing and swimming. Even those who don’t wish to surf will enjoy picnicking, exploring rock outcroppings and tide pools, horseback riding, and simply appreciating Costa Rican life in its slow-tempo peace.

Los Pargos’ beach is at the core of its community and offers budget-minded beach hotels. The surf break here offers fast, hollow waves that give experienced riders perfect conditions to hone their skills, while beginners may also find suitable conditions to develop their abilities. A world-renowned right-hand barrel appeared in “Endless Summer II.”

Cahuita National Park offers hiking trails, wildlife viewing areas, breathtaking scenic vistas, and delicious restaurants and bars serving local fare and beverages. Additionally, Playa Avellanas beach, located close by, is another favorite spot renowned for its incredible scenery, excellent surfing conditions, and laidback atmosphere, with lots of restaurants and bars offering delicious local fare, perfect for families or groups of friends looking for relaxing activities including snorkeling, fishing, and diving!

Playa Cahuita

This beautiful white-sand beach can be found in Limon province near Cahuita National Park and boasts an abundance of wildlife, such as sloths, monkeys, toucans, and more. Go hiking through Cahuita to spot sloths, monkeys, and toucans before snorkeling around its gorgeous coral reef, or visit its Jaguar Rescue Center to help support them!

Playa Negra Beach offers ideal conditions for swimming, lounging in the sun with a good book, or spending your day beach hopping! Other nearby beaches include Playa Cocles, Chiquita, and Vargas beaches of Cahuita National Park and black sand beaches Playa Negra and Punta Uva, which boast black sand. There is also an array of restaurants serving traditional Costa Rican fare and international dishes – and authentic Caribbean restaurants offering dishes like jerk chicken, breadfruit, and other tasty treats!

Playa Cahuita is at its finest during February-March and September-October when its weather is dry; however, it remains an attractive destination year-round. Rain gear should always be packed; watch wildlife while driving around, too – you might see sloths, monkeys, or iguanas! Don’t forget your camera, as there’s lots to be found walking through national park trails. Plus, the rainforest makes an excellent setting for horseback rides or hiking expeditions!