Best Beaches of Costa Rica

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1521159298236{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Costa Rica has so many different beaches, there is something for everyone

When people think of Costa Rica, the rainforest often comes first to mind. However, Costa Rica is also well-known for its idyllic beaches, which are every bit as wonderful as you might imagine.

Costa Rica boasts over 300 beaches, which line both the Caribbean side and the Pacific side. Every beach in Costa Rica is unique, and not every beach is suitable for every activity. However, whether you want to kayak, Jet ski, snorkel, swim, surf, stand up paddle, or soak up the sun, there is a beach for every interest.

The following is our list of great beaches in Costa Rica for every activity imaginable.


Many of Costa Rica’s shorelines are unsuitable for swimming. Due to rocky terrain or heavy rip tides, these beaches can be dangerous to swimmers.  However, there are plenty of great swimming spots, if you know where to look.

Playa Manuel Antonio, located inside of Manuel Antonio National Park, offers white sand beaches and safe swimming.

Playa Manta, near Villas Caleta also boasts calm waters- but you need to know how to get there (just take the unmarked dirt road at Soda Nimar, right before Punta Leona’s main gate- tell the guards where you’re headed). For that matter, Villas Caleta has its own private little swimming beach, and there’s a shuttle to get you back and forth from the hotel.  

On the Caribbean coast, Punta Uva is a favorite swimming spot. It’s also great for long walks, picnics, and snorkeling.  Picturesque and featuring tranquil waters, this is one very special beach.

For those who like to enjoy the waves as they swim, Playa Samara in Guanacaste features a beach that’s choppy enough for adventures, but safe enough for swimming.

For those staying at El Capitan Suizo, Playa Tamarindo is fine for swimming, as well; but do watch the tides.

Wherever you are staying in Costa Rica, just ask your concierge at the hotel; he or she will be sure to point you in the right direction.


There are many great surfing beaches in Costa Rica. In fact, there are options for every surfing ability, as well.

Jaco Beach, on the Central Pacific side, is perfect for beginners, as it has mild waves and access to any number of private instructors. Nearby Hermosa Beach is perfect for intermediate to advanced surfers, and is lined with surf shops and laid-back restaurants that serve as surfer hangouts.

Playa Tamarindo in Guanacaste is one of Costa Rica’s most popular beaches for surfing, as it features beautiful weather, favorable winds, and pristine waters. What’s more, several great surfing spots, including Witch’s Rock, Playa Negra, and Playa Langosta can be easily reached from Playa Tamarindo.

Snorkeling and Diving

For sea-life enthusiasts, Costa Rica can be a diver’s paradise. Herradura is one of the country’s prime snorkeling and diving spots, with great sites just forty-five minutes from shore, at Tortuga Island.

In Guanacaste, Playas del Coco, Hermosa, and Ocotal all present great spots for diving and snorkeling. Just ask your concierge to set you up with a local dive shop; they’ll take you to all the best diving in the area.

Cahuita National Park features brightly colored fish and shallow, calm waters that are perfect for beginners. And the beaches in Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge offers the opportunity to get an underwater glimpse of coral, sea fans and crustaceans.

Wildlife Watching

Many beaches in Costa Rica offer spectacular opportunities to catch sight of local wildlife.

Those staying at Nicuesa Lodge will have the added benefit of being immersed right in the Costa Rica rainforest, and will be able to catch glimpses of wildlife both in the water and in the jungle. From dolphins and whales, to monkeys and sloths, this is a veritable flora and fauna bonanza.

Santa Teresa Beach features the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, where wildlife lovers can visit a seabird sanctuary and try to catch a glimpse of pacas, armadillos, anteaters, and howler monkeys.

Manuel Antonio National Park features beautiful swimming beaches which are adjacent to the rainforest, making this a prime place to spot iconic rainforest dwellers like raccoons and capuchin monkeys.

And last but certainly not least, on the beaches of Tortuguero National Park on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, depending on the time of year, visitors are treated to the sight of sea turtles nesting on the shores.  

With so many beautiful beaches, Costa Rica has much to offer for those who are seeking surf and sand. Just ask your travel coordinator at Small Distinctive Hotels of Costa Rica; we can point you to the perfect hotel that will best suite your beach going needs.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][mk_padding_divider][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row fullwidth=”true” fullwidth_content=”false” css=”.vc_custom_1520619632050{background-color: #0e2960 !important;}”][vc_column][vc_wp_text][static_block_content id=”1426″][/vc_wp_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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