Are the best beaches in Costa Rica in the Caribbean or in the Pacific? In both! The Costa Rican territory has beautiful beaches in both oceans that deserve to be known. . You do not need to be a beach lover to fall in love with Costa Rica, but considering that Costa Rica has almost 300 beaches along its coasts, it certainly helps. People from all over the world come during the dry season to visit and enjoy surfing, nature and sun in this tropical country of Central America. In this post we present the 12 best beaches in Costa Rica for you to enjoy.
Here is a list of the best beaches in Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio (Puntarenas, Pacific)
For us the beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park are the best in the country . The park and its beaches are one of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica. So you’ll see foreigners and nationals, all in love with its white sand and crystal clear waters. It is true that it is quite a tourist site and that makes it lose some charm, but the beaches are quite large and there is space for everyone.
We do not only recommend Manuel Antonio for its beach but for the National Park in general. Before relaxing in your water you can walk through its paths and appreciate all kinds of fauna and flora, as well as reach a small waterfall.
As a point, we liked more Espadilla Sur, the beach that falls to the right of the access road . Calmer and prettier, although both are worth it.
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It is also important that you know that the entrance of food to the park is quite limited . You can only enter very few products. We buy prepared sandwiches at the Joseph supermarket, near the entrance to the park.
Tortuga Island (Puntarenas, Pacific)
If you think of paradise, surely something like Turtle Island comes to mind. 😉It is a super quiet island accessible by boat from Jacob, Puntarenas or Herradura . You must hire a private day tour or transfer, since there is no hotel or restaurant there . The water looks like a pool , ideal for a leisurely swim or kayaking. Sure you will see some colorful fish, octopus, rays and even sharks and dolphins .
Manzanillo (Limón, Caribbean)
The beaches of the refuge of Gandoca-Manzanillo are spectacular. For us, the one in Manzanillo is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica and the best in the Caribbean. It is characterized by its white sand and crystal clear waters. It is much quieter than Manuel Antonio, although it is also quite touristy.
The most beautiful sector is very close to the small town of Manzanillo. You only have to cross a small suspension bridge and follow the path. We advise you to get to the viewpoint of Punta Manzanillo and enjoy the views.
Playa Conceal (Guanacaste, Pacific)
This beach is one of the most famous in Costa Rica. Partly because it has a unique characteristic: the pieces of shells replace the sand. That is to say, its composition in 98% consists of pieces of shells and strata of pulverized rocks, which distinguishes it from the other Guanacaste beaches . Its name is not difficult to imagine 🙂It is undoubtedly one of the best beaches in Costa Rica.
Santa Teresa (Puntarenas, Pacific)
For many surfers Santa Teresa is very high on the list of best beaches in Costa Rica . Its waves are usually ideal for those who practice this sport. It also has a fine and white sand that gives pleasure . If you like beaches that look like a pool, it’s not worth going , because the road access is bad enough. Around the beach there is a very cool atmosphere with several bars and some trekking routes .
Dantita Beach (Guanacaste, Pacific)
This is, without doubt, one of the best beaches in Costa Rica and also one of the quietest . Horseshoe shaped, it is surrounded by vegetation and the water has a beautiful color . Of course, when we were there was something upset and there were unevenness in the sand. So maybe it’s not ideal if you love to take a dip, but to be calm with hardly any company .
The access is somewhat cumbersome, but that makes very few people. If the tide is low, you can walk carefully through the rocks to the right of Playa Danta. Otherwise, you will have to go down a dirt road about a kilometer. In any case, we recommend that you put the flip-flops in your backpack and wear shoes to avoid hurting yourself.
Montezuma (Puntarenas, Pacific)
If you adore the coastal towns with the atmosphere, surely you consider Montezuma to be one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. It is small with a dry forest around where you can see some monkeys . It is great for swimming and also for snorkeling in the rocky area. In addition, there is a bohemian atmosphere similar to that of the Caribbean , with street vendors selling handicrafts and an organic market held every Saturday.
Punta Uva (Limón, Caribbean)
We went to this beach by chance, but we ended up falling in love. It’s pretty picky, but it has enough space to throw in the towel and toast in the sun . In addition, when sheltered it barely has waves and the water is very clean . Who does not like to bathe with spectacular views of palm trees and other tropical vegetation? Another point in favor is that it has a very easy access compared to other beaches in the area , which are more hidden. But that does not mean it’s overcrowded.
Flamingo (Guanacaste, Pacific)
In a fairly exclusive area of Guanacaste, Playa Flamingo is surrounded by some hotels and condominiums. It is quite extensive, so there are quiet areas and other more lively . When the sea is a bit rough it is a place frequented by surfers . On the other hand, when the water is calm, it is best to take a snorkel gear and go to discover the marine life . Another great attraction of this beach are the sunsets that can be seen from there . We stayed two steps from this beach, at the Flamingo Beach Resort and Spa , and we thought it was a great choice.
Samara (Guanacaste, Pacific)
White sand surrounded by vegetation and a water full of marine life make Sámara one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. It is a popular place to go diving or snorkeling . This beach will especially like bird lovers. Directly opposite is a very small desert island where you can observe many birds . There is the possibility of renting a kayak to get there and see them up close.
The town of Samara is charming beyond its beautiful beach . There are several places to eat and shops where to buy souvenirs.
Tamarindo (Guanacaste, Pacific)
Tamarindo beach is one of the most visited in Costa Rica. In part, because it offers quite a hotel offer and a beautiful beach perfect for surfers. It is true that the beaches of the Pacific usually have enough currents, but they are also good for relaxing. In general it is quite busy as it is easily accessible . If you are looking for more tranquility you can escape to Playa Langosta or Playa Grande, more tranquilitas and just as nice.
Biesanz Beach (Puntarenas, Pacific)
And finally, to finish this list of the best beaches in Costa Rica we can not leave Playa Biesanz. It is relatively close to Manuel Antonio, although it is not very easy to find. Hence its attractiveness. It is not very crowded and is one of the typical postcard beaches. It is tranquilita, without much waves and with a delicious water. Also if you like to snorkel, it is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica for it.
Finally, if you are thinking of traveling to Costa Rica, be sure to check out this travel guide to Costa Rica 2018: Best places, beaches, national parks, requirements and vaccines. Costa Rica is located on the Central American continent, extending over an area of approximately 51,100 square kilometers. It is organized in seven provinces , while its capital, political and economic center is the city of San José. Its main tourist attraction top 12 best beaches in Costa Rica. Costa Rica has a privileged geography, with more than 1200 kilometers of coastline in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. To the west, the provinces of Guanacaste and Puntarenas hide the most famous beaches in the country, with a wide range of tourist centers and sports activities such as diving, snorkeling and surfing. Towards the east, meanwhile, there are the Caribbean beaches of the province of Limón, Heredia and Alajuela, which although have less tourist development, hide beautiful beaches of black and white sand.