Costa Rica

Five Best Beaches in Costa Rica

Five Best Beaches in Costa Rica

Ah, Costa Rica. Ah, beaches in Costa Rica. Ah, kicking back with a good book on the beaches in Costa Rica. Paradise? We think this might just be it. The Spanish word for beach is playa, which makes sense in Costa Rica, as the beaches are all about play — there’s surfing, kayaking, wildlife watching and plenty more to keep every member of your eager entourage entertained for days on end. But don’t get us wrong — relaxation is also on the agenda. The scores of trendy-chic beach bars and plush loungers tucked in between emerald palm trees is conducive to some top-quality R&R. Keep reading to discover our roundup of the five best beaches in Costa Rica.


  1. Tortuguero National Park 
  2. Nosara
  3. The Golfo Dulce
  4. Manuel Antonio National Park
  5. Puerto Viejo de Talamanca


Tortuguero National Park

Turtle Hatching and Wildlife Watching

Brilliantly beautiful and bursting at the seams with wildlife, a visit to the Tortuguero National Park is all about nature, nature and more nature. The park’s small town sits on a charmingly remote sandbar, with a long black-sand Caribbean beach on one side and a dense mangrove-fringed river on the other. Along beautiful canals, jungle trails and stretches of wild beach you can admire everything from monkeys and toucans to caimans and iguanas alongside one of our top local guides. And then of course there is the iconic turtle hatching spectacle, which normally occurs between July and October and sees hundreds of endangered turtles crawl onto the beach to dig holes to lay their eggs in. A few months later, the turtles hatch and scramble to the ocean for their first swim, which, again, is quite the spectacle.

Turtle in a costa rican beach



A Surfer’s Paradise

Our journey down through the best beaches in Costa Rica continues on the Pacific side, which, as you might guess, is a Mecca for those chasing some epic waves to ride (or snap shots of). Playa Guiones is the most central and popular beach and is blessed with a mixture of white-water waves close to the shore for beginners and gnarlier, more dramatic waves further out for advanced surfers. The nearby Playa Garza is perhaps the more beautiful bay, thanks to its fringes of pristine palm trees, powdery white sand and calm reefs perfect for swimming and snorkelling. There is also the seriously photogenic Playa Pelada, whose curious half-moon shape and authentic Costa Rican vibe makes it one of our favourite beachy spots in the region.


The Golfo Dulce

Wellness in a Wild Tropical Fjord

Perched in the south Pacific region of Costa Rica, the pristine Golfo Dulce — or ‘Sweet Gulf’ — basks in its remote, off-the-beaten track feel. The area is free from the backpacker bustle, with nothing but lush mountainous rainforest, peaceful white-sand beaches and mangrove wetlands for miles on end. You can spend your days focussing on personal restoration by tuning into your tranquil surroundings — be that by bathing in the warm azure waters, kayaking along the shoreline or simply listening to birds singing in the treetops. To maximise the wellness angle of the region, we can arrange for you to stay in a luxurious retreat which follows a four-phase treatment programme filled with plenty of indulgent wellness treatments.


Manuel Antonio National Park

Unspoiled Desert Island Feel

The paradisiacal beaches nestled within the forested walls of the Manuel Antonio National Park are easily some of the most beautiful in Costa Rica. There are no roads leading directly to the beaches, just a handful of hiking trails winding through the jungle, each lasting a mile or so. Playa Manuel Antonio is one of the most popular beaches, owing to its picture-perfect stretches of white sand, gentle waves and vibrant coral reef. There is also the even more secluded Playa Gemelas, an idyllic cove teeming with exotic wildlife like capuchin monkeys and huge iguanas. And while there is no accommodation directly in the park, we can arrange for you to stay in an elegant guesthouse on a tiny nearby island in the heart of nature. There is a beautiful swimming pool and excellent French cuisine, which are much enjoyed after a day spent in the sweeping jungle.

Manuel Antonio National Park


Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Effortless Caribbean Cool

And finally, the beautiful Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is our top pick for those travelling with an entourage of travellers, each with a different idea of the perfect beachy getaway. Home to some of the best beaches in Costa Rica, this heavenly southeastern enclave has something in store for everyone. Adventurous souls can head to Playa Bonita to practice their surfing skills alongside the locals, self-proclaimed photographers can treat their camera-trigger fingers to a stroll along the unusual black-sand Playa Negra and those keen to just kick back and relax can easily do so at Playa Chino thanks to its calm, translucent waters, nearby beach bars and sumptuous jungle views. We can arrange for your barefoot luxury adventure to continue in the evening, with a stay at a beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of lush vegetation complete with a beautiful pool surrounded by ferns.