Costa Rica, which has 1,290 kilometers of coastline, promises you varied but always magical landscapes. How to choose between white sand beaches with turquoise waters and sublime black sand beaches? How to prefer a sea with crystal clear water revealing the coral reef to an ocean in the colors of your dreams? Here is a small selection of heavenly destinations on the Pacific coast as well as on the Caribbean Sea. It’s up to you to choose the postcard setting for your next vacation in Central America.
Playa Hermosa, one of the best beaches in Costa Rica?
To get this trip off to a good start, head for the magnificent beach with the predestined name of Playa Hermosa (beautiful beach) on the Pacific coast in the northwest of the country. Located in Guanacaste on Hermosa Bay, it is one of the most ecological beaches in Costa Rica, labeled blue flag. Its fine, almost black sand contrasts with the turquoise blue of the ocean and invites you to relax under the Costa Rican sun.
Its translucent waters are ideal for diving, sport fishing and water sports, while its sometimes powerful waves are a delight for surfers. But is it really one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica? You will see that it is not so sure…
Direction Playa Tamarindo
We stay in the province of Guanacaste but this time on the crystal clear waters of Tamarindo Bay near the Las Baulas Marine National Park. The expanse of clear sand lined with typical coconut and tamarind trees is a stone’s throw from the ecological reserve where you can observe turtles. Like most of the beaches located on this coast, Playa Tamarindo promises you many sports activities while leaving room for rest. The seaside resort is also popular with partygoers from all over the world who meet at nightfall in the many establishments on the coast.
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Ready to go with your family to Playa Samara?
Samara Beach, named after the small village nearby, is still located in Guanacaste but south of the Nicoya Peninsula. Its 7 kilometers of clear sandy beach which open onto calm and pure waters are ideal for families. On the program, swimming in complete safety but also diving to discover the treasures of the seabed and paddle to still enjoy the beauty of the fish.
Take the opportunity to make excursions in the surrounding area such as Isla Chora or Puerto Humo from where you can set off for an impressive descent of the Río Tempisque. Thrills guaranteed if you come across a crocodile there.
Playa Nosara in Guanacaste
You will love the relaxed atmosphere of Playa Nosara and a little further south that of Playa Guiones near a charming typical village.
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The sunset on these heavenly beaches is memorable there as it is also on the neighboring beaches of Pelada, Garza or Rozada.
Playa Uvita, the pearl of the Pacific
The grandiose natural site of Playa Uvita in the heart of the Marino Ballena National Park in the province of Puntarenas can already be admired from the sky or at low tide. Uvita, less than 200 km south of San José, is known worldwide for its uniquely shaped beach, a whale’s tail. From July to October, you can encounter dolphins and… whales on this emblematic inlet. The beach invites you to relax and the ocean to discover its seabed. Take the time to also observe the colorful macaws and monkeys that have taken up residence in the nearby mangrove, a particular ecosystem that you can cross by kayak. Around Uvita, don’t forget to take a walk near the waterfalls (El Pavón, Poza azul, Cascada verde, Nauyaca…).
Those of Nauyaca towards Dominical are even the highest in Costa Rica (45 m high with a pool of 1000 m2 ideal for swimming). Dominical’s black sand beach is also renowned for being one of the best surf spots on the coast.
Trip out of the world in Playa Quepos
Santa Teresa Beach on the Nicoya Peninsula
Santa Teresa beach invites you into a wilder universe in the heart of the Puntarenas region where the waves are higher. The only street in the small tree-lined village of the same name runs along the entire beach, the beauty of which is breathtaking.
The Nicoya Peninsula is full of surf spots that attract lovers of harder to tame waves from May to December.
Isla Tortuga: Playa Virgen, Playa Tropical…
On the other side of the peninsula, on the Gulf of Nicoya side, you will discover the Isla Tortuga formed by two close lands. Isla Tolinga and the turtle-shaped Isla Alcatraz are home to the best beaches in Costa Rica. Tortuga Island is only about ten kilometers from the shore and from the Refugio de Fauna Silvestre Curù park.
Beyond the crystalline turquoise water that bathes their exceptional beaches, it is their absolutely remarkable protected ecosystem that gives you an appointment in paradise.
Manzanillo beach on the Caribbean side
The 212 km coastline on the Caribbean Sea is just as remarkable as that on the Pacific Ocean. You will love its authentic beaches backed by small colorful fishing villages. The sublime pristine beach of Manzanillo is one of them and its translucent waters are home to one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the Caribbean. Snorkeling or snorkeling is a must.
Playa Manzanillo also opens the doors to the Refugio Nacional Gandoca-Manzanillo, a coastal protected area with lush and surprising vegetation.
The unmissable Caribbean Playa Negra
Don’t leave Costa Rica without taking advantage of the black sand beach that sparkles with a thousand lights. Direction Playa Negra in the province of Limón a few kilometers north of that of Manzanillo. The beach between Puerto Viejo de Talamanca and the Cahuita National Park will leave you with magnificent polychrome images in your eyes. The beach with its unique wild charm is even home to a wreck in which the vegetation has regained its rights. Playa Negra, whose waters are quite rough near the village, can be tamed more easily to the north.
You will also like Playa Herradura, which served as the setting for the film “1492, Christopher Columbus” or the beaches in the heart of the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Romelia, accessible only on foot. Finally, are you more beaches on the Caribbean Sea or on the Pacific Ocean?
Enjoy your stay in Costa Rica and do not hesitate to share the photos of your most beautiful discoveries in this sunny destination which has more than 300 dream beaches!
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What are the best beaches in Costa Rica?
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