Costa Rica beaches hold a special place in the hearts and minds of beach lovers from around the world who have visited this tiny Central American country.
In fact, Costa Rica is famous for its many Pacific oceanfront locations that feature either brilliant white or incredible black sandy beaches all framed by lush tropical rainforests.
Incredible Costa Rica beaches can be found all along the 600 mile stretch of Pacific coastline. With a combination of warm tropical weather and warm tropical waters, they attract vacationers, snorkelers, scuba divers, and surfers from around the globe all year round.
In travel brochures and other Costa Rica visitor guidelines, the beach areas are loosely divided into several sections.
- Southern Costa Rica – Waterfront locations may be a bit more remote and undeveloped.
- Central & Northern Costa Rica – This part of the country tends to be more popular and caters to the ever-growing tourist industry.
Regardless of location, travelers can lounge in the sun, enjoy their time in the brisk surf, or take a leisurely walk to see if they can spot one of the dozens of native animal species among the trees. It’s not uncommon to spot colorful toucans and other exotic birds, plus monkeys, iguanas and even water walking lizards.
Even Christopher Columbus enjoyed these Costa Rica beaches when he visited the Caribbean over five centuries ago.
Best Beaches in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a relatively small country with coastlines that make up nearly two-thirds of its borders including the Caribbean and the Pacific oceans. There are over 300 sandy beaches in Costa Rica including:
- Jaco beach near Jaco Costa Rica
- Manuel Antonio in Manuel Antonio National Park
- Tortuguero National Park
- Playa Dominical surfing beaches, just 30 miles south of Manuel Antonio National Park
- Playa Tamarindo, near the turtle nesting beaches of Costa Rica
- Corcovado in Corcovado National Park on Costa Rica’s Osa peninsula
- Montezuma on Costa Rica’s Nicoya peninsula
Spectacular Lesser Known Beach Locations
Although lesser known, the following Costa Rica beaches are also worth visiting:
- Playa Naranjo (Witches Rock)
- Playa Avellana
- Playa Santa Teresa
- Playa Negra
Playa Hermosa may be the best choice for prime surfing. Travelers may also want to seek accommodations near Playa Flamingo or Playa Grande. In the south, the beach at Ganodoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge is exceptional.
Costa Rica Oceanfront Resorts
Vacationers can easily be pampered in one of the many Pacific and Caribbean coastal resorts of Costa Rica. In the tourist hotspots, the nightlife is very active with bars and restaurants that cater to the needs of the many tourists who come to enjoy a drink or a meal.
One of the highlights that many visitors recall from their experience here is buying a cold fruit drink or ice cream from a vendor who makes his way along the more popular Costa Rica beaches.
Those who plan to visit one of the astonishing Costa Rican beaches will find that many use the Spanish name “playa.” Nearly every one of these idyllic spots offers plenty of privacy and opportunities for relaxation.
Caravan Costa Rica Vacations
The Pacific ocean is always a drawing feature for Costa Rica eco travel.
Read more about what fellow travelers have to say about these 9-day tours on our Costa Rica reviews page.
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