Costa Rica’s beaches are as diverse as they are beautiful. Spot turtles hatching on the Pacific Coast, surf world class waves on the Nicoya Peninsula and relax on unspoiled beaches in Osa, all in customized adventure for the ultimate way to see how Costa Rica lives up to its name… Central America expert, Jenny, guides us through the beaches of Guanacaste.
Costa Rica is home to a diverse and spectacular shoreline, and many a hidden gem along the way. If you thought a beach was just sand and ocean, think again! Costa Rica’s beaches come in all shapes and sizes; from calm, tranquil white sandy coves, to pebbled beaches and crashing waves – there really is a stretch of shore for everyone. Whilst some of its beaches are ideal for surfing with their rolling waves and strong rip currents, others are more suitable for leisurely swimming. No matter what you are looking for – the chances are that Costa Rica has something that will tick the boxes.
If you are looking for a family friendly beach, Tamarindo, Panama and the beaches on the Papagayo Peninsula are the best options. While the Panama and Papagayo beaches are not as vast as the one at Tamarindo they offer a more private experience, in a tranquil and natural setting. Both are situated in the calm waters of the Culebra Bay in northern Guanacaste, sheltered from the big waves and home to a clear blue sea where snorkeling, kayaking, diving, sailing and fishing all take center stage.
Playa Panama’s beach is made up of smooth, dark sand which is great for sunbathing on. The Papagayo beaches on the other hand, are white sand and are surrounded by a tropical forest which is home to lots of local wildlife including iguanas and coatis. For family friendly surfing and a popular swimming spot head south to Tamarindo beach – a beautiful long white sand beach moments from this lively and fun town. The waves here are consistent and not too harsh for those with little or no experience and offer plenty of options for a first timer on a surfboard! Replenish with a smoothie, some coconut water or a local beer after a surf session or finish your beach day at one of the many bars and cafes right at the beach. A piece of paradise!
Looking for world class surf? Costa Rica offers plenty of fantastic surfing spots. Playa Chamán in Uvita, Playa Guiones near Nosara or the spectacular Witch’s Rock at Playa Naranjo are brilliant options to catch the best of Guanacaste’s waves.
Playa Guiones near Nosara is perfect for anybody looking for a surf, yoga or wellness vacation. This long, wide and completely undeveloped white sand beach does not attract a large number of travelers making it the perfect tropical destination for anyone looking for some R&R rather than a thriving nightlife. Whilst there, base yourself at the laid back Harmony Hotel for serious relaxation on Costa Rica’s coast.
The beaches of Santa Teresa – home to Flor Blanca and Latitude 10 – and Malpais on the other hand combine world class surf with a hip, buzzing atmosphere. This wonderful long stretch of beach is still quite untouched, and there are no buildings right on the beach. Although the main road follows the coastline, the beach is separated by a stretch of jungle and is ideal for long strolls on the pristine white sand. Depending on the size of the waves, swimming in the open ocean might be a bit overwhelming, but you will find beautiful tide pools for a refreshing dip. The sunsets at low tide are known to be some of the most spectacular in Central America, when the whole community seem to gather on the beach as they sun reflects in the shallow waters and tide pools giving off a magical ‘jungle glow’ – pura vida!