Costa Rica, a small country located between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, is one of the most visited countries in Central America. Recent studies highlighted that Costa Ricans live longer, healthier and happier compared to other countries in the world. This lifestyle is also known as pura vida (pure life), a term which is also used by the local population to say hello, goodbye, or everything’s cool.
The “Rich Coast” has earned its name primarily from its rich and diverse ecosystem, which highly varies from area to area: here it is in fact possible to admire rainforests, lakes, volcanos, valleys, rivers and jungles. Costa Rica is also considered one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, counting more than a half million animal species. Yet, the country has been lately attracting tourists not only for its natural wonders, but especially for its numerous gorgeous beaches: spectacular white, sandy beaches with palm trees, majestic volcanic black beaches, or fascinating small beach coves surrounded by rainforests. In the central American country, travellers will certainly find something that suits their tastes! Are you ready for this pura vida adventure?
The great variety of beaches will definitely make it hard to decide where to go. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Grab your sunscreen, relax and let us do this “dirty job”. Here, you will find a list of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica:
1. Manuel Antonio Beach, Manuel Antonio National Park
Manuel Antonio Beach, located in the homonym national park, is one of the most popular sites among travellers. From the entrance of the park, it takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the white sandy beach, time in which you will admire the surrounding rainforest. Here, hidden in the lush vegetation, it is also possible to glimpse families of swinging monkeys and numerous species of birds. Don’t forget that, within the park, there are three more beaches which are worth visiting: Puerto Escondido, Gemelas and Espadilla. The beaches are similar to those that can be found on Brabados for example. If your journey lead you to the Caribbean island, you can visit exceptionalvillas.com to book your reservations.
2. Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste
Do you like surfing? Then, Tamarindo Beach is the place to be. According to the many surfers, who come here to enjoy some of the country’s best waves, the place is also suitable for beginners. Grab your wetsuit and ride the perfect wave! Yet, although the golden sandy beach and the surrounding vegetation are extremely beautiful, it must be mentioned that Tamarindo Beach also represents one of the most touristic attraction in the country. Don’t expect peace and quiet here.
If you have time and you want to explore, it is also suggested to visit the nearby beach of Langosta. Langosta offers a gorgeous sandy beach, great waves and definitely less visitors.
3. Playa Conchal, Guanacaste
While surfers crowd the nearby beach of Tamarindo, Playa Conchal gives you the opportunity to relax and enjoy the day. Here, travellers can focus on different outdoor activities, including swimming, snorkelling, or even playing golf on an 18-hole course. Yet, the main reason why Playa Conchal is so attractive to tourists, representing one of the most famous beaches in the country, is its morphology. The shore, in fact, instead of sand, is made of millions tiny pieces of shells. Since 2019, driving to the beach is not allowed anymore, however, only a 15-minute walk separates you from this paradise on earth.
4. Flamingo Beach, Guanacaste
At a walking distance from Playa Conchal, you will find the gorgeous pinkish-white sand of Flamingo Beach. The mile-long beach is extremely famous for outdoor activities, including sport fishing, diving, boating and snorkelling. Here, after relaxing on a beach chair on the pinkish-white sand, you can admire the sunset over the Pacific Ocean – simply one of the most beautiful things you could possibly see. Don’t forget that the north American expat community, who has settled in the vicinity of the beach over the years, has transformed the area into a luxury beach town. Therefore, if you are travelling on a budget, you should definitely take this into consideration!
5. Playa Manzanillo, Southern Caribbean Coast
On the southwestern Costa Rican coast, in the proximity of the Panamanian border, travellers will find Manzanillo Beach. Located in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, the beach offers fine white sand, crystal-clear waters and a majestic scenery of a palm-fringed rainforest in the back. Here, travellers can discover the astonishing coral reefs present in the area, which can be easily explored by kayak or simply by swimming. However, the most incredible characteristic of this beach has yet to come. Due to its remote location, in fact, Manzanillo Beach has been spared by the huge hordes of tourists coming to Costa Rica every year, therefore, don’t be surprised if you will be the only one enjoying this panorama!
6. Uvita Beach, South Pacific
Located in Marino Ballena National Park, Playa Uvita is part of the world-know Whale’s Tail. Besides the fact that, at low tide, the shore transforms itself into a whale tale form, from August to October and from December to April, it is also possible to see here groups of humpback whales that migrate. Moreover, from May to November, it is interesting to watch numerous sea turtles that come ashore to nest. In the area, travellers can also enjoy snorkelling, paddle boarding and kayaking. Finally, don’t miss the many whale-watching tours offered here, a unique experience that you will rarely find anywhere else!
7. Playa Montezuma, Nicoya Peninsula
Playa Montezuma, almost at the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, lies within the Cabo Blanco and Curù Wildlife Reserve. Not only the area is considered to have one of the most astonishing location of the country, but it also offers the wildest beaches you could possible see. Therefore, don’t forget your hiking shoes and explore the jungle behind you!
Cheap prices, breath-taking locations, friendly people and tasty food. What more could you want??? Find the ultimate itinerary for backpacking in Costa Rica, as well as other information about prices, visas and vaccinations, on the extremely useful German website Backpackertrail.