If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on, it’s that Costa Rica has the best beaches around. Regardless of your reasons for coming to Costa Rica, we’re sure you plan on spending quality family time on the beach whenever possible. While the pacific coast offers nearly 800 miles of tropical shoreline, the beaches can range from abandoned and remote, to overcrowded spring-break crowds, and everything in-between. Before setting off on your family adventure, review our list of the 5 safest, most family-friendly beaches in Costa Rica.
Playa Chiquita, a small stretch of coast just South of Puerto Viejo, is hidden by a thick patch of forest separating the beach from the main road. Although this beach may be difficult to find, it offers one of the most relaxing and family friendly beach environments. White sands, coral reefs, and coconut trees are just the beginning. Many families flock to this isolated beach looking for calm wave pools and perfect coves. The calm water may make it impossible for surfers, but gives your family more liberty to swim and play in the water without the risk of wild waves. This lowly populated, tranquil beach offers the perfect environment for families with small children or even pets to play. The coral reefs and calm, shallow pools make this a common destination for snorkelers and tropical wildlife admirers. As this beach can be more difficult to locate, families often enjoy their space and privacy. Although the town around Playa Chiquita is small, they offer a variety of lodging and restaurant options, allowing your family to make this a weekend adventure.
Playa Hermosa, or “beautiful beach,” in Guanacaste lives up to its name as nearly a paradise on Earth. This beach has kept its tropical charm yet continues to grow, offering a large variety of hotels, restaurants, bars, grocery shops, and more, making it a convenient and easy trip for your family. As Playa Hermosa offers a convenient location, there are many tour operators and adventurism services available to your family ranging from water-sports to guided hiking trails and mountain bike rides. Although this beach has gained significant popularity, its size guarantees that it is rarely crowded. Playa Hermosa is a favorite beach in Costa Rica as it’s known for its perfect climate, easy-going atmosphere, and breathtaking natural views, even having received awards for its care to the environment. Many national parks are within an easy driving distance from the beach, allowing your family to experience all Costa Rica has to offer in natural beauty in a single weekend. Playa Hermosa typically experiences soft waves which allow your family to enjoy the shaded beaches and play in the water alike.
Punta Uva Beach is around 5 miles of Caribbean beach along the east coast of Costa Rica and is famous for having some of the most stunning natural views. This white sand beach is being protected by environmental laws which keep the shores clean, safe, and an ideal destination for your family. Punta Uva is located near jungles, wildlife sanctuaries, and indigenous populations, making it not just a relaxing experience, but the perfect sight-seeing and cultural integration opportunity to your family. You can rent bikes or electric carts to enjoy a more active sight-seeing experience and join in on water activities, hiking, and trying indigenous foods and drinks. Although this is a common destination for active families and those looking to enjoy an adventure, the white sands and sweeping palm trees make it an enjoyable stay for those looking to soak up the sun and relax on the beach. Punta Uva does not boast much of a nightlife, but there are plenty of hotels and restaurants nearby for extended stays. Many families enjoy this beach as an authentic glimpse into Costa Rican natural beauty and indigenous cultures while still offering a convenient, safe stay.
Tambor beach, located on the Nicoya Peninsula, is a horseshoe-shaped bay set in a valley looking up at dense forests and palm trees. Despite the remote feeling and thickly forested views, this beach is rather easy to access and is a convenient destination as it offers a wide range of hotels, restaurants, and shops in the small town accompanying the beach. These accommodations include both casual, family style lodging as well as all-inclusive vacation resorts. Tambor beach offers fun for the whole family through bird watching, wildlife trails, fishing areas, and horseback riding. An afternoon expedition can bring your family to one of the many close islands to experience the diverse foliage and wildlife in the area. Explore a little harder, you’ll find golf courses and nature sanctuaries as well. The mild weather and easy access to shade and the town may ease your family’s worries when traveling in Central America. Tambor beach has mild waves and coves which offer swimming opportunities to even the most timid swimmers. This may be an ideal opportunity for your family to enjoy both the beach and the forested views while sticking to a limited budget.
Manuel Antonio is a small town offering both incredible beaches and a wildlife natural park of the same name. If your family is interested in diverse plant life and incredible wildlife, this may be your perfect destination. The combination of beach, forest, hills, and coral reefs renders the area one of the most breathtaking sites in the region. While these calm beaches offer peaceful serenity, your family may have a hard time staying in one place. The natural beauty of the area comes complete with hiking trails, zip-lining stations, boat rides, diving expeditions, and even white water rafting in certain parts of the town. This is the perfect expedition for an active, curious family while still offering a convenient trip as hotels, modern amenities, and restaurants are an easy find. While services for extreme adventure tourism may increase your budget, this area offers so much natural beauty that a family can enjoy the area without breaking the bank. Beach walks to enjoy the hundreds of species of mammals and birds will prove to be an exciting and educational opportunity for your family.
Whichever beach you chose to visit, you will doubtlessly find stunning natural views and an agreeable tropical climate. Keep in mind that there are no lifeguards on public beaches and rarely on private beaches. With these five options of safe beaches and soft waves, your family should have no trouble relaxing and enjoying all the natural beauty Costa Rica has to offer.