Are you planning a visit to beautiful Costa Rica? If so, then you will undoubtedly want to explore the beaches while you’re there. After all, the local, pristine beaches are one of the main draws of Costa Rica. It’s important to understand, however, that not all Costa Rican beaches are created equally. Sure, most of them have pristine, white sand and clear blue water, but some beaches are better than others. Of course, the best beach for you to visit depends on what you want to see and do on the beach, but if you do your research and know your options, you’ll be able to pick the most perfect beach (or beaches!) to see during your stay.
If you’re looking for a beach that’s a little off the beaten path—one that’s not overrun with tourists all year long—then consider Playa Arcos, a private, secluded little beach located in Marino Ballena National Park. Several hiking trails lead down to the secluded beach, so you can easily pick a trail that’s convenient for you and then enjoy the journey! Once your trek through the hilly terrain is through, you’ll find that Playa Arcos is the perfect place to read a good book, to get some sun, or to simply relax in peace and quiet. It’s also a favorite among the locals, so visiting is a wonderful way to get the inside scoop on what’s truly hot in Costa Rica.
There are two types of beach-lovers who visit Costa Rica. First, you have your visitors who love quiet, peaceful beaches; these are the visitors who would find heaven at Playa Arcos. Then, however, there are visitors who want to be where the excitement abounds and where the partying never stops. For people who fall into that second group, the beaches of Nicoya Peninsula are the perfect ones to visit. These beaches are some of the most popular and frequented beaches in all of Costa Rica, making them a great spot to go for people-watching, making new friends, and maybe even making a romantic connection on your trip. Each beach is within walking distance of major cities in the peninsula, so you can easily find a swimming, sunning, and/or surfing spot that’s convenient to your hotel and that offers you access to shopping, dining, nightlife, and any type of entertainment you could want.
While the beaches at Nicoya Peninsula and Playa Arcos are both stunning, if it’s beauty you’re after, nothing beats the dazzling gorgeousness of Manuel Antonio. Manuel Antonio is made up of lovely bays, waterfalls, and even more majestic sites. Plus, you’ll never be bored at Manuel Antonio; no, this beach offers up plenty of opportunities for fun in the sun! Opportunities abound for diving, zip lining, snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, surfing, and more, or you can just lie out and enjoy the scenery with a book and an ice cold beverage of your choice.
Playa Ventanas is another one of those “off the beaten path” beaches, though it’s relatively easy to get to via the village of Ojochal. Framed by two sea caves, the beach offers a lovely way to pass a morning or afternoon, and all you have to pay for is the parking! You’re even free to explore the two caves with a guide or on your own; just make sure you do so when the tide is nice and low. The waters can get rocky and the caves dangerous as the tide grows higher.
If sunsets and surfing are your thing, then Playa Dominical is the beach for you! Known for its dramatically beautiful sunsets—sunsets that draw crowds of visitors each evening—the beach is the perfect place to end your day. Of course, you can spend your day there too! Playa Dominical is known for having the most predictable wave patterns in all of Costa Rica, making it a perfect place for some safe (but super fun!) surfing. Other water sports are popular at the beach as well, and you can easily sign up for lessons or rent equipment for a small fee.
Explore and Have Fun!
So, there you have it, the top five beaches in all of Costa Rica. These beaches aren’t, of course, the only beaches, and you’re encouraged to explore these and other options during your stay. In fact, you really can’t go wrong no matter which beach you pick; as long as you’re in Costa Rica, you’re practically guaranteed to experience a beach trip (or two or three!) like no other.