Top Beaches Costa Rica
Costa Rica has nearly 300 different beaches along its stunning Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, each with a unique draw and distinct setting. Even on nearby beaches the sand can vary from white, black, or brown coloration. Some beaches are full of shells or scattered with rocks; others are soft with fluffy fine sand. Some are fantastic for swimming, and others are better for surfing.
With two coastlines surrounded by lush jungle, Costa Rica is famous for some of the most beautiful beaches in Central America. There are golden beaches on the Pacific that enjoy fabulous sunsets and powdery Caribbean beaches surrounded by candy-colored corals.
The sparkling white stand of Playa Conchal, just north of Tamarindo, wraps around a turquoise bay thats perfect for swimming or snorkeling. Because its tucked away south of the underwhelming Playa Brasilito, Playa Conchal is overlooked by many visitors. But for those in the know, its paradise. Theres only one hotel near the beach: the luxurious Westin Playa Conchal Resort. Fortunately, the massive resort is set back from the tree-lined beach, helping Playa Conchal retain a natural feel.
This stunning beach, part of Manuel Antonio National Park, has long been considered one of Costa Ricas best beaches. Just west of the beach is imposing Punta Catedral (Cathedral Point), a rocky headland shielding the beach from powerful waves. The water here is consistently calm, making it a terrific choice for families with young children. The surrounding national park, meanwhile, is filled with wildlife. You can easily spot white-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, green iguanas and sloths. Manuel Antonio is also one of the few places in Costa Rica that is home to a healthy population of endangered (and adorable) squirrel monkeys.
Playa Flamingo, to the north of Playa Conchal, has a combination of mellow waves and high-end development that make it one of the most family-friendly beaches in Costa Rica. The soft sand slopes gently into the ocean, and the beachs western exposure delivers consistently lovely sunsets. Expensive homes and condos dot the hills on either end of the beach, and the overall vibe is upscale and relaxed. If words like hostel and counterculture turn you off, youre going to love Playa Flamingo. Onshore there are great restaurants. Offshore theres great scuba diving, sailing and sportfishing.