Tucked between the shorelines of the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean. With such an expansive shoreline, the beaches of Costa Rica are diverse, with unique and varying personalities. Beautiful sand paradise lined with palm trees, volcanic black sand, or naturally rugged beach coves surrounded by tropical rainforest.
For good reason, Manuel Antonio is the most popular beach area and national park in Costa Rica. This area is incredibly beautiful with gorgeous beaches, jungle-lined hillsides, and an astounding amount of wildlife. With the combination of these factors, Manuel Antonio is considered to be a world-class tropical beach destination. Click on the links to read more about Manuel Antonio.
Tamarindo Beach is a long beach with great waves. The currents here can be strong so watch the posted advisories when swimming, but much of Tamarindo Beach is perfect for those just learning how to surf. The vibe of Tamarindo is best described as “Party and Play.” Great swimming, surf, fishing, and water sports during the day, buzzing nightlife come sunset. Because of its central location, tourists often base themselves here and explore Guanacaste over a number of days. Younger crowds enjoy the local bars and discotheques.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a small coastal town on the Caribbean sea surrounded by the lush tropical rainforest, gorgeous white sand beaches, and a huge array of different wildlife. With a mixture of Afro Caribbean, Bri Bri Indigenous, Ticos, Americans, and Europeans alike, Puerto Viejo offers a diverse and multicultural vibe. Famous for its ‘Go Slow’ attitude, you won’t find a more laid-back town in Costa Rica. Puerto Viejo is not for everyone. Puerto Viejo is more suited for the down-to-earth traveler looking for a no-frills, authentic experience.
The Nicoya Peninsula often attracts a special type of traveler and many of them head straight to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. Whether you are traipsing about on your honeymoon or traveling solo, you can count on meeting a mix of laidback Ticos, barefoot ex-pats, and eco-conscious backpackers when you touch down in Tambor (a landing that feels like a scene right out of Jurassic Park, we should mention).
The Nicoya Peninsula’s designation as one of the world’s five Blue Zones makes Santa Teresa an off-the-beaten-path escape from the buzz of the modern world.
Attracting wildlife enthusiasts from around the globe, the small town of Tortuguero on Costa Rica’s northern Caribbean Coast is named for the famed sea turtles that come to the area to nest. Tortuguero’s dense jungle maze of winding canals is evocative of the wild Amazon. A float down these ominous brown waters is an adventure in itself as you’re sure to hear the howling of monkeys and screeching of exotic birds along the way.
Tucked away on the Osa Peninsula sits a hidden gem in Costa Rica – Drake Bay! Drake Bay isn’t usually at the top of everyone’s Costa Rica places to visit list, but it really should be. Home to gorgeous beaches, stunning sunsets, and that small-town vibe we all know and love, Drake Bay is paradise on earth.
On top of that, Drake Bay sits on the doorstep of Corcovado National Park and Caño Island Biological Reserve. So, as you can imagine, there are plenty of awesome things to do in Drake Bay, especially if you come for the wildlife.
Samara's laidback vibe allows for rest and relaxation, an almost universal characteristic of the Nicoya Peninsula. Its village offers a number of services: stores, restaurants, hotels, and a small selection of bars. The town's nightlife, however, can be found at one of its discos, which keeps the party trucking through the early morning.
Sport fishing is a popular activity off the coast, as is snorkeling and scuba diving around the coral environments.
To the north of Manuel Antonio National Park lies the small seaside town of Jacó, known for its hidden beaches, sportfishing, excellent surfing spots, and its unique position between the dry northern regions of the country and the tropical southern zone. Between the natural beauty and the luxury accommodations, it’s no surprise Jaco is swiftly developing into a major tourist attraction. Whether you’re looking for a secluded hilltop hideaway, a family-friendly ocean resort, or a top surfing destination, the Central Pacific Coast may provide just what you’re looking for.
This Pacific beach town is best known for its roaring surf and relaxed vibe. The strong sun, dark sands, dusty roads, and chill beach bars help round out the image of this steadfast surfer town. But Nosara is about more than remarkable waves: the laid-back town is a haven for yoga retreats, wildlife watching, and thrilling adventures. Located just south of Guanacaste’s famed Gold Coast, Nosara is far enough off the beaten path to afford seclusion and privacy, the perfect setting for a transcendental yoga experience.
Traditionally known as a paradise for bird watchers and nature lovers, Papagayo is also a charming experience for those interested in relaxation and fun. Papagayo’s beaches are well-deveoped areas that boast gorgeous views of the Pacific. Many of the resorts are secluded on their own beaches, but you can find more action in the main town of Playas del Coco. Here you will find most nightlife, restaurants, and shops. You can not surf in these calm waters unless you go to Witch’s Rock, an intermediate/expert surfing area only accessible by 4×4 or boat.
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