Costa Rica is one of the only places in the world where you can still find immaculate, untouched stretches of shoreline – here is a list of some of the best beaches in the country.
Top Costa Rica Beaches
Best Beach in GUANACASTE: Playa Grande
Playa Grande is our top pick for beaches in the province of Guanacaste for multiple reasons. First of all, it’s downright stunning. Stretching on for miles and miles, Playa Grande, or “Big Beach,” is big in both size and beauty. It offers seriously impressive surfing waves, and encompasses one of the only national parks in the world where you can watch immense leatherback sea turtles (often the size of a compact car) digging nests and laying eggs – or babies hatching from them. Its close proximity to two golf courses, an international airport and the bustling party town of Tamarindo ensures that there is something for everyone at Playa Grande.
Best Beach in SOUTHERN NICOYA PENINSULA: Playa Santa Teresa
Hands down, Santa Teresa has the most gorgeous sunsets in the country – pinks, purples and oranges overwhelm the senses night after night, and for most of the year the sun plops directly into the ocean. Combined with the unbeatable waves stretching from Mal Pais to Playa Hermosa and a wide range delicious restaurants, you’ve got yourself the best beach on the southern Nicoya Peninsula.
Best Beach in the OSA PENINSULA: Cabo Matapalo
Cabo Matapalo is actually composed of three beaches – Playa Pan Dulce, Backwash Bay and Playa Matapalo. Backwash Bay and Playa Matapalo are both suitable for surfing. Tucked away in the southernmost part of the Osa Peninsula, these stretches of shore are some of the most immaculate in the country. Sands are blindingly white – almost reminiscent of the legendary white sand beaches of eastern Mexico – and best of all, they are never crowded.
Best Beach on the CARIBBEAN: Punta Uva
This beach estuary on the Caribbean coast is on the fringe of the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. River kayak with the mangrove creatures and then work your way out into the ocean, where waves lap calmly into the bay. Here you’ll find colorful fish and great scuba diving opportunities, including even rare black coral at profound depths.
Best Beach in the CENTRAL PACIFIC: Jaco
Jaco is not typically renowned as one of the most beautiful beaches in the country, but there are certainly sections of it that will take your breath away – particularly at sunset. Jaco sometimes gets a bad reputation for being ‘touristy,’ but it’s quite a nice beach for relaxing, yoga, water sports and especially surfing. Sometimes it’s nice to incorporate modern conveniences, shopping and an active nightlife into your beach experience. Great hiking opportunities also await in hillside surrounding Jaco, and also at Carara National Park. It is the closest beach to San Jose, and with the new highway traveling here is even quicker than ever.