You don’t have to be a beach lover to fall in love with Costa Rica, but considering that it has nearly 300 beaches along its shores, it would be helpful! People around the world come during the dry season (November to April) to visit and enjoy surfing, nature and the sun in this tropical Central American country.
So, do you know where to stick your umbrella yet? Here’s a list of the best beaches in Costa Rica, those that you can not miss.
Santa Teresa beach, Puntarenas
Despite the increase in tourism that the Nicoya Peninsula has had lately, Santa Teresa beach still has that rural and simple character. You can still find the “Ticos” (as they affectionately call the natives of Costa Rica) casting a net on the beach and setting up a charcoal grill, where they prepare the day’s catch and sell it to hungry tourists.
The constant wind makes turns this beach into one of the best places to surf in Central America. And if the waves are too wild for you, we suggest another “wild” activity: feel like Tarzan and stroll through the jungle surrounding the beach, going from one vine to another.
Naranjo beach, Guanacaste
You won’t find a beach with sand whiter than this one. Naranjo beach, also known as the Pearl of the Papagayo Gulf. Located in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, near the city of Liberia, this hidden beach is the ideal place if you want to get away from the noise and reacquaint yourself with Mother Earth.
And right behind the beach, the attractive Santa Rosa National Park awaits. Created in 1791, it is the country’s oldest protected natural area. Here you will discover this unique ecosystem of northern Costa Rica and its abundant tropical flora, birds and sloths that inhabit it.
And there’s more! As there are no hotels around here, if you want to come and discover all of these wonders, you have to place a tent in one of the camping areas that the park has.
Manuel Antonio National Park, Puntarenas
One of the smallest but most beautiful protected areas of Costa Rica, which has not one beach, but four: Espadilla Sur, Manuel Antonio, Escondido, and Playita.
The park is located just a few hours from the San Jose Airport and is one of the most important touristic areas. Visits to the park are limited: they can only admit 600 people on weekdays and 800 on holidays. Thanks to this, the wildlife, which includes iguanas, sloths and endangered squirrel monkeys, can live in relative isolation.
A little advice: at night, do the 7-kilometer quad tour along the north coast and visit the bustling town of Quepos, where you’ll find the best beach bars and restaurants in Costa Rica.
Avellana beach, Guanacaste
The important thing about this beach is not its six meters tall waves, but the legend of a 400 kilos pig named Lola. This little pig was once the star of this beautiful beach in Guanacaste, and you can find it resting by the poolside of Lola’s snack bar, walking by the surf school or swimming in the crystal clear waters of Avellana beach.
Although the real Lola is already dead, there is always a little replacement pig that gives an eccentric touch to the Avellana beach, and the animal helps create a fun and very touching atmosphere.
In short, this is the beach with the friendliest people of Costa Rica. Join surfers, foreigners who have ended up living here and tourists who are visiting and looking for the sun, which always shines in this area of the Costa Dorada.
Just a 30 minutes boat ride from Flamingo, the 20 islands that form the archipelago of the Catalina Islands are more than just beautiful beaches. The gentle waves that bathe the rugged coastlines of the islands are ideal for snorkeling. People come here to dive in and discover what the crystal blue waters of the ocean are hiding .
In this marine fauna that inhabits the coral reef you’ll find everything: barracudas, colorful fish, huge manta rays and tiger sharks.
And if you return to the surface, in the Catalina Islands you can enjoy beaches of pristine sand and pebble beaches that are great for hiking. And don’t miss the hundreds of sea turtles that come to these shores to lay their eggs.
Puerto Viejo, Limón
Where can you relax in the morning at the beach, visit a chocolate plantation at noon, explore the wildlife in the afternoon, take a horseback ride while as the sun sets and take a walk in flip flops at night? All of this can only be done in Puerto Viejo.
In the eastern part of Costa Rica it rains a lot more, so the vegetation is very lush. You can see it for yourself in the national parks of Cahuita and Manzanillo, bordering the waterfront.
Of course, the beaches have white sand and warm waters, six meters tall waves, perfect for surfing, but the best of Puerto Viejo is its people. The inhabitants are Afro-Caribbean, Indian, Ticos and Bribri natives. They all live in harmony and share the love for this land that is their home.