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Guide to Beach Life in Costa Rica – List of the Best Beaches in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is indeed worthy of its name meaning “Rich Coast” with 800 miles of coastline between the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. You’ll have an unlimited option of sand and sea, that’s why this country is a dream destination. Adding the fact that there are national parks and 121 volcanic formations, this country should be in your bucket list.

Best Beaches in Costa Rica Top 10 Beaches in Costa Rica
Photo by Berti Benbanaste

The best beaches in Costa Rica tend to be on the Pacific Coast as they are more developed. Peak season is from December to April where it’s the dry season. You can check out festivals and parades as well in January, Holy Week or October for extra fun.

Horseback Riding and Swimming with them in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Horseback Riding and Swimming with them in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

With countless coastal towns, there are many beaches in Costa Rica, and we have rounded up the best beaches in Costa Rica for you to enjoy.

1. Manuel Antonio Beach

Best Beaches in Costa Rica Top 10 Beaches in Costa Rica
Photo by Razvan Orendovici CC BY 2.0

At one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, the Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. There are four beaches in this park, and Manuel Antonio beach holds the crown as it contains tidal pools and you can snorkel there too. It’s quite big so you can find a spot for yourself also. Just be careful with the wildlife, the monkeys and raccoons might steal your things. Enjoy the white sand, blue waters and the views as you hike to this side of Puntarenas Province.

Suggested Hotel: Hotel Vela Bar

2. Tamarindo Beach

Best Beaches in Costa Rica Top 10 Beaches in Costa Rica
Photo by Jon CC BY-SA 2.0

With such a fun vibe and a beautiful view of the sea, sky, and sun Tamarindo Beach is where to go. Offering high waves for surfing bring your boards or try to learn how to ride the waves as it is friendly for beginners. There are also restaurants, and the bars lined up, so you get to do countless things. Find a spot on the beautiful clean beach and wait for the sunset, you won’t regret it.

Suggested Hotel: Ocho Artisan Bungalows

3. Playa Conchal

Best Beaches in Costa Rica - Top 10 Beaches in Costa Rica
Photo by Studio Sarah Lou CC BY 2.0

One of the best beaches in Costa Rica is undoubtedly Playa Conchal. Four kilometers of pure bliss; sand, shells, and crustal blue waters. It’s absolutely stunning, so prepare you snorkel gear as there are areas where you can dive and discover marine life. However, be careful and don’t go in the outskirts as there are snakes and crocodiles. If you want to have a tranquil place to enjoy the beach, this is the place.

Suggested Hotel: W Costa Rica Resort

4. Samara Beach

Playa Sámara
Photo by m.prinke CC BY-SA 2.0

In this horseshoe-shaped beach is a place where you and your family can enjoy. Try surfing or swimming in the clear blue waters and amazing waves. With quite many restaurants around, you wouldn’t get hungry. Walk around the beach as you walk barefoot in the sand and enjoy interacting with the locals in one of the best beaches in Costa Rica.

Suggested Hotel: Sunset Chill Out Bed and Breakfast

5. Biesanz Beach

In Manuel Antonio National Park is a hidden gem; the crescent-shaped Biesanz Beach, one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. It’s a smaller version of Manuel Antonio Beach without monkeys or raccoons robbers and not much crowd too. The water is very calm and pristine, and the view is stunning. There are many activities also like kayaking, jet-skiing and snorkelling. So relax and enjoy your time in this local’s secret.

Suggested Hotel: Parador Resort and Spa

6. Playa Santa Teresa

Best Beaches in Costa Rica Top 10 Beaches in Costa Rica
Photo by Clark Weber CC BY-ND 2.0

Surf and relax at one of the best beaches in Costa Rica, Playa Santa Teresa. With a very long coast, you can find a serene spot for yourself where you can sunbathe or unwind. When you are tired from swimming and enjoying the waves, there are restaurants up close. Walk also along the beach as you enjoy the sunset and the fantastic view. It’s truly a great place to be.

Suggested Hotel: Otro Lado Lodge

7. San Juanillo Beach

Two sides of white sand and crystal blue oceans will make you fall in love with this scenic spot. San Juanillo Beach is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. Not is it a great place to swim but the nature around it as well as the rock formations make it a great spot to take pictures.  It’s quite secluded too, so if you want a place feel free to come during high tide to enjoy it to its fullest.

Suggested Hotel: Treetops B & B Inn

8. Playa Punta Uva

Another quiet spot to spend your getaway in Costa Rica is at Playa Punta Uva. There are many activities you could do in this place; from hiking and getting a view up above or snorkeling and enjoying the view down below. You could rent a kayak, paddleboard or surf as well. There aren’t many people, so you will enjoy the peace in one of the best beaches in Costa Rica.

Suggested Hotel: Sol de Nit

9. Uvita Beach

Best Beaches in Costa Rica Top 10 Beaches in Costa Rica
Photo by W & J CC BY-SA 2.0

Marino Ballena National Park is another NP with one of the best beaches in Costa Rica, Uvita Beach. It is filled with 2 miles of white sand and unlimited crystal blue water. Not only swimming is popular here, but also watersports such as surfing. You can also go whale watching from here. It’s not that far too, and it’s very safe as police patrol around the area. With comforting palm trees and a great view, you would love hanging around here.

Suggested Hotel: Karandi Hostel

10. Playa Barrigona

Pack your food, towels, and drinks and go off an adventure to Playa Barrigona, one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. It’s the perfect place to have a quiet time at the beach. Though you need a 4×4 to go through the roads, coming here would be so worth it. It’s just you, the sand, ocean and the sun, living the best time of your life! This is what you call heaven on earth!

Suggested Hotel: Hotel Flying Crocodile

Those are the top 10 beaches in Costa Rica we have compiled for you. Don’t forget to interact with the locals as well as they are very friendly. Book your flights to this magnificent country and leave your worries, enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. Feel blissful as you find paradise on earth!

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Written by Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor

Two Monkeys Travel Group – Community Travel Blog is a travel blog and website. We quickly grew into a valuable source of inspiring travel stories, advice, itineraries and travel guides, with the aim of demonstrating how to live a sustainable life of travel, whilst living your own definition of success. If you'd like to contribute and write a guest post, contact us at [email protected]