Top 10 Nicest Beaches in Costa Rica
Many of the nicest beaches in Costa Rica are hidden gems. You may have heard of some; others are more remote but just as stunning.
Costa Rica is famous for being one of the most eco-friendly countries on Earth. Its beaches are unblemished on both the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines.
Costa Rica has an unspoiled vibe that cannot be compared to any other. I went to Costa Rica when I was young and loved how happy and chill the people live there. The best beaches in Costa Rica are full with jaw-dropping views, jungle-coated mountains, and lush rainforests. And because they cherish natural resources and biodiversity, they take care of them.
The nicest beaches in Costa Rica are also great spots for surfing and other water sports. To witness wildlife such as sea turtles, many of the beaches in Costa Rica are the prime spots. Keep reading to discover 10 of the best beaches in Costa Rica!
10 Nicest Beaches in Costa Rica
Check out this list of the best beaches in Costa Rica. Be sure to pay them a visit next time you travel to this stunning country in Central America.
Costa Rica’s high season is from December to April. The rest of the year, it’s quite remote and quiet.
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1. Santa Teresa Beach
Size: 7.5 mi (12 km)
Location: Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica
Santa Teresa is in the Puntarenas Province, near Montezuma. Santa Teresa is one of the nicest beaches in Costa Rica not only for the stunning views but also because great surfing with offshore breaks that surfers love!
It’s also perfect for walking and enjoying the warm weather. When the tide is low, visitors enjoy the tidal pools full of colorful fish. Santa Teresa is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica to enjoy epic sunsets.
2. Manuel Antonio Beach
Size: 2 mi (3.21 km) long
Location: Quepos, Costa Rica
The Manuel Antonio beach is located in Manuel Antonio National Park. This is the perfect beach if you’re looking to soak up the sun but also explore the wildlife of Costa Rica. What’s great about Costa Rica is that several beaches are close to each other, so you can always explore neighboring beaches. Playa Espadilla is in front of Manuel Antonio Beach and famous for its clear water and small waves.
This beach is a great place to go for walks even though it can get a bit busy with tourists and locals during peak season. Manuel Antonio ends at a rocky headland where you’ll find additional beaches to explore. They’re located on opposite sides of Cathedral Point and it’s not too far.
3. Conchal Beach
Size: 1,640 ft (500 m) long
Location: Guanacaste, the northwest province of Costa Rica
If you’re looking for a more laid-back beach and a more secluded experience, Playa Conchal is for you! I personally prefer more secluded beaches because they are well-preserved but in Costa Rica’s case, almost all the beaches are well preserved and protected.
Lay a towel out on this beach to enjoy the aqua water views. Enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving on this pristine beach. Its coral and underwater wildlife is worth exploring. The beach is full of tiny seashells and biodiversity.
High-end resorts such as the Westin Resort & Spa and several hostels give you options to choose from for accommodation. It’s the perfect spot to retreat and connect with nature.
4. Montezuma Beach
Size: 0.62 mi (1 km) long
Location: in the southern part of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula
Playa Montezuma is a laid-back beach with a hipster vibe that’s full of young people. This stunning beach is located in the eastern part of the Nicoya Peninsula. It’s ideal for budget travelers looking to escape.
This beach has a cool town flocked by surfers, backpackers, expats, and artists. At sunset, local artisans sell their crafts. Later, the nightlife begins with various beach parties. There’s never a boring moment at Playa Montezuma. It’s one of the nicest beaches in Costa Rica—and one of the most fun!
5. Uvita Beach
Size: over 5,000 sea hectares of protected area
Location: in the Southern Pacific of Costa Rica south of Dominical
Uvita Beach is famous on social media for its perfect peninsula that leads out into two curving beaches. Uvita Beach—or Whale Tale, as it’s famously known—is in the Marino Ballena National Park.
Both beaches extend out to the “tail” part of the beach. Small waves make it perfect to go swimming and ideal for families with small kids. Make sure you visit during low tide season and enjoy the calm waters. Accommodation varies from rustic to luxurious.
6. Tamarindo Beach
Size: 48.59 sq. mi (125.86 km2)
Location: Guanacaste Province, on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast
For those looking to learn surfing, one of the nicest beaches in Costa Rica is Playa Tamarindo. The beach has a variety of breaks so you can start small and work your way up as you become a more experienced surfer. I definitely recommend taking surfing lessons if you’ve never tried.
Even if you’re not looking to surf, you’ll enjoy watching seasoned surfers on this golden sand beach. People enjoy swimming at Tamarindo Beach, but the waves can be intense so it’s for strong swimmers only.
7. Dominical Beach
Size: 0.93 (1.5 km) long
Location: in Bahía Ballena district, Puntarenas province
Dominical Beach has white sands, rainforest-coated hills, and a vibrant surfing community.
Dominical isn’t just one of the nicest beaches in Costa Rica but one of the most vibrant. Strong waves pound away at the shore, making it a prime spot for experienced surfers. It also has national parks nearby. You’ll even find stunning waterfalls if you explore the rainforest.
Dominical Beach is off of the beaten path with fewer visitors than other beaches in Costa Rica. Have a laid-back experience and enjoy the local food with ticos y ticas (a nickname for Costa Ricans.)
8. Manzanillo Beach
Size: 229.6 ft (70 m) long
Location: Puntarenas province, Costa Rica
This is one of the smallest but nicest beaches in Costa Rica, immersed in the Caribbean Sea beauty. Playa Manzanillo is just above the Panamanian border. Its beloved white-sand shores, palm trees, and azure waters make for an unforgettable experience.
The Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge is perfect if you’re looking to immerse yourself in the Costa Rican wildlife. This beach also has an abundance of coral reefs, fun activities to try out, and gentle waves. The remote location makes it ideal for those looking to escape crowds. Check out Tree House Lodge for an unforgettable experience in nature.
9. Guiones Beach
Size: 4.34 mi (7 km) long
Location: along the stunning coastline of the Nicoya Peninsula
Guiones Beach stretches along Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Its white sands and relaxing vibes make it one of the nicest beaches in Costa Rica to unwind. It’s also a stunning place to surf.
Playa Guiones is off the beaten path and delightfully undeveloped making it ideal for those looking for a peaceful holiday. While there are few hotels and restaurants, you can find wonderful eco-lodges.
Playa Guiones is near Ostional National Wildlife Refuge, a stunning refuge with thousands of baby sea turtles and more.
10. Carrillo Beach
Size: 1.5 mi (2.4 km) long
Location: on the Nicoya Peninsula in the province of Guanacaste Costa Rica
On the Nicoya Peninsula you’ll find Carrillo Beach. It’s ideal for those looking for a gorgeous beach, calm waves, and warm water. It’s less famous than other Costa Rican beaches but many consider it to be a hidden gem.
The beach is calm and also quite underdeveloped. You’ll pretty much find water, sand, and palm trees. This is a great beach for families who enjoy the gentle waves and enough room to run around without a care in the world. It has several hotels and restaurants, but the beach is usually low key and perfect for relaxation.
Learn the Language of Costa Rica
Now that you’ve explored the most stunning beaches in Costa Rica by reading this article, it’s time to test your Spanish-speaking skills and travel to one of these stunning Costa Rican beaches! Latin America has incredible hidden gems, and learning Spanish before your trip is ideal.
What’s more, Spanish continues to grow around the world. In the United States alone, approximately 53 million people speak Spanish. The U.S. is the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. According to CNN, there are 41 million native Spanish speakers in the U.S. who speak Spanish in their homes.
Sign up for a free trial class at Homeschool Spanish Academy before your trip to Costa Rica to improve your comprehension skills and learn to communicate fluently in Spanish. Check out our flexible programs and affordable prices and choose what works best for you!
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