5 Best Costa Rica Beaches

Costa Rica is not a big country, but if there is one thing it’s blessed with is its geographic location. The country, together with five others, lies right between the North and South Americas, forming Central America region.

Costa Rica has access to the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, so needless to say, countless beaches. You can also enjoy many different landscapes in just one day, from Mountains, to plains and then beaches. The climate is tropical and mild close to the ocean.

Whether you have been to Costa Rica or still planning the vacation of a lifetime, you will learn something new from this article and maybe will put one of those beautiful locations on your map.

  1. Jaco Beach
    Costa Rica Jaco

    This beach is the closest to Central Valley and attracts many tourists and locals not just with perfect waves, but with many amenities and nightlife available. Surfers love the waves here and enjoy the proximity to the town and surf shops, hotels, restaurants, post offices, banks, stores, and more.

    This 2.5 mile beach strip is about two hour drive from San Jose. You will never be bored here, quite the opposite – you might have hard time choosing between all the activities available. Besides obvious surfing and swimming, you can also go deep sea fishing, horseback riding, bicycling, visit crocodile safari, national parks and reserves, and experience kayaking or canopy tours.

    Carara Biological Reserve is located just 9 miles north of Jaco for all nature lovers. Come early in the morning and see the abundance of wildlife while strolling miles of trails. You can see scarlet macaws, white-faced monkeys, caiman, peccaries, and many other species.

    Tarcoles River borders the park and empties into Atlantic Ocean. Before it does, it becames home to American crocodile, so you can see it face-to-face. Boat tours are available to see them closer. Punta Leona Wildlife Refuge is one more spot to immerse yourself in the lush jungle and observe wildlife.

    Once you get tired of all the nature, you can come back to town and delight your senses with various cuisines, restaurants and bars, gelato shops, cafes, shops, souvenir shops, and some clothing stores. All businesses are close to one another, on one street, so you can take a break from driving a car.

  2. Herradura Beach
    Herradura Beach Costa Rica

    Herradura beach is a very small beach just 3.5 miles from Jaco. You can reach it by bike or by car.

    Herradura means horse shoe is Spanish, which is what this beach shape looks like. Thanks to this, the beach is sheltered from high winds and surf, making it an ideal spot for families.

    Accommodation ranges from small cabins to hotels, and there are plenty of food options. The region is very popular among tourists, which encourages regional development of golf courses and great hotels.

    If you get tired of relaxing at the beach, you can take your family to enjoy various adventure sports and world-class fishing.

  3. Playa Blanca – Punta Leona
    Playa Blanca – Punta Leona Costa Rica

    This beach is a part of Punta Leona complex. The Playa Blanca is beautiful thanks to white sand, which is a rare commodity in Costa Rica. The location can be seen in many international and national commercials.

    The beach itself is not large, less than a mile. You can walk along the beach or enjoy shade next to lush vegetation. People love spending a day here, strolling and jogging.

    The water is very warm and crystal clear; there is a small reef close to the shore – a perfect spot for snorkeling. The reef causes a small wave at low tide and becomes great for surfing practice for beginners and intermediate surfers. Scuba divers love these clear waters and shallow rocks in the southeast part of the beach.

    Punta Leona Costa Rica Hotel

    While there are roads close by, access to the Playa Blanca itself is very limited. You can leave the car at the end of the street by Playa Mantas beach, then walk along the beach, and cross the tip at the southern end into Playa Blanca, which can be tricky during high tide.

    If you are staying at Club Punta Leona, you will have easy access to the beach via private road and onsite parking and amenities.

  4. Hermosa Beach
    Hermosa Beach at Costa Rica

    This beach is located in Guanacaste, in the Northern Pacific region. Panama and Coco beaches are close by the whole trio is a perfect place for relaxation and a day of swimming.

    This beach is very popular among locals and tourists alike. The beach has everything you need for a perfect vacation. You will have great food, bars, tours, shopping, and local activities. Spend a few nights here or a lot of nights, you won’t regret it.

    Nature loving families enjoy walking or horseback riding along the beach. This beach is known for high quality luxurious resorts and vacations. You will be able to find many mid-range and very upscale accommodations in secluded locations.

  5. Conchal beach
    Conchal beach at Costa Rica

    Conchal beach sand is made of millions of tiny crushed shells, hence the name. The water is turquoise and inviting. This beach is snorkelers’ heaven with thousands of colorful tropical fish and other marine life.

    Guanacaste region, where the Conchal beach is located, is known for many beautiful beaches and bird watching opportunities. Many resorts in this area are world-famous and have all-inclusive packages.

    The climate here is perfect, so tourists are spoiled with many sunny days for sunbathing and swimming. Sunsets are gorgeous and offer perfect endings for perfect days.

    The water is so clear that it rivals Caribbean-side beaches. Swimming and snorkeling are a given here, but you can also enjoy watersports, deep sea fishing, golf, and hiking in neighboring national parks and nature reserves.

    A town of Brasilito is within walking distance and invites to visit shops, restaurants, and bars. If you love seafood, try Papaya Restaurant or La Casita del Pescado. Many other restaurants offer various cuisines for various budgets and tastes.