Costa Rica has nearly 300 different beaches along its stunning Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, each with a unique draw and distinct setting. Even on nearby beaches the sand can vary from white, black, or brown coloration. Some beaches are full of shells or scattered with rocks; others are soft with fluffy fine sand. Some are fantastic for swimming, and others are better for surfing.



Set high above the enchanting national park, Manuel Antonio boasts world-class views and beaches. Rated 8.9/10 by visitors.

Zip Lines   Hiking   Guided Tours  

Once a quiet surf beach and fishing hamlet, Tamarindo has evolved to be the area’s most developed and accessible tourist town. Rated 7.9/10 by visitors.

Shopping   Surfing   Night Life/Bars & Rest  

Santa Teresa is an excellent place to do just that so be prepared to kickback and unwind. Rated 8.8/10 by visitors.

Surfing   ATV Tours  

Hermosa, which means "beautiful" in Spanish, is an aptly named gray-sand beach that perches between two mountains. Rated 8.2/10 by visitors.

Sport Fishing   Snorkeling   Catamaran Tour  

Playa Jaco is the closest beach to San Jose, the Central Valley and is one of the most visited coastal destinations in Costa Rica. Rated 7.7/10 by visitors.

Kayaking   Zip Lines   Surfing  

Referred to by locals as "little Hawaii," Playa Avellana packs extraordinary offshore waves that can reach up to eighteen feet, making it an ideal destination for experienced surfers from around the world. Rated 8.3/10 by visitors.

Surfing   Golf   Catamaran Tour  

Quepos allows tourists to experience a once in a lifetime nature experience in Manuel Antonio National Park without leaving any of the familiar amenities behind. Rated 7.9/10 by visitors.

Horseback Riding   Guided Tours   Rafting  

Playa Herradura is a small beach located on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, about 3. Rated 8.4/10 by visitors.

Sport Fishing   Golf   Boat Tours  

Playa Potrero is a wonderfully tranquil place for passing the day, lying on warm sand, bathing in the sun and reading in the shade of palm trees. Rated 9.0/10 by visitors.

Horseback Riding   Sport Fishing   Snorkeling  

Known for its laidback attitude and famous for it's surfing, Puerto Viejo beckons visitors to come experience Costa Rica’s eccentric side. Rated 8.8/10 by visitors.

Snorkeling   Night Life/Bars & Rest   Hiking  

The beautiful coastal hamlet of Samara is a paradise on the Nicoya Peninsula's western shore. Rated 8.8/10 by visitors.

Horseback Riding   Snorkeling   Night Life/Bars & Rest  

No crowds, chocolate colored beaches, and great surf best describe the beaches of Esterillos. Rated 7.0/10 by visitors.


Separated from Tamarindo by the Matapalo River is Grande Beach (Playa Grande) located within Marino Las Baulas National Park, Grande Beach is the site of the arribadas of the leatherback turtle. Rated 9.2/10 by visitors.

Surfing   Boat Tours   Hiking  

Nestled along parts of Guanacaste's most lovely coastline is Brasilito Beach, a sprawling grey-sand beach and charming town. Rated 8.9/10 by visitors.

Sport Fishing   Snorkeling   Catamaran Tour  

Panama Beach (Playa Panama) is located a short distance away from Playa Hermosa, on the southern point of Culebra Bay. Rated 7.8/10 by visitors.

Sport Fishing   Snorkeling   Catamaran Tour  

Playa Hermosa on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica is situated about 3 miles (5km) south of Jaco and is one of the best surf destinations in the country. Rated 8.7/10 by visitors.

Surfing   Scuba Diving   Night Life/Bars & Rest  

Resting on the northern side of the Osa Peninsula, Drake Bay (Bahía Drake) is an adventure-seekers paradise. Rated 9.5/10 by visitors.

Bird Watching   Hiking   Scuba Diving  

For a less crowded beach vacation, Uvita may be the ideal location. Rated 9.0/10 by visitors.

Marine Mammal Observation   Guided Tours   Snorkeling  

The town of Ojochal and its surrounding beaches provide solitude and the ideal setting for some rest and relaxation. Rated 9.4/10 by visitors.

Marine Mammal Observation   Bird Watching   Sport Fishing  

Cahuita is a laid back and vibrant little village in the setting of Costa Rica’s unique Creole culture, brought about by its Afro-Caribbean heritage. Rated 9.0/10 by visitors.

Hiking   Snorkeling   Boat Tours  

A favorite for youths, surfers, and alternative-types, the bohemian town of Montezuma is an ideal, laidback beach town. Rated 8.8/10 by visitors.

Horseback Riding   Hiking   Snorkeling  

Nosara's beach town of Guiones is a tucked-away delight with lucrative real estate, vibrant flora, and a world-class white sand beach. Rated 8.9/10 by visitors.

Surfing   Night Life/Bars & Rest  

Three kilometers south of Samara Beach is its sister beach, Carrillo. Rated 8.7/10 by visitors.

Horseback Riding   Snorkeling  

About 27 mi (44 km) south of Quepos is the quaint and growing beach town of Dominical. Rated 8.5/10 by visitors.

Marine Mammal Observation   Surfing   Night Life/Bars & Rest  

The northern Guanacaste shoreline looks out over the expansive Gulf of Papagayo (Golfo de Papagayo), the setting for Costa Rica's premier luxury resorts and most sought after beaches. Rated 8.0/10 by visitors.

Sport Fishing   Scuba Diving   Snorkeling  

Set along the extraordinarily beautiful Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Punta Leona is a vitally important, 750-acre (300-hectare) nature reserve. Rated 10.0/10 by visitors.

Rappel   Guided Tours  

Puerto Jiménez might be the best town from which to access Corcovado National Park. Rated 8.2/10 by visitors.

Bird Watching   Hiking   Sport Fishing  

Bahia Salinas is located in the far northwestern corner of Costa Rica's Guanacaste Province, near the border with Nicaragua.

Kayaking   Hiking   Boat Tours  

This mile-long, crescent shaped beach, also known as Playa Blanca (White Beach), is as beautiful as any of the famed beaches in Costa Rica. Rated 8.3/10 by visitors.

Sport Fishing   Snorkeling   Catamaran Tour  

Matapalo is a small town in the Guanacaste region, near the Pacific Coast. Rated 8.5/10 by visitors.

Coco Beach (Playa del Coco) is well known for its popularity with Costa Rica's youth. Rated 8.0/10 by visitors.

Shopping   Sport Fishing   Snorkeling  

Puntarenas sits on a long, narrow peninsula in the Gulf of Nicoya on the Central Pacific Coast. Rated 7.8/10 by visitors.

Boat Tours   Guided Tours  

Located on the wild and untamed Osa Peninsula, the Corcovado National Park embodies Costa Rica's most truly splendid wonders. Rated 10.0/10 by visitors.

Bird Watching   Hiking   Guided Tours  

Just off the beaten track, yet possessing all of the natural beauty of the Central Pacific, Matapalo is an escape from the typical tourist destination. Rated 9.4/10 by visitors.

Horseback Riding   Sport Fishing   Rafting  

Situated on the tip of the Osa Peninsula in southern Costa Rica, the small town of Cabo Matapalo provides visitors with backdoor access into some of the country's most beautiful and least visited places: Corcovado National Park, Golfo Dulce, and Isla del Cano. Rated 10.0/10 by visitors.

Bird Watching   Hiking   Surfing  

Carate is situated along Costa Rica's southern Pacific coast in the wonderfully isolated Osa Peninsula. Rated 9.1/10 by visitors.

Bird Watching   Hiking   Guided Tours  

At Playa Conchal, the sand is composed of millions of tiny crushed shells that rustle beneath your feet. Rated 8.3/10 by visitors.

Sport Fishing   Golf   Boat Tours  

The small fishing hamlet of Tambor sits not far from Curu National Wildlife Refuge. Rated 8.6/10 by visitors.

Horseback Riding   Snorkeling   Golf  

Playa Ocotal is a wonderfully peaceful place to enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and relaxing in the sun. Rated 8.1/10 by visitors.

Sport Fishing   Scuba Diving   Snorkeling  

Pavones Costa Rica is a small town located in the southern Pacific Zone about 1 1/2 hour drive from Golfito.


Playa Coyote is one of several pristine beaches along the relatively remote shores of the Nicoya Peninsula's southwestern edge.

The mellow village of Manzanillo is set along the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica.

Playa Bejuco is only about 35km north of Manuel Antonio and about 30 km south from Jaco but the atmosphere could not be more distant from the more popular destinations.


Playa Junquillal is located along the northern pacific coast in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. Rated 8.7/10 by visitors.

Due north of the surfer's paradise, Santa Teresa, is the rural beach hamlet of Manzanillo, a late comer to tourism that is just now coming into its own.


Playa Negra is a beautiful dark-sand beach famous in the surfing community for its right-hand barrel waves. Rated 8.8/10 by visitors.


A long stretch of black sand backed by coconut palms and almond trees forms the idyllic setting for Playa Zancudo.

Sport Fishing   Snorkeling   Mangrove Tours  

A sun worshiper's paradise- with golden sunshine, brilliant sunsets, and breathtaking beaches- the quaint community of Punta Islita makes for an outstanding beach vacation. Rated 9.2/10 by visitors.

Horseback Riding   Golf  

The large arc-shaped Culebra Bay (Bahia Culebra) epitomizes the world-class beaches of northwestern Guanacaste.


Esterillos Oeste is a small town on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast, in the province of Puntarenas.

Surf Lessons  

Situated within the northwestern reaches of the Guanacaste region, the Golfo de Santa Elena provides visitors with sun-dappled beaches, thriving forests, and a bountiful Pacific Ocean.

Hiking   Fresh Water Fishing   Snorkeling  

Lagarto is a small town on the coast of the Gulf of Morales, on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.

Playa Azul is a stunning beach, named for its mile-long stretch of dark, almost cobalt blue sand and azure sea.

Horseback Riding   Surfing   Sport Fishing  

Playa Cocles is a small village on the Atlantic Coast south of Puerto Viejo, Limon in the Caribbean lowland Zone.

Surfing   Hiking  

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