The beaches of Costa Rica

Among the best in the world

Costa Rica has nearly 300 beaches which makes it hard to decide which ones to visit!

The beaches of Costa Rica

Costa Rica touches both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean and has 212 km of beach on the Caribbean coast and 1,016 km on the Pacific coast. You can travel from coast to coast within only 3 hours by car and 45 minutes by plane.

The beaches are as diverse as the activities you can carry out there. They are a perfect place for sport fishing, sun bathing, swimming or horseback riding. Or you can just relax and escape from the noise in the cities. Most have warm water throughout the whole year and are surrounded by rainforest. They are easy to access and are a good destination for weekend trips.

Diving and snorkeling are very popular too. The beaches at the Pacific Ocean are famous for their diversity of marine creatures and coral reefs. Especially the Gulf of Papagayo and its numerous islands offers a fascinating variety of species. The best diving spots are Isla del Caño, Bat Island, Catalina Islands and the Cocos Island. The best place for snorkeling can be found at the reefs of Manzanillo Beach on the Caribbean coast.

Costa Rica is also a real paradise for surfers. You will have fun with one of the longest waves in the world, the waves at the beaches of Pavones, in the southern Pacific region, about 1.5 hours drive from Golfito.

At the beaches in the National Park of Tortuguero in Limón province you can watch Costa Rica’s famous green turtles spawning and hatching.

The most popular islands are Cocos Island and Tortuga Island, off the Pacific coast where you can find an incredible amount of animal species such as whale sharks, tuna fish, parrotfish, hammerhead sharks and corals. You can enjoy boat rides to the beautiful islands of Costa Rica starting from nearly every beach.  

This is a list of some popular beaches sorted by province:

Limón (Caribbean Sea):

  • Tortuguero National Park
  • Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
  • Cahuita National Park

Guanacaste (Pacific Coast):

  • Gulf of Papagayo
  • Playa Grande
  • Playa Tamarindo
  • Playa Panama
  • Playa Avellana
  • Playa Potrero
  • Playa Negra
  • Nosara
  • Santa Teresa
  • Montezuma
  • Playa Hermosa

Puntarenas (Pacific Coast):

  • Puntarenas
  • Playa Blanca
  • Playa Herradura
  • Jacó
  • Manuel Antonio National Park

These are only a few beach destinations. There are hundreds of beaches in Costa Rica and it’s hard to decide which beach to visit since there are so many. This gives expats lots to explore!

Costa Rica touches both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean and has 212 km of beach on the Caribbean coast and 1,016 km on the Pacific coast. You can travel from coast to coast within only 3 hours by car and 45 minutes by plane.

The beaches are as diverse as the activities you can carry out there. They are a perfect place for sport fishing, sun bathing, swimming or horseback riding. Or you can just relax and escape from the noise in the cities. Most have warm water throughout the whole year and are surrounded by rainforest. They are easy to access and are a good destination for weekend trips.

Diving and snorkeling are very popular too. The beaches at the Pacific Ocean are famous for their diversity of marine creatures and coral reefs. Especially the Gulf of Papagayo and its numerous islands offers a fascinating variety of species. The best diving spots are Isla del Caño, Bat Island, Catalina Islands and the Cocos Island. The best place for snorkeling can be found at the reefs of Manzanillo Beach on the Caribbean coast.

Costa Rica is also a real paradise for surfers. You will have fun with one of the longest waves in the world, the waves at the beaches of Pavones, in the southern Pacific region, about 1.5 hours drive from Golfito.

At the beaches in the National Park of Tortuguero in Limón province you can watch Costa Rica’s famous green turtles spawning and hatching.

The most popular islands are Cocos Island and Tortuga Island, off the Pacific coast where you can find an incredible amount of animal species such as whale sharks, tuna fish, parrotfish, hammerhead sharks and corals. You can enjoy boat rides to the beautiful islands of Costa Rica starting from nearly every beach.  

This is a list of some popular beaches sorted by province:

Limón (Caribbean Sea):

  • Tortuguero National Park
  • Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
  • Cahuita National Park

Guanacaste (Pacific Coast):

  • Gulf of Papagayo
  • Playa Grande
  • Playa Tamarindo
  • Playa Panama
  • Playa Avellana
  • Playa Potrero
  • Playa Negra
  • Nosara
  • Santa Teresa
  • Montezuma
  • Playa Hermosa

Puntarenas (Pacific Coast):

  • Puntarenas
  • Playa Blanca
  • Playa Herradura
  • Jacó
  • Manuel Antonio National Park

These are only a few beach destinations. There are hundreds of beaches in Costa Rica and it’s hard to decide which beach to visit since there are so many. This gives expats lots to explore!

Further reading

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