Costa Rica


Costa Rica’s beaches are dramatic and diverse.  Some are light sand, others are black sand.  Some are surrounded by lush rainforests, others have barren, desert-like vegetation.  Beaches are found all along both coasts, but the best beaches in Costa Rica are on the Pacific Coast.  Costa Rican beaches feature great surfing, fishing and abundant marine life.  The North Pacific Coast and Nicoya Peninsula have the largest number and variety of beaches.  Manuel Antonio National Park on the Central Pacific Coast features beautiful rainforest and 2 beautiful beaches.  Swimming on most beaches can be difficult and dangerous due to rip tides and heavy surf.  A few beaches are also turtle nesting grounds.  Caribbean beaches are probably not what you are expecting: They are not white sand with turquoise-colored water, but they are surrounded by lush rainforest and vegetation.

North Pacific Beaches

Many beaches on the North Pacific Coast feature excellent surfing and beautiful sand, but desert-like vegetation.  The North Pacific is semi-arid, so from December – May, the trees lose their leaves and it can be very windy.

Nicoya Peninsula Beaches

Central Pacific Beaches

Beaches on Central Pacific Coast are the most diverse in Costa Rica.  Manuel Antonio National Park features lush rainforest, beautiful sand and safe swimming, but it can be crowded.  Jaco Beach features excellent surfing and a funky town with lots of restaurants and things to do.  Tortuga Island features white sand, safe swimming and snorkeling.

South Pacific Beaches

South Pacific beaches tend to be rugged with dark sand and lush rainforest.  This area is not great for lounging in the sun on the beach, but features an incredible variety of plant and animal life.


Caribbean Beaches

Caribbean beaches are probably not what you are expecting. Beaches here are not white sand and the water can be murky due to runoff from nearby banana and pineapple plantations. South Caribbean beaches are the best on this coast, but are isolated, funky and laid-back with a slightly Jamaican feel. 

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