Looking for a tropical getaway with the best, most relaxing beaches? Costa Rica is for you. The country is home to nearly 6% of the world’s biodiversity. Between the wildlife, the rainforest adventures, and the swim and surf, this is bound to be your favorite vacation yet. To find the best beach for you, check out our list of the best beaches in Costa Rica.
1. Playa Biesanz
A beach rich in flora and fauna? Yes, please. Manuel Antonio National Park’s beaches mark the watery end of the park, whose rainforests are home to three-toed sloths, white-faced capuchins, and hundreds of species of bird. Playa Biesanz is perhaps Manuel Antonio’s best beach and is your hidden paradise escape. To get to the beach, you do need to hike through a jungle trail, so pack your best hiking shoes.
2. Playa Dominical
Located on the Pacific shores of Costa Rica, in a sleepy beach town, is Costa Rica’s number one surf destination: Playa Dominical. While the average swimmer shouldn’t brave the waves here due to the turbulent waters and occasional riptides, there is still plenty to do. If you don’t surf, not to worry, Dominical is home to waterfalls, wildlife reserves, kayaking, and reptile parks. Near the beach are easily accessible minibars and souvenir shops showing off handmade and local crafts. Added bonus: Playa Dominical is easy to get to from the main road. No hiking through the jungle to get here if that’s not your thing.
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3. Playa Conchal
Heaven is calling you. No, maybe that’s just Playa Conchal. Not far off. Tucked away in the lush rainforest on the Northern Pacific coast of the country, this beach is an exotic paradise. The crystal clear waters make snorkeling at Playa Conchal a perfect place to see the vibrant coral and sea creatures that call Costa Rica’s waters home. If snorkeling isn’t enough of a challenge for you, try your hand at the scuba diving or deep sea fishing, both options in Playa Conchal.
4. Playa Tamarindo
To the south of Playa Conchal is Playa Tamarindo, one of Costa Rica’s most popular beaches. Tamarindo is known as the surf and party spot of the country, drawing in its fair share of tourists every year. The waves are on the gentler side, making it perfect for beginners and novices, or even your very first surf lesson. After a day of surfing, head into the town of Tamarindo for some of the best nightlife in the country. Nearby is Las Baulas National Park, home to endangered leatherback sea turtles.
5. Punta Uva
Head to one of the best spots on the Caribbean side of the island. Punta Uva, in Limon Province, sits at the end of a lonely rainforest dirt road. The beach boasts clear seas, colorful reefs, red cliffs, and endangered species. Up in the palm trees high above your head, the great green macaws also call Punta Uva their home. The beach is actually surrounded by the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Reserve, so you’ll be sure to see more than just the green birds. The kid-friendly beach is a perfect, calm place to bring the family for an animal-watching picnic in the white sand, or a swim in the gentle waters.
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6. Santa Teresa
What was once a remote fishing village has turned into a remote beach getaway. Santa Teresa lies on the end of the Nicoya Peninsula on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The beach is a beacon for surfers, with great waves, but also draws in adventurous backpackers and travelers. If you’re not into surfing, you can try out the hiking, snorkeling, or swimming in and around the beach Or if you just want to chill, Santa Teresa’s soft sand gives you the rest and relaxation you’ve been searching for. The laid-back vibes of the area make it a vacation you won’t want to leave.