Costa Rica has always been a dream destination for travelers, and is only becoming more popular—for a good reason.

This country is home to some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, from pristine rainforests to towering volcanoes. But perhaps one of the most attractive features of Costa Rica is its stunning beaches.

While vacationing in Costa Rica, you’ll want to explore its vibrant beach towns and relax on some of the most beautiful shores you’ll ever see. Whether you’re an adventurer or a beach bum, Costa Rica has something for everyone.

Let’s explore eight stunning beaches in Costa Rica that you won’t want to miss: from the serene Caribbean coast to the picturesque Guanacaste region, we’ll take you on a journey to discover the best beaches this gorgeous country offers.

Manuel Antonio Beaches

Stunning beaches in Costa Rica - Playa Manuel Antonio - Frayed Passport

Photo by Jake Marsee

If you’re planning to travel to Costa Rica, then you must include Manuel Antonio National Park on your itinerary. It’s one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, known for its stunning beaches, rich biodiversity, and incredible views.

Here are two of the best beaches you’ll find in Manuel Antonio:

1. Playa Manuel Antonio

This is the main beach in the national park, and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular—its welcoming white sand, clear waters, and bright surrounding greenery make it a beach lover’s paradise.

You can relax or go for a swim, all while surrounded by the park’s natural beauty. It’s so easy to see why visiting this beach is a must-do.

2. Playa Espadilla Sur

Just south of Playa Manuel Antonio, you’ll find another gem of a beach in the national park. Playa Espadilla Sur is a long, wide beach with plenty of space for sunbathing and swimming.

It’s also a great spot for surfing, with consistent waves that are perfect for beginners and experienced surfers alike.

Caribbean Beaches

Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast has a laid-back atmosphere and fun, underrated beaches. Here are three of the best Caribbean beaches that you should visit during your trip:

1. Cahuita National Park

This national park is located on the southern Caribbean coast and has some of the most picturesque beaches in the region.

The park has both white and volcanic black sand beaches, and you can go for a swim or snorkel to see the colorful coral reefs and marine life.

>> Bonus: read our story about volunteering for sea turtle conservation near Cahuita

2. Puerto Viejo Beach

Puerto Viejo is a charming beach town with a relaxed vibe—it has golden sand and enticing waters that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing.

You’ll also find lots of beachside restaurants and bars here to round out your perfect day in the sun.

3. Punta Uva Beach

Located just a few miles south of Puerto Viejo, Punta Uva is a hidden gem that’s less visited, making it a great place to unwind and soak up the sun.

There are also several snorkeling and diving spots nearby that you can explore to catch a glimpse of Costa Rica’s marine life.

Guanacaste Beaches

Stunning beaches in Costa Rica - Guanacaste - Frayed Passport

Photo by Chalo Garcia on Pexels

Located on the northwest Pacific coast, Guanacaste is our third region for enjoying the sun and sand—here are three of our recommendations for where to go on your beach vacation in Guanacaste:

1. Playa Conchal

This stunning beach is located just south of the town of Brasilito and is famous for its sand made up of millions of tiny crushed shells. It’s also a perfect spot for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving, and while here, you should take a boat tour or go horseback riding to explore the nearby cliffs and coves.

2. Playa Tamarindo

Tamarindo is a bustling beach town that has something for everyone, from surfers to families. The beach is a long, wide stretch of sand with plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the sun.

You’ll find a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops nearby, making it a great spot to spend a day or two lounging on the shore.

3. Playa Flamingo

Located on the north Pacific coast, Playa Flamingo is a popular spot for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving, and you’ll also find many restaurants, bars, and shops nearby. The beach is also known for its breathtaking sunsets, which are not to be missed.

Read to Visit Costa Rica?

While you’re exploring Costa Rica’s beaches, be sure to take in the country’s natural wonders—like its lush rainforests, exotic wildlife, and stunning waterfalls. And don’t forget to try some of the local cuisine, which is as inviting as the beaches themselves!

Each of Costa Rica’s regions has something unique to offer, from surfing, horseback riding, and snorkeling, to hiking trails. This country is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and exploring them should be on every traveler’s bucket list. From volcanic sands to clear waters and incredible surfing and swimming, Costa Rica’s beaches are sure to captivate and delight visitors.

About the Author

Daniel Martin has had hands-on experience in digital marketing since 2007. He’s coached and advised teams to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. Photography and traveling are two of his hobbies.

Featured image by Cristina Furlan from Pixabay

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