Costa Rica’s beautiful beaches, wildlife, and culture bring in almost 3 million tourists each year. If you’re one of those millions of people who are going to visit Costa Rica on vacation, it’s a no-brainer that you’ll want to head to the beach.

But with so many beaches to choose from, each with different highlights, how will you know where to go? We’ve compiled the top 8 beaches in Costa Rica, and we are going to take you through each of them; you’ll know exactly where to go once you’re on island time.

1. Manuel Antonio Beach

Let’s start off with one of the most popular beaches in Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio beach. Manuel Antonio beach is a part of a National Park, which means you’ll be surrounded by rainforest foliage and wildlife.

This beach is about a 30-minute hike from the entrance of the park, but it is so worth it. The water here is usually calm with few waves, which is nice for families and swimmers. This beach is also great for snorkeling and just laying out in the sun.

If you like seeing wildlife and exploring the rainforest, this beach is definitely for you. You can take a break from swimming and snorkeling to go on some of the many hiking trails where you’re bound to see monkeys, lizards, and other wildlife.

2. Playa Biesanz

One price you’ll pay with the super popular beaches are the crowds of people. If you want something a little less busy around the same area as Manuel Antonio beach, you can head to Playa Biesanz.

This beach is on the peninsula called Punta Quepoa. There’s a short trail right to it near the Hotel Parador.

This beautiful little beach is perfect if you’re looking to get away from the masses while still going to an area that is relaxing and beautiful. It is surrounded by wildlife and greenery, making the views spectacular.

This little hideaway is great for quiet relaxation, snorkeling, and seeing amazing wildlife.

3. Tamarindo Beach

Like Manuel Antonio beach, Tamarindo is one of the most popular beaches in Costa Rica. This beach borders an amazing town with restaurants, nightlife, and hotels.

One of the great benefits of this beach is its surf. Tamarindo beach is known for surfing and other water sports, which is an excellent vacation adventure. Don’t worry if you aren’t an expert surfer: Tamarindo is an excellent area for beginners.

After a long day at the beach, you can easily go to many restaurants because of Tamarindo’s excellent and lively nightlife.

4. Conchal Beach

Both Tamarindo and Conchal Beach are in the Guanacaste, but Conchal beach is definitely less crowded than Tamarindo. If you’re in the Guanacaste area and want to go somewhere a little quieter and less crowded, then Conchal is for you.

This beach has beautiful white sands you can stroll on looking for the many seashells you can find littered within the sand. Conchal is also known for its beautiful coral, so you can definitely snorkel here and see some amazing fish and a large variety of coral.

Conchal beach is tucked away from the crowds. This makes it an excellent beach to relax, swim, and snorkel at without a lot of people bothering you.

5. Playa Flamingo

This beach just a little farther north than Conchal is named for the pink hue found in the sand. This sand makes Flamingo beach an amazing sight with stunning views of the sand and the ocean.

Playa Flamingo’s views continue with its amazing sunset views. You can see them right on the beach or at the surrounding hotels built up on cliffs.

Besides the views, this beach is known for the calm surf, making it another great family-friendly beach. Playa Flamingo is in a very nice area of the island, with nice restaurants and hotels a close distance to the beach itself.

6. Ostional Beach

We’ve gone over some of the top beaches for swimming, surfing, and relaxing, so let’s give you some of the top beaches in Costa Rica for adventure or if you want to mix it up.

If you’re visiting anytime between August and November, you can head to Ostional beach to see an amazing gathering of the Olive Ridley sea turtle. Ostional beach in Costa Rica is where these turtles come to lay their eggs and create their nests.

This beach isn’t visited often, but if you choose to, you could see hundreds of turtles nesting. This is something you definitely can’t see many other places in the world, which is why Ostional beach made our top 8 list.

7. Islas Tortugas

This is another beach area that’s great for people looking for adventure. The Islas Tortugas, the Turtle Islands in English, are tiny little islands off of Costa Rica. While people don’t actually live on these islands, you can take a water taxi over to them from Montezuma.

These little islands have the classic white sand and turquoise water, making them extremely beautiful and relaxing. The area is also known for the excellent scuba diving, snorkeling, and kayaking.

These little islands are the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure.

8. Dominical Beach

Last on our list, we have one of the most popular surfing spots in the world: Dominical beach.

The waves here are incredible for surfing which brings in surfers from all over. The popularity of this area for surfing has lead to the implementation of lifeguards all year long.

If you don’t surf, the beach is still good for relaxing and sunbathing as well. There are souvenir shops, bars, and small markets next to the beach as well if you need a break from riding the waves.

Wrapping Up the Top 8 Beaches in Costa Rica

Out of the many amazing beaches in Costa Rica, we have given you our top 8. Each has their advantages, and each is unique.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to make it to one of these amazing beaches. If you have any other questions about beaches or need help planning your next Costa Rica vacation, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Trip Summary

Sumario de Viaje