Warm waters year-round, naturally beautiful landscapes, pristine white sand, deep blue sea, and lush green rainforest, Costa Rica, meaning 'rich coast' in Spanish, is an apt name for this tropical beach paradise.
Costa Rica beaches
Costa Rica literally means 'Pure Life' (pura vida). It has over 800 miles (1,200km) of shoreline on its Pacific and Caribbean coasts. But what sets the beaches of Costa Rica apart is the presence of rainforests, mountains and exotic wildlife in its surroundings.
Costa Rica is one of the greenest countries in the world. Approximately 25% of Costa Rica's land is dedicated to national parks, reserves and wildlife refuges. With nearly two-thirds of Costa Rica's borders being coastline, there are many beaches to explore.
You can certainly find an abundance of nature and marine life. Costa Rica is a beach lover's dream, whether you love to collect seashells, go surfing, or just relax, the beaches here will never disappoint you.
Also known as the 'backpacker's paradise', Montezuma is located at the southern end of the Nicoya peninsula. This laid-back beach town is a favorite among youths, surfers, and nature-lovers.
Montezuma is a relatively untouched area of Costa Rica, and is filled with alternative thinkers. In fact, the whole town screams creativity, right from the local arts and crafts stalls to the artistic beach restaurants.
The beach also has rainforest in the vicinity which you can explore. Other attractions include yoga and massages on the beach, for the adventurous types, there are many activities like kayaking, snorkeling and zip-lining.
However, this beach is mainly famous for its chilled-out atmosphere and vibrant nightlife. With its lively beach, forest waterfalls in the vicinity and the sensational waves, Playa Montezuma is undoubtedly one of the coolest beaches in Central America.
Located in the Manuel Antonio National Park, It is unique in its location, where the beach meets the lush rainforests and mountains of Costa Rica. Here, you can discover tropical wildlife like iguanas, sloths, crabs and squirrel monkeys in their natural habitat.
This combined with white beaches and coral reefs make the beach serene and magical. Adventure activities include, surfing, kayaking, rafting, zip-lining, and hiking.
The crystal-clear water is also ideal for snorkeling. Manuel Antonio has something for everyone and is a one-stop destination with its active nightlife, abundance of water sports, exotic wildlife, and the serenity of the Pacific Ocean.
Dominical is a city in the province of Puntarenas in southern Costa Rica. It is known for its lively beaches, beautiful views and breathtaking scenery.
However, it is best known for its spectacular and sensational surfing waves. Playa Domical is one of the best surf destinations across the globe. Dominical also claims to have the most consistent wave in Costa Rica.
Although it sounds like a surfers-only type of beach, you will be happy to know that this beach also offers lots of other fun activities such as hiking to nearby waterfalls, zip-lining, and snorkeling. Dominical also boasts an active night life with vibrant clubs and bars.
Other activities include whale watching and paddle surfing. Whales are seen along the shoreline 9 months of the year, with humpbacks being the most common ones. This beach can also be a retreat for a romantic vacation, as it boasts of dramatic sunrises and peaceful sunsets.
Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste
There are two beaches named Playa Hermosa in Costa Rica. One is located in the province of Puntarenas, while the other lies in Guanacaste.
While the one in Puntarenas is a great surfing destination, Guanacaste's Playa Hermosa, situated between Playa del Coco and Playa Panama, is known for its calm surf and untouched beaches. Hermosa, which means "beautiful" in Spanish, is an apt name for the beach considering the calm water, gray sand and its lush surroundings.
This beach is also the winner of 'Bandera Azul' or 'Blue Flag', a prize given to beaches that practice high environmental standards. It is seldom crowded, and is a fabulous getaway for those who wish to just lay back and enjoy the sun. The calm water is perfect for swimming, scuba diving and, snorkeling.
Other activities include, kayaking, sailboarding and windsurfing. With warm water temperatures and ideal weather conditions all year-long, Playa Hermosa is the perfect haven for those seeking quality relaxation.
Located in Guanacaste, Tamarindo is one of the most developed towns in Costa Rica. The breathtaking scenery and white beach sand contribute to its popularity, making it an ideal destination for honeymoons and beach weddings.
While some areas of the beach can be serene and quiet, other areas provide non-stop entertainment which include, fishing, sailing, surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, ATV tours, mountain biking, horseback riding, sun bathing and much more.
Other beaches in Costa Rica
• Playa Esterillos • Playa Jaco • Boca Barranca • Puntarenas • Mal Pais • Playa Conchal • Playa de Coco • Playa Junquillal • Playa Puerto Viejo
Costa Rica has nearly 300 beaches along its stunning Pacific and Caribbean coastlines. Every beach is unique in its own way. Some are ideal for swimming, and few are fantastic for surfing. Some beaches have soft, fluffy sand, while few have shells and rocks in them. Such diversity can only be found in Costa Rica, and are ranked among the best in the world.