Best Beaches in Costa Rica

Top 5 beaches in Costa Rica ​

Manuel Antonio Beach

One of the top contenders  for the best beach in Costa Rica is Manuel Antonio Beach, located within the stunning Manuel Antonio National Park. This picturesque strip of golden sand is framed by lush rainforest, providing a truly magical setting. Its calm waters make it perfect for swimming and snorkeling, while its surrounding hiking trails offer opportunities to spot wildlife. Other beaches nearby, such as Puerto Escondido, Gemelas, and Espadilla further enhances the region’s charm, making these beaches among the Central Pacific Coast’s most exquisite treasures.


Manuel Antonio boasts a collection of stunning and opulent beach resorts, ideal for both luxury and romantic getaways. Notable mentions include Shana by the Beach, Makanda by the Sea, Parador and Los Altos Resort.

Playa Hermosa

For those seeking some adrenaline-pumping surf action, Playa Hermosa (which means beautiful beach) on the Pacific coast should be at the top of your list. Known as one of Costa Rica’s premier surf spots, this beach offers consistent waves that attract both beginners and experienced surfers alike. Playa Hermosa in the Guanacaste province is a 30 minute drive from LIR Airport.

Tamarindo Beach

If you’re looking for a more laid-back beach experience with gentle waves ideal for swimming and sunbathing, head to Tamarindo Beach in Guanacaste Province. With its wide sandy shore and vibrant atmosphere, it’s no wonder why Tamarindo has become a beloved destination among travelers. The vibrant beach town offers a plethora of enjoyable activities, making it a fantastic destination for backpackers, surfers, and families alike.

Playa Conchal

For families traveling Playa Conchal is a must-visit. Reaching Playa Conchal requires a bit of a walk, but the effort is absolutely rewarding. Located on the Nicoya Peninsula, this unique beach stands out due to its shimmering white shells instead of sand – making it an unforgettable sight! The shore is made up of millions of little pieces of sparkling white shells.


The turquoise waters here are perfect for kids to splash around in while parents soak up the sun. It’s worth noting, though, that the waves here aren’t the calmest for swimming, so don’t let kids swim unsupervised.

Santa Teresa Beach

Last but certainly not least, we have Santa Teresa Beach nestled along the southern tip of Nicoya Peninsula. Given that the Nicoya Peninsula retains its rural character, its beaches offer a wild, rugged, and untamed landscape, providing a more untouched and pristine beach experience.


The rocky beaches aren’t great for swimming, but surfers flock here to ride world-class breaks while others simply come to bask in Santa Teresa’s natural splendor. The Nicoya Peninsula is home to hidden beaches, remarkable snorkeling locations, and stunning coastal vistas.

Read More: Best Beach Resorst in Costa Rica


If you want no visit one of Costa Ricas stunning beaches, explore Tulu Travles ready-made Beach & hotel packages that have been selected by our Travel experts to guarantee you have the ultimate Costa Rican beach vacation.

Best surf beaches in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a surfer’s paradise, with its stunning coastline and consistent waves. Whether you’re a beginner looking to catch your first wave or an experienced pro searching for the perfect barrel, Costa Rica has some of the best surf beaches in the world.


One of the top surf spots in Costa Rica is Playa Hermosa. Located just south of Jaco, this beach offers powerful and hollow waves that are ideal for advanced surfers. Playa Hermosa hosts international surfing competitions and is known for its challenging conditions.


For intermediate surfers, Santa Teresa is a must-visit destination. This laid-back town on the Nicoya Peninsula boasts consistent beach breaks that cater to all skill levels. The long sandy stretches provide ample space for everyone to enjoy their own piece of paradise.


If you’re new to surfing or simply prefer more mellow waves, head to Tamarindo. This popular tourist destination offers gentle point breaks that are perfect for beginners and longboard enthusiasts alike.


Another gem on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast is Pavones. Known as one of the longest left-hand breaks in the world, this remote beach attracts experienced surfers from around the globe seeking epic rides that seem to go on forever.


Read more: Surfing  In Costa Rica

Girl in hammock on beach with surfingboard

Best swimming beaches in Costa Rica

The Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica is frequently preferred for swimming activities. In contrast to the Pacific Coast, the waters on the Caribbean side are typically calmer and more conducive to swimming.


One of the top choices for swimming is Manuel Antonio Beach. Located within Manuel Antonio National Park, this beach boasts crystal-clear turquoise waters that are ideal for snorkeling and swimming. The park itself is home to an abundance of wildlife, making your beach experience even more memorable.


Another must-visit destination is Playa Flamingo. This white sandy beach stretches along the Pacific Coast and provides a tranquil setting for swimmers. With its gentle waves and warm water temperature year-round, it’s no wonder why Playa Flamingo is popular among families and serenity seekers alike.


If you prefer a secluded escape, head over to Playa Conchal. This hidden gem features stunning clear waters filled with colorful marine life. Its unique shell-strewn sand adds an extra touch of charm to this already enchanting spot.


For those craving adventure alongside their swim, Santa Teresa Beach on the Nicoya Peninsula delivers big waves that attract surfers from around the globe. But don’t worry if you’re not riding waves – there are plenty of calmer sections where you can enjoy a refreshing swim without battling strong currents.

People on the beach in Manuel Antonio

Best beaches in Costa Rica for families

Costa Rica is not only a tropical paradise for adventure seekers and surf enthusiasts but also an ideal destination for families looking to soak up the sun and enjoy some quality time together. With its pristine beaches and family-friendly amenities, Costa Rica offers a plethora of options for families seeking the perfect beach getaway.


One of the top choices for families is Manuel Antonio Beach, located within Manuel Antonio National Park. This stunning beach boasts calm waters, making it safe and enjoyable for kids of all ages. The surrounding rainforest provides ample shade and opportunities to spot wildlife such as monkeys and sloths, adding an extra element of excitement to your beach day.


Another great option is Playa Samara on the Nicoya Peninsula. This idyllic beach features gentle waves that are perfect for swimming with young children or trying out water sports like kayaking or paddleboarding. Plus, there are plenty of restaurants along the shore where you can grab a bite to eat after a fun-filled day in the sun.


For those seeking a more secluded experience, Playa Conchal fits the bill perfectly. Known for its unique crushed seashell sand, this picturesque beach offers crystal-clear turquoise waters that are ideal for snorkeling with older kids. You can explore vibrant coral reefs teeming with colorful fish just steps away from the shore.


If your family enjoys exploring marine life, make sure to visit Tortuguero Beach on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast during nesting season (July-October). Here you’ll have the opportunity to witness sea turtles laying their eggs in vast numbers – an unforgettable experience that will leave lasting memories.


Read More: Things To Do In Costa Rica With Kids

Read More: Best Family Destinations in Costa Rica

Read More: How to Plan a Family Trip to Costa Rica


Explore our ready-made Family vacation packages that have been hand selected by our Travel experts to guarantee you have the ultimate family vacation. All Hotels, tours & transportation have been personally vetted with “family friendliness” in mind.


Man and woman in the water holding a big turtle

Most beautiful beach in Costa Rica​

When it comes to the most beautiful beach in Costa Rica, there is one that stands out above the rest. Playa Conchal, located on the country’s Pacific Coast, is truly a tropical paradise.

This stunning beach gets its name from its unique sand composition – instead of traditional sand, Playa Conchal boasts millions of tiny crushed seashells that glisten under the sun. The crystal-clear turquoise waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling, allowing you to explore an underwater world teeming with colorful marine life.

Surrounded by lush greenery and framed by gentle rolling hills, Playa Conchal offers a sense of serenity and tranquility that is hard to find elsewhere. Whether you want to relax on the soft sands while soaking up the sun or take leisurely walks along the shore, this beach has something for everyone.

In addition to its natural beauty, Playa Conchal also offers various amenities such as beach chairs and umbrellas for rent. There are also nearby resorts where you can indulge in luxurious accommodations and enjoy delicious meals overlooking this breathtaking coastline.

No matter what your preferences are when it comes to beaches – whether it be surfing, swimming or simply enjoying some quality time with your family – Costa Rica has it all. With its diverse range of coastal landscapes and pristine shores, this Central American gem truly lives up to its reputation as a top destination for beach lovers worldwide. So pack your swimsuits and sunscreen because adventure awaits you on Costa Rica’s best beaches!

Conchal beach - the most beautiful beach in Costa Rica



Costa Rica is known for its excellent surfing opportunities. The Pacific Coast of Costa Rica is generally considered the best side for surfing. Popular surf spots can be found along the North Pacific Coast, such as Tamarindo, Playa Hermosa, and Santa Teresa. These areas offer consistent waves and a variety of breaks suitable for all skill levels.


When it comes to swimming, the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica is often favored. Unlike the Pacific Coast, the Caribbean side experiences calmer waters and is generally more suitable for swimming. Places like Puerto Viejo, Cahuita, and Tortuguero offer beautiful beaches with warm waters, making them great destinations for swimming and snorkeling. However, it’s always important to check local conditions and be aware of any potential hazards before entering the water.

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