Take a Look
Costa Rica Beaches
When you look at Costa Rica on the map, it is quite clear that the country has two coastlines, to the east of the country lies the Caribbean Sea, while to the west lies the Pacific Ocean. Combined, the total coastline of Costa Rica is 912 miles (1,466km). However, here at Costa Rica Rios we know something that we think will really surprise you.
How much longer is the Pacific coastline than the Caribbean coastline of Costa Rica?
How would you divide up the 912 miles of coast? Clearly the west coast is longer, but by how much? At a quick glance you might estimate that the Pacific coast was roughly double the length of the Caribbean coast, but like many you’d be wrong, and by a long way.
Believe it or not, the Pacific coastline is six times longer than the Caribbean coastline of Costa Rica. Yes, even if you’ve got a map in front of you it’s hard to believe, but it is true. So how is this optical illusion possible?
Look more closely and you will see that the east coast is almost a straight line, whereas the Pacific coastline comprises a series of peninsulas, gulfs, coves and bays. In reality, the Pacific coastline is 780 miles in length, while the Caribbean coastline is only 132 miles long.
What that amount of coastline also means is… lots of beaches.
Beaches on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica
- Playa Tortuguero –‘beach of the turtles’ is aptly named as it is a well-known turtle nesting site. Azure blue waters, a pristine white beach and from Puerto Limón, the beach runs pretty well uninterrupted all the way up the Nicaraguan border.
- Playa Bonita, Puerto Limón – known as a surfing beach, this is an often passed-over beach, but is more authentic and Tico than many other beaches around.
- Playa Negra, Cahuita– worth a visit just to marvel at the black sand, the result of thousands of years of volcanic deposits.
- Playa Blanca, Puerto Vargas – the return of white sand formed from the remnants of broken up coral reef, approached via a 3-mile km trek through CahuitaNational Park and well worth the effort.
- Playa Colces, Puerto Viejo – a good surfing beach. Lifeguards often present but swimmers should be wary of strong riptides.
- Punta Uva– a scuba diver’s paradise – just step intothe water and keep going until you find the coral reef! Enjoy watching the monkeys in the palm trees alongside the beach.
- Punta Mona – only accessed through Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, which is a 3-mile trek, or a 45-minute walk from Gandoca along the beach. A snorkeler’s paradise awaits.
Beaches on the Pacific coastline of Costa Rica
- Manuel Antonio – a stunning curved white-sand beach with calm waters protected by Punta Catedral, making it safe for children and swimming. Bordering the national park, don’t be surprised to see white-faced monkeys, sloths, iguanas and other wildlife.
- Islas Tortuga –‘Turtle Island’– located just off the coast with boat trips from Montezuma providing access from Nicoya Peninsula. Here you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in all Costa Rica.
- Santa Teresa – located on the tip of Nicoya Peninsula, this is not an easily accessible beach, so never suffers from the presence of hordes of tourists.
- Playa Guiones and Playa Pelada, Nosara– yoga and surfing seem to be the pastimes of choice here, with the two beaches separated by a rocky headland. Good access to restaurants and shops.
- Tamarindo – probably the most popular beach in Costa Rica and great for surfing. When the sun goes down, Tamarindo comes alive!
- Playa Flamingo – a great beach for families with enough surf to keep boarders happy. A relaxed and up-market feel created by the fabulous properties overlooking the beach, and great restaurants too.
- Playa Conchal– crystalline white sand, turquoise sea, sheltered and hard to beat for swimming and snorkeling.
- Playa Virador- almost the sole domain of residents staying at the ultra-luxurious Four Seasons Resort on Papagayo Peninsula, you can negotiate a series of tricky trails and steps to get down to the beach, even though residents at the resort can just walk straight onto it!
Specializing in adventure vacations in Costa Rica, here at Costa Rica Rios, aside from our 8-day Adventure Tour and Honeymoon Adventure Package, we can create individual, bespoke adventure packages to concentrate on your favored activities.
It is hard to resist the allure of Costa Rica if you like exploring and are looking for the adventure of a lifetime, so take advantage of our local knowledge and give us a call. We’ll be glad to talk you through all you can expect from an adventure vacation in Costa Rica, and happily answer any questions you may have.