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Dreamy Costa Rica Escapes – Your Insider’s Guide to Playa Zancudo 

No adventure vacation in Costa Rica could ever be complete without a sweet stint of R&R on some ridiculously beautiful beach.

Enter Playa Zancudo.

Playa Zancudo

One of Costa Rica’s most tranquil and nature-infused beaches is just the treat you need after a whirlwind week of adventures. Unspoiled, expansive, uncrowded and unforgettable, this is the kind of ‘dreamy beach’ that continually puts Costa Rica atop every ‘exotic destination’ travel list.

Where is Playa Zancudo? How to get there?

Playa Zancudo is one of the most beautiful and enjoyable beaches in Puntarenas. It stretches for an astonishing 9 miles south from Punta Zancudo, a promontory where the Rio Coto Colorado flows into the Golfo Dulce.

Right here:

Map of Playa ZancudoPlaya Zancudo is just a few miles south of Golfito and the easiest (and fastest) way to get there is by hopping on a boat and enjoying the short 20-minute ride. You can drive to Golfito from San Jose or catch a short and inexpensive flight. Golfito is home to the closest airport to Playa Zancudo.

So, ready to plan your trip?

What’s special about Playa Zancudo?

Zancudo is considered one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches, characterized by soft black sand and framed the entire length by swaying palm and almond trees.

This southern region of Costa Rica is less developed and less visited than the north, which means it’s superb for unplugged and restful adventures in untouched nature. Serviced by a small and laid-back village of the same name (Zancudo), the beach is the ideal destination for just about anyone who wants to enjoy a stint of R&R in Costa Rica. The southern, wilder side attracts surfers whilst, in the sublimely calm north, sunbathers, swimmers and families can enjoy super relaxing days.

Straight west over the golf is Puerto Jimenez, the springboard for adventures in the Corcovado National Park.

Despite the seemingly ‘deserted’ feel of Playa Zancudo, there’s actually quite a bit of fun to be had here. The town, made up of locals and expats that number merely 500, offers an impressive array of food, gorgeous accommodation and plenty of fun activities, so even if you’re more of an active holidaymaker, you’ll still find plenty to do.

Except that, in Playa Zancudo, you’ll be doing it in a mesmerizing and tranquil corner of Costa Rican paradise.

The beaches of Playa Zancudo@PlayaZancudoBeachClub

What to do on Playa Zancudo

Swimming & beach-bumming – It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that this might just be the best swimming stretch of the whole southwestern coastline of Costa Rica. The currents and waves are practically nonexistent on the northern end of the beach, whilst the sapphire seas pick up momentum in the south. That makes it ideal for family and group vacations for those with varying interests. Want to just soak up the rays and enjoy a gentle refreshing frolic? Stay on the northern end. Want to give boogie-boarding and surfing a go for the first time? Stick to the central section of the beach. Want to try some kick-ass surfing? Read on!

Surfing – For excellent surfing, head to the southern end of Zancudo Beach and even further, to the beach of Pavones. This hot-spot attracts world-class surfers and, as a consequence, is replete with fantastic surfing schools and camps, not to mention a hip, young crowd.

Tour the mangroves – Join a kayak tour along the beautiful mangroves framing the shores of the Rio and you’ll likely see several species of monkeys, crocs and a crazy number of exotic birds

Enjoy water sports galore – The Pacific Ocean is meant to be thoroughly enjoyed and Playa Zancudo certainly doesn’t lack in the fun department. Sport fishing is huge here, as is scuba diving, snorkeling and water-skiing. You can be as active (or lazy) as you wish – it’s just great to know there are so many options

Visit Puerto Jimenez – It’s just a 40-minute boat ride across the golf to reach the Osa Peninsula and, although it may be too much as a day-trip, it’s good to know that you can easily visit Zancudo on your way to or from the Corcovado National Park.

Enjoy spectacular sunsets… – Playa Zancudo offers breathtaking views across the golf from morning till night although sunsets here are particularly awesome and more than a little romantic. Looking for a Costa Rica honeymoon adventure? Include Playa Zancudo in your itinerary!

…And early nights – Playa Zancudo is definitely not a party destination so if you’re looking for a thriving nightlife and bars that are open all night, you will be disappointed. Yes, surfers are usually young but they also wake up at the crack of dawn to catch the best waves so they tend to have quieter nights, with the occasional karaoke evening out thrown in for good measure.

All the more enjoyable, if you ask us!  Plan your trip today!

Where to stay on Playa Zancudo

Given the beach attracts a surfing and relaxing crowd, Playa Zancudo offers a range of super-affordable accommodation options and a few luxury options for those who want to indulge. No matter the budget you have, you can be guaranteed amazing views and prime location – just about every accommodation here is set ridiculously close to the beach.

The beaches of Playa Zancudo@ZancudoWestB&B

Playa Zancudo is also a hub for rental luxury villas which entice families who prefer to self-cater and have a little more room for themselves.

At Costa Rica Rios, we can help you find the ideal accommodation for your days in Playa Zancudo and plan fun-filled days exploring the area.

Where to eat out on Playa Zancudo

A smattering of excellent local sodas will titillate your taste buds with ceviche and fantastic nachos but you’ll also find plenty of restaurants offering western fare. For fancier dining options, do know that all the hotels and ‘cabinas’ that have in-house restaurants are open to the public, even if you’re staying elsewhere.

Check out the latest TripAdvisor Zancudo restaurant reviews to find your delectable Zancudo eatery.

The food in Playa Zancudo@Rimatacr

Playa Zancudo epitomizes our Costa Rica Rios credo perfectly – this remote, uncrowded and unblemished corner of paradise is just the kind of place we love sharing with our guests. On your upcoming Costa Rica Adventure Vacation, we can easily include a few days here at the end of your journey, so you can fly home relaxed and totally revitalized.

Want to know more?

Contact us, right here!

US & Canada: 888 434-0776 | UK: 0800 612 8718 | International: +1 920 434-7485




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