Costa Rica is known throughout the world for its unique location. The country is tucked between the shorelines of the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean making it ideal place for beach lovers. It has expansive shorelines everywhere making the beaches of Costa Rica very diverse and unique in every way. Each beach has its own personality and you are bound to find something to your liking. The beaches of Costa Rica offer fascinating views with white sand beaches lined with tons of palm trees or volcanic black sand or even tropical rain forest. There are also high end luxury resorts built right in front of the beaches. In Costa Rica, it is guaranteed to find a beach with a setting that suits every personal taste, but with so many options available and very little time to explore them all, how can you possibly know which beach to explore? We are here to help. Below is a list of best beaches in Costa Rica!

What are the Best Beaches in Costa Rica?

Map of CR Beaches

Most of the popular beaches are represented on this map.

Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste

The Tamarindo beach is extremely popular for surfing because of its perfect breaks that strike the coast. This is a great beach for surfers who are not familiar with the sport. So if you are beginning to surf, head over to this beach and you’re bound to learn something fun and valuable. There are also many different accommodation options available near the beach where you can stay and they can even set you up with a nearby sports rental shop. When you’re done enjoying the beach or have had your surfing lessons for today, head down to the town of Tamarindo to enjoy dinner in some of the best restaurants in the area. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the white sand beach of Langosta which is great for swimming.

Flamingo Beach, Guanacaste

Located at the north side of the Conchal Beach is the Flamingo Beach in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. The Flamingo beach receives its name from the pretty white sands that have become its signature. The best bit about the beach is the hotels overlooking the beach where you can stay and enjoy the view and cool breeze of the sea atop the Cliffside. These hotels are built just next to the beach so they are ideal for you to stay if you love being around a beach throughout your day.

Dominical Beach, South Pacific

The Dominical Beach is located just off the beaten path of South Pacific Coast. The beach is very well known around the world for being one of the best places to surf. If you are well versed in surfing and enjoy a little challenge, the beach is the perfect place to be. When you are done enjoying your time through surfing or just sunbathing, just head outside the beach to find several restaurants waiting to serve you exquisite cuisines from around the world. The Dominical Beach is also the only beach in the area having a year round lifeguard program.

Santa Teresa & Malpais Beach, Nicoya Peninsula

Located just south of Guanacaste is the Nicoya Peninsula which is an extremely popular beach destination for yoga and surfing lovers. The Malpais and Santa Teresa beaches are both relatively away from the beaten path. If you love soft sand, head over to Santa Teresa Beach which is an ideal location to spend some time on the sand or surf. On the very southern tip of the peninsula there lies the Malpais beach which is also known throughout the world for surfing with stretches of great white sand and many rocky tidal pools.

Ostional Beach, Nicoya Peninsula

The Ostional beach in the Nicoya Peninsula is home to black sand and wildlife such as turtles. The turtles are abundant here and are often explored by many tourists. If you love watching turtles, don’t forget to book your tour between July and October to see them which is their time of annual nesting. This unique nesting of turtles is called mass annual sea turtle nesting and it happens at least 4 – 9 times a year. The timing can be different each year so you’ll need to get in touch with a guide to find out the perfect time.

Manuel Antonio Beach, Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio Beach is considered as the best beach destination in Costa Rica. There is a coastal gem bordering the national park with a coastal rain forest having tons of wildlife. It can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes to reach the beach after you have entered the Manuel Antonio National Park. If you love rain forest exploration followed by spending some time at the beach, this is the ideal place to head over to. There are tons of hiking tracks that reach out to the beach so you can explore while you head there.

Conchal Beach, Guanacaste

An excellent beach location if you love tiny shells and sand. This is a beach which is a bit less crowded compared to other beaches mentioned above, making it perfect for people who want to avoid large crowds and enjoy a beach setting in quietness. There are a variety of different underwater discoveries waiting for you to be discovered so make sure you bring your diving gear with you if you are into exploring underwater sea life. The beach is also home to Westin Playa Conchal Resort which offers many accommodation options.

Nacascolo Beach, Papagayo Peninsula

Nacascolo Beach is considered to be a hidden gem that is only available to Papagayo Peninsula. The beach has a huge stretch of golden sand that runs between the Andaz Papagayo resort and Four Seasons Resort. This means that you can stay in either of the hotels that are near to the beach and are also able to grab a kayak and head over to the deep water area of the Nacascolo Beach. The water is mostly calm and safe and serves as a good place to explore the beach without any worries. It is also great for swimming!