Costa Rica has always been associated with the great outdoors: from rainforests to volcanoes like Arenal, the country has offered visitors “me time” with Nature. Athletes book flights to Costa Rica to do marathons and triathlons and complex hikes; eco-lovers visit the stately rainforests and stay in “green” lodging options. As for the pure leisure seeker? The beaches of course.
Here are Costa Rica’s most popular beaches, and why:
Manuel Antonio: This beach, along with its adjacent Manuel Antonio National Park, is one of the most beautiful and raw beaches in the world. From the beach you can gaze at the hilly evergreen forest and really soak in nature. This is a great beach to spot wildlife including the howler, white faced, and squirrel monkeys. On a good day you can also spot sloths.
Visitors can not only swim here but also fish. It is popular with anglers.
Playa Dominical: Located roughly 30 miles south of Manuel Antonio National Park is a beach that is highly rated among the pro surfers of the world. So mind you, the waters will be a little on the rougher side (you can’t go for a really calm swim), but the sands are quite uncrowded and the color of the water is a deep, deep turquoise.
Corcovado: Considered to be one of the best kept secrets of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, this beach will offer you seclusion and privacy with breathtaking scenery including palms. You can also see the mountainous inland jungles that belong to the region’s National Park (if you guessed by now that Costa Rica is full of Parks, you’re right!). This is the beach for the true eco lover, and you can spot several bird and mammal species while you’re walking on the dark sand. Expect to find sea turtles in season.
Nicoya Peninsula: Comprised of several beaches, this is Costa Rica’s largest Peninsula. This is where honeymooners need to go to really get some quality romantic time, because the area is spread liberally with beautiful strips of sand. It is also more relaxing to spend time here because you there are miles of scenic beaches without too many crowds.
Tortuguero: This is a very unspoilt part of Costa Rica, with eco-friendly beaches that would make the naturalist go wild. You can do safaris in dugout canoes while spotting seriously endangered species from tapirs, ocelots and manatees, and enjoy some private time on a relatively uncommercialized part of the island.