Tropical beach with palm trees and turquoise water.

Pacific Coast Highlights

Manuel Antonio Beach

Nestled within the Manuel Antonio National Park, this beach is a stunner with its powdery white sand and verdant backdrops. While you might have to elbow your way through mischievous monkeys and lazy iguanas, the crystal-clear waters will wash away any annoyance.

Santa Teresa Beach

Santa Teresa is a nirvana for those who worship the sun and surf. This beach, with its hippie vibes and consistent waves, is often dotted with yoga mats and surfboards. Don’t forget to stay for the sunset; it’s as though the sky itself is putting on a nightly performance.

Conchal Beach

Ever wanted to frolic on a beach made of seashells? Conchal, with its unique shell-laden coastline, is your kind of place. It’s like walking on a treasure chest – except the jewels are millions of crushed shells glinting under the sun.

Caribbean Coast Gems

Punta Uva Beach

Hidden on the Caribbean side, Punta Uva seduces travelers with its lazy palm trees and calm turquoise waves. It’s like the beach itself whispers, "Relax, you’re on island time now."

Manzanillo Beach

At Manzanillo, it’s not just about the sand and waves; it’s about the Afro-Caribbean culture that spices up the atmosphere. Plus, the nearby wildlife refuge offers a chance to chat with the local sloths and toucans—if they’re not too busy, of course.

Off-The-Beaten-Path Beaches

Montezuma Beach

Montezuma is the beach for those who fancy a side of adventure with their sunbathing. With its hidden waterfalls and bohemian flair, it’s the perfect place to act out your "tropical castaway" fantasies.

Playa Arco

If you don’t mind a bit of a trek, Playa Arco is your hidden gem. Tucked away within the Marino Ballena National Park, this beach is so secluded you might forget other humans exist. On second thought, let’s keep this one a secret, shall we?

Beaches for Surfing Enthusiasts

Playa Tamarindo

Playa Tamarindo is the high school quarterback of surfing beaches—popular, charming, and with waves that make surfers swoon. It’s a mecca for wave-riders of all levels, so grab a board and join the cool kids.

Jaco Beach

Jaco is the kind of beach that punches you in the face with its waves and then apologizes with a killer surf break. It’s crowded, it’s rowdy, and it’s a blast if you’re looking to ride some serious surf.

Family-Friendly Beaches

Playa Hermosa

Not to be confused with its rowdier namesake near Jaco, Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste offers a calm retreat for families. It’s got safe swimming, plenty of space for sandcastle architects, and enough beauty to make your camera weep.

Samara Beach

Samara’s gentle waves are like Mother Nature’s kiddie pool. The reef keeps the big bad ocean at bay, making it a sanctuary for families—and any adults who prefer to not have their swimsuits knocked off by a surprise wave.

Beaches with Unique Features

Playa Uvita’s Whale Tail

Playa Uvita boasts a naturally occurring marvel—a sandbar in the shape of a whale’s tail. Coincidentally, it’s also a prime spot for whale watching, so you can see actual tails while standing on one. How’s that for inception?

Playa Grande’s Leatherback Turtles

At Playa Grande, the sand is often upstaged by its seasonal visitors: the leatherback turtles. These ancient mariners hit the beach to lay their eggs, turning the shoreline into a live-action nature documentary.

Sustainable Tourism and Beach Preservation

Costa Rica takes its environmental cred seriously, so when you frolic in its beaches, remember you’re a guest in Mother Nature’s home. Stick to sustainable practices—like saying no to plastic straws—to keep these slices of paradise pristine for future generations.

Conclusion: The Beaches Await

In the end, whether you’re a sun worshiper, wave chaser, or just looking to sip a cocktail under a palm tree, Costa Rica’s beaches have got you covered. Just remember to pack your eco-friendly sunscreen and a sense of adventure.