Costa Rica beach guide

Boasting two different yet equally beautiful coastlines, Costa Rica is a haven for beach lovers. Head down the Pacific coast where the tropical rainforest creeps over onto a long sandy stretch of beach and monkeys swing from the trees, or head to the Caribbean to soak up some relaxed reggae vibes in the beach towns where life is as laid back as the surfers who reside there. We offer a range of different bite-sized beach trips in Costa Rica, perfect for slotting into your itinerary.

Crystal waters and coral reefs in the Caribbean

The Caribbean coast of Costa Rica has a very different atmosphere to the rest, and due to it raining more on this side of the country, it is less visited than the Pacific coast. This brings its own advantages: long, empty beaches where the rainforest meets the coast and a chilled out Caribbean atmosphere. The distinct Caribbean feel of Puerto Viejo means that you’re never too far from an intoxicating reggae beat or a tropical cocktail. There are some fantastic surfing and swimming locations along the coast which are easily accessible by bike or car, or if you fancy a bit of local culture you could head to a working tropical farm to sample the local produce. Of course, you could just lay back and relax on the beach…

Relaxing on the Pacific’s endless beaches

The Pacific coast of Costa Rica is full of beaches, sun and sand, and Samara village has plenty of each. With a long stretch of white sand and calm waters, this beach stay is a great option for families or those who enjoy open water swimming. The days on this trip are left free to relax and do as much, or as little as you wish. The national park in Manuel Antonio is a place where sandy beaches and rainforest go hand-in-hand. You might spot three different species of monkey, but be sure to keep your belongings close by as they certainly live up to being cheeky! This is the only national park in Costa Rica where you can have your binoculars out one minute and be snorkelling the next.

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Spot dolphins

The combination of deserted beaches and plenty of options for day trips make Costa Ballena one of our favourite beach destinations. Along the hilly coastline, you’ll find vast deserted beaches where pelicans fly in circles above the mangroves and landscaped lodges speckle the shore. Tortuga is a great starting point for dolphin boat trips, snorkelling in the Ballena National Marine Park and exploring hidden beaches and waterfalls. The waters off the Drake Bay coastline are home to a variety of marine life, including 25 species of dolphins and whales that pass through each year. Nearby Isla del Caño has one of the best coral reefs in the country and is well worth a snorkelling trip with your guide. You won’t find many amenities on the beaches here, but if you’ve always wanted to experience desert island life, you’ll find this and more on Drake Bay.

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