Beaches in Costa Rica: which one is right for you?

photo by CC user Eric T Gunther on wikimedia

Costa Rica is one of Central America’s most popular tourist destinations, as its biodiversity, quality of its beaches, and safety relative to the rest of the region have been led to a rapidly growing industry.

Being a tropical nation, you will likely take to the coast at some point in your stay, so we have summarized the best beaches in Costa Rica by what various groups of travelers are seeking to get out of their time on the Tican coast. Let’s start with…

Party animal paradise: Jaco Beach

Want to live life like a rockstar during your beach holiday in Costa Rica? If this tops your list of priorities, then taking the short drive from San Jose to Jaco Beach will provide with the holiday of your dreams.

From nightclubs to casinos, Jaco offers you a variety of ways to paint the town red after the sun goes down. Apart from this, the black sands will surprise you with their excellent texture underfoot, surfers will be pleased with quality of the surf during the day, and a variety of restaurants will keep you trying different cuisine from one night to the next.

All the comforts of home: Tamarindo

Want to have bars that play US college sports on their big screen TV’s, restaurants offering American style dishes and portions, and real estate offerings that will feel like hand in glove from the second you arrive at your new vacation home?

Tamarindo will appeal to you a great deal if this is what you seek in a Costa Rican beach destination. The hills of Guanacaste rise in the background to give this place some serious atmosphere, while the reliable barrels rise reliably from point breaks every high tide, irrespective of overall swell conditions.

White sand purists: Manuel Antonio

While Costa Rica has many stunning beaches, those chasing the white sand ideal might be a bit disappointed by the numerous brown, gray and black sand beaches throughout the nation. This emotion will not be felt at Manuel Antonio National Park, as the sands here are a brilliant shade of white, a characteristic that is only enhanced by the protection of the state.

While settlements outside the park gates may lack this serenity, your time spent strolling the lengths of Manuel’s beaches will be filled with bliss, which may be accompanied by views of monkeys in the abutting rainforest with any luck.

Serious surf hounds: Dominical

While there are many Pacific Coast beaches that are suitable for surfers of all stripes, some have breaks that call out and challenge the more skilled wave jockeys among us. Dominical is one such place, as the sea in many places is too risky for wading, as the riptides produced by the heavy surf here makes it only suitable for surfers and/or strong swimmers. Many surfers from generations past have retired here, which speaks to the quality of the waves.

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