Here is our list of the Top 12 Best Pacific Coast Beaches in Costa Rica in Guanacaste and Puntarenas. Explore a variety of white-sand beaches, rainforest beach coves, and volcanic black sand shorelines.
Best Pacific Coast Beaches in Costa Rica | Guanacaste
These are the Best Pacific Coast Beaches In Costa Rica located in the Guanacaste province:
1 – Tamarindo Beach
This is a popular surf town with amazing breaks. In fact, Tamarindo waves are perfect for both experienced and novice surfers alike. Staying here is also not a problem as accommodation options for all pockets abound.
If you’re trying surfing for the first time, your hotel is likely to offer you surfing lessons and other water sports rentals. Or you can just go outside and sign up with any of the numerous surf schools lining the beach.
Although this is a busy beach, you can rent a chair, and spend the day watching a mix of surfers, street vendors, and shell hunters while drinking a cold pipa.
If you want to take a nice swim away from the Tamarindo crowds, you can head to the neighboring white-sand beach of Langosta.
Tamarindo is busy, with lots of hotels, beach bars, and restaurants. It’s also a place filled with activities, and safe for families to visit.
From surf lessons to eating dinner on the beach at sunset, this is an experience not to be missed…
Here’s our list of the Top 5 Tamarindo Costa Rica Restaurants.
2 – Conchal Beach
A combination of broken tiny seashells and white sand makes Conchal Beach unique. Take a swim and explore the coral reef. An easy, relaxing time is guaranteed!
The beach is just gorgeous, with turquoise waters, perfect for some snorkeling. The water here is warm and clean and perfect for adults and older children.
Also, if you check out the trees, they are full of monkeys!
Just come here and layout unbothered, enjoying the beauty that is one of the Best Pacific Coast Beaches in Costa Rica!
If you’re spending some time here, we recommend the Westin Golf Resort Spa, Playa Conchal. For more info, check out our list of the Best All-Inclusive Costa Rica Beach Resorts.
3 – Flamingo Beach
Heading north of Conchal Beach you’ll find Flamingo Beach, named by its pink/white sand. The best beach rentals sit high up on a cliffside, overlooking the bay. But hotels like the popular Margaritaville are located right at the beach…
How’s a week at Flamingo?
How about catamaran sunset trips, daily trips to places such as Diamante Animal and Adventure Park, diving, swimming in the ocean, relaxing with the family in the pool, having great dinners and delicious breakfasts, enjoying refreshing cocktails, going for some live night entertainment…
4 – Nacascolo Beach
If you’re staying at one of these, just grab a kayak, and get your hotel to organize a nice picnic for you. It takes a little more than an hour to kayak to Nacascolo, and odds are that you won’t find a soul there.
The water here is calm, perfect for a nice swim or to practice a water sport such as snorkeling or paddleboarding… So, if you’re looking for a secluded beach for some peace and relaxation, you can find here.
5 – Samara
Coming to Costa Rica for the family experience? Samara is for you. This is a small town full of bars and eateries. Take a walk, watch the sunset, and stop for a cool beverage and a yummy vegan snack! You can practice all water sports here, and this is also the perfect place to learn to surf. Also, give horseback riding a try! Nice warm water, not too crowded, nice people, that’s Samara!
6 – Nosara
Located on the Nicoya Peninsula, the friendly coastal town of Nosara is where three beaches merge:
- Pelada Beach
- Garza Beach
- Guiones Beach
Guiones is the most popular for surfers and is less crowded than Tamarindo. You can also switch your surfing board for some swimming at Pelada Beach. You can also try body surfing and boogie boarding. With great waves, friendly people, yoga, and spectacular sunsets, Nosara is definitely one of the Best Pacific Coast Beaches in Costa Rica.
7 – San Juanillo
North of Nosara, on the Pacific coast, this is where two small beaches converge out to a sandy point. The water is crystal-clear and calm, perfect for swimmers. It’s also full of colorful fish, making it a perfect spot for some snorkeling
The scene is friendly and mellow, and the vibe here is that of a fishing town, perfect to catch a fishing tour. This is also a very secure area, so you camp with all safety.
If you want to be in paradise, you have to come to San Juanillo, number seven in our list of the Best Pacific Coast Beaches in Costa Rica located in Guanacaste.
Best Pacific Coast Beaches in Costa Rica | Puntarenas
These are the Best Pacific Coast Beaches In Costa Rica located in the Puntarenas province:
1 – Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio is a true coastal gem, with some of the Nicest Beaches in Costa Rica, tucked inside a stunning national park teeming with abundant wildlife.
A true, unforgettable adventure is guaranteed when exploring the local rainforest by navigating the park’s thrilling hiking trails, leading to a number of different beaches.
You can also arrange a nice kayak tour of the Mangroves, do some zip-lining, or hit the rapids. White-faced monkeys are one of the pluses from this trip, but be careful, as they may steal your possessions.
2 – Dominical Beach
Located on the South Pacific coast, this small surf town is packed with thrilling waves and the right vibes. This is the only beach in the country with a lifeguard program with a full calendar year.
There’s plenty of restaurants and accommodation. And it’s the perfect destination if you want to learn how to surf in Costa Rica.
You can also book a river rafting excursion. The guides will tell you all you need to know about the local flora, the animals and birds. The scenery is stunning, and you will end the trip with refreshing snacks that include vegetables, fruits, salsa, and guacamole.
If you’re looking for a fun, safe adventure while practicing some extreme sports, number two in our list of the Best Pacific Coast Beaches in Costa Rica from Puntarenas is for you.
3 – Marino Ballena National Park
Take a ride to the South Pacific coast to visit the “the whale’s tail”, in Punta Uvita, at Marino Ballena National Park.
An aerial shot shows a whale tail-shaped sandbar. Coincidentally, this is the area where humpback whales return every year, in two different periods:
- From December through April
- From August through October
Book a watching tour and rent snorkeling gear to explore the coral reef. Paddleboarding and sea kayaking are also great entertainment options here.
Check out our list of the Top 10 Best National Parks in Costa Rica.
4 – Montezuma
A stunning beach in the Nicoya Peninsula with a laid-back vibe. It’s so picturesque, and it doesn’t feel overly crowded for a beach in the center of all the action.
Montezuma offers long stretches, so you can spread out and find your own little patch. In fact, you can follow a trail to visit the beautiful and secluded Playa Grande, located in a protected area.
The sunrise here is really to die for. And, this is really not like the high trafficked resort areas. Number four in our list of the Best Pacific Coast Beaches in Costa Rica from Puntarenas is a small community, where you can relax, at peace, with no worries.
5 – Santa Teresa
If you surf or do yoga, this is one of the best coastal areas the country has to offer. Located south of Guanacaste, you can visit:
- Carmen Beach
- Hermosa Beach
- Santa Teresa
- Manzanillo Beach
These beaches are still off the beaten path. They are full of surfers, but there’s a friendly vibe, and anyone can go into the water for a swim.
It’s actually a very family-oriented area, but it’s never overly busy. You can take a surf lesson, and visit the local restaurants or the beach bars to watch an unforgettable sunset.
If you’re into surfing, young crowds, and healthy food, this is the place for you
If you enjoyed our list of the 12 Best Pacific Coast Beaches in Costa Rica, read our Top Costa Rica Travel Tips.