Sun and Sand in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a tropical destination with some 800 miles of coastline and over 300 beaches. Although it's a small nation, Costa Rica boasts both Pacific and Caribbean coastlines.
These beaches range from sun-bleached cinnamon and shell-dappled pink to volcanic black. Our Costa Rica beachfront resorts offer remarkable views and unmatched relaxation.
The Best Costa Rica Beach Resorts and Hotels
Costa Rican beaches are the stuff of postcards. The sparkling sands come in every hue, from the whitest of whites to the deepest blacks, sparkling grays, and pristine pinks. You'll find tropical forests spilling into the sea, and sunsets staining the sky with more tones of orange and red than you can count.
The beaches are one of the main reasons you're coming to Costa Rica.
The truth is you could visit a new Costa Rican beach almost every day for a year, and you still wouldn't see them all. So as you search for sun and sand, start with what matters most to you. Here we aim to help refine your search for beachfront resorts and hotels.
Beachfront and kid-friendly? A five-star resort with exciting nightlife options? A secluded, boutique haven? Beachfront tree-house with dense jungle behind it? Exclusive luxury? Charming bed-and-breakfast set right on the beach but priced for the budget-conscious traveler? Don't get overwhelmed. We can help.
There's no single best beachfront hotel. Instead, there are likely several ideal resorts and hotels for what you seek. But, of course, it all depends on what you want to do. So what's in an excellent hotel? For us, it's consistency, attention to detail, and unsurpassed traveler satisfaction.
We have developed this list of our favorite Costa Rica beachfront hotels on both Pacific and Caribbean side. These are the properties our clients consistently enjoy. We're sharing them here to make your decision-making process easier:
The North Pacific Coast
The best places to stay in Costa Rica on the beach are high-end, luxury properties accompanied by several more modest four-star options.
Some of the best beach resorts in Costa Rica are luxury properties. Others are more modest, four-star options. Only a few of these hotels and resorts offer all-inclusive options.
If you're looking for nightlife while on vacation, focus on hotels in the Tamarindo area.
Seeking the best-of-the-best? The most exclusive beach hotel is the Four Seasons Resort in Papagayo. The Westin Conchal offers a perfect balance of beachfront all-inclusive and kid-friendly resorts.
The Nicoya Peninsula
The Nicoya Peninsula is a surfing and yoga paradise, defined by eco-friendly boutique hotels and nature reserves. It's an ideal escape from the daily grind. There's no better place to disconnect, surrounded by miles of roaring surf brakes, secluded swimming holes, and pristine turtle-nesting habitats.
The Central Pacific
The Central Pacific coast is home to the famous Manuel Antonio National Park. Manuel Antonio boasts some of the most unique rainforest and ocean-view Costa Rica beach resorts.
Most Manuel Antonio hotels are in the hills above the ocean, making for excellent views but not a true beachfront experience. If staying beachfront in Manuel Antonio is a must, your best option is Arenas del Mar, a rare mid-size Costa Rican beachfront hotel. It is equally suitable for both families and couples.
The Southern Pacific
The Southern Pacific coast is home to the remote wonderland of the Osa Peninsula, which is the ultimate Costa Rica destination for nature enthusiasts. Hotel Copa del Arbol is an excellent choice for couples who wish to explore the tropical jungle. It's also just steps from the beach.
The Caribbean coast is Costa Rica's wild side, a secluded, bohemian place with a penchant for barefoot luxury. Soft sands, clear waters, and spectacular views compliment the reggae vibe.
You won't find large, all-inclusive resorts on the Caribbean side, but you will find unique beachfront hotels with a boutique flair. These tend to be small, family-run, and colorful.
Can't decide? Call 1-800-606-1860 to find out which is best for you.
What Kind of Beach-Goer Are You?
No matter how diverse your interests are, our Costa Rica-based travel agency can handle them!
Whether you have an action-packed or easy-going holiday in mind, we'll help you customize your sun-splashed experience to meet your needs; We'll help you identify the best beach hotel in Costa Rica. In addition, we will match properties to your travel personality.
Options are abundant. For adrenaline seekers, there are various experiences—from whitewater rafting to outdoor excursions. If you're looking for a more relaxing Costa Rica beach vacation, there are pools and volcanic hot springs where you can lounge in peace.
FAQs About Beachfront Resorts in Costa Rica
What part of Costa Rica has the best beaches?
Picture that "best beach." What are you looking for on a beach? Tell us about it, and we'll help you find it. What color is the sand? The sea? Are people surfing in that sea? Are you interested in doing yoga on the sand? Is it adults-only or full of families with little ones playing together? Are there shells to collect, or is the sand soft enough to sleep on? Is it isolated and quiet, or are there jet skis and kayak lessons? Is it backed up by the jungle or a street full of craft vendors and bars? There is no one best beach, but there is undoubtedly the best beach for you, and it's our goal to help you name it.
What is the prettiest beach in Costa Rica?
Many of the beaches in Costa Rica will be called "Playa Hermosa" or "Pretty Beach." But Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste is actually among the prettiest. We also like Manzanillo, Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio, Santa Teresa, Conchal, and others. We recommend some beach hopping during your stay in Costa Rica to conclude about the most stunning beach.
Where are the white sand beaches in Costa Rica?
Playa Jicaro, in Papagayo, Playa Flamingo, in Guanacaste, Punta Uva, in Puerto Viejo, Playa Blanca, in Puntarenas, Isla Tortuga, in the Gulf of Nicoya, and Manuel Antonio are just some of our favorite white sand beaches. As you can see, there are white sand beaches spotted throughout the various regions of Costa Rica.
Are the beaches swimmable in Costa Rica?
Most of them are, but it's always a good idea to stick to the tourist beaches that are well known. Also, there's safety in numbers. Since most beaches don't have lifeguards, it's nice to know you are near other people who can help in case of any trouble. If you go off exploring lesser-known beaches, ask the locals if it's safe to swim there. They should know if the current conditions include riptides or sharks. You will see people swimming in rivers, but this is not generally a good idea because there may be crocodiles. Stick to the beautiful oceans. Note that the north Caribbean beaches in Tortuguero are not safe for swimming. There are also a few in the Central Pacific that are dangerous. Most other tourist beach towns are safe. Again, consult the experts and locals.
What is the safest beach town in Costa Rica?
The safest beach town in Costa Rica, Nosara, has a specific vibe about community, yoga, balance, and peace. People lift each other there and look out for one another. Additionally, there are tourist police patrolling many beaches and beach towns for added safety. They speak English and give out brochures about safety tips like keeping valuables hidden, staying in well-lit, populated areas, etc., especially in Manuel Antonio and Puerto Viejo. But for the most part, most beaches are safe.