Costa Rica Beach Vacations

Costa Rica Beachfront Packages

If sandy beaches and clear skies sound like a dream, check out these customizable packages that take you to the best beaches in Costa Rica.

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Costa Rica's Best Beachfront Packages

Costa Rica offers a wide variety when it comes to beaches. From the dark sands of the South Pacific, which are great for surfing, up to the long sun-kissed beaches of Costa Rica’s northern gold coast, which are ideal for sunbathing and swimming, a Costa Rica beach is a perfect place to enjoy nature, practice sport, and unwind.

Visit the Best Beaches of Costa Rica

Ah, the eternal question… What are the absolute best beaches of Costa Rica? The must-experiences you are not to miss? The hidden gems and well-known landmarks that define this country as one of the most prestigious on the world travel map?

As they say, to each their own–the best answer to that question depends on you. Think about the type of traveler you are and you are looking for.

Classic family vacation, adrenaline-filled adventures, sand, sun and relaxation, off-the-beaten-track experience, romantic spots… Tell us who you are and we’ll tell you where to go!

If you are still not sure what type of beachfront vacation is ideal for you, don’t worry. These customizable packages showcase some of the best experiences in Costa Rica’s famous beaches.

Contact us, and a travel consultant can also guide you into the right path, simply strike up a conversation and you’ll get sorted in no time.

A Costa Rica Beach for Every Traveler Type

Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or with your other half, there is a beach out there for you. Take a look at some of our most sought-after and famous beaches.

Family-Friendly Beaches

Before you go into panic mode when you don’t see the beach you’re interested in on our list, we’d like to say that there are many more family-friendly beaches in Costa Rica than the ones listed below.

These are the top three in our opinion and we were guided by their accessibility, number of family-friendly activities that are available, and the safety of both the ocean and its surroundings. Wherever you decide to go, we suggest your checklist should include the same.

  • Conchal, Guanacaste
  • Panama, Guanacaste
  • Manuel Antonio, Central Pacific

For a unique beach, your family will love, Playa Conchal is a must! The beach is made up of tiny shells that will keep kids and adults entertained as they search for perfect little treasures. The crystal clear water is inviting for a swim; kayaking and other water activities are available, too.

Accommodation options are at Reserva Conchal, offering world-class oceanfront golf and luxury rental villas. The most popular is The Westin Playa Conchal, one of the most luxurious all-inclusive resorts in the country. The beach is public but frequented mostly by hotel and villa guests. Service and lodging here is 5-star and indulgent.

Playa Panama seems to be fronting a lake rather than the ocean, making it perfect for families.

Located in the Papagayo Gulf it’s protected from the waves so smaller children can play on the water’s edge or swim without fear. This is also a great beach for activities like stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and riding a banana boat!

Manuel Antonio is not considered the best beach in Costa Rica for no reason. We feature it on this page in several sections as it offers a perfect blend of almost everything one can look for.

Its backdrop is bursting with wildlife, it’s perfect for swimming and other water sports activities, and it’s very accessible. One thing it’s not—is secluded. Other than that, any family will enjoy this picture-perfect slice of paradise.

Luxury by the Ocean

Papagayo Bay is home several luxury resorts including the famous Four Seasons resort and Andaz Peninsula Papagayo.

The entire peninsula is exclusive and non-hotel guests are only allowed access by hotel shuttles that go to three designated public beaches. The views are majestic as the peninsula curls around offering views of the Guanacaste shore and nearby islands.

Punta Islita, a remote little beach town on the Nicoya Peninsula, revolves around the daily working of the Hotel Punta Islita, a world-renowned boutique resort.

The hotel is not only luxurious, but it is also sustainable environmentally and socially speaking. The hotel offers the majority of employment to the local population and offers empowerment programs. A perfect destination for a romantic getaway.

Beaches with Eco-friendly Accommodations

The southern Pacific, particularly in the Osa Peninsula, is especially eco-conscious and protective of the pristine coasts and abundance of wildlife you find there.

Most hotels from the area participate in eco-friendly practices and are happy to share how they stay sustainable and with a low impact on the environment.

Accommodations can be described as eco-luxury meaning WiFi and TV are probably not offered but they have an elegant design befitting the area and you won’t lack for service. Beaches here are harder to access meaning you’ll usually want to say for a few days to really be able to explore and enjoy them.

Swimming Beaches: Perfect for Active Visitors

If what you want is calm waters to swim or practice other sports, there are many options, but these are the favorites.

  • Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste
  • Manuel Antonio, Central Pacific
  • Flamingo, Guanacaste

Northern Guanacaste’s Playa Hermosa—which can be translated to ‘Beautiful Beach’—stands by its name. A few miles of white sand shore curve around the calm waters of Culebra Bay.

This somewhat secluded spot is perfect for swimming and other water-related activities: nearby diving spots, snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding… as the waters are calm year-round.

Manuel Antonio is perhaps the most popular beach area in Costa Rica, and for good reason. Playa Escondido, in the national park and the easily accessible public beach, Playa Espadilla, are both ideal for swimming.

Playa Escondido is small but its calm waters are inviting while Playa Espadilla is a long stretch of sand perfect for a variety of watersports and playing in the waves.

Flamingo beach is another gem of Costa Rica’s golden coast—north Guanacaste.

It’s white sand and gorgeous sea with generally clear waters has a soft break where beachgoers can enjoy swimming, boogie boarding, stand-up paddleboarding, and simply sunbathing. Sunsets are truly remarkable; make sure you’re on the beach at 5 pm to enjoy the spectacle!

Surfing & Backpacker Beaches

Surfers are in search of the perfect wave to ride, and it truly doesn’t get better than this.

  • Santa Teresa, Nicoya Peninsula
  • Puerto Viejo, South Caribbean
  • Dominical, Central Pacific
  • Jaco & Playa Hermosa, Central Pacific

Getting to Santa Teresa, on the Nicoya Peninsula, is an adventure in itself. The long trip and dusty roads may deter luxury travelers but it has become a mecca for backpackers and surfers looking to travel off the beaten path. The consistent break is a big draw for those looking for a day of action amongst the waves.

Puerto Viejo, on the southern Caribbean coast, is a big backpacker destination.

It’s within boating distance to the infamous Salsa Brava surf break, the best on the Caribbean coast and the only one in Costa Rica that could be compared to the conditions of Hawaii. The vibe here is Rasta with reggae music, bright colors, pristine beaches and limited development.

Less than an hour south of Manuel Antonio is the small surf town of Dominical. Follow the one main road past the row of small shops and eateries and you’ll find the beach.

The break is not for the faint-hearted and when there are storms off the coast you can feel the vibrations of the waves pounding in your chest as you watch from the beach. The area features popular surf competitions several times throughout the year that are fun to watch, even if you don’t venture into the water.

Jaco is the go-to surf destination for locals and travelers alike due to its easy access from San Jose. From surf lessons for beginners to competitions for those that already know what they’re doing, Jaco and Playa Hermosa, just to the south, are great places to hop on a board.

A Costa Rica vacation by the beach is not far away. Simply contact us and we can make it happen!

How to Pick A Beach Hotel Perfect for You?

In Costa Rica, swimmable beaches are few and far between. If this is important to you, talk to our Travel Consultant to get the best recommendations, based on your preferred travel style and type of lodgings that’s the best fit for your group.


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