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Great Beach Towns in Costa Rica

With over a 760-mile coastline, Costa Rica offers a multitude of little, but beautiful, beach towns with amazing cultures and very unique characteristics, not forgetting the friendliest people in the Caribbean. It has been a vacation destination for many years and considering everything the country has to offer, you can understand why. Now, the main problem people usually have is when deciding which of these great towns they should visit because there are so many great options. In this guide though, we will tell you what we believe to be the best beach towns that you can visit, plus what they offer.

Playa Grande, Guanacaste

Located along the north Pacific coast, Playa Grande in Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful beach towns in the Guanacaste province, all thanks to its nature, people, pristine shoreline, and crystal blue waters. The town has a kicked-back vibe, with literary everything revolving around the rising and falling sun and surf. The sunsets are spectacularly amazing, and the ocean waves are pretty much consistent. And even though Playa Grande is a relatively small town, compared to other towns in the region, it still offers a variety of special amenities, including restaurants, homes, and villas, though spread out in the neighbourhoods.

The beaches in Playa Grande are the real tourist attraction, as they offer a much-needed beach experience found nowhere else in the country. There are three main beaches, including Playa Grande beach, which is the main beach stretching a cool 4.5 kilometres, with the northern end being marked by a giant boulder named Dante’s Rock, and the southern end marked by the Tamarindo Estuary. The other beaches include Playa Ventanas which is a smaller beach stretching only one kilometre (0.6 miles), and Playa Carbon, which is a truly unique beach as it’s where you will find the darkest sand in the entire country. All these beaches are ideal for surfing, kayaking, or snorkelling, which is exactly what takes many tourists to this part of the country. Last, but not least, it is Playa Grande in Costa Rica where you find Las Baulas National Marine Park, which is perfectly incorporated into the community and is home to a wide range of wildlife including tropical fish, lizards, crocodiles, monkeys, tropical birds, and snakes. The marine park is also known as a nesting ground for leatherback sea turtles.

So, if you are looking for a place to unwind and reset, then you definitely need to visit Playa Grande today.

Tamarindo – Tamarindo is one of the most popular beaches and surf towns in Costa Rica, and is also located in the Guanacaste province. The town has plentiful restaurants, shops, tour operators, several surf breaks, and also experiences stunning sunsets. If you would like to learn how to surf, you can do so in this area, as the surf breaks are great and easy, and are ideal for beginners. There are also advanced breaks for experienced surfers as well. And after all the surfing, you are able to get world-class dining services in the amazing restaurants, followed by a buzzing nightlife, and all of these are offered at affordable rates. The accommodations are excellent and are also very affordable. Talking of the beach, Tamarindo offers miles of soft, golden sand, and super clear blue ocean water, scenes which you could spend a lot of your time taking it in.

Santa Teresa – this would be the best beach town in Costa Rica and is a favourite spot to enjoy great food and some good vibes for many tourists and locals. The town is located on the Nicoya Peninsula and was originally a remote fishing village, but over time, it has transformed into one of the most tourist attraction destinations in the entire country. This transformation can partly be attributed to the town being at the center of the Nicoya Peninsula, thereby presenting campers with a good environment to enjoy the “Pura Vida” lifestyle. There are a number of other activities that you can engage in while there, including surfing, which is in fact the most popular. If you are not up to surfing, you could take a trip to the peaceful Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve to relax, or try other adventures such as paragliding, hiking, or zip-lining.

Playas Del Coco – this town stretches about 1.8-mile and is situated on the Gulf of Papagayo, which is approximately 30 minutes from Liberia international airport. Playas Del Coco is actually the largest beach town on the gulf, and it has very calm and protected waters, making it an ideal environment for family outings. Also, life in this town is refreshing and slow-paced, which is exactly what you want for a relaxing vacation. And after all your beach activities, you just need to grab some fresh local fruits from vendors – who, by the way, are all over – then relax, and just enjoy everything the town has to offer.      

Manuel Antonio – this is another peaceful beach town in Costa Rica that has attracted tourists from all over the world. The most outstanding feature of this town is the rugged National Rainforest Park, which is home to some of the most endangered species in the world, including white-faced monkeys, three-toed sloths, toucans, and other birds. Also, with 680 hectares of land, the park does present hikers with plentiful trails. So, if you enjoy watching nature at its best, this is definitely the place you want to be. And if you are not into hiking or seeing nature, you can still engage in a ton of activities on the beach, which is actually located directly next to the park.

Puerto Viejo – this is a very popular beach town, especially among backpackers on Costa Rican Caribbean side. The town is known for its buzzing nightlife and relatively cheap prices, which is why backpackers are largely drawn to it. And given that it is close to the border with Panama, so many backpackers do make a stop here before closing the border. Here, you will find fire dancers, hippies, traveller jewellery sellers, and other unique visitors. The beach is amazing and relaxing and has a lot of activities to engage in for fun.

Final word

As you have seen, there are so many epic beach towns in Costa Rica, which means that you simply can’t go wrong with any of them. So, if you are a sun-seeker and you are looking for a place to rest and relax, be sure that any of these amazing towns will definitely provide a thrilling and authentic Costa Rican experience.  

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