Visiting the Guanacaste Beaches
Guanacaste Beaches resonate of fun, sun, surfing, swimming, fishing, diving and other adventures. The province of Guanacaste is known for its beautiful sands and blue skies as well as having the least amount of rainfall in the whole country. Guanacaste can also boast about its renovated Daniel Oduber International Airport in its capital, Liberia (LIR) and impressive infrastructure catering to tourists from all over the world. All inclusive vacation packages that prioritize a sunny beach will be on this side of Costa Rica. Many cater to high-end visitors looking for breathtaking golf courses and sunset views from their five-star hotel balconies. The Papagayo Gulf All-Inclusive Resorts are the finest ones in the Guanacaste Province known for having stellar facilities as well as a focus on respecting its natural surroundings. It is also the coastline that is closest to the international airport. You can be there within an hour after you land!
The best family beaches will be in the North of the Guanacaste Province as part of the Peninsula Papagayo. Beaches like Playa Hermosa and Playa Panama are ideal for a family vacation mainly due to the calm waters. Especially Playa Panama almost feels like you are dipping into a large swimming pool. This will give you some peace of mind while your children run around exploring and swimming.
Playas del Coco is not the quiet fishing village it once was. Hosting a large expat community, Coco is now famous for its nightlife – especially around New Year. When you aren’t busy going out and enjoying yourself, you will thoroughly enjoy the activities you can do in and around the beach. One of the best ones is without a doubt the Diamante Eco Adventure Park. Next to its animal sanctuary, you can also experience the longest superman zip line in the country with ocean views!
Tamarindo, or Tamagringo for the locals, is without a doubt the most popular tourist beach in Guanacaste. With plenty of fine accommodations and fun activities like surfing, clubbing, sailing, sports fishing and sunbathing as well as countless restaurants and bars, this is the place to be for some fun.
Playa Grande is Tamarindo’s lesser known neighbor is the place to be when you are a bit more confident on your board. There is one surf shop a while away from the beach and there are a couple of hotels, bars and restaurant but not a whole many. This is mainly because the beach is also home to the Las Baulas National Park. As a host to these giant, leatherback turtles, the beach has to remain a tranquil haven rather than a party place.
Samara is another fun beach with a fun crowd but at a slightly slower pace. This beach is also located near other great beaches and surfing spots but lacks the high-end resort accommodations of Tamarindo. Samara feels more of an authentic Costa Rica beach town and that is where it holds its real charm. Like Tamarindo, Samara is a great beach for the beginner.
Nosara is a beach where the confident surfer can get a bit of a challenge. Additionally, Nosara is also known for its world-renowned Yoga Resorts with some classes catering to surfer especially.
If you are looking for a real thrill far away from the tourist crowds, you will definitely want to visit the beaches at the most southern tip of Nicoya. These are the beaches of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa! For more remote surfing, you can visit Playa Negra and Playa Avellanas!
With its piercing white beach full of crushed shells, Conchal is without a doubt one of the most beautiful beaches on the list. It can get a little busy during high season but you can always find a quiet spot under the palm trees. Playa Conchal is also home to the famous Reserva Conchal Beach Resort!
Playa Ocotal is a less visited gem that boast a stunning coastline. One of the most interesting things about Playa Ocotal, is that the sea air is tinged with a white mist that is said to possess healing properties. This gives this beautiful beach a rather mysterious atmosphere. The rocky formations flanking the beach make Ocotal a wonderful place for snorkeling and scuba diving. You may have to travel further to the famous Catalina Island for a bigger chance to spot Manta Rays, turtles and sharks. But you will be rewarded by large schools of colorful fish in beautiful, clear waters.
Ostional is not one of the most beautiful beaches because of the perfect white sand of blue skies, but because of its visitors. As one of the most famous nesting beaches, you will get a chance to see the Olive Ridley Turtle laying its eggs. In the morning, you can even see the eggs hatch and watch the baby turtles make their first big journey to the ocean! Feel free to help some of them by keeping the vultures away.
Just 1 hour South of Tamarindo, you will find the tranquil Playa Junquillal. Tamarindo is well known as one of Costa Rica’s most visited and most densely populated beaches. Playa Junquillal, on the other hand, is one of the most remote and pristine beaches of Guanacaste. It is perfectly possible to find yourself wandering the beach alone for most of the day! It is also a paradise for the solo surfer.
Playa Avellanas is also known as a remote surfing area. Additionally, it is perfectly in harmony with the beautiful natural surroundings with incredible flora and fauna. While you are there, look out for Lola, the pig that has lived there for as long as everyone can remember and who seems to rather enjoy swimming and taking a stroll on the beach. There is even a restaurant named after her! Take long walks along the mighty Pacific Ocean and do not miss the spectacular sunsets. Other animals you might spot from the beach include birds and monkeys like the famous Howler Monkeys.
Part of the tropical dry forest ecosystem, Playa Negra has woods that comes right down to the sand. It is home to many animal species including howler monkeys, coatis, and many others. Several types of sea turtles like las baulas as well as over two hundred different species of birds inhabit this area. Playa Negra translates as black beach and it is this volcanic black sand that adds to the mystical nature of this stunning beach.
Costa Rica is full of amazing beaches!
Visit between January and May: This is Costa Rica’s dry season and so the best time to visit the beaches.
Explore all the beaches in the area: No one beach is the same and it would be a shame to focus on one beach only. Hermosa, Ocotal, Panama, … Visit as many as you can!
Rent a car: If you want to get the most out of your trip and explore other beaches as well, you should definitely consider renting a car to make it easier on yourself.
Experience tranquility and solitude: Not all beaches have to be overrun by tourists! Take a private boating tour and see some of the Pacific Coast’s hidden gems.